La La How The Life Goes On

Do Your Job

Posted on: September 10, 2015

UPDATE:  Fabio concurs.


Let’s discuss Ms. Erin C. Devaney, the interim Registrar of Motor Vehicles, here in Massachusetts. It is her job, via the clerks in RMVs throughout this great Commonwealth, to ensure and certify that those applying for a drivers license meet the legal requirements thereof. Are my papers in order? Am I eligible? Have I met the appropriate legal criteria? If so–Drivers license issued. As the Registrar, Ms. Devaney’s signature will appear on my drivers license.

Now, I don’t know Registrar Devaney. But let’s all contemplate the incredible oversized sense of self it would require for her to imagine that her signature on my drivers license in any way connotes her personal, moral, religious stamp of approval on me as a person. That her rubber stamped signature provided by her role as a government functionary in any way says “The person holding this license meets my moral and ethical standards for human decency. I personally vouch for this driver.”

The entire notion is ludicrous, right? Her signature simply means, “This person met the legal requirements for having a drivers license. Insofar as it is my job to ensure these legal requirements are met, my signature signifies same.” The End. My job is to make sure your papers are in order. License issued. We are done here.

So please tell me why Kim Davis, a “Christian” County Clerk in Kentucky, thinks that she is the moral arbiter of random citizens applying for a marriage license in her jurisdiction (the question kind of answers itself though, now that I re-read it). Think about the unbelievable, out-sized, truly arrogant, self-involved sense of pride (a sin, if I recall correctly) it requires to think that your government functionary signature on a piece of paper is the very pinnacle of moral judgment and approval for fellow humans you do not even know. Think about that. Beyond the very real issues here, I am simply struck by this one. The intense and borderline pathological sense of self-importance Kim Davis obviously feels, that her rando signature on a rando document in a tiny county in one southern state signifies HER moral stamp of approval of an entire group of American citizens. As if her personal stamp of approval is even necessary.

The delusions of grandeur are epic. Fed by the Right Wing’s very own Al Sharpton, “Rev.” Mike Huckabee. A failed politician who has never met a religious sideshow he doesn’t like. The total lack of constitutional knowledge, coupled with the fervor only an American Taliban mouthpiece can provide, would be hilarious if it weren’t so frightening.

Assertions that Kentucky statutes supersede rulings by the United States Supreme Court.  Answer: No they don’t. I mean, if you want to hark back to uglier times in American history where “states rights” was a rallying cry for some really sick shit, then sure. Go ahead. Or you can join the rest of us in the 21st century who understand the way our democracy works.

Assertions that Davis’ first amendment rights are being violated. Answer: No they aren’t. She has all the religious freedom in the world. She can practice her religion all she wants to. What she may not do, as a tool of the government (which her position is), is deny American citizens their 14th Amendment rights guaranteed by the Constitution and reaffirmed by the Supreme Court.

Assertions that this is a war on Christianity. Answer: See the young girls raped and beaten by ISIS. THAT is a war on Christianity. This is more like “Christian throws tantrum because she can’t force everyone else to be Christian.”  For a group of people so vocal about “Sharia Law” infiltrating America, they sure seem eager to set up their own Christian version of it. Think about it. A religious group seeks to have its religious laws supersede the civil laws of a country. It seeks purview over marriages, births, eligibility for services. It seeks to control behavior, not by widely-accepted civil statutes governing citizen interactions, but by its own religious canon. THAT is sharia law, whether Islamic or Christian flavor.

Huckabee claims that no person should ever have to choose between their religion and their career. WRONG. There is a reason black hat Orthodox Jewish men don’t get jobs as cashiers at Victoria’s Secret. There is a reason devout Muslims don’t work in pig slaughterhouses. There is a reason Quakers don’t work in ballistic missile factories. Religion gets in the way of career goals all the time. If your religion matters to you, it will absolutely impact your career choices. If you keep the Sabbath, you won’t do that extra work on Saturdays or Sundays. Maybe that will affect your career trajectory. Maybe you won’t care because you know what’s important to you.

What you won’t get to do is mandate that everyone else in the world follow your path. Especially if your job is a government job. If you get paid with taxpayer money, you must do the work of the taxpayers. Or, in words Huckabee can better understand: render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.




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