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Pastor Clements asserts rights as Floresville resident, American

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The author of this entry is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or
February 17, 2016 | 3,477 views | 7 comments

By Mike Clements

Recently, I expressed my opinion to the city council as an American citizen and resident of Floresville. I am reasonably confident that my freedom of expression is still intact even though I have a pastoral vocation. It has been said; I should not involve myself ... in what the Bible calls “worldly things.” Is voicing one’s opinion in a public assembly “worldly things”? If so, what shall we do with men like Dr. John Witherspoon, a Presbyterian Minister who signed the Declaration of Independence? What shall we do with all the ministers who signed the Constitution like Johnson, Livingston, Williamson, and Baldwin? In fact, 10% of the signers were clergy and another 15% were influenced by the clergy and studied theology in college. What shall we do with ministers like Dr. Martin Luther King who was America’s most visible civil rights leader? In jail, King wrote: ...I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town.... The gospel Dr. King wrote about was the gospel of the civil rights movement -- a movement that influenced public policy. Shall we deem all these men engaging in “worldly things”? Were these men derelict in their ministerial duties by attempting to influence public policy for the public good? I thank the Lord for what these men did and what men like them are doing today. Could Edmund Burke be right in writing, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing?

Additionally, a few have opposed the manner by which I spoke concerning the recall petition. It should be noted that the city secretary’s affidavit on the recall petition did not record any duplicate signatures as Mr. Gonzales incorrectly alleges. First Baptist Church would never stoop to unethical or illegal tactics. However, my objective was not the recall petition but the enforcement mandate of the charter, hence the misuse of power. Nevertheless, why in the world would I use such provocative and incendiary phrases like “Mob of three” and “Banana Republic” to describe our present city council? Let me quote the last part of the First Amendment: ...and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Via my opinion, I sought to redress the folly of the council. The charter to the city is like the Constitution is to the three branches of the Federal government. The city charter constrains the whims of council members through the “rule of law”.

Section 3.12 of the charter states that the city manager must enforce all ordinances. The law on the books at the time of the meeting addressed compliance codes for game rooms within city limits. It became apparent to me that three members of the council did not want the city manager to follow the charter. As the city attorney emerged he advised the members of the possibility to set aside (my phrase) the charter through discretion. By what authority does counsel give such advice? A vote of 3-1 made the charter moot. A precedent now stands to turn a blind eye to the charter. When the charter does not suit the fancy of the majority, the Charter can essentially be ‘virtually’ amended by the discretion of the majority. I contend that the council has every right to vote their conscience regarding the game room business; however they should not be able to disallow enforcement of ordinances using discretion. Our Constitution created a republic and as such we must operate by the “rule of law” and have checks and balances. The city council’s actions with the sanction of the city attorney muted the exercise of a republic. Now, since the charter is purely academic what we have left is “mob rule” or a “banana republic”. Of course, I am merely stating my opinion as an American and resident of Floresville, Texas.

(Response to Letter in WCN by Alfred Gonzales
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Your Opinions and Comments

February 22 at 1:40pm
The role of spiritual and religious leadership has been undermined through the use of the non-profit tax law. This law prevents pastors from espousing certain political comments at the risk of losing their non-profit status (IRS... More ›

Russell Dickerson  
Floresville, TX  
February 18 at 7:03am
Its a bit ironic that, considering how close Fred is to meeting God, that he would go so far out of his way to mock those who serve him. :-)

Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
February 17 at 8:23pm

Russell Dickerson  
Floresville, TX  
February 17 at 8:20pm

February 17 at 6:49pm
Jim do you trust in God Jim do you trust in God put your trust in his son which is Jesus who sacrificed his life for you and for me Jim if your money says trust in God then trust in God not on machines blessings to all in Floresville... More ›

Jim Lawhon  
Floresville, TX  
February 17 at 4:57pm
Pastor Clements - City Council meetings begin with a prayer and our Mayor states she is lead by a higher power, which we all hope is God. Regardless of one's religious beliefs, religion is an integral part of who we are as... More ›

February 17 at 4:28pm
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