My Statement to the Hamilton County Commission on Their Support of YES on Amendment 1

imageBeth asked me to put down my comments in a blog. Since I spoke extemporaneously I am trying to recreate what I said. This is the intent of my comments. This is not word for word.

I want to thank the County commissioners on the ability to speak against your support of Amendment One as the representatives of Hamilton County. I am the Rev. Brian Merritt the Evangelist of Mercy Junction that meets in the midst of College Hill Courts on the Westside. An area that is planned to be demolished in the next three years.

I have absolutely no problem telling this board that they have absolutely no authority to tell the citizens of Hamilton County what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. I am from a denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA), that has strongly supported a woman’s right to reproductive freedom. The principle of separation of church and state is an honored principle that precedes both our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution as a bedrock principle of Democracy on these shores. We do not need elected county commissioner’s theology imposed on us as citizens. These moves are an over reach of authority to enforce a fundamentalist and evangelical theology and Biblical interpretation upon a citizenry and not regulatory practice. I do not mean to be judgmental, but as far as I can see this county commission itself only has one member represented that has a uterus and reproductive organs.

We all know what this is about. It is certainly not about regaining regulatory powers to the state but an attempt to bully an electorate cynically into their personal theology. There are right now meetings on the right crafting legislation to limit women’s rights if this is passed in the State of Tennessee. There are those who would game our Non-profit system to corruptly further their state sanctioned theology and this should not be.

As a follower of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ I must stand oppose your vote. I follow the Christ who healed the woman with the issuance of blood, the Christ who stood with the woman caught in the very act of adultery about to be stoned to death, I stand with Mary who was the first to proclaim publicly the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is what it means for me to follow Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you.

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