Texas Court Tells Clerk to Remove Pledge and Prayer From Records; Clerk Says Hell No!
On May 23, 2011, The Bowie County Commissioner’s Court met for a regular meeting to discuss and take action regarding county business. Just like he has since taking office, the County Judge noted the time, and asked the members of the court and the audience to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance and to remain standing for the opening prayer.
It was business as usual.
But on June 13, 2011, the Commissioner Court, with the exception of Commissioner John Addington, decided that they no longer wanted the records to reflect that the Pledge of Allegiance and Invocation were said for fear it would give the perception that it is the courts official stance.
During the meeting, the minutes of the court were brought up before the court. Precinct 4 Commissioner, Pat McCoy, made a suggestion that the court not approve the minutes. McCoy claims that, although the Pledge and Invocation did take place, since the judge did not use words “call the meeting to order”, the records cannot reflect the Pledge of Allegiance or the Prayer.
There is no law in Texas that backs McCoy’s claim.
After some discussion, Commissioner McCoy “made a motion” that would remove the Pledge of Allegiance from the minutes. The motion was seconded by Precinct 1 Commissioner Jack Stone and approve by a 3 to 1 vote with Commissioners Pat McCoy and Jack Stone, along with County Judge Sterling Lacy, voting for the motion and Precinct 2 Commissioner John Addington voting against the motion.
The commissioner’s court may have had a temporary victory, but one person stood in their way.
Enter county clerk, Natalie Nichols.
Nichols, who was in Dallas for annual training at the time of the meeting, firmly contends that she “will not remove the Pledge of Allegiance or the Invocation” from the minutes, and she is” appalled” by the attempt to do so.
Judge Lacy, who was absent from the meeting, said Nichols does not understand the long term impact her stand and that she doesn’t understand the “unintended consequences.”
Was that a threat to Nichols or was he afraid that people would find out about his actions?
The issue has set a fire and gained the attention of national talk show host, Rusty Humphry. Nichols was a special guest on the Rusty Humphries Show:
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