BY JAMES NIMMO
I have a friend who I highly respect asking if we humanist progressives should take any notice of Kim Davis’s private life, such as multiple marriages, pregnancy through adultery, since she has lost [so far] in the courts while being well represented and thoroughly duped by the snake-oil lawyers of the Liberty Counsel.
Kim Davis is the self-styled Apostolic Christian and elected county clerk of Rowan who puts her private religious beliefs ahead of the duties of her public office.
For what it’s worth this is what I think: Legally, she was jailed because she ignored legitimate court orders related to her publicly-funded job. I haven’t seen a transcript of the testimony, only news stories, but it seems that some mention of her multiple marriages, her conversion to jesus-love due to a deathbed request of one of her mothers-in-law was discussed in the court in order to establish whatever depth of religious belief she could prove. To that extent, yes, it’s correct to discuss her private life in court.
For me and my gay brothers and sisters it’s a great opportunity to make catty, smarmy, cheesy, joyous smart-mouth remarks about a fulsome, obnoxious enemy of our civil rights. She choose of her free will to interpose her private beliefs in the public office of fulfilling legal requirements of her job as county clerk. She fails to understand and refuses to educate herself about the conflict she’s inflicted on herself. The lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit brought to force her to issue the licenses publicly stated they only wanted the license that was legally theirs. Her ignorance and puffed-up righteousness posing as “the authority of god” is her own fault.
Sexual expression for the joy of it, and not for the need of procreation, might be unique to humans and perhaps the bonobos. There is no need for many of us to adhere to religious strictures developed in the Bronze Age.
I’m sure Kim Davis makes use of many modern devices developed from technology using the laws of physics that would have worked in Old Testament times if we could time travel such as a flashlight, a mainspring-driven watch, sulfur matches that would be considered magic of the gods. She uses them to facilitate her life and her work.
But why is the sexual part of the human psyche such a contentious issue 2,000 or more years later?
It’s the guilt of the individual, either self-developed or imposed by authority figures, not gay/lesbian or interracial couples getting married.
It’s Kim Davis who has the ridiculous life history, not me or Don were he still alive.
– James Nimmo lives in Oklahoma City and is a frequent contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. His partner of 37 years, Don Chabot, died in April 2014, before marriage equality became a reality in Oklahoma.