SHARP’S PEAK, KENTUCKY — When Kentucky’s Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis defied the most recent federal order to perform her job duties as prescribed, regardless of the sexual orientation of the people seeking services and denied marriage licenses to gay couples again, that was the last straw for Michael Ragionevole, another Kentucky clerk in nearby Jonesberg County.
“When Ms. Davis turned those couples away,” Ragionevole told The Political Garbage Chute, “I just about lost my shit and threw my remote through my TV.” Ragionevole says that in his 12 years as a clerk in Kentucky he has had to marry all kinds of people who didn’t share his lifestyle or beliefs. “I’m an atheist in Kentucky. There are more of us than you’d think, but we’re still very much so in the minority. So while I’m not gay, I can sympathize with people being treated as less than human, and I know for a fact there are a lot of people in this state and around the country that would have no problem banning atheists from getting married.”
Ragionevole told us that he has decided to protest Davis’ resistance court-ordered equality under the law in a way that he acknowledges “might be a touch hypocritical,” but that will “hopefully serve to just prove a point and inspire Davis to stop being such a bigoted shithead.” Mr. Ragionevole told our interviewer that he will begin denying marriage licenses to any couple that is of the Christian faith, and tell them that his “profound, deep, and personal views of religion” prevent him “furthering the damage that Christianity has done throughout its history.”
“You see, unlike homosexuality, I can actually point to incidents of violence, murder, and lawlessness instigated by so-called ‘good, clean Christians,” Ragionevole told us. “The Ku Klux Klan? They’re Christians. The inquisitions? Perpetrated by Christians. Timothy McVeigh? A Christian nut job. Who bombs abortion clinics and threatens doctors that work at them regularly? Yup, that’s right, violent Christian sociopaths. I don’t see a lot of violence at gay pride festivals, do you?”
While he is ethically and legally forbidden from asking the religious beliefs of the couples who come into his office for a marriage license, Ragionevole says he can figure out who to disenfranchise through simple observation.
“If I see any crucifixes on the bride or groom, they’re outta there. If I hear them hold a prayer, they’re gone. If I get even a whiff of Christendom, I’m sending them packing. Ms. Davis can marry them if she wants to,” Ragionevole told The Political Garbage Chute, continuing to add that he “will stop kicking Christians out of my office when Davis stops kicking LGBT couples out of hers.”
“If they can cite their religious beliefs, I can site my deeply-held irreligious beliefs. See how that works? It’s all wrapped up in the First Amendment,” Ragionevole said.
Ragionevole says that he’d rather things go back to how they were before the historic ruling on gay marriage, where no one got personal. “We just talked to the couples, congratulated them, and signed the paperwork. I didn’t become a county clerk to be a judgmental asshole. I became a county clerk to help people navigate the system and get what they need to get done accomplished. It’s the damn religious zealots that are making this about religion. It’s not an assault on your religion to sign a piece of paper. What ever happened to be polite to someone’s face and then condemning them to Hell as a sinner after they’ve left,” Ragionevole said.
“It’s like they’ve forgotten the Golden Rule, and the irony is that Christ himself was all about it — treat others as you want to be treated,” Ragionevole declared. “It’s not ‘treat others as they deserve to be treated based on your arbitrary morality standards.’ It’s not ‘treat others as they should be treated for being terrible sinners.’ In fact, even though I’m not even religious, I know for a fact that Jesus Christ talked about how everyone wasn’t worthy to go to Heaven because everyone’s a sinner…seems to me like the message there is not be a prick to everyone because your pious ass thinks you’re better than them,” Ragionevole said.
Then after a beat, “But what do I know? I’m just a heathen who wants to actually practice the idea of brotherly love, and not just pay lip service to it while I hide behind my religious beliefs as cover for my bigotry. Maybe it’s just me.”