Conroe, June 10 – Despite his lousy anti-citizen attitude, lame duck Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal will begin the June 12, 2018, Commissioners Court meeting in two strong ways.
First, Doyal has begun every Commissioners Court meeting with a prayer. He has asked members of the audience if anyone would like to volunteer to lead the prayer. Doyal has never acted judgmentally towards the prayer.
Doyal’s handling of the Commissioners Court meetings stands in stark contrast to Wayne Mack, the embattled Justice of the Peace, who is costing Montgomery County taxpayers a fortune in defense costs for a federal lawsuit he invited by his over-the-top prayers in his courtroom. Mack is the one member of the Davenport Ring of corrupt politicians, who follow the direction of corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport, who has maintained his ties to Davenport. Mack clearly has great difficulty drafting written communications without the assistance of Davenport or someone from Davenport’s staff. For years, Davenport has ghost-written almost every word that comes out of Mack’s mouth.
Mack’s problems have come from the manner in which he begins court proceedings in his little JP court. Mack’s opening prayer is more like a sermon, or even lecture, from Mack. Mack obviously thinks very highly of himself, so the prayers often have an air of self-adulation rather than prayer to the Lord.
There clearly is nothing wrong with an opening prayer in a governmental entity. The United States Supreme Court has done that for centuries as has the United States Congress, which even has a full-time Chaplain in each of the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives. Nevertheless, those prayers are to the point to thank the Lord for his blessings and to ask for His guidance in the decisions and actions of the elected servants.
Mack’s prayers have gone much farther to the point that they suggest that government should espouse specific prayers and specific worship, a level of intrusion into religious activity that does knock up against the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. While most people (including the Publisher of this newspaper) don’t have an issue with the substance of Mack’s prayer, what would happen if Montgomery County citizens elected a conservative Republican of the Muslim faith to a JP court position? As prayers are to Allah in some Michigan city councils, would Montgomery County citizens feel comfortable with Mack espousing prayer to Allah at the opening of his little court?
Mack has attempted to liken the court battle that he foisted on the Montgomery County government to a fight for Freedom of Religion. If Mack truly believes that, then he doesn’t understand the United States and Texas Constitutions. While American colonists were very strict observers of Christianity, they left Europe to get away from government action that dictated the manner in which they were to observe the Christian faith. That’s where Mack crosses the line, while Doyal clearly stays on the American side of that same line.
It’s important to note that this article took care to remain consistent with the Planks of the Republican Party Platform. Nothing in the Constitution (U.S. or Texas) demands a complete separation of religion and state. What the Constitution requires is that government avoid dictating the method and substance of worship, because that is what an “establishment” of religion is. Nothing in Doyal’s actions requires a specific method of prayer to the Lord, a right for which the Founding Fathers fought in the American Revolution. Mack’s method of worship, however, does demand a specific method of prayer or else the supplicant must leave the government room in a government building. That’s where Mack crosses the line and where Doyal does not. That’s where Doyal remains consistent with the Republican Platform and Mack does not.
In contrast, Doyal does ask for prayer and sometimes leads the prayers himself. Doyal’s prayer is to thank the Lord for his blessings and to ask for His guidance. Doyal’s requests don’t demand specific prayers, however.
Second, Doyal leads the audience in the Commissioners Courtroom in the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag. Since Doyal swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States when he took the Oath of Office, the Pledge of Allegiance is a continuation of an important reminder of Doyal’s Oath. Sadly, Doyal seems to forget the remaining implications of his Oath of Office, after the Pledge of Allegiance has come to an end.