Homosexual City Councilmember Chris Anderson is demanding that a circuit court judge reverse a recall petition that he says is an instrument of official repression against him, violates his rights as an officeholder and destroys his representation. The recall, he says, is unconstitutional because it accepts the role of Christianity in the political process.
The lawsuit to stifle the public implications of Christianity seeks the same effects upon Christian people that many of its adherents impose internally.
For decades American Christianity has censored the claims of the gospel so that it no longer dares show its face in the public square, in the sciences, arts and other fields of human genius.
Mr. Anderson, who describes himself as “a member of a protected class,” seeks to enforce this privatization of Christianity, so that it has no effect anywhere except between the two ears of the faithful. Mr. Anderson represents a district in Chattanooga in which reside blacks, many of whom voted for him even though they knew — or suspected — he is a homosexual.
The lawsuit with its news report clippings as exhibits focuses on the volunteer political work of Chattanooga’s richest man, Charles Wysong, whom with his wife, Brenda, fathered 15 children. One of these sons is searched out as having Mr. Wysong is an outspoken Christian who defends marriage and opposes homosexuality as a sin and a judgment. The suit seeks to nullify the petition recall because Christianity is a “discriminatory purpose.”
Red reasons, green reasons
The lawsuit with its news report clippings as exhibits focuses on the volunteer political work of Chattanooga’s richest man, Charles Wysong, whom with his wife, Brenda, fathered 15 children. One of his sons is searched out as having obtained the Anderson recall website. Mr. Wysong is an outspoken Christian who defends marriage and opposes homosexuality as a sin and a judgment. The suit seeks to nullify the petition recall because Christianity is a “discriminatory purpose.”
The recall activists follow a protocol that allows for election-helping public servants to know that the process is not abusive. First a small group petitions for a recall. Once their framing of the legal language on the ballot, they have a duty to draw a larger sampling, to verify their initial hunch that a throw-the-rascal recall is in order. In the case of District 7, the recallers have about 70 days to establish the popularity of their claim by gaining additional signatures — 1,700 or more, or 15 percent of the last number of people who voted.
In other words, the protocol requires public affirmation of the sentiment expressed by the early activists who hatched the recall effort. Once their grievance is sufficiently ratified, the recall goes on the general ballot in August.
Mr. Anderson has detected at least one Christian among the group assailing him, and that Christian’s motivation is objection to homosexuality. This single motivation in a single resident corrupts the entire effort. “Unfortunately, the discrimination bad apple spoils the whole bunch. It also spoils the recall process, which if properly done is an important aspect of our republican form of government,” he says, piously.
The recall activists are several. They include a storekeep; Christian ministers of the gospel such as the Revs. Jonathan Johnson, Alfred Johnson and George Clay; and Gary and Rosalyn Hickman, who run a marriage ministry program, Covenant Keepers; and resident Gil Shropshire, whom the lawsuit says Mr. Wysong “is actively manipulating.”
That they have gone out of their way to set forth “green reasons” are mere window dressing and tomfoolery, the lawsuit says, “to hide the true motivation behind the recall.” An open letter by Mr. Shropshire is deemed a sham, part of “every effort possible to create a pretext for the true purpose of the recall.” And that purpose is not the acts of Mr. Anderson or his failures to act, but his homosexuality, his personhood as a gay and member of a protected class.
Quite redundantly, the document explores the red reasons for the lawsuit. These are rooted primarily in Christianity and religion in general, both of which are protected by the first amendment to the federal constitution.
Majority voter = election outlaw
From the filing:
“Wysong has a long anti LBGT history. He has actively made comments against Councilman Anderson because [he] is openly gay. *** [Mr. Wysong] referred to gay rights as sodomy and called a councilman’s plans for same-sex benefits ‘evil and wicked.’ *** Mahmood Abdullah *** has publicly stated the reason for the recall *** ‘He doesn’t represent what the people want. *** His only goal is to boost homosexuality.’ *** Pastor [George] Clay said, ‘[W]hatever is an abomination to God is an abomination to me. We’re going to have to take a stand. *** Hickman states ‘our position is that marriage is between a man and a woman … and [w]e uphold godly marriage … Mr. Anderson is very bold and has let us know where he stands. We feel like the church has to take a bold stance as well.’ *** ‘Mr. Anderson never said anything whatsoever about pushing for sodomite benefits, and that’s just how I’m going to put it. He never said anything about that when he was running to get elected.’ George Goss, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Feb. 1, 2014.”
So these are the red reasons. The reasons for which the Hamilton County election commission should understand no election recall can be allowed. Red is bad. Red is evil. Red means stop.
Sodomy is oral or anal copulation between humans, especially those of the same sex. It’s also termed in Black’s Law Dictionary as buggery, crime against nature, abominable and detestable crime against nature, unnatural offense and unspeakable crime — no longer crimes under Texas vs. Lawrence, 539 U.S. 558 (2003).
Mr. Anderson doesn’t allege any of these opinions are themselves unlawful. But that it is unlawful for the commission to accept a recall petition if they are in evidence in the fact base of the lawsuit. With an air of great propriety and civility Mr. Anderson says the recall should be barred because he wants to protect the voters. If the Christian theory is evident, a “fair and open election” is not possible. And a recall tramples on the fair and open election that got him his seat. If one recall is approved, he fears, others may be proposed. He demands “reasonable guidelines” that would prevent the commission “from approving recall after recall regardless of the merit or validity or whether the recall is advance for an unconstitutional or discriminatory purpose.”
Mr. Anderson has a right to the office, and if he is thrown out, he will not have anyone in the post to represent him, he says.
The lawsuit tells a great deal about the ideology of homosexuality. It esteems democratic processes lightly. It would have the state censor public opinion, corral “good” opinions to allow a recall and send to the slaughterhouse “bad” opinions and perspective. Mr. Anderson cares nothing for the other motivations in the district that might favor his removal. These other reasons, stressed by the recall activists, are simply to be deleted from consideration.
Homosexuals bravely breathe the intoxicating fumes of bigotry, thinking you won’t notice. As their shares peak culturally, they are creating in the gigantic majority of voters and commoners like you and me a reservoir of hostility.
But why? Gays are generally accepted. They’ve made their way out into the open. They face little discrimination in the workplace, in the corporate world, and none in the media. Establishment opinion and culture are in their favor because, in America anyway; people are gracious and generous. In a manner far exceeding their tiny numbers, they have turned a nation and a people in their favor.
Confident that public goodwill toward sexual minorities is an everlasting well that he cannot pollute, Mr. Anderson is becoming a local symbol of all that is intolerant about homosexuals.
He is indignant.
He is testy.
He is ready to take up any slight with a snarl that he disguises as the firm smile of a formerly oppressed and self-confident sexual minority. Does his argument have the components of standard-issue bigotry? Maybe. Is he is riding a wave that is cresting? Does he have sufficient foresight to know when to stop?
— David Tulis is host of Nooganomics.com at Copperhead 1240 AM in Chattanooga, airing weekdays 1 to 3 p.m. and covering local economy and free markets. It streams live at ustream.tv