Last updated: December 18. 2013 12:06PM - 1592 Views

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“So what’s the real reason Tish Chafin withdrew from the judge’s race?”


That was the question being asked by dozens of readers as news spread that Letitia Chafin, wife of state Sen. H. Truman Chafin, had withdrawn her name as a prospective circuit judge in Mingo County. Originally, Tish Chafin was one of seven who filed paperwork to be considered for the spot left vacant when disgraced former Judge Michael Thornsbury resigned.


Chafin sent a letter to the Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission withdrawing her name Thursday. Her reasons for withdrawing from consideration for a job she had just decided to seek days earlier touched off speculation as to the “real reason.”


Most guessed that the legitimate reason was that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who must make the eventual appointment, had a chat with Sen. Chafin and asked that the name be taken out of consideration. That might have eased a tight spot for Tomblin, not known for inviting controversy.


If that was the case, Tish Chafin would likely have withdrawn whether her husband agreed to it or not because it would have signaled that Tomblin was not going to appoint her to the post. All of these are major “ifs.” Earlier, Tish Chafin denied that her husband had been involved in any talks with the governor about the appointment.


What is now known for sure, however, is that Chafin will not get the job and she is unlikely to run to complete the term next year. That would have set up a possible scenario where her husband would have been running for re-election on the same ballot with his wife for judge. Although it has not appeared to hamper the Kanawha County Walters family, some believe that multiple family candidates on the same ticket are not helpful to either candidate.


The assumption is that Truman Chafin will run for re-election, although there has been no official announcement. The filing period is in mid-January, just a month away.


It could also be that the reasons listed by Tish Chafin are the real ones. Maybe, in the week her name was in the hat, she suddenly felt a need to be “more involved” in the family law practice she shares with her husband. Or maybe she really is impressed by the field of candidates and was originally afraid no “good candidate” would even file. The latter seems more plausible than the former.


Now, who will I endorse?


Decisions … decisions.


As if it makes any difference.


… Speaking of “real reasons” for things, let’s ignite a bit of controversy ourselves.


It would be a major victory for civil libertarians everywhere, and all who truly believe in freedom, if a California judge’s ruling stands in the case of the 43-foot-tall cross at the Mount Soledad Memorial in San Diego.


Likely, however, some other court will overturn the ruling that the cross must come down within 90 days. True freedom lovers know that it is not “majority rule” in a republican form of government such as ours. The founding fathers (and mothers) did not come to America for the state to establish a religion for them; instead, they fled their homelands because of the very same thing.


Bible-thumpers love to insist that America is “built on religious principles,” but Thomas Jefferson, among others, would never have agreed to that. And the celebration and insistence that we all “keep Christ in Christmas” is asking people to put Him in something he was never involved in to begin with. Trace the origins of the Dec. 25 holiday and you will absolutely find that the pagans celebrated at that time of year to worship the “return” of the sun — not the Son. When the sun began to trek back toward North America around Dec. 21, it was time to celebrate, they believed.


So those who display their concern for “the real reason for the season” are simply wrong. It is the sun — not the Son. The one in the sky. Oh, most of you think the Son is also in the sky, I guess.


No historian or theologian has ever believed Jesus Christ was born on Dec. 25. There is no provision in any version of the Bible for a celebration of His birthday, anyway. Yet, Bible-thumpers insist that anyone who shouts “happy holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” is bound for the pits of hell.


Any honest history book will also tell readers that items such as the Christmas tree were strictly prohibited by religious teachings in the early decades of this nation’s existence. One would be dropped from the rolls of the church if he or she tried putting such a thing in his or her home, because they knew it was pagan.


The U.S. Constitution is designed to promote and protect the freedom of all Americans. Every one of you should have the same opportunity to celebrate your religion and your holidays as you wish. But the government should endorse nothing with regard to that. It is offensive to me, a Primitive Baptist, for a prayer to be recited before a ballgame on public property. For one thing, no Biblical admonition exists to do such a thing. Second, “model” prayers in the Bible say nothing about “in the name of Jesus Christ” but Bible-thumpers insist on intoning and dragging that out for their listeners. A simple prayer to God or Mohammad is not nearly so offensive, although it is not legally right, either.


Nothing in the Constitution gives the majority the right to rule. This is a republic; it is not a democracy. If it was a democracy, every one of us would vote on every issue that comes before us; we’d have no need for a legislative body. We’d all be headed to the polls every day. The majority does not rule. Just because “everybody celebrates Christmas and everybody believes in saying their prayer in the name of Christ,” does not mean all of us do agree. No, folks, everyone does not agree.


Why anyone wants to offend folks in the name of religion is beyond me. The cross in California is on public property. It implies the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jews do not believe Jesus was God’s son nor do they buy into the idea that he was ever resurrected. Other religions have various views regarding Jesus. The government has no right to force the fundamental Christian view on everyone else.


Take the cross down, in the name of freedom.


… Remember, please, I am neither atheist nor agnostic. I am Primitive Baptist and we have a right to believe as we choose, as well.


And, while this column is not partisan and attempts to be fair, I remain sincere in saying that I, personally, am a conservative. A conservative can believe in the separation of church and state and still be a conservative.


An atheist recently send me an email and said how much he loves to read my column but, being a nonbeliever, doubted we agree on much. I suspect he agrees with me about that cross and Christmas.


… One item folks often ask me about is the Go-mart policy of not having the device on gas pumps that allows customers to “lock” the pump “on” to fill their tank. Customers have to stand and hold the handle in place throughout their fill-up.


I once asked a Go-mart executive about that and he said it is “against state law” for the lock device to be on self-service pumps. Yet, as I pointed out then, every other convenience store in the state has the locking mechanism. That allows a customer to fill his or her tank while walking into the store to buy soda and other refreshments.


Technically, the locking devices may be illegal because a customer is responsible for the bill if the hose jumps out of the tank while he or she is in the store and runs up a tab of $200. But why is it only Go-mart that knows about the law — or adheres to it?


I suspect their inside sales suffer because of this obvious inconvenience.


Inquiring minds want to know.


… Interestingly, the usually polished, professional Republicans seem to be stirring some controversy within the ranks of candidates.


It is rare, indeed, to see one GOP candidate violating Ronald Reagan’s famous “11th commandment.” Reagan said that “commandmend” was, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”


Yet, in the Second Congressional District race, an apparent slip-up by an Internet columnist appears to have disclosed one GOP candidate “speaking ill” of another one. It happened in an article titled “Alex Mooney for Congress.”


Originally, when the item went up on powerlineblog.com, the writer, Paul Mirengoff, quoted his favorite candidate, Mooney, as having cast opponent Charlotte Lane as a RINO (Republican in Name Only). Actually, Mirengoff and Mooney used the term “moderate” to describe Lane as well as current U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito. But, clearly, Mirengoff wanted folks to know Lane is allegedly a supporter of gun control and pro-abortion legislation.


Mooney supposedly told the writer that Lane had a liberal voting record on social issues as a former member of the state Legislature. It added that Mooney is a “conservative and a fighter.”


Later in the day, the item was switched to make no reference to Mooney providing the information but cited a Charleston Gazette editorial from 1996. According to the article, Lane was specifically endorsed by the liberal Gazette for her position on those social issues.


Hmmm, Mooney, who has trouble spelling Martinsburg correctly on his campaign literature, apparently backed out of being attributed with the comments. Or, the reporter suddenly discovered he might damage his candidate’s campaign by portraying him as going negative. Or, the author mistakenly thought his candidate told him about Lane but he later discovered he read it himself in The Gazette.


I do have images of both the original posting, which was taken down, and the altered one, if anyone cares to see them.


… Boone County state Sen. Ron Stollings was among those who participated in the “Wreaths Across America” event held Dec. 9 at the war memorial at the Capitol complex in Charleston.


Stollings led the “Honoring Veterans” portion of the program. He also joined with Shirley White of West Virginia Gold Star Mothers in laying the wreath.


The Madison Democrat said veteran’s issues are at the top of his legislative agenda.


… As we race toward the holiday season, I will keep wishing readers a “Happy Holiday” as they prepare to rush outside and watch the sun begin returning to West Virginia. Hopefully, all enjoy it as their pagan forefathers did.


… Your comments, rumors and story ideas are always welcome. And, yes, we are going to talk about Logan County soon. Use my listed email or call my cell, 304-533-5185.

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