As I see it, Ms. Davis is jailed, not because of her religion, but because: (1) the Voters of Rowan County elected her to issue and record licenses (not only of marriages, but of automobiles, taxes, motor vehicles, real estate sales & deeds, professional standings & licenses, etc.) which she is refusing to do. More specifically, (2) because a United States District judge ordered her to adhere to the law and she as consistently refused to do so.
I approve of civil disobedience; I recognize that one must be willing to take the consequences of her/his actions. American Transcendentalist philosopher, Henry David Thoreau, was jailed because he refused to pay taxes in protest against the Mexican-American War and slavery. There is, however, a difference between Davis and Thoreau: she is refusing to obey a law of the United States that she was elected to uphold while Thoreau’s civil disobedience was that of a private citizen.
As I see it, if Ms. Davis will not carry out the duties of an elected public official because of her religious beliefs, she can always resign from her office so that the Governor of the Commonwealth can appoint a County Clerk who will obey the law.
To answer my question: Is the Action of the Rowan County Clerk Civil Disobedience?—it is my belief that it is not.
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