Oh, the complex nature of life. Why is it everything in US politics gets reduced to yes/no, right/wrong, left/right, Republican/Democrat, or some other binary system? I ask this because what’s happening with Kim Davis is clearly not a yes/no, right/wrong, binary problem; it has more than two sides.
So, let me ramble about what I think.
She’s not a martyr. Reviewing the definition of martyr clearly shows that.
1. a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion.
2. a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause: a martyr to the cause of social justice.
3. a person who undergoes severe or constant suffering: a martyr to severe headaches.
4. a person who seeks sympathy or attention by feigning or exaggerating pain, deprivation, etc.
She hasn’t been killed. She hasn’t endured great suffering (re: no whips, no chains, no water boarding, no physical torture of any kind. She’s not living with fibromyalgea, or any other chronic illness that has been reported, and she’s not seeking sympathy for anything (other than being called a hypocrite).
Put directly, Kim Davis is a human being who did what she believed. Her actions were consistent with her beliefs. She was not hung, beheaded, burned at the stake, etc. She’s not Joan of Arc. She’s not Jesus. She’s not even Ghandi. She’s unharmed, physically, by her actions, and the responses they produced.
She’s not a hypocrite, unless damn near everyone in the US is. As before, let’s review the definition.
1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.
From everything I’ve read, she’s acted consistently with her beliefs, and the beliefs of millions like her. That’s not hypocrisy. That’s flawed beliefs, mistaken beliefs. Yes, she’s been divorced 3 times. Yes, that doesn’t agree with the text in the Holy Bible. So what? Even the most diehard Christians don’t follow the letter of the laws of the Old Testament, or the exact words of Jesus from the New Testament.
We’ve grown, as a people. And we’ve learned, people don’t always stay in love. Marriage doesn’t always work out. Things like domestic violence exist. Things like psychological warfare exist. There are any number of reasons marriages end, and we all know that.
What she is, put bluntly, is incorrect. Period. Yes, she is doing what she believes is the correct thing. What she believes is marriage is between people of opposite genders. Most likely, she also believes gender is binary, consisting of males and females, and nothing else.
As many have concluded, those particular beliefs are incorrect. Gender is not binary. Marriage is between two people. So, the problem many people have with Kim Davis isn’t that she’s a hypocrite, isn’t that she’s a martyr for what she believes. The problem people have with her, and unfortunately, millions with beliefs similar to hers, is one of knowledge, understanding, and personal growth.
The appropriate response is not to punish her. Would you punish a student for having difficulty learning a new theorem? Would you punish an apprentice for having problems acquiring a new skill?
No. You wouldn’t.
You would have patience. And you would try again to teach the student, the apprentice, what they are attempting to learn.
Further, would you give up trying to teach a student Algebra because the student refuses to study, and refuses to learn, and declares the material doesn’t apply to them? Again, no, you wouldn’t. You would, with patience, keep trying to instill a basic knowledge of Algebra, so the student could be more functional in our society.
This is how I view the Kim Davis topic of discussion. Kim Davis is a student of life (aren’t we all?) having difficulty learning new information about life. As a student facing a learning curve, it is natural she is frightened, and clings to the information she already knows. I find I can’t judge her for doing so. Especially given the difficulties I have in learning new information about life.
So, I do not feel anger toward her, nor do I feel disgust. Instead, I feel frustration, and disappointment, with her lack of ability to deal with the new information about life she is facing. And I feel sadness for the people having to be patient in teaching her this new information.
It is my hope she comes to realize the error of her personal beliefs, and implements the changes in herself needed to accommodate the truths of non-binary gender, and marriage between two human beings, as she has come to accept the truth of failed marriages, divorce, and separation. Unfortunately, it is a learning process. And not everyone learns at the same rate, or in the same way.
There is no need to insult anyone. No need to shout at anyone. Yes, I have done so. I have laughed about the Kim Davis story. I have made fun of her and her beliefs. Yes, I have posted, and shared, links to sarcastic, biting satire concerning the Kim Davis story. No, I do not apologize for having done so. If I stumble across similar content that strikes me as humorous in the future, I’ll certainly share it. Not to attack Kim Davis, rather to illustrate the errors in her beliefs.
That’s what I think about the Kim Davis problem.