While Kim Davis was gamely trying to bear up under the current version of the Hallelujah Chorus from the throngs who greeted her tearful exit from prison, she seemed unaware of the political fire that she had ignited by casting herself solely to the authority of God. It is a frightful sign of the times when a far removed Kentucky county clerk is hailed as a martyred heroine by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex partners.
History is filled with the exploits of Christian soldiers, kings and Biblical prophets. Bloody and seemingly endless religious wars have been fought as one side or the other proclaimed their direction from the Creator for the rightness of their cause. Henry VIII even dismissed Pope Clement when the latter refused to accomodate the king’s request for an annulment. Savonarola was a mad book-burning preacher who was burned at the stake. The crusaders slew infidels and believers alike. And those Salem witch trials…
Today the landscape is quite different. Kim Davis was a small-town clerk who decided the law wasn’t meant for her. The word spread so quickly on TV that she was the lightning rod, not only for true believers, but also the political vultures like Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz, both defying gravity as presidential candidates. Others raced to the scene, like Liberty Council, and thousands of supporters, many of them white guys with crosses and bibles. Huckabee, a former preacher, could not resist blurting that we were witnessing the “criminalization” of religion through “judicial tyranny”.
As I viewed the spectacle I had a twinge of sympathy for this pathetic woman as she struggled to restrain her tears with Huckabee at her side. She was now being used to advance the political ambitions of grandstanding others. She had no inkling, I’m sure, of what sudden celebrity had in store for her in the Huckabee-Cruz protectorate splashed across the land.
Sadly, she is no more than an instantly recruited pawn hopelessly unprepared for the whirlwind of controversial celebrity even with the white crosses fanning the crowd. These are the moments that you recalled Gandhi’s vision, who declared: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”.
Reposted from Grumpy Abe.