Image: On August 29, 2017, these citizen activists and volunteers had just finished loading the truck behind them with supplies to provide relief to Tropical Storm Harvey victims. From left to right, John Wertz, Mark Frank, Paul Crowson, Bob Bagley, Kelli Cook, Helen Strack.
Conroe, September 24 – In the American and Texas political systems, citizens are the “governmental authority which God has established,” according to Romans 13 and the Enlightenment philosophers who followed it. When anyone, including those who often refer to themselves as “elected officials” rebel against the citizens, they are rebelling “against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” Romans 13:1-2.
Since the American colonies’ Declaration of Independence, Texas’ Declaration of Independence, and the enactment of many resolutions and laws in Texas, “we the people” are the governmental authorities. In fact, it’s clear philosophically that people who have run for elected office and won are merely public servants to the true governmental authorities.
Great citizen activists
Montgomery County enjoys great citizen activists. The people in the photograph above are superb examples: Bob Bagley, Kelli Cook, Paul Crowson, Mark Frank, Helen Strack, and John Wertz. Bagley did lower himself from the highest position, citizen, to become a member of the Montgomery County Hospital District Board of Directors. Frank and Wertz have remained citizens but also serve as Republican Precinct Chairs.
All six of them are remarkable citizen activists. Bagley has worked on dozens of political projects and causes for decades. He served on the Board of the Republican Leadership Council back in the 1990s. His non-political community activism is far more remarkable. Bagley is everywhere helping people, doing volunteer work, working for his church, and just being a nice person to others. He doesn’t receive a paycheck, doesn’t demand a raise, isn’t getting County benefits, and gets exactly 150% of his regular compensation as overtime for all of his work to aid Tropical Storm Harvey victims. Bagley’s overtime compensation is 150% multiplied by $0 per hour, yielding an overtime rate of $0 per hour as well.
Kelli Cook lives and works at her and her husband’s ranch in Montgomery. If there is any single person whom every citizen should thank for the 20% homestead exemption, which citizens convinced the County Commissioners Court finally to approve in April, the person we should thank is Kelli Cook. She’s a wife, mother, and grandma. She is the local coordinator for a national political movement. She’s one of the most active political activists. She runs a distribution center for Harvey victims from her home. Cook also works for free.
Wertz is well-known for getting into politician’s egos and roughing them up a bit. There are a lot of elected officials who don’t appreciate Wertz very much. But people should appreciate what he does, and they should recognize that the dislike and fear of the governmental officials towards Wertz actually reflects his effectiveness in keeping them in check and reminding them that they work for the governmental authorities, the citizens. Many saw Wertz’s unbelievable devotion to victims of Harvey during and after the storm.
Crowson, Frank, and Strack are also great political citizen activists and community leaders.
But there are so many others: Betty Anderson, David Tate, Diane Bass, Jean Renfro Mann, Braden Deckard, Ginger Russell, Annell Simcoe, Bill O’Sullivan, Robbie Benson, Reagan Reed, Charles Jackson, Jim Doyle, Lisa Elaine, Alice Melancon, Kathy Joslyn, David Kleimann, Harold Posey, Johnny Bryant, Rachael Jones, Peter Allison, Adrian Heath, Jim Schulze, Brian Dawson, Paul Cote, Julie Turner, John Bauman, Jim Jenkins, Jim Alexander, Chris Grice, and additional wonderful people whose names could go so long that this article would take too many bytes. You may not agree with them on some or even many issues, but their citizen activism is remarkable, nevertheless.
Therefore, as a community, it’s important to remember not to turn the governmental authorities upside down.
Wayne Mack, when he’s not taking photographs or movies of himself, loves to remind people that he’s a “winner” and those who criticize him are “losers.” Another elected official recently challenged the right of citizens to question County government spending, because those citizens haven’t run for and gotten elected to office.
Before Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 election, did he not have the right to challenge the concept of slavery? Did Paul Revere not have the right to challenge the British Crown merely because he had not run for and been elected to a governmental position? Did Martin Luther King, Jr., lose his moral authority because he never ran for public office? Does Sean Hannity not have the right to criticize the actions of elected officials merely because he hasn’t run for election?
The citizens are the highest office in Montgomery County, Texas, and the United States. Just because they haven’t chosen to lower themselves to elected officials or paid public servants doesn’t eliminate their governmental authority from God under the Scriptures and the natural law, as our society has recognized since the Age of Enlightenment, which inspired the United States of America.