Because there are many ways to show disdain for law. In America, we have a city council in Denver that advocates shutting down businesses like Chick-fil-A because the CEO once took a public position against gay marriage. That kind of abuse of power and contempt for the Constitution doesn’t get national play, because it’s the right kind of contempt. In this country, illegal immigrants can march in the streets to protest their station without any genuine fear of being rounded up and expelled. They are celebrated. The president ignores the legislative process and gives millions amnesty. We have cities that ignore federal drug laws because they find them oppressive. As Sean Davis points out, when California passed Prop8, which banned gay marriage, a number of officials refused to enforce the law. But not one elected official has been hauled off to jail for any of these stands.
Yet, a Christian struggling to come to terms with the implications of a decision that changes over two hundred of law that SCOTUS, that was only reached a couple months ago—and our progressive president only embraced a couple of years ago— is now hauled off to prison. In the end, the state is creating martyrs. Christians will have no choice but to take more obstinate positions in the culture war—battles that could easily have avoided if a judge exhibited more compassion and came to an accommodation. There are around 125 other marriage clerks in Kentucky who could issue license to gay couples. And they should.
Or we can go the other way. And if we’re going to be rigid about the rule of law, let’s throw all officials who ignore it into cells.