Dear Tennessee Star,
Mr. Mark West expressed his opposition to Bill Lee for Governor in The Tennessee Star several days back. West began with the Old Testament story of a brief conversation between Deborah and Barak. This is a story I’ve not known scholars to hold up as a turning point in Jewish history. Also, the relevancy of this anecdotal story to Bill Lee leaves me wondering even though it seems clear to Mr. West.
I am in FULL SUPPORT of BILL LEE. And from the Old Testament I offer the story of Nehemiah from the book of Nehemiah. So Nehemiah is released from his long term obligation to the king and follows his call from the Lord to travel a long distance back to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls and the Temple. So with “only” the grace of God Nehemiah sets out. Along the way he tells his story to whoever will listen and picks up scattered support. As he moves closer and closer to the near impossible task of rebuilding, families and clans close around him in support as they are inspired by God and by Nehemiah’s commitment to the rebuilding task. And they are also moved by their own need for a rebuilt Temple… hope happens. And suddenly enemies of their effort come out of the woodwork for the usual reasons: greed and the threat to their existing lives of ease. So the enemies, of course, seed misinformation, and that brings us to Nehemiah 8:9 which TN will hopefully see played out on Aug 2.
Mr. West then talks about his near one hour Jul 2017 meeting with Lee. From that meeting West said several nice things about Lee but then concluded that Bill Lee “was and is unwilling to lead on one of the greatest threats to the foundation of our culture – the sanctity and distinctness of the sexes and the all out assault on something as basic as the dignity, privacy and safety of every female in our state.” You are dead wrong there Mr. West. You should have checked back sometime after your long ago Jul 2017 conclusion. Lee’s position on this issue has been on record for some time now:
Governor Lee will combat any effort by the Dept. of Ed or any social movement to infringe privacy rights of students and will do everything in his power to defend schools from threats of lawsuit or intimidation. School leaders who exercise common sense will have the protection of our state government. As Governor, Bill will not allow the privacy rights of every student to be sacrificed for the social movement of a few. A governor with these stated convictions will obviously support a bill on the issue.
That works for this voter.
I agree that West’s closing Old Testament quote from Job 31:34 is helpful: “Have I feared the crowd or the contempt of the masses, so that I kept quiet and stayed indoors.” Diane Black did fear the crowd and stayed quiet so that today we still have Obamacare. Bill Lee is done with quiet. And that takes us back to Nehemiah 8:9. Bill Lee will hopefully be calling on all of us to step up and rebuild TN.
Ed Smith, Heritage Foundation Sentinel