Thomas More and the Tennessee Senate electionThe story I am about to relate may strike certain of my Protestant brothers and sisters with some unease, but it is a true story, and telling it will perhaps make some people better understand my position as far as the U.S. Senate race is concerned.
Saint Thomas More, patron of people in politics.
Thomas More was a lawyer and was Lord Chancellor of England. In 1501 he was elected to Parliament, and was known to have worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents. In 1516 he joined the foreign service at the insistance of Thomas Cardinal Wolsey, who served more or less as Henry VIII's Prime Minister until 1523. By 1529, More had become Lord Chancellor, which in those days carried the same power as a Prime Minister might have today. More, though often critical of the King as an MP, had become a friend of the King over the years. One of More's duties as Chancellor was to enforce the laws of the realm, and these laws (in those days) included laws against heresy and schism. Thomas More believed that no one was above the law of men except in the service of God, and no one was above God's law, not even the King of England.
Henry deigned to declare himself as "supreme Head of the Church of England" in order that he might divorce his lawful wife Catharine of Aragon and enter into a perpetual state of adultery with Anne Bolyn. More refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the unlawful marriage or the right of Henry to assert himself as head of the Church. In 1534 he refused to swear an oath that acknowledged Henry and Anne as the legitimate heirs to the throne and Anne as the legitimate queen. In 1535 More, while imprisoned in the Tower of London on charges of treason for refusing to accept the Act of Supremacy, stated to Lord Cromwell that he questioned the authority of Parliament to confer any of the Church's authority upon Henry.
On July 1, 1534, More was tried at Westminster for treason and was found guilty. At the trial, he reminded his audience that he had done nothing but serve his King faithfully, and that he only owed to God greater reverence than the King, to whom he was justified in giving so. He also reminded the Court that Henry was not the Successor of Peter ordained by Christ. More was beheaded in the Tower of London. He was canonized a saint by Pope Pius XI in 1935, and he is the patron of politicians and attorneys. Among his last words, he said "I am the King's good servant, but God's first." More's death, along with that of St. John Fisher signalled the beginning of widespread schism and Christian division in the English-speaking world that continues to this day.
I have always been a very steadfast Republican. I have been one to vote for the Republican candidate over others in a General Election even when I do not see eye to eye with that candidate, because a Republican always strikes me as superior to the alternative. I have never, however, voted for a candidate who was not pro-life, and I will never do so-regardless of Party.
In our Tennessee Senate Primary, we have two pro-life candidates. There is a third candidate who tells us that he is pro-life, but his statements in the recent past tell us otherwise-he has had a "road to November" conversion. He is also a notorious tax raiser who has lied about his record and attempted, even on Knoxville talk radio, to avoid the discussion of his record in such a way that it would expose him as not being a conservative-and not even remotely so.
If Ed Bryant or Van Hilleary is the Republican nominee for the United States Senate, I will do all in my small power in the fall to give assistance to either man. I will blog for them, I will pass out literature for them, and if asked I will man polls for them if need be. Most importantly, I will give my vote to either man in a General Election. I endorse Ed Bryant, but I will be happy if either wins instead of the alternative.
If Bob Corker is the Republican nominee for Senate, I will give no such aid-I will write no endorsement, I will pass out no literature, I will man no polls. On Election Day, if my choice is between Bob Corker and Harold Ford, Jr., I will leave the ballot flashing-I will vote by casting no vote, because neither man is worthy of the United States Senate. I have never done such a thing before, but I will do so if left with no other choice. I cannot and will not knowingly vote for a "pro-choice" candidate, which I believe Corker to be based on his own record. I will not vote for a fraud, and I will never vote for Bob Corker.
I am and will continue to be a good and loyal Republican. I am the Party's good servant-but God's first.