Another century, another controversy for Rhea County.
In the 20th Century, the hot issue was teaching creation vs. evolution in the school systems (which gave us the wonderful play Inherit the Wind
. Now as the 21st Century begins, Rhea County once again finds itself at the center of a debate over ethics and morality--this time on the issue of gay marriage.
As the article from The Tennessean
points out, the commision was in session for a standard, run of the mill meeting--that was until the end. Then a commissioner decides to take a stand on gay marraiges and ban them from Rhea County. Before you can say "Monkey" three times fast, the issue has gone from banning gay marriage to banning gays all together from the county. Now, I'm not quite sure how this happened and from reading the article, I'm not quite sure anyone at the meeting is sure how it happened. I have to wonder if the meeting had gone on too long and maybe these guys were all a bit antsy from having had too much coffee and needing the meeting to end to hit the head or something. Or maybe they all just really wanted to get out of there to be home in time to watch the Andy Griffith repeat at 9 p.m. I'm not quite sure what went on, but it's got out of control in a big way. Now, poor ol' Rhea County is at the center of a controversy it never really wanted--sort of like in the last century with the Scopes Monkey Trial. (My first question--will they make a drama out of this and, if so, what is the title to be?)
Now whether or not a county can or should allow gay marriages is up to that county. But to say that you aren't going to allow people who are gay to live in your county at all without being arrested for an indecent lifestyle, well, that's just going too far. I know there are some who will pull out their Bibles and say--well, they're sinning. Well, here's a newsflash for you--we're all sinners. The only perfect person who ever lived was Jesus Christ and we killed him. He died for our sins, shedding his blood as a sacrifice for the sins we commit. So, if you're going to have a witchhunt for the "immoral" homosexual community, than maybe a witchhunt for the "immoral" heterosexual community is in order. Gay or straight, it doesn't really matter. We've all sinned and fallen short. I also hate to tell some people this, but in God's eyes, there is no heirarchy of sins. They're pretty much all bad in His eyes. It's we as human beings who have given them this order and rank--a lot of it to make ourselves feel better about ourselves. "You know, I've sinned, but it's not quite as bad as the other guy, so I must be doing OK."
Now, this whole things reminds me a bit of a web site for Loudon County that used to exist and was run by a guy named Van Shaver. When I worked at the paper in Loudon, he used to come by all the time trying to get the paper on board with his web site. And his web site was a pretty good thing--www.vanshaver.com--for business. However, he also included a lot of his personal views that made the paper shy away from entering into too great an alliance with him. One was his stance on gays which was they're all going to hell and need to get right to God right now. But the other one--and by far funnier--was his view on Loudon County. See, the problem with Loudon County was they were allowing foreigners to live there--and not just people from other countries, mind you. We're talking people who weren't born and bred in Loudon County. Van's idea was to build a wall up so that no one could move into or come through the county without permission. And then to live in Loudon County, you'd have to pass some kind of test--knowing Loudon County, a lot of it would have to do with the big Loudon/Lenoir City rivallry. Now, just so you don't think I'm making this up, I've found the link and posted it Here
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/02/2004 02:38:00 PM