When it comes to civil rights, and especially in a heated climate like we see today in 2015, it’s hard to define the line between a social activist and a law-breaker. In the days of Martin Luther King Jr., there were plenty of laws that protesters against segregation broke even in peaceful protest. However, these laws were set in place specifically to annul the livelihood of blacks, Hispanics and other minorities.
The difference today, when a woman defies the law to stand fast to her religious beliefs, is that in doing so this protest leaves us in an anti-progressive state where a select group of people is still annulled.
When Kim Davis took a vow to uphold the law as a county clerk, it’s clear that she never imagined gay marriage being legalized would become a realization. Thus, when she was faced with something that defied her beliefs so strongly, she had no choice but to erase that boundary of church and state and uphold her moral standards.
However, this is where she got it completely wrong.
The First Amendment seems to be a strong rule of thumb when it comes to the Republican mindset. When free speech is on the line, people generally get a little antsy. We feel that we have the right to say what we want and express our beliefs. More often than not, the First Amendment is used as an excuse to be a tyrant.
Davis used her power as a county clerk, or more aptly abused her power, to exercise her beliefs. She forgot a few key rules in doing so: She broke the law and she hurt others by impeding their right to get married.
As the rally outside the county jail where Davis was detained reached crescendo with “Eye of the Tiger” and Mike Huckabee greeting the “protester,” the nation was lost in a tidal wave of mixed emotions. Should the law be broken spur change? Is there a clear line for the types of feelings that are OK to be trampled on?
In this case, Kim Davis was a backwards step toward a greater future.