Sunday, October 4, 2015
Hating Kim Davis
The news that Pope Francis met with Kim Davis - the clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples - resulted in hissy fits among the secular media and the Catholic left.
Davis had been a constant target of vitriol and venom since she acted on her conservative Christian beliefs - how dare she! Some more moderate voices noted that as a public official she had to follow what is currently the "law" of the land - I don't agree with this view, but it makes sense and I respect it. Others, though, trotted out the imposing her beliefs argument (I counter that all laws are someone's beliefs being "imposed' on others). And still others went after her personally, because of multiple marriages (neglecting to mention that those took place before she found faith and reformed her life), and some even for her appearance (she stopped wearing makeup as part of her faith-based rejection of vanity).
And then there was Pope Francis, a darling of the left because of more pastoral remarks that were consistently being spun and misrepresented to fit their agenda on homosexuality, divorce, sacraments, the environment, etc. He was gentle and measured in his words while here, allowing the left to ignore what he was really saying on issues like abortion and conscience rights. To be fair, some Francis-bashing conservative Catholics also went after him for, for example, NOT BLATANTLY SAYING THE WORD ABORTION AND DAMNING OBAMA AND PROABORTION CATHOLIC POLITICIANS TO HELL.
Anyway, this is about the Kim Davis haters.
They may say they don't hate her per se, just what she stands for, but their words and tone and attitude too often say otherwise.
All was well with them - gushy articles spinning and spinning and avoiding his messages. (Gee, why did he have to meet with the Sisters on whom the Obama administration was trying to force contraception? Oh well, he did it quietly behind closed doors. We'll overlook that.).
Then the reports came out that he met with Davis.
I don't care how that meeting came about, who arranged it, who else was there, and so on. The left went apoplectic. They tried to argue every which way they could to downplay it. It was with a group of people. Her lawyer is exploiting it. The Pope didn't really know who she was or all the details behind why she's in the news. He was being nice and wasn't endorsing what she did. The Vatican is hedging and backtracking. Oh, phew, he met a homosexual couple too in a more official way.
I've been staying out of the fray thus far because I've gotten tired of how everything the Pope does these days gets distorted and misrepresented, and the Davis issue was not one that caught fire with me (the butchery at Planned Parenthood has been more on my mind).
But I've been wondering why so many on the Catholic left have gotten their undergarments in a twist over this.
There are many on the Catholic left who do want to see Church teaching change on issue like homosexual marriage and birth control and abortion and divorced Catholics, and had been hoping the Pope would make such changes. Never mind that he's consistently cited Church teachings - he doesn't yell or obsess and he smiles and is pastoral, and, well, he's not Pope Benedict. But when there was a chance he might actually support or be sympathetic to what Davis did - You mean he actually might have meant those remarks about conscience rights and religious liberty? - they simply couldn't accept it. They had to show how the reports were somehow wrong.
Otherwise, these member of the left might have to admit they are themselves wrong, or they are not going to get the church they want.
Then there are others who know the teachings will likely not change, and may even agree with many of the teachings, but are uncomfortable with being public about it because they might be attacked, or less popular, or people will make fun of them. Davis was a threat and a challenge - she actually publicly stood up for her beliefs.
Please don't ask us to stand up in a public way like she did.
I'm sure there are other reasons, but those two seem to be the most common among agitated left.
And I also recognize that there are people who are genuinely struggling with these moral issues - but they are not the one running to the media to spout about what the Pope did or didn't do.
As for me, I'm more interested in trying to follow what the Church teaches and changing myself as needed to be a better Catholic who acts on those teachings - no matter what the consequences - rather than trying to change the Church to fit my personal - and admittedly flawed - vision, or even hiding my beliefs under a bushel basket until it's safe to let them out.
Pax et bonum