An alert reader calls attention to the fact that not only has the Courthouse Grounds Facilities Committee outsourced work on the design of Loudoun County’s new completely religion-neutral holiday display to the local Bible college (as noted here the other day): Committee Chairman Clint Good further reports that he had the honor of having lunch with said Patrick Henry College’s “Chancellor” (and “preeminent constitutional lawyer”) Michael Farris, who personally assured him that the display would pass constitutional muster.
Glad to have the reassurance of such an impartial expert that adorning the courthouse lawn with a creche containing the very tasteful colorful plastic renditions of the Holy Family; a Christmas tree; Christmas wreaths; and a Santa and reindeer—plus a token menorah—in no way constitutes government involvement in religion or the favoring of one religion over another.
Having previously outsourced its public health policy to “Dr.” Farris (as he styles himself in academic circles, based on his possession of a law degree), the Board of Supervisors I suppose has no reason not to turn over public decisions involving freedom of religion and constitutional law as well to a fundamentalist Christian who not only denies evolution (which I guess is where he derives his public health expertise and credentials) but who has repeatedly declared that anyone who does not share his exact religious beliefs is going to hell and that his fellow self-defined group of true Christian believers has the right to overthrow with armed force a government that “commands disobedience to God,” which in Farris’s book covers a lot of ground. (Dr. Farris’s mandatory statement of faith etc., binding on all Patrick Henry students, faculty, and staff, declares that socialism and other form of government control of private property violates God’s will. Does that include zoning regulations, I wonder? If I were on the Planning Commission, I’d watch out . . .)
Luckily, the local Republican party and elected GOP officials in Loudoun and Purcellville are sparing the Rev. Dr. Farris the unpleasant necessity of committing actual bloodshed by simply deferring to his desires on policies ranging from Lyme disease, to providing taxpayer-funded sewer and water service for his not really accredited Bible college in Purcellville, to employing his many students in government positions (including a top county administrator and numerous staff aides to the new bunch of supervisors on the all-GOP Board).
It is of course the same principle whereby the Board turns over to the development industry the task of rewriting the regulations on developers and turns over to campaign donors and commercial real estate interests (but I repeat myself) the task of “reforming” government.