A Thought About Freedoms

A Thought About Freedoms

I’m troubled. The news media and the social media have been abuzz with opinions, assumptions and reactions concerning the Rowan County Clerk and her decision about marriage licenses for same sex couples. What troubles me isn’t her faith statements or her preferred definition of marriage. She has every right to believe what she believes is Biblically correct and/or mandated. She has every right to not participate in or attend a wedding service where a same sex couple is involved. She has every right to voice her opinion and to even peaceably protest the decision of the Supreme Court under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

That said, I don’t believe she has the right to refuse to do her duty as a county clerk in servicing the people of her county equally under the law. She is currently in jail on a contempt of court charge because she refused to do one of the duties she was elected to perform. In my opinion (and it is only my opinion), she should resign from the office if she cannot perform the duties to which she was elected. But I am troubled by something else that is more far reaching than the County of Rowan in the State of Kentucky.

What if the county clerk were a devout Roman Catholic who believed divorce and remarriage were wrong according to his or her Biblical understanding and the teaching of the Church. Based on the Rowan County Clerk’s rationale for not issuing marriage licenses, this clerk could do likewise. So, too, could a county clerk in certain counties where marriages between people of different races is believed to go against Biblical teaching found in the Hebrew Scriptures. An Asian and a Caucasian could be denied a marriage license as well as a Latino and an African-American or a Native American and any of the others. A Muslim serving as a county clerk could refuse to issue a marriage license to a Muslim woman and a Christian man according to Sharia law.

Is this the kind of future we aspire toward? I really don’t think so. Freedom of religion is about having your beliefs and practicing them freely, so long as they don’t impinge on the freedom of others to practice theirs. Using a public office to enforce one’s personal beliefs upon others or deny them their freedom of practice seems to me to be a violation of the constitutional right of everyone to practice their religion freely. That’s solely my opinion.

See you Sunday! Until then – peace.

 


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