In Defense of a Lunatic

kim davisI am an atheist, so it feels a little weird that I find myself wanting to defend someone who, in my view, is a religious fruitcake. Still, I’ve been watching the media orgasm all over this Kim Davis story for a while now and the whole thing bothers me.

For anyone who might read this from outside the U.S.: Kim Davis is a county clerk in the state of Kentucky who refused to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple despite a federal ruling compelling her to do so. She cited her religious beliefs as her reason to refuse to issue the license.

Now, the U.S. isn’t a theocracy, thank God (Snicker!), and there is no room for a government employee to cite religion as a reason he/she performs (or fails to perform) his/her duties. This person is an elected official who cannot be fired and she was jailed to force her to comply with the federal ruling. That much, I’m okay with.

What bothers me is the intensity of the vitriol emanating from the left (liberal democrats and/or “progressives”) on this issue. These are the people who so often claim that they are the champions of the little person. They rail against the so-called 1% (the extremely wealthy). They bemoan the treatment of the middle and lower classes.  They go absolutely ape-shit ballistic over any hint that a poor or marginalized person has been slighted in anyway over religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, wealth, weight, heritage, culture, or health. And yet, if you read the liberal news articles on this woman (and if you read the comments on those articles), these champions of the meek have been absolutely ripping Kim Davis to sheds. They’ve descended on this woman like a pack of rabid jackals and are having a feeding frenzy over her hair, her clothing, her weight, her accent, her posture, her demeanor, and everything else. You would think she could have bought some decent clothes for the cameras! How many chins does she have? Look at her disgusting hair! Why am I reminded of Deliverance? Nice going, you liberal champions of the 99%!

Two popular politicians on the left are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Both are filthy rich. Both are, very much so, members of the so-called 1%. Both are well-manicured with entourages catering to their every whim and making sure every hair is in its place. You’ll never catch Hillary or Barack wearing the wrong outfit on an occasion. You’ll never see ketchup stains on their lapels. Unlike 99-percenter Kim Davis, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are groomed and managed by the best teams that money and power can buy. And they are your goddamn heroes.

Furthermore, on the subject of same-sex marriage, only a few short years ago both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama stated publicly that they support the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. They no longer say this, so there are three possibilities:

  1. They were lying then but they’re telling the truth now.
  2. They were telling the truth then but they’re lying now.
  3. They changed their minds; Their opinions evolved.

It could be that, being politicians, Clinton and Obama are simply willing to lie as needed and say whatever crap they think will garner them the most votes. But I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and accept that their opinions evolved. Typically, such behavior is frowned upon by the media and referred to as “flip-flopping” but I actually think it’s good when politicians are willing and able to change their minds. Yet, it took them (Obama and Clinton) a good many years to come around to accepting and supporting same-sex marriage. So where the fuck was the vitriol in the interim? Where were the pitchforks and torches when Clinton and Obama declared their religious beliefs that marriage should be between one man and one woman? How come the left wasn’t calling Hillary a two-chinned bigoted shrew who didn’t know how to dress herself? How come the left wasn’t calling Obama a big-eared, curly-haired hick who didn’t know how to buy shoes?

People evolve and societies evolve, and that’s a good thing. But is everyone expected to evolve in lock-step? When Hillary and Barack changed their minds on gay marriage, was that it … that from that moment on, anyone else on the other side of that fence was a bigoted redneck? But before that moment, it was okay? Is that how that works?

These two rich and powerful pillars of the American left — Clinton and Obama — were given a pretty wide berth to change their minds. I would think that, being the champions of the poor and powerless that the left claims to be, that they would afford this Kim Davis woman a similar opportunity to evolve. What if she takes longer to come around — so what? Or what if she doesn’t come around at all: Does everybody have to have the same goddamn opinion on everything to not be labeled a frumpy bigot?

I’m only talking about her personal opinion and beliefs, of course: I’m not talking about her actions as an elected county clerk. Religion has no place in American government. That is true for Davis, but it’s also true for Clinton and Obama, each of whom has stated religious reasons for their views on gay marriage in the past. They get a pass though, these rich and powerful well-manicured poster-children of American left, while frumpy Kim Davis gets tossed to the wolves.

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