Notice I didn't say "what Kim Davis believes"? That part is up to you. What she did is a different matter.
...and it really is not unlike a religious shunning, what the Internet mobs do. Whenever someone falls out of favor with the most loudly popularly-sanctioned viewpoints, they get the torches and pitchforks treatment. They are ridiculed. They are labeled as horrible human beings.
Think about the guy who killed the lion. He went back to work today at his dental practice, and he walked through a crowd of protesters who said things like:
"I was telling him to leave town. He certainly isn't someone who I want to live in my community." And, "I'd like to see him lose his business. I really would."
One supporter of the dentist claimed that some of the protesters were calling for Palmer to be put to death.
I love animals and I think killing that lion was not cool. But...I don't know. You decide. If it was an illegal act, the guy should suffer the consequences of the law; but, to want him to lose his livelihood? To run him out of his Minnesota town because he killed a lion in Africa? I mean, if the guy had a history of shooting people's dogs, I could see it...
Well, anyway, now we are on to Kim Davis. Many conservative Christians are holding her up as a hero and those who disagree with what she did are starting the campaign against her with viscious Tweets and hyper-critical memes.
To me, the problem manifests itself not in the surface issue: gay marriage. The problem is the tone that those who object take when they do object; the "run her out of town on a rail" philosophy.
See, anyone has the right to think Kim Davis is a redneck, backward nut if they want; or, even to think she is a proper Christian crusader. But what she actually did is called "civil disobedience." A lot of people have used civil disobedience as a form of protest and it serves as a last-ditch effort, in a civilized society, when people feel the government or the lawmakers have gone too far. It is dangerous when we either outright say or gently imply that someone "got what they deserved" when they get thrown in prison for doing this. (I am not trying to make comparisons to any other civil disobeyers, for the record. I can just see the stream of people thinking I am trying to call Davis the new Dr. King...) Again, it is not the gay marriage position of anyone, but the negative reaction to Davis's civil disobedience that is the problem.
Teach your kids what you believe about gay marriage. But to send the next generation forward with the idea that the way Kim Davis handled her protest is wrong is to take the next step into what I see as the coming of a voluntary-membership Big Brother society. (Orwell had it slightly wrong. We're not going to be forced into submission. We're signing up. We are our own Thought Police...)
Davis will probably go back to work and do this again. Good. Let her have at it. If the Internet mobs stop people with strong opinions from feeling that civil disobedience is a valid and even an admirable course, there is no telling who might back down from an issue the mobs might agree with in times to come. We're never going to have balance without extremes -- someone needs to be at either end of the see-saw -- so we need to let it happen.
Is Davis a hero, to you? Is she a villain? Either way, what she did has been driving an important apsect of protest for centuries. Rail as you will against (or for) her beliefs, but her actions are another thing.