Kim Davis, the county clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, has been jailed for contempt of court.
As news of Davis’s refusal to marry a gay couple circulated, the history of her past marriages was not a stone left unturned. But the real lesson here isn’t just for Davis and any other county clerk who’s position goes against their religious beliefs. The lesson here is for everyone.
Life is a spectrum. The differences in people, from race to sexuality to gender to backgrounds have no beginning or end. Each person is defined by a million tiny things– enough to make it impossible to be defined at all.
While Kim Davis surely is learning a lesson from this, I believe that her crimes, given her religious beliefs and duties as a county clerk, bleed into every aspect of life.
There is a Kim Davis in all of us; the one that locks the doors when they see someone who isn’t white, the one who throws ‘thing’ around like it is anyway to identify another person, the one who boycotts sexual education because they don’t agree with it. While the Kim Davis in all of us may not be so harsh or loud-mouthed or even vocal, she is there. From when we were stupid middle schoolers and thought racism was funny, to when fag was just another word and not a brick we threw, to when suicide was a joke and not a reality we now know too well.
The real lesson here is simply putting my previous statement in bold. Life is a spectrum.
So while we are all doing our thing, so is everyone else. Your flavor of bubblegum is not the lay of the land, and it doesn’t– shouldn’t– have any impact on anyone else. It should stay in your closed mouth.
In Kim Davis’s case, when religion is involved we must also remember that beliefs held in such regards are also a spectrum. Davis refused to marry a same-sex couple because of her beliefs. Surely there is a way around this. She saw what was against her beliefs and she said, let me step down and have someone else handle this. Instead, she denied two people a constitutional right.
Okay, Davis– what about my beliefs? What about the couple’s beliefs? And more importantly: what about human rights?
There will always be some sort of battle. Too many people believe their way is The Way. My religion is better. My skin color is better. My tastes are better. My life is better.
But it’s not.
A spectrum is only a spectrum when every other piece of it bleeds into the next. Without one, you don’t have another. It is a perfect and endless being; nothing is out of bounds and everything belongs.
Look at Kim Davis; look at yourself: we must learn to coexist. It isn’t about likes and dislikes, and it isn’t about toleration. It’s about the simple fact that you are you and I am me and that will never change. Kim Davis will always be Kim Davis, and while that means she has every right to follow her beliefs, she still doesn’t have any right to deny someone else their own.
When people talk about taking away the rights of Christians*, it seems as if the rights Christianity takes away from so many others is just overlooked. Christianity is not the be-all-end-all. Your love of grape bubble gum does not diminish my right to loving apple or to hate gum at all.
We are all here. We are all human. We all have the right to be who we are. What we do not have is the right to take away someone else’s right. And that will never change.
Be you. Be every color of red and blue and yellow and everything in-between and all mixed together. Be who you are. Because the other flavors and colors and people aren’t going away; and since we can live with them, we must let them be.
*this reference is not to exclude any other religions and/or beliefs, this is simply an example pulled from the Kim Davis case.