By David Tulis
Will Bill Knowles, the Hamilton County clerk, buckle? Will this Christian man and well-known local political figure agree to issue a marriage license if two homosexual men appear before him demanding to be married?
The question is important for the preservation of local economy, the concept of family and capital and the interest God takes in the government of men. It will become important in 2015 or 2016 if the federal supreme court opines for gays and imposes a monolithic rule for marriage as against the states.
If Mr. Knowles rejects the virtue of his office and caves, he will go against every normal man in Hamilton County. If he accedes to a new alleged official policy on marriage, he joins in overturning a moral order preserved best in Christianity.
But If he stands defiant against an innovating ruling about marital unions, he bares his chest to the cruel slings, arrows and bile of gay activists.
Commercial government and its power mirage
Public officials in Chattanooga, Hamilton County or in your town face numerous temptations to refuse to intervene and interpose themselves between the people and a hostile or evil superior authority.
Mr. Knowles swore in taking office to uphold the Tennessee constitution, which holds only a man and a woman may marry. But he and others are the face of commercial government, of consolidated government, a wealthy aggregate of entities that perform governmental functions (courts, police, welfare, schools) and business ones (utilities, economic development, alliances with VW at Enterprise South). By one estimate consolidate government across 200,000 U.S. entities is worth F$118 trillion in capital assets.
This government operates by consent, by the application of the people into it for services and privileges, usually requiring them to give up constitutional and civil rights willingly and gladly. By contract the free people of Tennessee yield many rights, but they are not forced to, legally speaking. The state, if it were to make a verbal defense of itself, would say no one was forced into relationship with it, and that no one’s constitutional rights are offended since all relationships are voluntary, through contract, to obtain privileges.
Dr. Paul Hein is the author of a favorite book, All Work and No Pay, about fiat money. He is involved in a dispute with the Missouri department of revenue over F$17,000 that agency seized from his wife, Loretta’s, accounts. His case raises questions about the pretense of the modern state. In a five-page brief, Dr. Hein, of Ballwin, Mo., demands, “The matter before the court is utterly simple: What evidence has [state attorney] Mr. [Mike] Kisling presented proving the constitution and statutes of the state of Missouri apply to us, the Heins? *** [A]ll Kisling has are allegations and argument. Kisling has not presented any facts to prove the constitution and laws apply to us just because we are physically in Missouri.” Dr. Hein says he is a nontaxpayer, not a taxpayer, and says that the asset seizure provision under which is capital was seized applies only to taxpayers. He says an exemption form connecting him to the state claims “made no claims whatsoever,” that Mr. Kisling is guilty of ethical misconduct as an attorney for going outside the evidence to make a case and that the state has no valid cause for action because it cannot show an actual loss, damage or injury.
This dispute over tax liability is suggestive of the question I raise regarding Mr. Knowles. By what authority might a court case order him about? The county clerk has a duty to the deep state and to what I’d like to suggest is a mirage, chimera and imagery of authority that exists because we believe the claims about it.
Temptation of the cross
Since taking office, Mr. Knowles’ interest is less the people, but the state and its smooth operation. He changes sides, if you will. Still, by elections and local economy, he has support among the common people and identifies with them. He represents them to the state, and it to them.
The Christian convictions and soul of Mr. Knowles, as a genuine Christian, will come into conflict with his official life, his duty to the state, his duty to maintain the capital of goodwill that the people grant to obeying the state and the myriad of myriad laws that ostensibly apply to them. Obedience of the public to the state is a form of capital that has been losing book value for some time, and it has a lot farther to fall before the skimming operation of commercial government is overturned for a more free market political and economic order (as God ordains).
Mr. Knowles will be tempted to cave in on the gay demand for marriage licenses not because he agrees with them, but because he has to maintain the appearance of rule of law, government by law, the obligation to obey higher authority, the validity of court opinions as actual law and other nostrums foisted upon Chattanoogans by the lawyer class and the political-economic establishment from county level down to federal. I daresay most elected officials in legislatures are attorneys, representatives of the judicial system working in the legislative branch and pretending to represent the common citizenry. Mr. Knowles is in county government, and not a lawyer, but as a former barber and employment booster elected to public office in 1974. “Bill Knowles is a follower of Jesus Christ, a longtime conservative civic servant and a family man,” is the summary answer on Mr. Knowles’ re-election website. “I think the Lord needs Christians in every honorable walk of life,” says Mr. Knowles in a Chattanooga Times interview by Harry Austin. ‘Someone said, ‘everything that makes a good Christian makes a good citizen.’” He is a member of the Church of the Nazarene, according to that story.
Will state actors violate the Tennessee constitution and yield to an ungodly and alien authority of a high court opinion?
They have a duty to keep up the pretense that their authority in statute is true and valuable and binding on you. It is game the legal establishment plays against you. It is a game the political establishment, from the deep state to the county clerk, plays against you and against local economy. Local economy, remember, is about capital. It is about private estates and entrepreneurship. It is about family and personal service. It is not about sexual unions where gay men buy wombs into which insert sperm with an eyedropper to start families or build artificial families through the adoption process with its 40-page application forms and home visits. The state will try to keep up the lie that its monopoly on law is valid. Its hierarchy will be upheld by the consent of the people, their belief that it is real and authoritative, their confidence that it is worthy of respect and ultimately moral. Because the people of my city — and yours — are gracious, kind, yielding and in many respects fearful of state authority, they are willing to believe the myth that the state controls everything, it owns everything, that it has “state sovereignty” ascribed to it in the legal encyclopedias.
To queer theory imposed by SCOTUS, the state will probably yield man by man, lawyer by lawyer. Bill Knowles, if my speculations are correct, will yield, too, because he has a stake in the charade that the state has a monopoly on law, and that a twisting dance of legal motion below, far off in alien jurisdictions, is to be replicated by everyone above, left-and-right-and-left-and-right, from below up to the state of Tennessee and up to county government and its clerks and up, finally, to you, a citizen. You are bound from power from afar, and from below.
The nation-state, in its 200-year war against Christianity, has absorbed away from man and family his proper duty, in elder care, education, prosperity. It supports antinomianism, the rejection of law in self-government, and favors moral license, to draw more of society to itself and its caring ministries. It serves. It binds. It subsidizes. It controls. The skimming state’s claims upon the people often have no explicit statute and often no morally binding clutch upon their obeisance. It holds us, however, not with chains of iron, but chains of paper, as Dr. Hein suggests.
Sources: Harry Austin, “Bill Knowles[;] Bring Personal Style to Politics,” Chattanooga Times, Aug. 4, 1980 (clipping at electbillknowles.com)
Dr. Paul Hein, Case #10SL-MC03144-GARN-8476, Missouri v. Hein, “Response to Kisling’s objection to notice of claim of exemption and request for expedited court review, and motion for sanctions against Kisling for misconduct”
Webster’s 1828 dictionary: “Common law *** the unwritten law, the law that receives its binding force from immemorial usage and universal reception, in distinction from written or statute law. That body of rules, principles and customs which have been received from our ancestors, and by which courts have been governed in their judicial decisions. *** judicial decisions founded on natural justice and equity, or on local customs.” Marriage is a common law right; no license is required. Only a man and woman marry at common law.