Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pope meets with County Clerk Kim Davis

According to several news sources, the pope met with Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis. She was headline news a week or two ago when she refused to issue any marriage licences whatsoever after gay marriage was legalized nationwide because it would violate her conscience.

I was kind of torn about this at first. My thinking was that if someone works for the government, then they have to carry out its functions. You cannot just pick and choose which laws you will enforce. Look at the Supreme Court for instance. Their job is to rule on the legality and constitutionality of a case before them. A judge cannot simply object on moral grounds. That's because the type of government is a democracy.

However, more important than this is a person must follow their conscience. Otherwise the person becomes a cog in the government wheel no matter how immoral the government becomes. We know that during WWII, many Nazis claimed they were "just following orders". However, this does not remove moral personal responsibility. We are all accountable to God, and we cannot simply say we were asked to do something as our reason for disobeying a moral law.

Morally speaking, two people of the same sex cannot be legitimately married. This is not arbitrary. Marriage predates Christianity and is defined as the lifelong union of a man and woman for the purpose of unity and procreation. We've chiseled away at this definition for a century or more now, but moral people must uphold its truth.

Pope Francis meeting with Kim Davis is a clear endorsement of her actions. This is a teaching moment for everyone. We are morally obliged to follow our conscience. If this involves quitting our job, then so be it. Just like the priest explained at Mass a few days ago, the reading about cutting off limbs if they cause you to sin is not to be taken literally. Rather, it's a hyperbolic way of saying, if anything stands in our way to being morally good, we must eliminate that thing from our lives.

I think Kim Davis would be willing to resign rather than do something she feels is immoral, and for this she ought to be applauded. I think she is a brave person.


  1. You better update your story buddy. The Vatican clarified that the Pope's meeting was NOT an endorsement of Kim Davis's law-breaking bigotry:

  2. Should a Catholic county clerk not re-marry a divorced person?