The case of Kim Davis, the clerk who refuses to issue same-sex marriage licenses, is very easy to solve: if her religion prevents her from upholding the law she should hold another job, one that is compatible with her faith. It would be a mistake that would lead to chaos if every person in public office decides to impose their values to the disadvantage of others, while ignoring the law.
The Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, as many of their rulings, got negative reactions among those opposing it, especially among Christians. What’s unusual is the deliberate intention of public employees such as Davis, who are in charge of implementing the law, of not doing so in this case. In Tennessee, two other clerks of the same level as Davis refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses, and judge Jeffrey Atherton refused to give a local straight couple their divorce saying that if the Supreme Court redefined what marriage is, it should do the same about divorce.
This reaction fits into a narrative in which Christians are persecuted in the United States. There has always been a feeling of persecution in evangelical sectors, but that only intensified when Obamacare was approved. Christian business owners refused to give specific health coverage to their employees claiming that it would go against their religious principles.
What’s clear is that what is considered persecution is the impossibility of imposing upon others the values and consequences of what should be a private practice of religion. Surely Davis would not have been happy if a Catholic state clerk would have denied her divorce, as well as her several subsequent marriages, claiming religious beliefs.
There is a fundamentalist sector that, along with several Republican presidential candidates, encourage the idea of an attack against Christians, and that Davis is a civil rights warrior. Nothing is further from the truth. Davis is closer to the racist governor who defied the federal government opposing racial integration than to Rosa Parks.
There are many places in the world where Christians are persecuted and killed. To say that there is such persecution in the U.S. is to trivialize the humane tragedy in other countries.