Friday, September 4, 2015

Kim Davis Chose Jail

It's probably easy to tell that I don't exactly have a vast appreciation for the decision of Kim Davis to fail to do the job she was elected to do and swore an oath to do, which was uphold, among other things, the Constitution of the United States. It strikes me as simply a failure to follow her oath--if she can't treat all citizens of her county that come to her for government-provided services equally as the 14th Amendment says that all citizens of the US should be treated the same under the law, then she needs to understand she can't do her job and quit it. Because to fail to do her job as understood by the Supreme Court's ruling based on the 14th Amendment is breaking an oath. Swear to God.

Being faced with the possibility that she could resign or just continue to hold office whilst failing to do her job, she chose jail. Chose it. Civil disobedience means you sometimes get arrested for things. This is not a news flash for social justice people. She willfully violated a law on purpose because she is trying to prove a point. I don't agree with her point, mind you, but I can appreciate that the choice to go to jail over it is a measure of her beliefs, and blaming the government for her going to jail just seems like some crazy idea that the rule of law doesn't mean anything. There were many ways that her refusal to issue marriage licenses could be gamed out, she had, we must presume, competent legal counsel who advised her of the potential repercussions of her actions (or inactions, as the case may be), and faced with resignation, and not collecting a government paycheck anymore, she violated the court order and let herself be taken into custody because this is how civil disobedience is done.

Henry David Thoreau went to jail for not paying taxes because they paid for a war he didn't believe in. Martin Luther King Jr went to jail for protesting in Birmingham. Civil disobedience means recognizing that you are in violation of the government's laws and you face them down in court, and the court of public opinion, but you don't whine like a baby that of all of a sudden, you don't know the laws you are protesting against or misrepresent history over it.


Like Senator Ted Cruz went and did. His post on his site--although this may be subject to change, I dunno, says something really screwy:

“Today, judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny. Today, for the first time ever, the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith. This is wrong. This is not America."
America has totally arrested Christian woman for what they believe in. Susan B. Anthony, a Quaker, was arrested for voting. There were other suffragettes who also went to jail in a time when Americans were more church-going than not. Abolitionists faced jail time under the Fugitive Slave Act. Some early Temperance women went to jail for smashing up saloons like Carrie Nation, who was guided by her Christian faith.

You actually could not be more wrong than Ted Cruz is about women going to jail for their faith being a real thing. Civil rights heroes like Rosa Parks faced jail. Bree Newsome was charged with defacing public property. BLM protesters get jailed on the regular, and that is a movement where women are often front and center. And they are very aware of the dangers of being placed at the mercy of the criminal justice system, but they are engaging in civil disobedience to prove a point.

Crying about  Kim Davis doing a little jail time while she deals with her relationship to the law cheapens what she is doing, here. If you want to grace her bigotry as being about a larger issue at all. But the picture I have chosen to post of her mugshot against the disgustingly hateful sign of one of her supporters that says that GAY stands for "Got AIDS Yet?" is probably more indicative of what this is really about.


4 comments:

Formerly Amherst said...

Hi Vixen, I must be hallucinating. When I glanced at your site last night I was sure I saw another post on the same subject; however, today what I thought I saw is not there. Perhaps I have spent too much time in introspection. Perhaps there is a downside for traveling on the astral plane. I'm not only seeing things that are not there, I am hallucinating content that is not there. Must I start projecting all those beastly Hebrew letters onto my waking life to determine the veracity of my observations?

I understand a judge in Oregon is now doing the same thing as Mrs. Davis, as are others, though with less publicity. It is a conundrum.

As an enlisted man in Vietnam (about the time your dad was in the Marines) we used to have a lot of fun talking about officers being gentlemen by an act of Congress. Naturally, a lot of our comments were ribald. The joke ultimately being that law cannot turn someone into a gentleman.

I see a similar problem here. Because the revisionist view of marriage was not designed by Congress, the body that makes our laws, it can be argued that the revisionist view cannot actually be seen as law in its full understanding. It can also be argued that since the Supreme Court came down in favor on the revisionist side, it is in fact law.

However since it does not have the support of Congress ad the political process, a huge segment of the population does not regard the law as valid. They believe that just because you call something marriage, it does not necessarily ratify it as marriage any more than Congress turning someone into a gentleman overnight. We really need some kind of reconciliation, but I doubt we'll have it anytime soon.

Whether the revisionist view can somehow creep into the definition in the minds of most Americans is still up in the air despite the Supreme Court. The traditional view of marriage involves a man and a woman who can produce a family being certified legally and perhaps ontologically. And it must be admitted that the ability to form a union and establish a family has unique properties whether seen from the point of view of nature or ontologically. No one can question the unique properties in this union.

I think where it is ultimately headed is a complete divorce from government being the authority that establishes marriage. The only reconciliation I see is people making contracts, whoever they may be, without the sanction or privileges bestowed by government. But who knows. I'll be dead and gone (with a very good job and good benefits) by the time this works its way out.

Mrs. Davis has now assured herself a place in history deservedly or not. Gay Americans decided to press the issue rather than driving 30 miles down the road to get a marriage license in the midst of a presidential campaign. Now more than 3 presidential candidates have been interviewed about her and have given her support and a platform that she would not otherwise have enjoyed. Had some simply said the hell with it and gone down the road, they would not have elevated Mrs. Davis to Christian martyrdom status. I will also add that this is what happens when your religion is only evaluated on the literal level. You will recall that I have discussed the 4 levels of experience and cognition in the QBL. Frankly, it's possible that Mrs. Davis may be responding to a limitation of theology.

Vixen Strangely said...

I briefly had a blogpost up that suffered from a case of "pretext all shot to hell". A very successful parody account purporting to be representative of Kim Davis and her spouse published a letter from her jail cell that even more legitimate journalistic enterprises than mine fell for--after two decades,I had succumbed to the obvious caveats: the first--if something seems absolutely too spot on, it's probably a hoax, and the second--most stuff you find on the internet is the worst codswallop. As I had stuff to do today, all I could do on the discovery that at least the basis for my post was bollocks was jettison the whole thing. Sadly, things are at a point weird enough that it gets harder to tell parodies from reality.

I differ, as you know, about the definition of marriage as necessitating a male and a female partner, simply because the biological basis for raising children needn't stand in the way of people adopting children to raise, and same sex partners have demonstrated the ability to form long-lasting relationships and have the ability to raise children--why wouldn't they, having been raised in, usually opposite-sex headed families, themselves? Their experience of being reared isn't lost to them on the basis of have chosen a same sex partner--they still work, pay bills, keep house, communicate affection and work out differences, in other words, perform the adult functions we pass on to kids so they can become functional adults. And naturally, some relationships aren't based on the rearing of children at all.

It seems to me that the practice of letting individual office-holders prevent the implementation of marriage equality as a standard is a bit similar to letting George Wallace or Orval Faubus just allow some schools to remain segregated because they chose to drape themselves in front of them. It doesn't strike me as feasible to simply tell others to go a-stepping to the next county over when they pay their tax money to the county they should rightly expect services from. Kim Davis was making the point that she was not going to issue marriage licenses of any kind--just to treat everyone equally under the law. But that's not what the law says. Discriminating against everyone isn't somehow better than just discriminating against a select few. Her office was charged with issuing licenses to people in her county, and who it was lawful to issue them to wasn't a matter of her conscience, but the law.

Formerly Amherst said...

Greetings, Vixen, I don't want to be misunderstood.

My personal view is that we have yet to establish a complete enough understanding to know what kind of formalization should characterize the homosexual relationship. With heterosexual relationships we have guidance from nature, tradition, and spirit to offer us the understanding we need to formalize the marriage relationship as a fundamental component of civilization. With the homosexual relationship we have not arrived at an understanding that directs us into the best way to capitalize on it.

We know what marriage is, so what is the relationship between homosexuals? We know it is something. We know that it is sacred to both parties. We know there is a longing for a solemnization of the relationship, so we are not entirely without some factors to offer consideration. Should it be marriage? Or should it be some other definition that more effectively and beneficially capitalizes on the homosexual relationship?

Let me take you down some bizarre paths.

You are interested in gnosticism. Many of the gnostics believed that matter and everything that occurs in the physical world is evil. Although there were also positive gnostics (some might define me as one), there were also many negative gnostics. They believed a secondary evil half-god sometimes called the demiurge was responsible for dismissing the intentions of the great lord of Light and trapping human spirits into a horrible hell of unmitigated evil called the physical world. They saw the fact of the food chain as the basic component of the physical world. The never-ending wars. The infinite brutalities. The savagery, the criminality. And their reading of the Bible led them to the conclusion that the physical world was simply evil created by a tyrannical, evil half-god, and the whole name of the game was a complete reject of all material life so that one's spirit could cast off the evil material antecedents and return to the radiant a loving Lord of Light.

I'm being very abbreviated here, of course.

Well, in this situation homosexual relationships might be the ones who ought to be married, and the breeders should be confined so that they did not continue to help trap human spirits into an agony of evil and prolong the infinite lifespan of the situation created by the demiurge.

So in that situation marriage should be done by the people who do not procreate, and procreation would simply be another way to spring the trap.

(Incidentally, I do not believe this, but I can understand how people came to that conclusion working with the ideas they had available. As I have said, the first 3 chakras are simply the replication of animal life in the human sphere, and only in the heart chakra do we start to evolve beyond animal drives. Therefore it makes a lot of things on this level very ambiguous, and it is hard to nail down what is actually good.)

Continued in part 2.

Formerly Amherst said...

As you know, there are those who wish for women to become priests in the Roman Catholic Church. We do not have this problem in the system of Western lodges. We would not want women to become priests either, because we need priestesses. Or in my area of the country, Fraters and Sorors, which comes to the same thing. We understand that men and women both bring something to the table. And we wish to capitalize on that difference and use it for superior possibilities that would not exist if women all wanted to be the priests.

For example, as a generalization men are stronger on the physical plane, women are stronger on the emotional plane, men are stronger on the mental plane, women are stronger on the causal plane, etc., etc. So because of this, it is easier and more effective to have the sexes provide their different capacities. There are other differences as well. In the lodge I was trained in there is an attempt to alternate between men and women as the head of the establishment, so when the woman running things dies, a man takes her place, and when he dies a woman takes his place, and so on.

My view is that there is no reason for everyone to simply try and rush to the dominate form of relationship and institution simply because it exists. Gay relationships offer the possibility of something new, just as valuable, that more effectively capitalizes on that form of sacred bonding. It may be marriage, or it may be something different. My view is that it would be wise if once in a great while we actually tried to understand the nature of something and figure out what is most beneficial to the couple and to society before we just start stuffing them an already defined institutional relationship.