Letters to the Editor

Right of Conscience

Dear Editor: Kim Davis, in the eyes of most, including myself, is not a hero, but she still has the right to conscientious objection. Listen to what Pope Francis had to say on his flight back from New York to Rome, not commenting on Davis specifically, but on the subject of conscientious objection:

Speaking with reporters on board the papal plane to Rome, Pope Francis told Terry Moran of ABC News that conscientious objection is a human right, even for government officials: “Conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right. Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying ‘this right that has merit, this one does not.’ It (conscientious objection) is a human right. It always moved me when I read, and I read it many times, when I read the ‘Chanson de Roland’ when the people were all in line and before them was the baptismal font and they had to choose between the baptismal font or the sword. They had to choose. They weren’t permitted conscientious objection. It is a right and if we want to make peace we have to respect all rights.”

The ABC News chief foreign correspondent asked if that includes government officials as well, and the pope reiterated that conscientious objection is a human right: “It is a human right and if a government official is a human person, he has that right,” Pope Francis affirmed.

I do not believe that Kim Davis should have to resign. Gay marriage was not an issue when she was elected or perhaps she would not have run. The government needs to work a compromise so the rights of Kim Davis and the rights of gays under the new law are both respected.