Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Kentucky clerk’s morals fall flat

(My Clovis News Journal column for September 11, 2015)

Everyone seems to have an opinion about the Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

First of all it needs to be understood that everyone has a right to live by their faith, but no one has a right to a government job — a right that can’t exist.

If a job would require you to do things you believe are wrong, don't take the job. If you hold a job and the requirements change so you would be asked to do things you believe are wrong, it is your responsibility to find a different job. No need to raise a fuss to get attention, just resign and move on. It's that simple.

This clerk's morals seem fluid. She has apparently never had a problem with processing divorces. Or with living on money forcibly extorted from the local residents. She seemingly never questioned whether it's ethical to hold a position which licenses basic human rights; activities not subject to government permission.

What if she refused to issue marriage licenses for anyone who had been previously divorced? If she were living consistently by her faith, she would not only be refusing marriage licenses for same sex couples.

What if she were Muslim and her faith forbade her issuing drivers licenses to women? Would her supporters still be standing with her decision?

This is why her claim of standing up for her morals falls utterly flat with me. Her morals seem to be a convenience, giving her an excuse for refusing to do something she doesn't want to do. It's like if I were a janitor, but claimed my morals forbade me cleaning the new toilets.

She wasn't letting anyone else in her office issue marriage licenses, either, regardless of their personal beliefs on the matter.

I don't believe in government, and certainly don't believe government has any "authority" to issue licenses for anything, including marriage. Knowing this, should I take a government job which includes issuing licenses and then refuse to do so? Should I still expect to be paid?

But jail? She should not have been jailed for refusing to do her job. It was a ridiculous penalty, calculated to cause maximum drama. If a person won't do their job, they should be fired, not caged.

None of this would be an issue if government were forced out of the marriage business- where it never had any business getting involved in the first place.
(Note: I said anyone who doesn't do their job needs to be fired. My editor said no one is "authorized" to fire Ms. Davis. So I changed the wording for the newspaper column. I put the original wording back for the blog. I still believe anyone who doesn't do what they were hired to do needs to be fired. It's not my fault the State sets itself up to fail.)


Theories, or justification?

So many "political theories" seem to only exist to justify the "statist quo".

I try to make sure my own political theory doesn't fall into the opposite trap of only existing to justify the opposite of the status quo.

So I test it. I examine it. I pick it apart in my mind. And, when it fails the test, I change it.

So far the result is that I get rid of more and more justifications for statism of any kind.

It's liberating. Give it a try.