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By NWV News Writer Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
June 11, 2013

Josephine County, OR. —A county commissioner in Josephine County, Oregon, claims he's not sure if it's necessary to open formal administration meetings of the board of commissioners with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Commissioner Keith Heck said during the May 23 meeting, "I'm not quite sure of the reason or rationale for that [reciting the Pledge]." Even more disturbing to many observers is the fact that none of the other commissioners including Commissioner Cherryl Walker objected to -- or even questioned -- Heck's disrespect to his nation's recognized symbol.

"Viewing this YouTube video, I was struck by the arrogance of [Commissioner] Heck as he spoke. In times past, most city council, county commissioner, and other local political meetings were not only opened with the Pledge, the meetings opened with a short prayer," said political strategist and attorney Mike Baker.

"Just as the radical left has removed God from government meetings, now they wish to remove the reciting of an oath to the flag representing the United States of America," Baker added.

Besides his political activities, Heck was the pastor of the Sovereign Grace Baptist Church for more than two-years. He also claims he started the Gospel Rescue Mission in 1997 in Grants Pass, Oregon and served as its executive director.

Since watching the YouTube video of Commissioner Heck, many believe he ascribes to the doctrine of, what are known as, Red Letter Christians.

On the so-called Christian organization's web site, Red Letter Christians encourage American Christians not to pledge allegiance to "a piece of fabric" such as the American Flag. One of the group's leaders, Craig Watts, called it “idolatry.”

The following are the rationales given by the Red Letter Christians for not pledging allegiance to the American flag:

Pledge: To offer or guarantee by a solemn binding promise, similar to an oath.

Allegiance: [1] the loyalty of a citizen to his or her government or of a subject to his or her sovereign. [2] loyalty or devotion to some person, group, cause, or the like.

Flag: A usually rectangular piece of fabric of distinctive design that is used as a symbol. (In this case, a symbol for the Republic of the United States of America)

From these definitions we can understand a couple of things. Making a pledge is basically the same thing as an oath. And, giving your allegiance to something or someone is basically committing your loyalty to that entity. Also, the flag stands for something more than itself. It stands for the country/government it belongs to. In short, to pledge your allegiance to the flag means that you are making an oath of loyalty to the country, the United States of America.

Now for the two reasons why I think Christians should NOT be making an oath of allegiance to the United States or any other earthly government.

#1 Jesus directly and without any qualifiers condemns making an oath to anything for any reason.
#2 Jesus also teaches that men cannot serve two masters at the same time.

What's even more disheartening are the ties between Heck and the most far-left member of the Josephine County Board of Commissioners, Cherryl Walker, according to attorney Jack Swift writing in in his May 28 column.

"Quite simply, Keith Heck is Tonto to Cherryl Walker's bizarre Lone Ranger," said Baker, who regularly assists this writer in covering political corruption cases. [E-Mail Keith Heck]

"It seems, based on what I've read and heard about these two empty-suits who are creating havoc with their scheme to increase their revenue through fines rather in addition to local taxes, Walker and Heck are turning a single county into a model even [New York's] Mayor-turned- demigod, Michael Bloomberg, would envy," Baker added.

According to Attorney Jack Swift, Cherryl Walker came up with "an elaborate scheme" and Heck supported her and her shenanigans: They established a system of County “enforcement officers for all county codes.”

"It is the function of enforcement officers to investigate, issue citations for, and prosecute all violations of any County ordinances, codes, or administrative rules. Alleged violations are not complaint driven. Investigations are triggered upon any reasonable grounds the enforcement officers can discover. Under the scheme, Department Heads are in turn empowered to designate employees in their departments as enforcement officers. In return for undertaking this bureaucratic workload, provision is made that all fines collected for offenses will be paid to the department issuing the citation. A true bureaucrat might view this as a dream come true -- the bureaucrat is given extraordinary enforcement power over individuals and is in turn paid to exercise that power against those individuals," wrote Swift.

Public advocate Dale Matthews, who posted the YouTube video of what many are calling Heck's disgraceful callousness to the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance and the lives lost defending the American Flag, believes that "years of tradition were wiped out in an instant." [E-Mail Dale Matthews]

"The timing of the decision was," says Matthews, "ironically lost on the commissioners. It was made on the last day of government meetings before Memorial Day."

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Dale Matthews notes: "There will be no more 'I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America' at Administration meetings of the Josephine County Board of Commissioners."

"Heck was recently ready to swear on The Holy Bible, along with fellow commissioner Cherryl Walker, that 100% of the their proposed property tax levy would go to seven promised programs, while quietly admitting that at least 10% would instead be diverted to Commissioner salaries and other general departments," explains Matthews.

"But as for the Pledge of Allegiance," says Matthews with sadness in his voice, "Heck simply can't think of a reason for it anymore."

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Commissioner Keith Heck said during the May 23 meeting, "I'm not quite sure of the reason or rationale for that [reciting the Pledge]."