The latest round of arguments against Kim Davis (from the Washington Examiner) is that there are consequences for her actions. Their article cites one of my favorite characters, Sir Thomas More. It got me thinking.
There are different qualities of consequences. I shall address some.
There are natural consequences. When you place your hand in a fire you will get burned. If you cut yourself, intentionally or accidentally, you will bleed.
There are unnatural consequences tainted with maintaining order. When you murder someone, the natural consequence is that the person is dead. The unnatural consequence (for order) is that society has made a law against killing and allows judges to administer a punishment.
Another form of unnatural consequence is designed for safety. If a parent sees their inexperienced child running toward a busy street a series of things will happen. In many cases the child gets a severe “chewing out” or even a spanking. The parent loves the child (which I believe is the natural consequence of creating the child) and therefore they administer unnatural consequences to teach the child how to be safe.
Following on the heels of the “safety consequence” is the compliance consequence. An example would be the high school teacher that insists that a student “show their work” in algebra, or the professor that requires students to embrace their prescribed “teachings” as opposed to their teaching.
Lastly, I identify the non-sequitur compliance consequence. Let me explain a couple basics. Non-sequitur and sequitur come from the Latin. Respectively they mean “it does not follow,” and “it follows.” A natural consequence would be closest to a sequitur. Hence a non-sequitur could easily be deemed arbitrary, if not capricious. Such a consequence would be demonstrated in the complex concept of property forfeiture solely from fear that a person may dispose of possessions before the government can get their “cut of the value.” Another way to phrase it is the government making sure they get a prime rib steak, even if the owner is left with ground beef. “It does not follow!” Another example would be the removal of the digging up of a Confederate General’s bones because someone is offended by the general’s behavior four generations previously.
All of the actions by Kim Davis presumably are unnatural consequences of her asserted faith. Likewise all the actions against her; the complaint (non-sequitur compliance), court required actions, incarceration, etc., they are all unnatural consequences, to her choice.
The most egregious unnatural consequence is the non-sequitur compliance.
I place the unnatural consequence of Kim Davis’ behavior in the category of “safety consequence.” Regardless of Kim’s past she now professes a total allegiance to Christianity and God. For the safety of her soul, either in spite of or because of her past, the consequence of going against conscience would be rushing headlong into a busy street.
Excuse what seems like a departure from the narrative.
King James, famously known for the most popular version of the bible, was also a bully. His hidden agenda to re-foster Catholicism throughout Great Britain forced unknown thousand to their death and escape (or banishment) to the New World simply for being Puritan, or, protestant. King James bullied his courtiers and advisers into submission (except for one, whom would not be bullied out of his conscience).
Kim Davis, regardless of her choices, is now burdened with being our present day Coke taunted by the King’s Bacon (I leave it to the reader to surmise who these two men are).
The law did not impose upon her conscience, until the Supreme Court unwisely, bowed to the non-sequitur compliance of people who hated what Kim chose to stand for. The Supreme Court did not pass any law which circumvented her conscience. The Supreme Court has no Constitutional nor historical legitimacy in to make laws due to their bowing to the demands of a subset of society, to detriment of another person’s conscience.
Now, while one person’s conscience is assaulted by the whims of others, society wants to demand that she has an obligation to succumb to those demands or suffer the consequence of the indignity of non-sequitur compliance. She has chosen to stand firm in the safe consequence of her confirmation to God.
“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
“An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
“Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right.”
― Henry David Thoreau,
That Is The Way I See It.