The County Clerk

imageFeeling hungry, I drove down to the local diner. I perused the menu and made my choice: eggs, bacon and flapjacks. When the waitress brought the plate, I quickly noticed something was wrong. No eggs, no bacon, no golden, flaky flapjacks! Instead I saw a peach half, cottage cheese and a stalk of celery on the plate. “Um, excuse me, miss. None of this is what I ordered.” She answered matter-of-factly, “Well, sir, you are fat. I cannot in good conscience bring you food that will just make you fatter.” My stomach roared its disapproval and I left, still hungry.

With my stomach still roaring its disapproval, I went to work. I immediately got a call from dispatch. “Godsey, we have a call for you. There has been a burglary at the local bar. The deputies on scene have found some fingerprints that they need you to lift.” I thought about it for a second and said, “Tell the deputies I won’t be coming to their call. I don’t agree with the lifestyle choices of the bar’s owner, so I won’t do what I swore an oath to do…”

I think you know where this is going. Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky county clerk, has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, even though the courts have required her to do so. She even went to jail for a couple of days. She says she is defending traditional marriage, which she defines as between “one man and one woman.”

Now, Mrs. Davis has a couple of problems here. First of all, she swore an oath to do her job. When I was sworn into the Sheriff’s Office I raised my right hand and swore to uphold the laws of the State of California, and the United States. That is not an oath I took lightly, nor does it include a comma that says, “unless you disagree with the law.” I would, by my oath, have to investigate crime scenes at abortion clinics, strip clubs or any number of places where I might disagree with what is going on. I took an oath, and I will live by it.

I also swore an oath in front of my friends and family to love my wife and stay with her forever. Lanette and I just celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary. Kim Davis, on the other hand, has been married four times, twice to the same guy. In between marriages, Mrs. Davis had two children out of wedlock. I’m not saying that to be mean, but if you are going to defend traditional marriage on moral grounds, you better make sure that your walk and talk line up.

I can hear the chorus already, “Jerry has gone soft on sin. He thinks everything is okay.” No I don’t. I still believe in traditional marriage. I believe that marriage, is by definition, a union between a man and a woman. I also believe that you should stay married to the man or woman you marry. In 34 years of marriage, Lanette and I have been through some rough times. There were even a couple of times where I wondered if we would make it to the next year, let alone 34 years. We stuck it out, though, because of our children and our faith.

Romans 13 speaks of submitting to authorities because God has put them in charge. Verse 3 says, “ For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you.”

I don’t disagree with Mrs. Davis’ convictions, just her refusal to uphold her oath of office. Of course, she always has one other option: she can quit being the County clerk of Rowan County. Then she won’t have to issue any marriage licenses.

Ready for the “friendly fire” that is coming… Jerry

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