Sheriff’s duty to protect gutsy law-abiding county clerk

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Jack Carter, sheriff of Rowan County, Ky.

Jack Carter, sheriff of Rowan County, Ky.

Any policy or law or judicial interpretation, purporting to define marriage as anything other than the historical institution and legal contract between one man and one woman is contrary to the public policy of this state and shall be void and unenforceable in Tennessee. [bolds added]

— A phrase in Tennessee’s marriage amendment

By David Tulis

The relationship between Hamilton County clerk Bill Knowles and Sheriff Jim Hammond is cordial, but did not come under stress the morning June 26 when the high court redefined marriage. It did not come under tribulation because Mr. Knowles, a practicing Christian, had decided that his Christian courage and virtue should be lived out in capitulation to gay theory.

His courage was exhibited when he determined that Obergefell took recording and licensing marriage out of his hands, redefined it, and gave it back to him under new form — and he, courageously, yielded.

Kim Davis, a good faith county clerk

Kim Davis, a good faith county clerk

As Gov. Bill Haslam and attorney general Herbert Slatery III mumbled publicly in Nashville about the new order of things in Tennessee, Mr. Knowles’ heart was sad but relieved.

He would not be required to stand against gay marriage. Everyone was surrendering to homosexual acts sanctified as marital union, who was he to correct’um?

He did not call Sheriff Hammond to defend his office. He made no phone call declaring, “Sheriff, in honor of my oath of office and in keeping with the people of the state of Tennessee, I refuse to issue marriage licenses to two men, or to two women, and I ask your protection of my person and my staff as I deal with protesters.”

I suspect Jim Hammond would have been willing to support Mr. Knowles had he determined to ignore or defy the court opinion deconstructing marriage and pretending to sweep aside Tennessee’s law.

But Hamilton County abdicated on all fronts.

Jack Carter, defender and protector

The defense of marriage and constitutional government plays out elsewhere — in Rowan County, Ky.

Sheriff Jack Carter is protector of county government and its people.

He is a man who with wife, Rebecca, has three grown children and six grandchildren. He is a practicing Christian, attending Elliottville Baptist Church.

He attended Morehead State University and served two years in the Marines. Learning a trade at National Lumber Inspection School in Memphis, he joined Ray L. White & Sons as a lumber inspector. He ran for sheriff and won a first term in 1973. He left office in 1977 and ran again in 1981. “I took office again in 1982,” he says, “and have been your sheriff since then — a total of 31 years.”

In his government’s seizure of marriage, U.S. District Judge David Bunning has acted violently against Rowan County and its people by jailing Kim Davis for contempt of court. Today is her sixth day behind bars.

Sheriff Carter has declined to intervene on Mrs. Davis’ behalf as she acts to uphold Kentucky law against a federal court opinion. It is not known if she, her attorney Mat Staver or anyone else has demanded his protection from abusive process.

The sheriff’s department says it “operates on the highest of standards to serve our community” and that it takes  “service to another level” with its deputies and staff committed to “multifaceted service to our community.” The departmen says “if a victim of domestic violence files for an emergency protective order, we will serve those orders, but we will also give the victim the assistance needed to protect themselves from future violence. Service is extenuated beyond the call of duty in the office of the Rowan County sheriff because the hearts of the deputies and staff cannot rest.”

Sheriff Carter intends to develop a “professional office that is courteous and committed to serving the community” and earn its respect and trust in a “serious and professional approach to law enforcement that is honest and fair.”

Which law?

“This situation absolutely didn’t have to happen, if only Kim Davis followed the law,” says Sarah Warbelow of Human Rights Campaign, a gay pressure group.

Yes, but the law is written in Kentucky’s constitution as an amendment in favor of marriage, and Obergefell is not law, only an opinion from the least of three federal branches. It is an opinion on a topic that has resided among the states and their peoples since the founding and is not within the subject matter jurisdiction of U.S. courts. Which law does Mrs. Davis violate by refusing to issue poofter licenses?

Mrs. Davis is jailed for upholding her oath of office, and upholding the law of the land in Kentucky.

Whence her protection? Whence a protective order on her behalf?

Whence Sheriff Carter?

The doctrine of the lesser magistrate commands Mr. Carter, a practicing Christian who knows about Daniel, Peter and other defiant characters such as the Lord Jesus himself, to protect Mrs. Davis as long as she is in his jurisdiction.

The duty of Christians is to pray for their representatives and judges, their superiors, equals and inferiors. In their “war room” prayer closets they are to uphold sheriffs and clerks. If these officials have a private and secret form of Christianity that appears not in the public square, Christians should lament the trend and work, for God’s glory, to reverse it. Mrs. Davis’ convictions are no secret, and she is acting upon them in good faith, based upon the laws of her state. Christianity is not a private system of opinion, but a world-changing system of life, law and liberty. Would that Sheriff Carter boldly step forward to defend the innocent and the right.

— David Tulis hosts a show 9 to 11 weekdays at AM 1240 Hot News Talk Radio covering local economy and free markets here in Chattanooga and beyond.

Sources; Rowan County sheriff’s department. http://www.rowancountysheriff.net/index.shtml1

Joseph Farah, “The law abider who sits in jail; *** Joseph Farah asks, ‘What crime did Kentucky clerk commit?’” http://www.wnd.com/2015/09/the-law-abider-who-sits-in-jail/#EfmJASszgzvYRJsb.99

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