Right after the Fourth of July, I broke the story of Natalie Nichols, a newly elected county clerk in Texas, who questioned a rogue court that actually voted to remove the Pledge of Allegiance and an opening prayer from the court’s official records. She refused to do it, and made it her official stance. She now faces charges.
After my story, “An unholy war in Texas,” ran on July 6 over at World Net Daily, Bowie County Clerk Natalie Nichols found herself facing Grand Jury charges and possible prison time.
As county clerk, Nichols keeps the minutes of the proceedings of the Commissioners Court, which are held before an audience and begin with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. While Nichols was away attending a county clerk training conference on June 13, the Commissioners Court voted to remove the invocation from the minutes of a previous meeting. Why? Nichols said that County Judge Sterling Lacy told her that he “didn’t want some group like the ACLU to come in and sue.” They removed the Pledge of Allegiance from the minutes also.
According to Red Flame Wire, last Monday Lacy tried to spin the removal of the Pledge and the prayer from the minutes to lessen his own responsibility for their removal, whereupon Nichols got angry and interrupted, telling him: “But you’re lying.” And he was. “It was Lacy,” says Red Flame Wire, “and three other members of the court who voted to remove the Pledge and Prayer from the records from a June 13th meeting in which Nichols was out of town. Nichols refused to do so. There is one problem for Lacy, it was caught on tape.”
Nichols immediately apologized to Lacy for interrupting him, but not for her version of events, which was entirely accurate. After my story broke, Judge Lacy demanded, according to the Texarkana Gazette, that Bowie County Sheriff James Prince “investigate whether actions by Clerk Natalie Nichols at Monday’s meeting constitute disrupting a public meeting.” If she is found guilty, Natalie Nichols could face six months in jail and be fined $2,000. She would also be removed immediately from the office of county clerk.
Natalie’s husband told me, “Is this what we are to now expect when we dare take a stand? Directed toward a public official, no less? Retribution for some trumped-up mess? Prayers, please! Right now, she is alone in this here.”
Nichols is not going to back down, no matter how much pressure they put on her: “”I wasn’t about to compromise my values to get into office, and I will not compromise them now that I am in office. I ran as a Christian conservative and I am a Christian conservative.”
Judge Lacy has even threatened her obliquely, saying: “What she hasn’t thought through are the unintended consequences” of her stance. But Nichols is ready for the challenge: “Contrary to what Judge Lacy seems to understand, I have thought through the unintended consequences of being a party to removing an official record of saying the prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. I have thought through the impact it will have on my grandchildren to read the history of our county and errantly think that our customs were such that we didn’t proudly proclaim a love of God and Country.”
There are larger issues at play here, and Nichols is fully aware of them: “What Judge Lacy seems to have done is underestimate the capability of a patriot to know full well the possible consequences of going against the political establishment and being A-OK with whatever consequences may result. Those who came before me pledged their lives, fortunes and their sacred honor to ensure that we had the freedoms we hold so dear. I will not dishonor them, regardless of any threat made against me. I didn’t seek office to gain a career. I ran for office to make a difference.”
It is Lacy who should be removed from office. This is a disgrace. We need more public officials like Natalie Nichols, and fewer tools of the ACLU and the America-hating left like Sterling Lacy. I hope Natalie Nichols remains in office, and that this will only be the beginning of a great political career for her. If we had a million like her, America wouldn’t be in the crisis she faces today.