DON'T PRESS PLAY UNTIL I TELL YOU
If you are extremely religious, which I know about 90 percent of you are, you should not read this article or watch the video. It will surely offend you and you will hate me.
The video is almost six minutes long. You have a busy life. You should probably move on. Don't take a chance of being offended.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
For years I attended Rockingham County Commissioner meetings or I should say I attended monthly Christian services hosted by the Commissioners. Over the years the services varied in intensity, but they were always Christian. And, why shouldn't they be? Hundred percent of Rockingham County citizens are Christian and support mixing Christian prayer with local government business. It's the American Way. Forget the Constitution, it's for heathens and people who like to carry AR-15s to the grocery store.
City Council members say Christian prayers and the School Board used to pray but chickened out after warnings from their attorney. Occasionally a School Board member, like Herman Hines or Wayne Kirkman, would ignore the warnings and break out a Jesus prayer.
Despite fitful demands from good Christian member Ron Price, the School Board sits in silence and contemplates their navels during prayer. I wonder what they and everyone else is thinking during the moment of silence.
I remember thinking let's get on with the meeting so the Superintendent can tell the Board what to do and Celeste DePriest, Wayner Kirkman, and Herman Hines can futilely bark about the Superintendent's instructions before whimpering away into silence.
If you decide to watch the video, the first thing you should notice is the date. The meeting was held more than six months ago. I've had to wait more than six months to say anything about the Commissioners prayers because someone I know spoke at the meeting.
Criticism of the Commissioners would have almost certainly have killed any chance of this person having her request honored by the Commissioners. The Commissioners know who their friends are and they don't forget. There is a price to be paid for criticising the County Commissioners.
If you voted against Craig Travis, I suggest you keep that to yourself until after the November election. If you voted against Keith Mabe, it's no big deal...he comes off the board in December and all the other Commissioners are more than happy to be rid of him. Swilling paregoric, until you're blasted, doesn't make friends, but it does influence people to vote you out of office.
Now I think I will turn this article over to pastor Milton Kennon to fill the room with a prayer to the Lord and Jesus.
Press the video play button now. I hope you can understand pastor Kennon's dialect.
I should note the Christian prayer at the following month's Commissioner meeting was said in Spanish with a translator. If not for the translator, the Commissioners would have been confounded. But, don't worry, it was also a prayer filled with Jesus.
A Christian prayer said in Spanish and then translated to English is the Commissioners' idea of diversity.
Note everyone stands during the prayer and pledge. My friend, who made the request to the Commissioners did. She was afraid not to. I never did. Sitting cost me a lot of votes. Sitting would have cost her.
Per standard procedure, the prayer was followed by a pledge of allegiance and recognition of the Volunteer of the Month.
I have no idea what the Volunteer does and how he or she is selected. It was apparently too much trouble for the Commissioners to tell the audience, most of whom were there about some zoning matter. Rockingham County citizens don't really give a shit about anything but zoning. It's usually about somebody wanting to rezone a piece of property and the request offends all the neighbors.
November's Volunteer of the Month was Nancy Ashby. Nany hobbled her way to the front of the room to receive her certificate and congratulations.
Listen closely to what Nancy says to Chairman Mark Richardson as she approaches her target.
"I want to tell y'all how much I appreciate you having prayer and doing the pledge. Don't y'all stop it." - Nancy said.
It was probably Nancy's first and last meeting with the Rockingham County Commissioners. She just wanted to make sure the rest of the county continues to hear praise for Jesus and pledges to our country.
Chairman Mark Richardson replied, "Well, it's apparently a well-established habit."
Indeed it is, Chairman Richardson.
Note: A group of citizens has sued and a court has ordered the Rowan County (near Statesville, Concord, and Salisbury) Commissioners to cease prayer at their meetings. The Commissioners have appealed the legal decision to the United States Supreme Court.