We get evils we deserve on city council, county commission

Jimmy Lee Moore visits the Hamilton County sheriff’s department annex and speaks with an internal affairs officer, giving an oral narrative of a jail abuse incident based on his affidavit. (Photo David Tulis)
This Chattanooga police offers is harassing shoe seller Noah McLemore in one more unremarkable instance of old-guard policing that plagues Chattanooga’s police department. (Photo Noah McLemore)
Ray Nix, a street preacher, holds his grounds against cops downtown in Chattanooga. He is arrested, but the charges are dismissed. (Photo David Tulis)

We get what we deserve in Chattanooga as executive government at the state capitol and at city hall conspire against us to bring us health, safety, welfare by executive decree. 

By David Tulis / NoogaRadio 92.7 FM

I have asked myself in speaking with candidates for office why we have such lackluster personalities in city council, city hall and in county government. 

I realize that to have high expectations for these men and women in office — or those seeking to replace them — is to be unrealistic. They do not stand out in defense of the people and their property because they adequately and perhaps successfully represent their constituents as government has brought local economy to its knees. 

City council members have not revolted in unison against the edicts of Mayor Berke and Gov. Bill Lee. That shows that they are willing recipients of government-induced depression and collapse. In their minds, depression and despair are a necessary consequence of a genuine political necessity, that of total lockdown, just now starting to “ease.” 

They are willing recipients of these abuses because their voters are willing recipients. They are quiet because their voters are. These elected officials do not hold any sort of protest. They do not cite constitutional protections to the press and at press conferences and in noisy demonstrations because their constituents don’t express anger at violations of the constitution. If the people don’t, why should the reps?

We get in government what we deserve. 

The fault of officials lies at the source, which is to say the people who put them in office.

Victims of executive power

The people are willing to accept the power of executive government. The people of Hamilton County and Chattanooga believe in the extreme actions of executive government because they agree with them. They agree that to be saved from the flu, powerful men must take extraordinary steps in violation of law to fight sickness and effectively send the the lives of tens of thousands of people into depression. 

The people accept the violation of rights, the submission to administrative rules by departments of health, enforcement of edicts by police departments, suppression of liberties.

The mayor’s state of the city speech was artfully crafted to present an alternative reality to that which his rules, along with governor Lee’s, created.

I don’t have any sense of resentment against these council people and commission members. 

My lament is about the state of our hearts as Tennesseans, and as residents or people who live in my hometown of Chattanooga. There is at best a weak pulse for liberty, a pale look on the skin when there should be vigorous defense of family, property, the right to run businesses and to prosper by one’s own efforts. 

The suppression of restaurants and salons, and social distancing administrative rules that are obeyed as if they had law behind them — are a punishment for offenses not committed, for wrongs not done, for a state of being among the people of long standing. Of long, long standing. 

Source of public daze

Because the people are insensible to these actions of executive absolutist government as abuses, they accept them as necessary and try to deal with the requirements in good spirit. 

One could praise them for that good attitude and express in their favor admiration for their forbearance. God is instilling virtue in them — patience, sharing, kindness, family time. Absence from public school.

But civic-minded compliance and public minded forbearance cover what appears a deep, dark pit in our hearts. 

What lies behind the public stupor? Loss of vigor in Christianity as a system of life and belief. The shuttering of churches is just one of many points showing how badly the church has lost its savor.

“We are using just a very common-sense approach,” says Rev. Carlos Williams of Orchard Knob Missionary Baptist Church, “and that is, we don’t feel comfortable reopening until there is a vaccine out there.” 

Reports the Times Free Press: “Despite the green light to gather in person, the majority of Chattanooga’s churches apparently will keep their doors closed for now.” 

Keep their doors closed for now —

The church of which my wife, Jeannette, and I are members will be closed for weeks ahead, with “services” delivered online. 

Christians are not offended by the lawlessness of their elected officials, their open violation of their oaths of office. Officials have acted fraudulently and in bad faith. They have misrepresented the law and the facts pertaining to CV-19, and have brought the land into a depression greater than that of 1930.

We are not offended by their lawlessness because we cannot imagine God being offended in ours.

Source: Wyatt Massey, “How Chattanooga churches are weighing reopening during the coronavirus pandemic,” Chattanooga Times Free Press, May 9, 2020 

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