Vail Daily column: Private matters for public servants | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: Private matters for public servants

Don Rogers
My View
Don Rogers
Laura Mahaffy/lmahaffy@theunion.com | The Union

That county clerk is working for Caesar, earning her living by what is rendered unto Caesar.

By the laws of this land, confirmed by the Supreme Court, her faith is strictly separated from public governance. Government doesn’t get to tell her where to go to church. As county clerk, she doesn’t get to tell gays where to go.

Give the same-sex couples their marriage licenses or leave government service if your conscience renders you unable to follow it. Seems straightforward enough.

This isn’t just my observation. Mine isn’t even original. I asked a couple of my preacher friends.

First thing I heard was that Caesar thing.

They aren’t alone on this, no matter what presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee might say. And those two are so off on this it’s easy to declare they don’t merit further consideration for a position requiring better judgment.

Last I looked, chief ayatollah isn’t an opening in the United States.

“I think she’s wrong on the merits, wrong theologically and her stance is harmful to Christians both in the religious liberty debate and in trying to present Christianity to the watching world,” Peter Wehner told The Associated Press. He is a Christian commentator who served the past three Republican presidents.

Amen.

Kim Davis should quit if she’s truly serious about her biblical convictions and commitment. There’s some question about that in my mind. Sigh, she probably ought to enlighten us on why she feels compelled to follow the “bad homosexual” clauses in the Bible but not so much where her sexuality and somewhat serial marriages are concerned.

The hypocrite tag is not unmerited here.

Also, she hasn’t exactly renounced Caesar’s coin now, has she?

Cruz and Huckabee’s rush to their own judgment is more than a little suspect, in light of these rather obvious if inconvenient facts.

Brenda Wynn, clerk of Davidson County in Nashville, has the better answer, at least for one employed by and carrying out the properly secular decisions of our democratic republic: “I love the Lord, but I must follow the law.”

Clerks don’t make the law, after all. Even the makers of the law have that pesky Constitution and the august interpreters of the document to consider. Not to mention what the Bible itself has to say about secular authority. Ahem, Caesar.

Davis, Huckabee and Cruz have nothing to stand on, in other words. The clerk is of small account. It’s the bigger fools running for the highest office I’m far more concerned about.

The logic here isn’t particularly difficult. Government falls apart when its agents just do their own thing, following their notions of Jesus here, Mohammad there or Nefertiti’s sun god when it suits them.

In Kim Davis’ case, if Caesar doesn’t work for her, then she should take the logical step others, such as the Decatur County, Tennessee, clerk: resign. Or figure out how to give those licenses to people legally entitled to them, as it looks like she has done by letting her deputies do the dirty work.

It’s not like she’s a florist or a baker, after all.

Publisher Don Rogers can be reached at 970-748-2920 and drogers@vaildaily.com.