Kim Davis told ABC News “I put my hand out and he reached and he grabbed it, and I hugged him and he hugged me. And he said, ‘Thank you for your courage.’ I was crying. I had tears coming out of my eyes. I’m just a nobody, so it was really humbling to think he would want to meet or know me.”
Who says Pope Francis wanted to meet you, Ms. Davis? You? Your publicity-seeking lawyer? There’s simply no way of knowing who it was inside the Holy See, or Vatican, that approved your audience with the pontiff — but please don’t see this as validation of your inability to grasp the crux of an equal rights argument — or refusal to do your job.
Pope Francis told ABC’s Terry Moran: “I can’t have in mind all cases that can exist about conscientious objection … but, yes, I can say conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right.”
The fact that Kim Davis felt she was the only person in the world — the only one that mattered to Pope Francis while she was with him — speaks volumes about the man as a human being. We should all offer one other the gift of our complete and undivided attention. He doesn’t just love you, Kim — or support what you see as some kind of moral imperative to disobey a Kentucky court order — he loves everyone.
The Pope also met a wonderful woman from my hometown of Minneapolis — Mary Jo Copeland, the founder of Sharing and Caring Hands — “a safety-net organization to help those who could not obtain help from the welfare system.” She’s our local Mother Teresa who, like Pope Francis, humbles herself by washing the feet of those who arrive at her doorstep seeking comfort, clothing, or a hot meal. Compare and contrast her work with your “Christian” mission of turning people away, Ms. Davis.
Your experience with the pontiff isn’t unique, Kim. Mary Jo recalled how she hugged the Pope, saying “it was like touching the face of Jesus. I mean that. He is a very warm, spiritual, loving man and he has the heart of Jesus. I said. ‘Oh Pope Francis, Holy Father, would you pray for me so I can continue my work? There’s a lot of work to do, you know?’ Then I knew. He shook his head like he would pray for me forever.” At 78, Mary Jo’s personal ministry will not continue forever, but her legacy most certainly will. Who will remember Kim Davis’ government service?
The head of the church, Jesus Christ, was fairly clear on the matter: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Who on earth do you think you are, anyway? Woe be the sinner that disobey’s God’s word, Kim! “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities … those who resist will incur judgment.” Hey — in for a penny, in for a pound. It’s right there in the Bible, Ms. Davis — and I’m paraphrasing here — ‘go thee forth and do thy damned job already!’
It’s amusing to me that the same conservative voices who condemned the Pope just a week ago, are now bending over backwards to find validation for their personal beliefs through Kim’s interpretation of this meeting with the Pope. Like pretty much everything in the Bible, the story is apocryphal. The Pope meets thousands and thousands of people — each one leaving with a similar story.
I believe that the Successor of St. Peter, Pope Francis, is a good and decent man who accepts and loves all people. I believe Mary Jo Copeland lives in accordance with her faith, and also accepts and loves all people (and is a potential candidate for Sainthood). I do not, however, believe Kim Davis “accepts and loves all people,” but rather will be viewed though the lens of history as a controversial and polarizing figure in American politics, who used her religious beliefs as some kind of “get out of jail free” card.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them,” Kim Davis, “for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in Heaven.” Choose, instead, to be more like Mary Jo “… when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others.” Take your personal pity party back to the Fox News audience — they’ll buy anything.
WATCH: Kim Davis’ recollections of meeting the Holy Father, and other musings on religion in America and her personal faith.