I say this with the most humility and respect that I can muster but Kim Davis is not a Christian martyr. Honestly, the fact that I even had to write that sentence makes me want to pull my hair out (and I am desperately holding on to what little bit of hair of I have left so I’m trying to refrain). This shouldn’t even be a conversation and it devalues those who have died for spreading the Word or for merely being Christians. Mrs. Davis’ choice to be imprisoned has been orchestrated by lawyers who have their own agendas and have convinced her that she has legal ground to stand on (she doesn’t).
In fairness, Mrs. Davis’ actions have made me take stock in my own life. Even though I believe her stand is misguided at best and bigoted at worst, I have found myself wondering if I believe in anything enough to go to jail for it. It’s one thing to say that I would choose imprisonment as an alternative to doing something I didn’t believe in, but would that really be the decision I would make? I’m not positive that it would and that’s a sobering self-realization. Conformity is easy. Standing up is hard. So I (hesitantly) give props to Mrs. Davis for not backing down. HOWEVER, this martyrdom stuff has got to go.
Despite the loud cries that we are losing our religious liberty, we live in a country where it’s relatively easy to be a Christian. There’s probably a church within a 15 mile radius of where you are sitting right now. If you attend, you’ll find the building has air conditioning, comfortable seating and (mostly) welcoming people. Some have nice, big video screens and talented people leading the worship service. My church even offers coffee for a small donation of a dollar. Christians being persecuted here? Please. We don’t even know what that means.
Very important note: The following paragraphs detail attacks on Christians by extremists from other religions. The key word is extremists. I have great respect for true followers of all World religions. Extremists that commit violent acts in the name of their religion do not fall into that category. My intention is only to advance the idea that Christians in other countries have it MUCH worse than we do here and it is a joke to label Mrs. Davis as a martyr.
Christians in India face persecution. Earlier this year, several Christian churches in India were set on fire by far-right Hindu extremists as an intimidation power play.
Christians in Kenya face persecution and are martyred for it. More than 80% of Kenyans are Christian but northeastern Kenya is 90% Muslim. In September 2013, Somalian militant group al-Shabab attacked the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, killing 67 people and wounding 175. Those who could recite the Quran were spared. Last December, 64 Christians were killed in Mandera town, further north of Garissa, in two separate incidents. The gunmen spared Muslims but shot Christians at close range. In April, al-Shabab targeted Christians at a university in Kenya and left 147 people dead.
How about the Middle East? ISIS targets Christians, not for taking any certain stand for their faith, but for merely being Christian. ISIS places the Arabic letter “N” (meaning Nazarene or the follower of the Nazarene) on the homes of Christians with the intention of wiping the earth clean of Christians. The goal is genocide. They are not hiding the fact. It is being explicitly stated. With growing frequency we are seeing the persecution and mass murder of Christians in Africa and the Middle East by radical Muslims, in particular, ISIS and Boko Haram, who are aligned. Christians who refuse to convert to Islam or pay a special tax (jizya) and acknowledge their subjugation to Muslims are being beheaded, crucified, shot, and burned alive. Female Christians are being raped, forced to convert to Islam, and placed into slavery. Christian Churches are being burned to the ground.
It’s a big world out there, folks, and our beloved United States is a just small percentage of it. I’m as guilty as anyone for only concerning myself with news that is relevant to me. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing to be so nationalistic. It’s one of the ingredients that has made our country a world leader. But, seriously. If you’re a Christian, this is the place you want to be. Don’t come at me with a straight face and say we’re facing persecution unless you have some stories that resemble the deliberate violence taking place in other parts of the globe.
Let’s be clear. Mrs. Davis is actively choosing this “persecution.” She isn’t being vilified for being Christian. She is being vilified for not fulfilling her duty as a county clerk in 2015. As I wrote on Wednesday, I can respect her moral objection to what her position now requires her to do. We all have a right to our beliefs. However, Mrs. Davis should just resign. My law firm defends coal companies in lawsuits for damages to property. If I had a deep moral objection to that type of work and refused to represent those companies, do you know what would happen? You sure do. I’d lose my job and it wouldn’t be because of my belief system. It would be because I refused to fulfill my duties.
Mrs. Davis stated in an interview yesterday that if she resigned or chose to retire she would have “no voice for God’s word.” That is 100% unfiltered BS. She is a national figure now and with that comes a platform to speak. It just seems to me that Mrs. Davis trusts God enough to choose prison but not enough to leave a job that pays her $80,000 a year. Don’t worry though, Mrs. Davis. That 80k is going to be chump change compared to the inevitable book deal and Lifetime movie special that will be coming your way at the close of this saga. Can you name any martyrs that have that kind of life to look forward to?
I didn’t think so.
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