Actually, I suppose the correct terminology is that the Kim Davis situation is a Rorschach test.
You’ve seen those before–where a person is shown an inkblot and then asked what it looks like. One person sees a butterfly, another person might see two witches high fiving each other, and yet another person sees genitalia.
The point of the test is that it gives insight into the mindset of the person.
That is what Kim Davis is.
Some people look at her actions and her situation (if you don’t know the situation, click here for a good summary), and they see a heroine. They see someone who took a stand for something she believed in and suffered publicly and personally for it. They see her as a conservative Rosa Parks. Parks would not give up her seat, Davis will not give up her signature.
Other people look at her actions and see a lawless criminal who should be jailed. They see her as an anachronism who denies other people their legal rights. She is Jim Crow incarnate, a person who wants to use the legal system in order to impose a prejudiced civil order.
These views do not tell us anything, though, about Kim Davis. These views teach us about the people who behold her in the media spectacle.
For the record, I believe Kim Davis should have either signed the marriage licenses according to law or resigned. Every job has aspects of it that are unpleasant, or even, abominable. I know that when I pastored full time our church had policies and traditions that drove me crazy and were sometimes, in my opinion, idolatrous. However, I did my job. Every hill is not a hill to die on.
However, Kim Davis is not evil. She might be misguided in her efforts to publicly practice her faith, but she is not the devil. Nor is she a heroine. She has done nothing particularly praiseworthy other than to become famous for believing something that a great many people believe. Let us not rush to make her a martyr, even though I think most people will agree that throwing her in jail was probably a dramatic overreaction.
She is a human being who tried to make a decision she could live with when she went to sleep at night. She was doing nothing more than attempting to be true to her own conscience. Even if we disagree with her, can we not acknowledge at least a little nobility there? A little love for Kim Davis? Just a little? Isn’t civil disobedience an American virtue?
Kim Davis’ inkblot reveals a people who desire sensationalism more than truth. Consider this for a moment: Gay marriage is the law of the land, and Kim Davis, to my knowledge, is the only incident of this kind. There are over 3,100 counties, parishes, boroughs and districts in the United States, and in only one has the issue been this contentious. Will there be others? Of course. But the point is by-in-large Americans observe the rule of law.
Kim Davis is simply not that big of a deal. It is how people perceive it, react to it, overreact to it, manipulate it, spin it, and abuse it that matters. So when we look at her inkblot, we don’t see a woman who feels stuck between a rock and a hard spot. Instead, some see intolerance, prejudice, and hate; some see courage, bravery, and faith. Who she is, and what the issues really are, have been lost as she turns becomes Facebook meme fodder.
When I look at the Kim Davis inkblot, I see a nation that has falsely believed there are only two polar opposites on every issue and shouting at each other, spewing insults, and name calling are the only appropriate responses to the outrage of the day.
Rorschach image from google.com and kim davis mug snot from nydailynews.com