Saturday, December 13, 2008

Democrat Pot calls Republican Kettle

More thoughts on Commissioner Coonrod's Alarming Statements

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the comments made by County Commissioner Coonrod today. It seems to me the Greene County Commission is sending a lot of mixed messages regarding what is appropriate and not appropriate in regards to free speech these days.

Greene County Presiding Commissioner Dave Coonrod recently said he was speaking for the entire County Commission when he stated that even if Circuit Clerk Steve Helms disassociated himself from his County office when writing a letter to the editor he didn't have a right to do so. If you are interested in Coonrod's comments you'll find them linked in a previous JackeHammer posting.

I didn't weigh in during the election cycle when there was a controversy over whether Helms should have a poster hanging in his County office which, among other historical references, included the 10 Commandments but, Commissioner Coonrod did. He advised Helms to remove the poster from his office because it might be offensive to some patrons of the office.

As an American and a Christian, I had no problem with Helms displaying that poster including the 10 Commandments but, if I was opposed to the 10 Commandments hanging in the Circuit Clerk's office why wouldn't I also be opposed to a daily choir singing Christmas carols at the County Courthouse?

Don't get me wrong, as an American and a Christian I think it is lovely that choirs are singing Christmas carols in the County Courthouse rotunda. I love the idea.

I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It took one offended atheist's complaint to cause Helms to remove that poster from the Circuit Clerk's office wall. Why isn't this atheist complaining about Christmas carols sung in the Greene County Courthouse rotunda? Could this have been an attack on an incumbent Republican Circuit Clerk in an attempt to effect the November election!?

I'm just asking some questions here, I don't know the answers, and I've already admitted to being naive in the past so, feel free to honor me with that moniker anytime. It's been highly publicized that Christmas carols are being sung in the County Courthouse rotunda but no one seems to be offended enough to complain and the very County Commissioner who went on the record as opposing a poster which depicted American historical events and contained a religious reference has sanctioned these carols. Some people would say there's a word for that, but today, they are being as quiet as a Christmas mouse. ;)

I am opposed to singular citizens censoring religious freedom under the guise of tolerance for all and I am opposed to opening a can of worms which gives elite, elected office holders the power to make judgement calls for everyone about what is acceptable and unacceptable speech, about what is appropriate or inappropriate religious reference and about what can be worn on a T-shirt within a County building. I don't care if you are a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian, a Constitution Party member, an Independent, a Green Party member or a member of any other number of political speech is under constitutional protection for a reason. It is in times when an individual's speech offends a person that the wheat is separated from the chaff in regards to whether a person believes it is a valued right.

Freedom of speech should not be used as a partisan exercise.

In a highly publicized public meeting, an independently elected County Commission office holder, speaking on behalf of other independently elected County Commission office holders, admonished another independently elected County office holder for exercising his freedom to express his opinion in the public arena. In doing so, that independently elected County Commission office holder exercised his freedom to express the opinions of himself and the elected Commission in the public arena. It appears that Coonrod believes he has retained the right to express his, and the entire Commissions,' personally held opinions in a public forum while believing that Helms should be censored for exercising his own.

Ironic, ain't it?


tom said...

one might also wonder why there has been NO outrage for the saying of a prayer before city council meetings. I could care less either way but it appears some in this area want there way of life to be the only means by which we all practice.
It makes one wonder if said complainants wife did not say a prayer the whole time she sat on city council, and if she did why didn't hubby launch into a diatribe about his wife being required to say a prayer.
I would bet it had more to do with politics then any other motive, it wouldn't surprise me to find the party structure was the instigator in this.
It backfired though, because in my neighborhood while Mr Helms was in my front yard talking to me we had people drive up my driveway to stop and ask if he was the individual that was being harassed about the poster. When he replied in the affirmative they said they were going to cast their ballot for him.
If democrats would only learn to turn the other cheek when something they disagree with "offends them" it would be quite possible that the republicans would learn to do the same much in the same regard.
Personally I believe what a person does on their property is of no consequence to anyone else as long as no one is being harmed through fraud and deceit. Same goes for a poster which can absolutely NOT "offend" anyone since it is an inanimate object. At this point you might take this to mean that government workers should be allowed to hang up Playboy centerfolds after all it is only a picture. Well nudes that have stood the test of time like those in Washington DC are considered piece of art, however any one can sprawl themselves naked in a picture that does not make it art worthy. You have got to have some sense of good taste in areas that are open to the public.

Jackie Melton said...

"I would bet it had more to do with politics then any other motive, it wouldn't surprise me to find the party structure was the instigator in this."


That's a shame isn't it? I mean, if that's the case?

People would be so much better off if they'd stand on their sincerely held principles and quit just playing around with feigned principles when it happens to suit their own political agenda.

I worry about what it says about our society when what used to be genuinely held principled standards of belief are now, in many cases, simply political chess pieces to be moved around a board to effect voters.

Even if it wasn't true, in this case, that the 10 commandment poster was used as a political ploy, the fact, alone, that we have to question if it was or not...sad, very sad statement.

I'm NOT Sheila's husband said...


Are you saying that Wright's wife is Sheila Wright, former city council member?

Even Life Of Jason knows that ain't true.

When you get a basic fact like this wrong, it makes people wonder what else you say is not true.

Most of the people I spoke with believed Helms,Wampler and Wright cooked the scheme up for the free publicity.

tom said...

The Shiela's husband comment is an inside joke. I know he isn't Shiela's husband but the two have a strange resemblance

Jackie Melton said...


tom said...

LOL !!

Perhaps now people will stop asking me if I'm related to the coach

Jackie Melton said...

ARE you related to the coach?