Monday, September 7, 2015

Kim Davis and Jailhouse Conversion

Kim Davis, the Kentucky County Clerk who has been jailed until she will issue same sex marriage licenses, is a person of conscious. I have read several news stories essentially calling her a hypocrite because she has been married four times. Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon.com, however, got it right. Davis' marriages occurred before she was saved. Davis' previous life, full of sin and sadness, gives her new life the higher ground to take a moral stand.

I would no more question Kim Davis' conversion and the Grace she believes God has shown her than I would the many I have experienced in jails and prisons who have found the same salvation. Often called "jailhouse converts" these men and women have some of the deepest faith I have known. 

Karla Faye Tucker is a good example. Tucker was a turning point, I believe, in the death penalty debate. It can, and was, argued that Tucker became a flashpoint on the death penalty for reasons other than her jailhouse conversion: Being photogenic, white, and female certainly did not hurt, but Tucker's born again faith was key. 

Just like Tucker became a sort of martyr for the death penalty abolitionist movement, Kim Davis, with the willing support of her Liberty Counsel lawyers, seems bound and determined to be a martyr for anti-same sex marriage. 

So be it. 

Like Karla Tucker, Kim Davis should render into Caesar what is Caesar's and without legal complaint. 

Karla Faye Tucker walked into the death chamber unbowed, strong in her faith, but knowing she was being punished for violating man's law, not God's. I am sure Tucker believed man's law was wrong, at the cost of her life, but she understood who was in charge. Davis still maintains she should be allowed to avoid rendering to Cesar the service she signed on to perform.

Davis has several choices. She can perform her duty under the law or resign. Either course will result in her release from jail. Her other course of action is to sit in jail, without complaint, accepting the legal consequence of her moral stand. 

If this is not right, then what I have told all my jailhouse converts, and have heard judges tell jailhouse converts is not true: "I am happy you have found salvation. But this State requires you be punished according to our law, and not the law of God." 

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