ANYWAY, right now I am kind of losing my frigging mind over this case with the Kentucky clerk who is refusing to do her job, refusing to quit her job, and refusing to admit that she is, of her own free will, digging herself into a really big hole. Specifically, for anyone who’s missed it, she won’t issue marriage licenses to gay people (or to straight people either, on the hilarious notion that this is going to protect her from lawsuits) and every court up to and including the Supreme Court has said “No, your religion doesn’t give you the right to not do your job,” but she is Adamant! I just cannot get over the fact that she thinks she has the right to retain a job she is openly avowing she cannot do. Your God may be telling you not to license gay marriages, lady, but I will need to see the Bible verse where God insists that the only job on His green earth that you can ethically hold is that of county clerk. Because I really, really don’t think that’s part of His dictate. Resign your fucking job and find a new one. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, right? Go work for the Family Research Council. I’m positive they can fit you in.
Anyway. So there’s this whole kerfuffle, but the thing I have been thinking about the most is a story I found on Snopes a few months ago, when I was reading Snopes chronically because I have been feeling very dumb lately and I was enjoying reading about people who are dumber than me. This particular story about people dumber than me was a story about a guy who went to a WalMart and, when he got to checkout, found that the clerk in his lane was not checking out alcoholic beverages. He saw the clerk’s name on his nametag, noted that it was “not Steve,” and concluded that a.) the clerk’s name was Muslim, b.) the clerk was not checking out alcoholic beverages in accordance with his religious beliefs, and c.) SHARIA LAW WAS BEING UNLOOSED UPON THE NATION.
Well, it turned out that the clerk’s non-Steve name had nothing to do with why he wasn’t checking out alcoholic beverages. He wasn’t checking them out because he was underage. But the conservatives got a good fury-boost out of it anyway. Which leads me to this: here we have a situation where a clerk -- in a private establishment, no less -- was purportedly refusing to do a portion of his job because of his religion. Alcoholic beverages were being checked out by other clerks in other lanes, just as, we are constantly told by conservatives, gay marriage licenses are being issued by other clerks in Kentucky.* Furthermore, another clerk could quickly step into that clerk’s lane and check out the alcohol if a transaction was already in progress, just as, as Kim Davis’ legal team notes, a clerk from a neighboring county could be deputized to issue Rowan County gay marriage licenses so Davis wouldn’t have to do it. I mean, it’s a really small concession to make to protect someone’s religious freedom, right? Just go to the next lane, or the next county? Everybody gets their alcohol, or their gay marriage, and nobody has to violate their religious freedom? What could possibly be wrong with that?
Well, in the case of WalMart, it’s that that would apparently be a forerunner of the establishment of sharia law in the US, despite the fact that it was a private establishment (unlike the county clerk’s office) whose employee was not doing anything in the name of the government (unlike Kim Davis) and that was not trying to establish a legal precedent that would impact the country at large (unlike Kim Davis). None of those last things matter because it would be fundamentally wrong to allow someone to plead off from doing their job because of their religious convictions!
But Kim Davis? I mean. She’s Christian. So none of that applies. Right?
*Which argument makes me BATSHIT because WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY START REFUSING GAY MARRIAGE LICENSES EN MASSE, AS COULD WELL HAPPEN IN A HEAVILY CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE STATE. The argument “there are other people who will do this” only holds meaning if THE LAW IS MAKING THEM DO IT. But anyway.