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“You are protecting everything we value": Commission Approves Sanctuary County Resolution

Jack Parker addressed the County Commission Monday evening in support of the Sanctuary County resolution.

Bobbi Smith read from an excerpt of a guest column written by Jack Parker that was published in the Review earlier this month which stated those who don’t share their values “should look elsewhere” to live.

Rev. Sheldon Livesay compared the commission’s approval of the Sanctuary County resolution to Moses raising his staff to God while the Hebrews in the wilderness were being attacked by the Amalekites.

The final vote was 18-0 with one abstention. Commissioner George Bridwell said he felt the resolution should have gone through committee before coming to the commission for a vote.

The Hawkins County Commission voted 18-0 with one abstention Monday in favor of a resolution declaring Hawkins County a “Constitutional Sanctuary County”.

The gist of the resolution is that commissioners “reaffirm the protections of liberty” found in the U.S. and Tennessee Constitutions.

The resolution further states that no agent, employee, or official of Hawkins County will knowingly infringe upon any individual’s rights as expressed in either Constitution.

“Any agent, employee or official of Hawkins County is encouraged to object to and/or legally fight any action by either the State of Tennessee or the federal government when in their opinion that action infringes on the rights of Hawkins County citizens,” the resolution states.

Jack Parker who was the spokesperson for several supporters of the resolution attending Monday’s commission meeting, noted that “Sanctuaries Cities” such as San Francisco chose not to prosecute illegal immigrants and other criminals “as they deem politically useful”.

“In contrast a Constitutional Sanctuary pledges to follow the laws within the U.S. and State Constitution and the Bill of Rights, while refusing to pass or enforce those contrary to those founding principles,” Parker said. “In short, these two concepts are polar opposites.”

Parker acknowledged that most the public officials already take oaths pledging to uphold and defend the Constitutions.

“Unfortunately many at the highest levels of government find it expedient to break or severely distort their oaths when it’s politically expedient,” Parker added. “We see the effects of this on a daily basis as the country we knew crumbles beneath our feet, and our rights evaporate like snowflakes. Personally I don’t have much hope for reforming the corrupt federal system with its many lawmaking agencies run by so many unelected so-called experts with revolving doors to cash laden corporations.”

Parker added, “I believe that local government is our best hope to save the country. This resolution is a step towards returning power back toward the people.”

A video of the complete discussion on the Constitutional Sanctuary County resolution can be seen in the online version of this article at

“You are protecting everything we value”

Also speaking in favor of the resolution Monday was Rev. Sheldon Livesay from the Of One Accord Ministry who said the nation has never been under attack like it is today.

He used the example of Moses and the Hebrews in the wilderness being attacked by the Amalekites, when Moses raised his staff, meaning that they looked to God for their help.

“Our founders set aside authority at the county level because they understood that a county can act as a Moses,” Livesay said. “You are protecting everything we value. I believe God has raised each of you for such a time as this. He has positioned you with this in mind — 1,463 families have moved into our county in the last two years. Many have fled persecution where they lived. Our residents need us to protect them.”

”You do not turn away your neighbors”

Bobbi Smith whose family moved to Hawkins County in the mid 1970s told the commission she didn’t disagree with supporting the Constitutions. Smith said she disagreed with some of the comments Parker made related to the resolution in a guest column that was published in the Review earlier this month.

Smith said everyone in the room should agree that they all support the federal and state constitutions, as well as county ordinances.

Smith said Tennessee is a “welcoming place to live” and she disagrees with dividing yourself from your neighbors because you disagree on political or religious issues.

She pointed to an excerpt from Parker’s column which states, “Passing this resolution will make a clear statement that we welcome those who share our values. Others should look elsewhere.”

Smith said, “I always considered that Hawkins County was and is a welcoming place to live. Because you disagree on a political issue or a religious issue, you do not turn away your neighbors.”

“God bless you”

Commissioner George Bridwell who abstained during the vote, said he wasn’t opposed to the resolution. He was opposed to the fact that not enough people had an opportunity to participate in the discussion.

Bridwell said felt the resolution should have gone to a committee for discussion rather than coming straight to the commission for a vote.

“It really should go back to committee to be discussed so — even as commissioners — we could go to our constituents and explain to them why we’re doing what we’re doing, rather than, we need to do it,” Bridwell said.

Larry Thomas who moved to Hawkins County with his wife from Maryland two years ago said they were asking the commission to protect their Constitutional rights “from a government that wants to steal them away from us”.

“Once you allow it to start you will never be able to stop it,” Thomas said. “It will run through this country like a plague.”

After the commission approved the resolution Thomas stood during applause from the audience and yelled, “God bless you.”

Jeff Bobo, Editor

Published in The Rogersville Review - Jan 27, 2022

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