Sunday, August 21, 2005

Williamson County Government Promotes Christian Church And Encourages Non-Church Goer To Bear False Witness

Yessiree. You read it right. It all started when the government of Williamson County held its first fair in 50 years earlier this month. In and of itself a county fair is a pretty neutral event, right?

Not on Sunday, August 7," which Williamson County declared "Church Day." On "Church Day," Williamson County admitted for free entire Christian families who brought church bulletins to prove their church attendance, while those without church bulletins were charged the regular admission price. The County also provided a parochial group with the County Ag Expo Center so that they could hold a Christian worship service. Synagogue, mosque, and temple goers did not enjoy special promotions or County largesse.

That's only the half of it. Today Yesterday on the local on-line Church-State Forum, a member reported that when he called Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson to lodge a complaint, the Chief Executive "indicated" that an alternative for non-church-goers was to print a fake program to gain free admittance to the fair.

Let's put aside the fact that the County Mayor totally missed the point by confusing indignation at unjust and preferential treatment with a personal wish for free admittance. His Honor the Mayor was encouraging someone to bear false witness, to lie, and to cheat the promotion for selfish gain. Does that strike anybody else as un-Christian, and hence, hypocritical?

08/21/2005, 9:00 a.m. Update: It occurred to me during my early morning reflection today that Williamson County's "Church Day" promotion may be discriminating against some Christian denominations. For instance, take the Quakers (a.k.a., Religious Society of Friends--note to younger members of my readership: it has nothing to do with worshipping the popular television show). They do not meet in churches; they have meeting houses. Since they practice the discipline of Quietism during their meetings, I cannot see that there is very much activity or agenda to print up on a bulletin. Bringing a blank sheet of paper as their "church bulletin" to the fair would again be misleading and seemingly un-Christian, since it might force a ticket-taker to turn certain Christian families away from the gate because of their meeting habits.


  1. I'll leave my more pointed and offensive comments at the keyboard this time...

    I would however like to say that I have an active relationship with Jesus on a daily basis and have not remotely been an active member of a "church" in 11 years. I have had a number of churches groups based out of my house, none of which had fliers or fell on Sunday… … .

  2. Mike, who did this hurt?


  3. In so far that Williamson County and the Fair Board has chosen to charge more for entry based on religious practice or belief, it deprives its residents of a basic right, to be governed without religious bias. If the county can treat people of different faiths differently at its county fair, there is nothing to stop it from doing so in the other aspects of government. The 1st Amendment to the Constitution and the 14 Amendment, as outlined in Everson v. Board of Education (1947), give all US citizens a right to live in a city, county, state, and country that does not promote one religion over another or over non-religion.