Should Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who is jail for refusing to issue marriage license, have resigned?
Over the past week many people, including many Christians sympathetic to her cause, have said Davis should resigned from her elected position as Rowan County Clerk if her conscience won’t allow her to do the job as required. While I understand the reasoning, and am even partially sympathetic to that view, I think it misses the reason Davis acted as she did and how her choice does not necessarily conflict with the rule of law.
For at least fifty years it has not been a requirement that you must do every aspect of your job, despite your beliefs, or automatically resign. As Ryan Anderson wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed:
We have a rich history of accommodating conscientious objectors in a variety of settings, including government employees. Do we really want to say that an otherwise competent employee must quit or go to jail if there is another alternative?
I don’t believe we do want to say that. In fact, I believe one of the quickest ways to government tyranny is to require every religious believer with conscientious objections to immoral laws and government overreach to resign from government positions. (more…)