In the book of Mark 12:17 and Matthew 22:20-22 the authors tell us of a situation where the Pharisees tried to entangle Jesus up on his talk on the issue of paying tribute to Caesar the King. Now Jesus, being all-wise to their scheme, used wisdom in His response saying, bring me a coin. He then asked whose image is on the coin and what does the inscription say? The Pharisees responded, Caesar. Jesus then said “render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s.”
Now we have a situation in Kentucky where Kim Davis, an elected county clerk, is objecting to issue marriage certificates to citizens of the same sex if they want to get married. The United States Supreme Court has upheld the supreme law of our nation that it is legal for them to do so.
Davis, as the elected clerk in that county of Kentucky, swore an oath to execute the law of the land regardless of her religious beliefs. She even went to jail for not issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. The judge released Davis after several days and instructed her to not interfere with the staff in issuing marriage licenses to anyone seeking that service from the government.
Now Davis is seeking an exemption to accommodate her from having her name on the legal document. She sought out the office of the county clerk, which requires her by law to sign all legal documents issued in that county office. In order for that to happen the legislature in Kentucky would have to change the law and give that responsibility to someone else and the governor has said that will not happen.
So what should Davis do, being in the pickle that she has gotten herself into? She can hold on to her beliefs and job but not interfere or alter any procedures that would deny people of the same sex from obtaining the legal service from her office, if she does not want to return to jail.
I taught Bible classes for over 40 years and the teachings of Jesus are about faith, belief, and practical living for people in a government run society. In my opinion, Davis decided to work for the government while not wanting to render to the government that which is the government’s but force her belief on the public she swore to serve.
We have seen this Bible movie in America before and Blacks were the targets. It is also my opinion that some Republican Party candidates are fueling the fire by tossing racial and anti-gay and lesbian words into the public like a sports game. If the Republican leadership does not step in and be more inclusive and tolerant of people of different faiths and color, they will become irrelevant in this democratic government.
To Kim Davis I offer this advice, render to the government that which is the government’s.