While we were dating, David was enrolled in college working towards his Associates degree for HVAC/Refrigeration. At the end of his last year, Budweiser offered him a job working on their refrigerated trucks. It was a significant pay increase. Our wedding was only a few months away. It seemed like a good option for us, but he turned down the job. I was shocked.
“Why did you do that?!”
“Because I can’t support or work for a company that goes against my beliefs.”
David witnessed the damage alcohol does to families. He was (and is) a non-drinker. He refused to work for a company that, in his opinion, contributed to the destruction of people’s lives. No matter how much they paid him. Despite my shock, this further solidified my opinion of the man I was marrying.
He is a good person. He is honorable. He stands by his beliefs. David cannot be bought.
The recent news stories about Kim Davis reminded me of when this happened. I think standing up for your beliefs is commendable. I can admire a person for doing that even if their beliefs are not the same as mine. It is important to not compromise what is important to you.
But here’s the difference… David didn’t take the job. He didn’t go to work and then tell them that he couldn’t fulfill his job duties. He didn’t try to convince them that they are damaging families. He doesn’t judge other people for imbibing. He never tries to force his beliefs onto other people. Not even me. His beliefs are his. He lives by them. No one else has to.
Kim Davis holds a job that requires her to uphold the law and apply it equitably to all of the constituents of her county. The Rowan County Clerk’s website states:
As county clerk I am responsible for providing many services to the people of Rowan county. These duties include general categories of clerical duties of the fiscal court: issuing and registering, recording and keeping various legal records, registering and purging voter rolls, and conducting election duties and tax duties.
She has a choice. She can fulfill the duties of her job or she can quit. She can choose to no longer work there because the duties of the job go against her beliefs. No one is persecuting her.
She is imprisoned because of bad legal advice and bad choices. She has a team of attorneys who are using her refusal to do her job as a platform. Eventually, the news cameras will go away and the team of lawyers will follow them. Her notoriety will fade the way of Joe the Plumber’s. She will be a blip. A trivia question on a morning radio show.
A person’s beliefs are important. Kim Davis’. Mine. Yours. Tom Cruise’s. Whether you believe in Jesus, Buddha, or aliens, it is important to stand up for your beliefs. It is equally important that you don’t force those beliefs onto other people. That is what Kim Davis is trying to do. That is why she is wrong. That is why she is in jail.