Kim Davis to Megyn Kelly: “If I resign, I lose my voice,” proving everyone right

I think it’s time for whoever runs the soundtrack at the Oscars to play Kim Davis off. Her 15 minutes are well past up, and she’s overstayed her (un)welcome.

In an interview with Fox’s Megyn Kelly last night, Davis insisted (again, and absurdly) that her refusal to do her job as Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples has “never been a gay or lesbian issue to me.” Since she stopped issuing marriage licenses to everybody — even if the reason for stopping was to avoid issuing them for gays and lesbians — she isn’t a bigot!

Or is she not a bigot because she’s just doing what God tells her, and who is she to say God’s wrong if he tells her that The Gays are sinful, Hell-bound creatures? After all, that’s what she meant when she said her insistence on shutting her whole marriage operation down “has been about upholding the word of God and how God defined marriage from the very beginning of time,” right? And if that’s the case, why didn’t she just get each of her successive husbands to sign on to one marriage license? That’s what she meant when she referenced God’s original definition of marriage, right? Or would the genders have to be flipped for that to work?

To be clear, over the course of this entire saga, we’ve heard all of these arguments before. But last night, Davis accidentally let slip a variation on her theme. When asked by Kelly why she hasn’t resigned after losing literally every court battle she has fought over her presupposed right to discriminate as a public official, Davis replied, “If I resign, I lose my voice.”

Well, then.

This line of argument drops the religious liberty claim and replaces it with a free speech claim that holds precisely as much water, which is to say it holds no water at all. As David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement was quick to point out, Davis has been acting as an activist throughout this entire ordeal, and her concern for her “voice” is the closest she has come to admitting as much. Her admission completely rejected the premise of her question that immediately followed, “Why should I quit a job that I love that I’m good at?” because she isn’t good at her job as a public official if she’s using it as a platform for religious activism.

By admitting that her refusal to issue marriage licenses has nothing to do with the law or her job, and everything to do with her religion and her activism, she proved herself wrong and the rest of the country (except for white Evangelicals) right.

Here’s the video of the relevant interview segment:

The thing is, I don’t think Kim Davis would object all that strongly to being called an activist. In her view, she is obligated to not only uphold, but to espouse her religious beliefs to all that will hear them. What’s more, she seems genuinely (albeit willfully) confused as to why it’s problematic for public officials — acting as agents of the State and sworn to uphold the laws of the land — to actively reject their public obligations in favor of their religious ones.

Within the white Evangelical movement, there is little perceived difference between religious freedom and Christian privilege. The folks defending Kim Davis are the same people who proudly proclaim that public officials are ministers of God. From the beginning, this was how Kim Davis acted and how she clearly felt. It’s nice to have her finally admit as much on cable.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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