September 8, 2015
What Bible is she reading? Or how is she reading her Bible?
So long as Kim Davis is occupying so much of the news cycle for her refusal to issue (or allow to be issued) marriage licenses to same sex couples in Rowan County, Kentucky, we should ask these questions.
I’m for allowing a good deal of leeway to people to accommodate their religious beliefs. Quakers have a good deal of relevant experience with this. But in considering such accommodations, we the public should be able to expect some degree of integrity in the beliefs.
Kim Davis describes herself as an Apostolic Christian and attends a Pentecostal church. Her rejection of same sex marriage, she says, is based on Biblical views of marriage. But if so, why is she prepared to issue marriage licenses to previously married persons — persons who are now divorced? Jesus is exceptionally clear on this question. Here is Matthew 5:31-2:
31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Mark 10:10-12 and Luke 16:18 say essentially the same thing.
I’m not one who believes that the Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin. (See also here and here.) And I’m also not one who believes that the Bible is the inerrant and final word of God. But I am prepared to give room to people who do believe the Bible is the inerrant and final word of God. I’ll argue with them, but I won’t condemn them.
Until, that is, they start picking and choosing which parts of the Bible to believe. The Bible is much, much clearer about the question of divorce.