Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Real Reason Kim Davis Is in Jail

A few weeks ago on Meet the Press, Chuck Todd asked presidential candidate Ben Carson, "Simple question: Does the Bible have authority over the Constitution?" Carson seemed to stumble for a minute, sensing the trap, and managed to respond with "That's not a simple question. I think probably what you have to do is ask a very specific question about a specific passage of the Bible and a specific portion of the Constitution."
Since Carson couldn't give a straightforward answer, I assume there would be times when, for him, the Constitution would trump the Bible, and vice-versa. But I think he's wrong—about the question not being simple.

What if the Constitution was written in light of Scripture's revelation? What if our Founding Fathers, in their collective genius, designed a form of government that takes into account the nature of man as revealed in the Bible, the created order of the world as given to us by our Creator, and the basic moral framework found, among other places, in the Ten Commandments? If this is the case—as I believe it is—then there will be no conflict between Holy Scripture and the U.S. Constitution, at least not ultimately. That is, unless an oligarchy of nine unelected judges tinkers with it illegally. 

And that was the dilemma facing Kim Davis—and many other local, state, and national officials—beginning just a few weeks ago when the Supreme Court rendered its verdict in Obergefell v. Hodges. With gay "marriage" now the law of the land, Davis would have to choose whether or not she would issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or follow her conscience and refuse to do so. In the end, she took a middle road. She stopped giving marriage licenses to everybody—gay or straight. She said she did so to avoid the charge of discrimination. 

Some will say that our Constitution is largely a secular document—with no explicit mention of God save "In the year of our Lord"—but I think our Founders were more savvy than that. By and large, if we take the Constitution as written and amended, there is virtually no conflict between faith in Christ and citizenship, nor between conscience and country. It's not a perfect document—that's why the men who wrote saw fit to allow for amendments—but certainly, followers of Jesus have been able to submit to and defend the Constitution in public office without fear of such a conflict ... until recently. 

Decades ago, the Supreme Court began ignoring the Constitution, though the document is clear: Only Congress has the right and responsibility to write laws. Yet the Supreme Court has seen fit on numerous occasions to bypass the legislative branch of our federal government and decree from on high a new way of life for us all. In recent years, the highest court in the land has found in the Constitution a separation of church and state that goes far beyond the First Amendment, abortion on demand, and now same-sex "marriage." 

And so, Kim Davis found herself required to uphold a law that wasn't a law when she first took office. And for bravely obeying her conscience and defending the actual Constitution—not a fictionalized retelling of it—she lost her freedom. 

Dr. Carson, the next time someone asks you which has higher authority: the Bible or the Constitution, make sure you ask your interviewer to clarify whether he or she means the actual Constitution or this patchwork thing the Supreme Court has seen fit to impose on us. Because if it's the real thing, there's no conflict. And if it's the "new and improved" version, I pray, for all our sakes, you'll cling to your Bible. 


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