While it's been diverting to watch Rowen County, Kentucky, Clerk Kim Davis defy the law, compel her employees to do the same and then go to jail, some of my questions remain unanswered.
What role for example does the fact that Mrs. Davis found her particular blend of Jesus fairly recently --- some four years ago --- play?
One eternal truth about the newly born again is that they, like friends who go gluten-free, can sometimes be extraordinarily annoying --- until they change their minds or settle down, buckle down and begin to develop some depth in their new-found faiths.
And how does the fact that the Rowen County clerk's office was in effect a family business figure in? Mrs. Davis's mother, I believe, had been clerk for 36 years and herself an employee until she was elected. Then she hired her son, now clerk presumptive.
The proprietors of family-owned businesses tend to become resentful when outsiders try to tell them what they have to to do.
Whatever the case, no one need feel especially sorry for Mrs. Davis, now cooling her heels in jail.
Martyrdom has its own rewards, so long as one isn't required to actually suffer or die.
While she's jailed, the money will flow in from Christians who consider her a better cause than the usual tedious ones --- loving unconditionally, feeding the hungry, comforting the afflicted, etc., etc.
Move over, Mother Teresa --- Kim has entered the room.
Plus, she's probably funding a retirement plan in jail far more efficiently than she would have if seated behind her desk in the courthouse.
And it's quite possible that she won't be jailed long, providing her office develops a sustainable way to meet its obligation to couples, same-gender and otherwise, who wish to marry.
Once released, her future as a guest preacher in churches across America is guaranteed.
Bottom-feeders in the Republic presidential field, most notably Mike Huckabee, have scented blood here, too, and are moving in to take advantage of it. He's planning a rally.
Mrs. Davis is the great white hope of candidates who have been pouting lately as Donald Trump effectively wooed the GOP rabble with his racist shtick.
The Liberty Counsel, which has promised to meet Mrs. Davis's legal needs, also is licking its chops. That organization had fallen upon hard times as marriage equality advanced across the land, but probably is assured a fresh influx of cash from concerned Christians as it finds a new niche defending and encouraging Davis and others among the relatively few resistors across the land.
So for many, she is a godsend.
Christian educator and ethicist David Gushee wrote an interesting piece the other day for Religion News Service headlined, "Why this Christian says Christianity is harmed by Kim Davis and her fans," concluding with this paragraph:
"Meanwhile, my friends, as the TV cameras record your every word and gesture outside that Kentucky court house, remember that, as we Christians like to say, 'for some people you are the only Jesus they will ever see.' Ask yourself whether the Jesus the world is seeing in you today resembles the Jesus we see in the Gospels. It’s a question for all Christians, all the time."
For those on the margins of Christianity, and there is an increasing number of those, there could hardly be better aversion therapy than Mrs. Davis and her backers.