(The Guardian) -- The resistance of Kim Davis, the country clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, to the law of the land would be funny if it weren’t sincere. After bucking various court decisions in recent months, Ms Davis has yet again declined to administer marriage licenses to couples of the same sex. When asked by what authority she hoards the licenses, Ms Davis responded: “God’s.” What makes this position so compelling is not its simplicity, but its complexity. When Ms Davis invokes the Christian God or any form of divine authority to justify discrimination, she is saying that the thrust of her actions originate in a force and entity beyond this visible realm.
We Americans have a long tradition of using religion as a social bludgeon. During the era of chattel enslavement, many white landowners argued that the abolition of black enslavement would upend the created order. During Jim Crow, racist politicians, clerics and civic leaders argued that God desired racial segregation. Today, many of the same arguments are being made by Christians in regards to marriage equality.