Let me start by being perfectly clear: Kim Davis is an idiot, and I wholly support same-sex marriage. As a matter of fact, I myself am married to a man. His name is Jim Beam; he treats me like a king and I would never cheat on him.
That being said, I want to take some time to address and more deeply examine the would-be scandal surrounding Kim Davis, and how it reflects our current culture.
I’ll tell you right now, this is not going to be a tirade against Christianity like some hipster, nor would I even think of defending the woman’s decisions. More so, it is a reflection of how the Kim Davis incident exposes the futility of victimhood culture, and how everyone seems to have missed the point because of it.
You heard me.
One thing her critics and supporters both have in common is that they choose to ignore logic and legally-based criticisms and instead focus on MAH FEELINGZ. This is a very telling pattern, it shows that large swaths of people in this country either don’t know or don’t care what the root conflict of the issue is. They would rather feed their perpetual outrage machines with TEH FEELZ than with solid and rational argument. This is where their priorities lie. If you aren’t fully apprised of the situation, do everyone a favor and sit on the sidelines.
Since most of you are likely unaware, here’s the skinny. In the state of Kentucky, county clerk is an elected office. That makes Kim Davis a servant of the people. She was elected in 2014 as a Democrat (bet you didn’t know that) to serve in that position. Since her election, the Supreme Court has ruled bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional and has ordered all 50 states to allow gay couples to marry. Some people can say it is beyond the court’s power to make that declaration, but that isn’t what I will be focusing on. Instead, consider this: Kim Davis’s job description had changed from the time she was elected. She is now expected to do thing that she was not initially elected to do, she is expected to take actions that were outside of her expectations when she ran, and as such they were not a part of her election platform. If she felt that she was not able to do those things, she had a few courses of action she could take.
1. She could resign from her post and find another job. Simple. You don’t like it, you leave. For the record, this is what you should do whenever you see something that “offends” you. You put it down and you fucking leave without making it a battle.
2. She could resign from her post, and then re-run for the same position, being up front about her refusal to sign same-sex certificates. That way, her constituents, of whom she is their servant, can more honestly choose someone who best represents their interests, be it her or someone else. If she is re-elected after being up-front about her beliefs, that means that the people of Rowan County disagree with the ruling and have elected an official to represent their feelings on the matter, like they should. Now I realize this course of action has its own implications and counterpoints and as an elected official, there are certain behavioral assumptions that can be made, but in the interest of keeping focus I will skip over them.
3. She could continue to do the job she was initially elected for and expected to do without resigning, and not sign the certificates she didn’t agree with. Kim Davis decided to take this route, only she refused to approve ANY marriage certificates (even heterosexual ones) as a method of protest.
Right off the bat, it’s easy to dismiss it as a case of bigoted act of Bible-fueled hatred, and because of the stance Kim publicly took on the issue, you wouldn’t be far off the mark. However, the third option wouldn’t sound quite so narrow-minded if Kim Davis herself had framed it in a different light. Here’s how:
At the time of her election, she was expected to approve marriage certificates for only heterosexual couples, since same-sex marriage had not been accepted yet. Suddenly, one day her job description changed from something she could do to something she could not. If she had framed her disobedience in the context of “This isn’t my job, and was not an expectation when I ran for office” she at least would have not outed herself as quite so much of an asshole. She’d still have been wrong of course, but instead, she decided to eschew rational thought and parade her feelings as an excuse… Just like her detractors are doing against her.
Don’t dismiss it as a hypothetical, because it raises a point that is truly at the heart of the matter. Kim Davis did what she did because of her feelings. The public reacted the way they did because of their feelings. At no point did anyone take the rational eye to their argument, and if they did, they certainly didn’t make it part of their platform.
When I look at the Kim Davis debacle, I don’t see a brave struggle for religious freedom, nor do I see a fight for equal rights. All I see are a bunch of people bitching and whining about their feelings and letting their emotions take center stage, facts be damned. Arguing how you feel is a waste of time, because someone is obviously going to feel different than you. The only kind of argument that is worth having is one based around fact. If we truly gave enough of a shit about the situation, we would learn the facts and present a rational argument instead of hammering each other over the head with something as malleable and subjecting as your feelings.
I continue to see it every day on social media and on the news. Some of the big criticisms from the secular camp are as follows:
“She’s a hypocrite, as she has had 4 husbands.”
First off, it’s important to note that being a hypocrite doesn’t automatically make you wrong. You would still need to address the matter at hand instead of writing her off as a hypocrite and calling it a day. Secondly, we don’t know the circumstances to her divorce. For all we know, husband #1 beat her, husband #2 later turned out to be a distant cousin, and so on. I know its flimsy, but since we don’t know for a fact, this isn’t yet a valid criticism and shouldn’t be used since it doesn’t hold water. I also see the every-classy
“She’s a dumb Bible-thumper, amirite?!”
OMG totally! Hashtag bacon, biblez r teh dum. I’m not by any means a Christian, but I have to admit they are unfairly ridiculed these days. Mocking religious people is practically a fucking meme. My how edgy you are, such an authentic hipster. Have a cookie.
And some of the big criticisms from the religious camp sound like:
“Her freedom of religion was violated.”
No it wasn’t. Her job was not to marry the couples herself; her job was only to confirm that the applicants met all minimum requirements to qualify for marriage under Kentucky law. A few years ago, I remember hearing a story about Muslim cabbies who refused to drive customers who possessed alcohol because their religion forbids alcohol were penalized for not doing their job. Granted, the cabbies were not elected officials, yes. Doesn’t change the expectations of the job.
“It’s a Christian witch-hunt.”
While I just mentioned that the secular left does indeed make a hobby out of unfairly targeting Christians these days, this specific incident stemmed from Kim Davis making herself a moral figurehead. Moral figures on divisive issues get attacked. The fact that she was a Christian, while being the reason she became a moral figurehead, is secondary to the fact that she is one.
My entire point is not to wade into the Kim Davis debacle, but instead to point to it as yet another sign of how our society is fueled by outrage, moral preening, and emotional exertion. This is the same outrage machine that charges 12 year old boys with assault for kissing a girl on the playground, the same outrage machine that bans gendered pronouns from college campuses, and the same outrage machine that cried for weeks over a dead lion that no one gave a fuck about prior to. I’m sick and tired of logging into Facebook every day and seeing the latest thing to be butthurt about. It’s not about “my outrage trumps your outrage.” Being a hateful bitch is not the proper response for someone else being a hateful bitch. It makes you no better than them and loses you any argument you make based on “morality.” I saw a Facebook post, written by a lesbian woman, who said that she hoped Kim Davis’s family got killed. How in your right mind do you think that makes you a better person than her? How is that sentiment justified?
It’s time to nut up. Start being an adult, start thickening your skin. Accept that your precious little bubble isn’t the only space in the world. Your personal feelings are not the business of anyone else’s so stop trying to force your bullshit down everyone else’s throats. If you don’t like it, keep scrolling. If you disagree with someone, stop trying to ruin their life over it. Kim Davis isn’t the cause of moral outrage, she is a symptom of it, and you are no better than she is when you fill your surroundings with crybaby bullshit.