Kim Davis

Dear Sister in Christ,

I want to write you this letter to express my sincerest and heart-felt thank you for what you are doing, but not for the reasons you might think. I am quite sure there are many opponents of Marriage Equality who are writing you letters supporting your willful insubordination to the duties of your office in the name of Christ. To many Christians you are taking a stand for “righteousness” and, even if you are jailed or forced to resign from your office because of your actions, you will be celebrated through this country as a martyr for Jesus Christ. No doubt you will be offered a book deal, be invited on news broadcasts, and go on a nationwide speaking tour. The name “Kim Davis” has already been associated with the “Tank Man,” the brave man who ironically and defiantly stood against government oppression by using his body to block the column of tanks rolling through Tiananmen Square in 1989. To many you are a freedom fighter, a veritable patriot opposing government tyranny. You have taken up your cross of righteousness and willingly bear it for truth.

Except that you are the government. You hold an elected position as clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky. Upon taking your office, you took an oath to support federal and state constitutions and laws. You are not the “Tank Man,” Ms. Davis; you are the Tanks. You have not taken up your cross; you are the Roman legions nailing innocent LGBTQ people to the cross of your faith. The power you hold as clerk is power you willingly took to yourself when you ran for and were elected as county clerk. It is power that, if your conscience is truly stricken because of your deeply held religious beliefs, you can and should willingly lay aside.

So why am I, an openly gay Episcopal priest, thanking you, a brazenly heterosexist Christian? Because your actions have offered me a challenge to excel in love as the Gospels command us, and I love a good challenge. “Love your enemy,” Jesus says in Matthew’s Gospel. “Pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” I willingly admit that it is quite easy to love people who agree with me, who hold my beliefs, who pray like I do, and who believe in the ever expansive and inclusive truth of God like me. It is harder for me to love people who take the Gospels of Jesus Christ and apply them recklessly and without love and, as a result, do spiritual and emotional damage to the very people we are called to love and serve.

I know all too well the debilitating pathology of myopic religion. You view the world in deeply divided absolutes. Right and wrong. Black and white. In and out. Righteous and wicked. Good and evil. Those are your beliefs. As with all religious beliefs, they work until they don’t. The problem with the way that you view the world is that you have effectively cut yourself off from relationship and community with many other people. If God is found “where two or three are gathered,” you have chosen to limit your options to encounter the holy. In your sharp demarcation of creation, you miss the God who swirls at twilight or moves at the margins. You miss God in poor man Lazarus outside the Beautiful Gate, or in the Samaritan Woman at the Well, or in the community of lepers outside the city.

And yet the Gospels compel me to create room for you even though you would not create for me. My invitation to the table obliges me to set a place for you, even though you’d let me starve at yours. I am compelled to take the high road of love, which makes me carry your name in prayer, not that God would change you, but that God would support you and nurture you in all goodness and love. I am compelled by this Gospel to which I am a prisoner in chains to tear down the boundaries of my heart and to welcome you in, even though I would be refused the same hospitality in yours. You would willingly dehumanize me. It is my meet, right, and bounden duty that I affirm your humanity. Like our Lord who willingly offered himself in love to those who could not or would not return it – I am duty-bound to do the same. Why? Because creation will know that we are Christians, not by the way we argue right versus wrong, but by the way we love one another. That’s my journey towards what Joan Chittister, Benedictine nun, calls the “unboundaried heart.”

Prayer is a practice we engage in, not so that we can change God or change other people, but so that we can change ourselves. Including you in my prayers is not so that God will change your heart, but so that God can change mine. The process of conversion implicit to the spiritual life is the process wherein God overthrows the temples of our hearts, removes all the idols and false gods that we have raised upon our small altars, and enthrones himself as Lord. Through that process we learn to see as God sees, not through eyes of division and darkness, but through eyes of love and welcome. Enlightenment, Ms. Davis, does not come through raising walls around our hearts, but by tearing them down and exposing them to the God who comes to us over and over, day after day, in unexpected ways.

Some will attack your appearance. Other will attack your past (though I do find it hard to rationalize your serial remarriages with your desire to uphold the sanctity of marriage… but that’s an aside). I will try to do neither, though I do ask for you patience as God ain’t through with me yet.

Instead I will pray for you. Not in the polite, passive-aggressive, “Bless her heart” Southern meaning of “pray for you,” but really pray for you. I will hold you in my words until I can hold you in heart because when there is space enough to hold you in my heart, that will be the evidence I need to know that God is real and that God is still in the business of conversion and transformation. My initial response to your actions have revealed a darkness in me, and my choice to pray for you is an invitation for the love of God to break this heart of stone.

Until then, I offer my wounded, broken, and fortressed heart on the altar of God’s love and pray that God will transfigure me with the light of Jesus Christ until I shine with his glory.

In the meantime, I pray “Gracious God… help me not be an ass.” Yep, that seems like a good place to start.

Your Brother in Christ,
Fr. Marcus Halley +

98 thoughts on “Thanks, Tanks, and Transformation: An Open Letter to Kim Davis

    1. God created us each and every one. Black,white,straight,gay,short,tall,fat,skinny etc….it was this ladies JOB to issue them a license. There are a lot worse things going on in this world than two people of the same sex that love each other wanting to get married

    1. I don’t take an disrespect from this question at all. The short answer is: Jesus never performed any marriages, but did conform and, by his presence at the Wedding of Cana, bless the conventional wisdom of marriage of his day – women are property to be exchanged by between husband and father for a bride-price. In the healing of the Centurion’s lad, it is clear that Jesus was aware of homosexual relationships and yet never once took an opportunity to denounce them. Moreover, as the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony has developed, insomuch as Jesus is the minister of every sacrament, wherever the Church has solemnized the union between two same-gender loving people, Jesus has, by extension, blessed that marriage.

      1. Marcus as a United Methodist pastor I can appreciate the loving approach you wish to take and that Jesus also approaches all with love, but are you implying that Jesus would condone the relationship of an adult male centurion with a “pais” a child a teenage boy, because it is true that a “pais” does mean young boy? In regards to marriage Jesus was speaking strongly against divorce yet seems to have great clarity on his understanding of marriage. Matthew 19:4-6 “Haven’t you read”, he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and for this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” He even mentions a little later that if this strong standard of living cannot be accepted than one should live the eunuch’s life.

      2. Facts never change hearts, but yes I do. I deeply believe that God creates us for love and blesses love.

      3. I think it a pity, that you who seem so educated in your Bible, should not know that you cannot be a Christian and be a homosexual too. God said “‘it is an abomination”. Therfore your diatribe you just put forth, admonishing Kim., is a moot point. Surely you know this is a sin, and the wages of sin is death! But, the Devil himself is a liar, and the father of it. Shame on you for thinking we would fall for your shenanagins!!

      4. I find no evidence in the text or the meaning of “pais,” translated servant or boy, to suggest that there was anything related to a homosexual relationship between the Centurion and his servant. Drawing from this episode ANY suggestion that Jesus was aware of and did not denounce homosexual relationships is absolutely absurd. Leaping from that to a sacramental blessing of a same-gender union including that of Jesus is even more absurd. Just because the words have been pronounced by a priest (whether male or female, gay or straight) does not invoke the power or blessing of the Triune God apart from where He is in accord with the actions and words of the priest. The Holy Spirit moves and acts according to His purposes, not ours.

      5. We differ on this, and comparing biblical manuscripts isn’t going to change that. Relationship and openness and surrender changes hearts… And I’m talking about mine. God bless you. You pray for me, I’ll pray for you, and we’ll get home together. Peace, my brother.

      1. Along with mixed fibers and shellfish.

        What we can come back to is loving our neighbor. Peace my sister. +

  1. Reblogged this on A Flowering Progressive and commented:
    “Like our Lord who willingly offered himself in love to those who could not or would not return it – I am duty-bound to do the same. Why? Because creation will know that we are Christians, not by the way we argue right versus wrong, but by the way we love one another. That’s my journey towards what Joan Chittister, Benedictine nun, calls the “unboundaried heart.”…

    “Some will attack your appearance. Other will attack your past (though I do find it hard to rationalize your serial remarriages with your desire to uphold the sanctity of marriage… but that’s an aside). I will try to do neither, though I do ask for you patience as God ain’t through with me yet.”

  2. Thank you Fr. Halley for a very thought provoking letter. My first emotion about Ms Davis’ action was anger. Self righteousness and injustice hit the anger button with me. However, anger accomplishes only loss of precious energy. Reading your open letter brought calm, prayer and love into focus. You gave me a beautiful gift with the words you so artfully carved and which resonated with me. May God bless you and thanks again. Evelyn

  3. Bless you Fr Marcus…..You have articulated the heart of Christianity so clearly and have made me ,as always , proud to be an Eposcopalian.

  4. Fr. Marcus…thanksgiving for your humble, prayer-full witness in Tanks,Tanks…I join you as clergy partner in the struggle to love as Christ taught. Your honestly raw narrative give me hope in my prayer life. I am an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church (e.g. a permanent deacon).
    You also give me a model for graceful blogging….which I hope to start this fall. Grace & Peace rest upon you. Deacon Roger
    PS: also just read your Aug. 23 homily….blessings abound in your words! I was reminded of St. Augustine’s eucharistic expression: ‘….receive who you are, be what you see.’.

  5. Yes, yes, a thousand times YES! Thank you my brother Marcus+ for your deeply thoughtful and gracious response. I’ll add you “help me not to be an ass” to my daily prayer of “Get me out of your way, O Lord, for Christ’s sake. Amen.”

  6. I appreciated your letter immensely! Do you have a facook page or some means of following you? As a closet Catholic I need all the help I can get! Great hope for my pope! Tired of being invited to dinner (Mass) and told I cannot eat!

  7. Beautifully written. I have to say, however, as a former catholic, current Episcopalian, it is a challenge to find such compassion and forgiveness in my heart.

  8. Strange, I saw lots of “you” messages in your article contrasting her negative behavior with your loving behavior. How does a person demonstrate love to a person who disagrees theologically? How did Jesus deal with the religious of His day–not initially with “you” messages. I write this as reflective of my own struggle to demonstrate love to all as Jesus did. He actually does love this lady and whether He agrees with her or not, she is precious to Him.

    1. Jesus actually did use a lot of “you” messages. “You have heard it said… But I say…”

      My point in the letter is just that – love is possible even with, and maybe even especially with, deep differences. I also hope the letter makes clear that my “I am called/compelled/bound/obliged” statements are more aspirational than actual and make clear that I am horribly flawed in this area and am looking to God to guide me. All I can do is offer the darkness in myself to the Light of God. I am on a journey with God just as she is, and both of us are called to the same conversion and transformation.

  9. A truly heartfelt, well thought out and gracious letter to Ms. Davis. You eloquently conveyed such a calm, clear thinking, more loving and kind way for all to look at this situation and how to deal with the emotions her beliefs and actions have created. It has helped me to see calm amist the anger and strife the news media has hyped in our nation and especially, here in Kentucky, where I live not to far from the county this is happening in. I dearly hope Ms. Davis somehow sees your letter and truly finds it in herself to really take the time to read each and every word you have written in such a loving and gracious way, without any preconceived judgement and condemnation, but with an open heart and can calmly and prayerfully consider your words. Your words are a calm in the storm in this troubling and difficult time.

  10. God is a Loving God and Loves ALL … He hates the Sin and Loves the Sinner… it was well written …. I have my opinion in this matter… and have mentioned it in many news media comments… I stand by Gods word and the sanctity of marriage one man one woman… But so many Love to Throw Stones… at her and at the LGBTQ … So Many forget … He who is without sin Cast the First Stone… and boy are they picking them up to throw… But you wrote that open letter with etiquette Well done…

  11. Fr Marcus thank you for your words of love and blessings to those who do not understand. Jesus asks us to love and pray for those we are our enemies and open our hearts to love them too. That is hard to do but you gave us a great reminder of God,s call to us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

  12. As part of the gay community I would like to openly apologize to mrs. Davis for these terrible trials she is being forced to endure. I am appalled that someone else’s rights are being used to take away the rights of another. People should be able to follow their rights just as the gay community should be allowed to get married. Though I have the right to marry another woman, I would never want to trample on someone else’s rights and beliefs. I would simply marry elsewhere. My prayers and hopes go out to you in this time of trial and sacrifice.

    1. She didn’t have to go to jail. She could have allowed another clerk to issue the licenses. The couples seeking licenses didn’t need to go elsewhere, as the office belongs to Rowan County, not to the Christian church.

      She wasn’t elected by/to her church, she was elected by the citizens and she must treat them equally according to the law.

      She’s not in jail for exercising her beliefs. She’s in jail for denying civil liberty to her constituents. She took an oath to uphold the law and she doesn’t have the choice to pick and choose.

      She CHOSE jail. Please do not apologize on behalf of a community that has done nothing wrong when Ms. Davis has willfully denied her fellow citizens their civil rights.

    2. But she swore to uphold the Constitution when she took the job. That was when she should have decided whether she could issue marriage licenses to gay couples, not now. It is my assumption that she was elected before gay marriage was legal in her state, so she may not have been thinking about it then, but now, if she cannot bring herself to do the job she swore to do, then she should resign.

      This issue is content neutral for me. Either you follow the law or you don’t. If she cannot follow the law as an elected official who has sworn to follow the law, then she either suffers the consequences (as those who have exercised civil disobedience have), or she resigns.

      1. Yes, agree and I am reminded of a period in my lifetime where Blacks were not allowed to marry Whites (misogyny). Some 14 states prohibited this, often with jail as a consequence (The Loving Case, Virginia). Denied this right by the state, it was taken to the Supreme Court, which ruled it unconstitutional. I know there were many Christians who denounced this! How could they have justified this in the eyes of God?? Pillars of the community, serving Blacks at their businesses by day, many participating in the KKK movement by night!! Gay marriage was destined to go to the higher courts sooner or later. If Kim Davis believes this to be wrong in her elected post, resignation is the simplest solution!!!

      2. Everyone keeps saying that Davis broke the law. Which law did she break? If she were to go on trial, what would be the charge? A ruling is not a law. What is ON the books and within the Kentucky state constitution is what she swore to uphold ON the Bible before the face of God. We do not change the terms of oaths after the oath has been made. It is a breech of trust.
        Holder as Americas top attorney told all the 50 state attorney generals that they did not have to defend DOMA if it violated their concious’.
        DOMA is and was an actual law that was broken yet no one was jailed, ridiculed, chastised, or ostracized by the government. The real government that actually runs things. The President holds our highest office and he said nothing about that directive being wrong.
        You are a false preacher teaching contrary to scripture. The bible is clear from the beginning to end about homosexuality being an abomination. Adultery, thievery, lasciviousness, bearing false witness, fornication, every other sin that is listed around homosexuality is still sin.
        It is extremely bizarre to read over and over how gays and their supporters are unable to see their hypocrisy and irony from their behavior and beliefs.

  13. I stand with Jackie Carpenter.
    people who endorse this love “The Shack” and “The Message”.
    JESUS CHRIST is God’s WORD, and he changes not!
    Feelings and emotion is not the measure of God’s love. His son died to make us ALIVE spiritually, rather than to die in original sin contracted thro. Adam.
    We are ONLY THEN F–R-E-E to rightly divide the word of God. All else is self delusion.

  14. Fr. Marcus,

    Thank you for writing this. Yesterday, I struggled after posting some rather mean-spirited memes on my FB page regarding Ms. Davis and her actions. A good friend called me out on it privately. You have eloquently discussed one of the hardest parts of being a true Christian. Peace and love to you.

  15. The problems that seem to arise from all of this are (a) how much of scripture to interpret literally; and (b) whether some of the sayings attributed to Jesus would have been the same in today’s world where, for example, marriage contracts are no longer similar to property contracts. It is in this context that we see the confusing, perhaps hypocritical, beliefs of a woman married and divorced several times standing in opposition to something she views as fundamental to her faith which itself requires clarification. Love versus judgment come to the fore and can be understood as one of the fundamental difficulties in modern society. As for Jesus himself, perhaps his own question expresses it best: “Who do you say that I am?”

  16. Father Marcus, thank you for these beautiful words. I am a Unitarian Universalist; rather than a shared creed, we live by a set of principles, the first of which is “We affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of ALL people” (emphasis mine). I’ve been looking for a way to apply this principle to the situation in the Rowan County Clerk’s office, and you have provided it. As a non-theist, I had to pass some of it through my Universal Translator, and your words held up very well! (You may want to know that you used the word “conscious” in the second paragraph where I think you meant to say “conscience.”)

    1. Thank you Kathy. I wasn’t aware of that typo… Though there is another one that I left in there on purpose. I’m trying to work on detachment.. As well as more love. Thank you for reading it. Peace to you.

  17. I have zero New Testament background or knowledge. But I am a retired law enforcement officer and now an elected public official….and can speak from that perspective. If Ms. Davis’ actions as an elected official had transpired in my state….or most states….she would have been immediately suspended, fired, and as is the case now, jailed. Public officials who place their own personal interpretation of what they believe to be “G-d’s Law” above the law of the land have zero right to hold office. Find another job Ms. Davis…..you have proven yourself to be unfit for public service.

  18. “The government shall derive its just powers from the consent of the governed” (A little line from the Constitution of the United States)
    She’s an employee of the government, elected by the people to execute their will. Not to make or set policy but to execute it & if she couldn’t do that she should have quit citing her crisis of conscience. As for “the law”;
    I wonder if convicted federal felons can be clerks of the court? They can’t vote…
    Her premise seems to be De Tocqueville, “The greatest danger to the American republic comes from the omnipotence of the majority” & Thoreau, “Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one.” Civil disobedience: man’s last refuge against the state. But using your position & authority to influence events goes beyond civil disobedience.
    Also, the law isn’t so much carved in stone as it’s written in the sand on the shore. All laws are reflections of the needs of their society at the time & as society evolves so does the law. It’s why she wasn’t stoned to death like biblical law said she should be,
    Regarding “traditional” marriage, seems to me folks have fallen into the trap of thinking how things have been as far back as they can remember is how it’s always been. Memory is notoriously corrupt & unreliable always subject to interpretation. Thus have we forgotten that first of all were talking about how America has done marriage & we’re part of a greater world, not the alpha & the omega. Still, the “traditional” institution to which the anti-gay marriage refer dates all the way back to hte nifty ’50’s, as-seen-on-tv & tattooed into the minds of generation. Before that, the tradition had more in common with business transactions; marrying into a family business. Before that it was a means to increase the size of your farm (if you were a commoner) or to create a political alliance within or between nations.
    Thank you for bearing with me & scaling my wall of text. I hope I’ve provided some points to provoke a bit of thought, introspection, research & discussion.

  19. Father, those words were truly inspiring. This is the feeling I always had growing up in the Lutheran faith. We were taught to love everyone, even our enemies (even if we didn’t like them much). From this perspective I feel that I am much more open to people who may or may not conform to traditional values, because honestly, who am I to judge people as I too, am a sinner. I never understood why one person’s sin should carry a greater punishment or scrutiny than another. If these things do not affect one’s daily life, then surely I can sit back and say, let God deal with that sin on judgement day. Honestly, I don’t know how God truly feels about Homosexuals, but that’s for HIM to judge, not me. My goal in life is to see everyone happy, free of prosecution, and have their lives be full of love. So God bless you for saying what I have been feeling in my heart about those people who seek to polarize faith and exclude those who do not fall into the tiny niche of perfection. I wish you and your family well today and always.

  20. “willful insubordination to the duties of your office”
    That is just not the case. She was following her oath of office and following the laws of Kentucky. The supreme court ruling did not make a new law, nor can it make law. Constitutionally that is up to the legislatures. Until such time as the Kentucky Governor by executive order, or the legislature by a vote of its members provide further direction, the clerks hands are tied. Marriage being between one man and one woman is part of the Kentucky constitution, an amendment to it. Your whole premise is incorrect.

    1. I think you may be a bit confused, please allow me to clarify how the Supreme Courts ruling acts as the law of the land and I quote, ” Statues are the primary source of law, and the power to enforce statutes is reserved for elected lawmakers. However, judicial decisions also have the force of law. Statutes do not cover every conceivable case, and even when the statute does control such a case, the courts may need to interpret it. Judicial decisions are know collectively as case law. A judicial decision legally binds both parties in the case, and also may serve as law in the same prospective sense as does a statute. In other words, a judicial decision determines the out come of the particular case, and also may regulate future conduct of ALL persons within the jurisdiction of the court.” Therefore, the Supreme Court’s ruling and the 6th circuit court of appeals have ruled and she is bound by their rulings. First since the sixth circuit ruled directly on her case and second, the high court of the land has made a ruling that does bind her. So again, YOUR STATEMENT IS INCORRECT! Check your facts since you are obviously not a lawyer!

      God bless you, and may you find peace and love!

  21. Christ made good wine for a wedding, but also considered it rather trivial since He was born the Son of God to do more than perform parlor tricks. In the Book of Matthew, when the Pharasees attempted to trap Christ over divorce, Christ answered by quoting Genesis where God created Eve for the express purpose of being Adam’s companion. Matthew 19:4-6 clearly defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Homosexuality is a product of mankind’s fallen nature and, as such, in practice is sinful. But it is no more sinful than any other sin to our totally righteous God. As was the case with Eve in the Garden of Eden, sin came to her disguised as “good” and supported by a lie that “Dying you will not surely die” when Eve told Satan why she could not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Sin ALWAYS comes to us as good. While love between two people is a wonderful thing, there are many ways in which its ramifications and even its expression is sinful, adultery leaping prominently to mind. The ancient Hebrews were acutely aware of the physical inconsistencies involved in sodomy as well.

  22. The law of the commonwealth was patterned after DOMA which was struck down as unconstitutional therefore is also unconstitutional. Did you study ANY civics? The Supreme Court does not make laws but is the balance of power to hold legislation to the standard of the Constitution. The overturning of this law and ruling is the legitimate result of an unjust intention to discriminate and as a officer of the government of Rowan County this person is bound to perform the duty she swore to do when she accepted the office. To refuse to do so under order of the court constitutes contempt and therefore she is in custody.

  23. Your eloquent and thoughtful discussion were so “Yes”. Many years ago a sponsor in a 12-step program told me to pray for 2 weeks for a woman I could not stand. I started out with “Please God give her what she deserves” (in the shower so maybe God couldn’t heat that muttered prayer). By the end of 2 weeks it had become “Please God, give her what she needs”. She didn’t change, but I did. You said it so rightly. We don’t get to cherry-pick who is worthy of our love and tender care. Thank you so much.

  24. What wonderful, eloquent words you share! God continues to bless all of us who are gay and have been ordained into the ministry to do His work. No matter what others choose to say, God created us all to be who we are, as well as led us to that road to do for others.

    1. It is not God who created people as gay. That is the result of the Fall, working its way out through the created order and manifesting in some people through a disordered sexual nature.

      1. It could be that homophobia is the result of the Fall… Failure to seek and serve the Divine in all creation. Bless you. Peace. +

  25. The first problem with this is that when Kim Davis took her oath of office this ruling by the Supreme Court (which is not an actual law, it is a precedent) was not in place nor was she expecting it to be put into place. The bigger problem w/ this is that we have the freedom to practice our faith the way we see fit & the government can’t dictate how we practice said faith. Even if what she believes is different than what government thinks, her rights trump government action. That is one of our constitutional rights. This is part of why our Country was founded, & she should have never been sent to jail because it goes totally against the Constitution and the precepts of why our country was founded, freedom from religious persecution! And what’s so crazy is that recently their was a Muslim lady who took a job as a flight attendant who said that serving alcohol was against her religion (which they have been doing for some time now) & she was applauded for her stance & accommodations were made for her. Equality & justice has to be meted out equally or it isn’t justice, which is why the figure on the scales of justice is wearing a blindfold.
    For some reason it seems as though Christians are the only ones being persecuted.

    1. Christians aren’t being persecuted, my friend. Kim Davis not only refused to process marriage certificates, she forbade anyone in her office from doing so. She imposed her religion on the people coming into her office and those who worked with her.

      Real Christian persecution exists in the world where Christians are beheaded for their beliefs. A woman being jailed for contempt of court is not persecution.

      Peace.

    2. The actual facts are a bit different than that…
      A woman applied for a job and was hired as a flight attendant by ExpressJet. After approximately a year, she converted to Islam and later learned that her faith forbids her from serving alcohol as well as consuming it. She was told, by her employer, to make arrangements with her fellow flight attendants to serve those beverages which, due to her beliefs, she chose not to distribute. When one of those other flight attendants complained that she was not fulfilling her duties, the woman was suspended- without pay, and was told that she could lose her job.
      She doesn’t get to use her religious choices to make more work for others.
      #knowledgeispower #knowthefacts

    3. While I actually sympathize with the difficulty the SCOTUS decision created for Ms. Davis, your assertion about the Constitution is actually wrong. We are bound in this country to uphold a number of rights and the rights of all. At times these rights end up coming into conflict, which is in part why we have a court system. It is true that we have freedom of religion…the right to believe and practice our faith without fear of persecution. That is a wonderful thing. But we are not all of one accord in our faith and belief, so equally important is that we are absolutely prohibited from establishing a religion. When Davis refused to issue marriage licenses and further declined to allow her dwputy clerks to do so even though they would have been more than happy to provide that service, the effect was not that she was expressing protected religious freedom but instead abusing thw power of her office to essentially establish her religious belief as the law in her county…specifically forbidden by the constitution. If a marriage didn’t fit her particular vision or belief, it was not going to be approved despite its legality. That is in actuality establishing a religion and Davis is rightly facing the appropriate consequences of her abuse of her office and denial ofblaw and the constitution.

  26. Father, I have struggled with this from the beginning. I had just about given up on the human race as I could see no love, only hate, shouts of war, war, war. Thank you for letting me feel I’m not alone in this struggle. God Bless you.

  27. Fr. Marcus,
    Wow! Your words are spoken so elequently. I applaud you I have a difficult time accepting the negative thoughts and actions of those who say they are doing so “in the name of God.” My god is a loving god. Very simply “God is love.” I have always told my children that I will always love them no matter what. I may not approve of an action they might choose, but that will never change my love for them. I must forgive them for they know not what they speak (or do). And if we are all children of God…. does not ALL mean everyone? Are not gays, murderers, terrorists, or anyone else that society puts a label on children of God? Where is the love for these human beings? You don’t have to like or agree with a person’s actions or beliefs… but the people who call themselves Christians should embrase the fundamental concept of Jesus on the cross and forgive and love. I think this is what I heard you, Fr. Marcus, to say. But you said it so much better than I. Thank you for that.

  28. Your original letter is beautiful and so are your responses to many of these comments, including the nasty ones. You have helped me see this situation in a more loving way. Thank you.

  29. God created us as an expression of HIS/HER Love. For us to act in any other way, particularly to quote the bible as justification to act in a self-righteous manner, is blasphemy. Bless you, Fr. Marcus.

  30. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

    Such —were— not —are—

    1. If your translation includes the word “homosexual” you better check your translation…it’s simply not correct.

  31. Reblogged? linked to? on my developing RedBird’s Worldview site — for later reference.

    Beautiful letter, Father Marcus. You speak of the Jesus I know and set for yourself standards I honor. Blessed be.

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