Religious exemptions: How the world would look if Kim Davis had her way | News

Religious exemptions: How the world would look if Kim Davis had her way

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Over in Kentucky, county clerk Kim Davis has decided to take a stand against the laws she swore an oath to uphold by refusing to a few gay marriage licenses. Rather than resign—and honor both the oath that she swore and her deeply held religious convictions—she believes that society needs to bend to her own fluid opinions on who may enjoy the benefits of marriage. And so she currently is in jail, where she belongs.

When it comes to marriage, it’s worth noting that Davis’ own beliefs are always shifting—for example, she swore to God that she would be married to three other dudes until either she or he died, and then changed her mind about it and got divorced.

And it’s also worth noting that what Davis wants to do in Kentucky has more or less been legitimized in North Carolina, where 32 magistrates have opted out of performing same-sex ceremonies following the passage of the SB 2 earlier this year. While SB 2, which passed over Gov. McCrory’s veto, still grants same-sex couples access to licenses and (theoretically) to willing magistrates, it also codifies bigotry into law under the guise of religious freedom—specifically, allowing public officials to discriminate against an entire class of citizens based on their interpretations of Iron Age texts. 

But let’s say that Davis and her supporters get their way. What does a future America where public officials can simply refuse to do their job because of a religious belief look like? Here are some possible religious exemptions to include.

If you're an adherent of Wahhabi Islam and you work at the DMV, you no longer have to issue driver's license to women.

If you’re a Jehovah's Witness, you can refuse to take Christmas off work. You just show up and do whatever you do all day.

If you’re Catholic and a pharmacist, you can refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control.

If you’re a Quaker you could enlist in the army for education benefits and simply refuse to shoot a gun or fight anyone.

If you’re a Mormon you can get a job at the liquor control board and then refuse to issue any licenses to any bars.

If you’re a Mormon and you get a job as a health inspector you can refuse to issue reports for any coffee shops serving caffeinated beverages.

If you are a Rastafarian, you can work anywhere and refuse to attend any important meeting where you are not allowed to smoke your chalice of herb.

If you are Amish, you can get a job as a high school teacher and then just not show up to work, ever, since children should not be educated past the eighth grade.

If you're a Christian Scientist cab driver, you don't have to take anyone to the hospital, even if they’re dying.

If you’re a cop who is also a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, you refuse to take off your pirate regalia and put on your police uniform.

If you’re Hindu and get a job as a USDA livestock inspector, you can refuse to inspect cattle marked for slaughter. A Muslim or Orthodox Jewish inspector might decide the same for pork.

If you’re Jewish, you can get a job at a school cafeteria and refuse to prepare non-kosher meals.

If you’re a Seventh Day Adventist and a mail carrier, you can refuse to work on Saturday and deliver your route on Sunday instead.

If you’re a Jain and a sanitation worker, you could refuse to compact trash because it kills bugs.

If you’re a Hare Krishna bodega employee, you can refuse to honor winning lottery scratchers.

A version of this blog post originally appeared on wweek.com, the INDY’s sister publication. The INDY added the paragraph on North Carolina. 


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