Alabama City Declares Itself To Be Owned By God

Winfield City Council members from left, Grant Webb, Gloria Stovall, Max Brasher, Mayor Randy Price, Rusty Barnes and Steve Martin. (via winfieldcity.org)

Winfield City Council members from left, Grant Webb, Gloria Stovall, Max Brasher, Mayor Randy Price, Rusty Barnes and Steve Martin. (via winfieldcity.org)


Whenever I see a story like this, I usually think to myself, “this has to be either Alabama, Mississippi or Louisiana. Please, please, please don’t let it be Louisiana.” While I am originally from Virginia which is a bastion of progressive politics in comparison to these three states, it still bothers me whenever these stories pop up.


Why? because you’d think we’d moved past the 1950s Red Scare where everything (including the Pledge of Allegiance) had to have God added to it in order to protect the United States from the creeping threat of godless Communism. In case you didn’t know, “under God” wasn’t originally in the Pledge of Allegiance and Sen. Joseph McCarthy (the 1950s version of Michele Bachmann) believed that every nook and cranny of American life had been infested with Communists who had to be ferreted out.

Sound familiar? It should, and with every nonsensical rant from right-wing evangelicals and the politicians who cater to them, we are reminded once again that we are in the 21st century’s version of a Red Scare. In order to get low IQ, superstitious and insecure people to vote for them while they rob them blind, right-wing pundits and politicians have repeated the lie that religious freedom is under attack in America – even while they try to erode and erase the religious freedoms of people who don’t worship White Jesus.

While this is a problem throughout the United States, it’s virulent in the Bible Belt and especially in the three states I mentioned. So it’s no surprise that this comes from the state of Alabama, home of Judge Roy Moore. Remember him? He was the guy who insisted on putting the Ten Commandments in his courthouse, believes that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to religions other than Christianity or Judaism, oh and did we mention he’s now the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court?

So when this story popped up on the internet, I really wasn’t surprised, at all. Seriously, just look at the picture of the town council – look at all the diversity there. They have a woman and even one guy who isn’t wearing a tie, along with a spiffy Members Only wind jacket. If that doesn’t speak to the diverse culture that is Winfield, Alabama, I don’t know what would.


Seriously though, Winfield, Alabama is a small city northwest of Birmingham and is the only city in the United States known to be owned by a religious deity of any kind, according to their current Wikipedia entry and confirmed by AL.com.

In December, as its last act of 2014, the government of this Marion County town of about 4,700 residents declared Winfield to be a “City under God” by unanimously passing a resolution.

The act was met with little immediate fanfare, other than a supportive editorial in the local newspaper, the Marion County Journal Record – until Monday night, said Mayor Randy Price. (Source)

Here’s what the resolution says:

Whereas we acknowledge God is the owner of the City of Winfield and that it is a City under God. We acknowledge that at all times, He is in control.

Whereas, we acknowledge that through His leadership, the Mayor and City Council will seek his wisdom and knowledge to be good stewards of the city.

Whereas, we acknowledge that though prayer, with His guidance and presence, that we will be able to trust that no problem will be too large or too small to overcome.

Whereas, we acknowledge that the City of Winfield is where it is today because of God’s grace and mercy.

Whereas, we acknowledge that at all times and in all circumstances, His will shall be done.

Whereas, we acknowledge that to God be the glory.

Is this in violation of the Constitution? I’d say so, but this is just another part of the new Red Scare sweeping through the Bible Belt. The fever tends to rise and fall, depending on which party controls the White House. Sometimes it’s scary (think right-wing militias and forced ultrasounds) and sometimes you just have to look at them, shake your head and say, “Awwww. Bless their heart.”

If you have the time, click here to send an email to Mayor Price. Keep it professional and if you are so inclined, I’d suggest multiple copies of the Constitution – especially that First Amendment part.



Comments

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  • Ethan

    Hmmm… interesting… I find this actually a rather fascinating concept.

  • sherry06053

    I know this isn’t the point, but 4700 residents is hardly a “city”. I would assume that the majority of the residents agree with the resolution, so unless and until one of the residents have a problem with it, I would say it’s just symbolic to their beliefs and they should be able to govern their town the way they believe. Yes, in a court, it would be unconstitutional, but it’s not doing any harm or hurting any one. Isn’t that how democracy works? We don’t live there and I wouldn’t live in a place like that, and yes, I understand (and totally agree) that the Constitution and religion is supposed to be separate, but I also believe that different cultures have a right to maintain their culture.

    • Hannelore Maxwell

      Do you think that this will not influence the education system of Winfield?
      They are raising another ignorant generation.
      And this is why I disagree with the statement that this “is not doing any harm or hurting anyone”.

      • sherry06053

        No, I don’t. They are still entitled to their culture – unless someone who lives there objects. What would the education in a town of 4700 influence? 300 kids? It’s not like they are hate filled violent terrorist training camp. They are a small town and want to do things their way. The kids may have a hard time getting into a good college, but maybe community college is good enough for them. We should butt out unless they are complaining.

      • Tiffany Miller

        actually they are hate filled terrorists. Christian extremism is just as dangerous as any other their culture is vile and disgusting it is very xenophobic and homophobic and thus their culture needs to be changed

      • sherry06053

        How do you know? Do you live there? Does this affect you? If so, do something about it. It sounds to me like they are a small town and want to be like “Mayberry”. I absolutely agree with you as far as your description is concerned, but I don’t see why a small town in the middle of nowhere doesn’t have the right to live the way they believe. There are a whole lot of towns like them in the south, and this one just happened to put the word “God” in an ordinance. It’s symbolic and doesn’t mean a damn thing to anyone else. But all those other towns that didn’t do it – that’s the way they live and believe, and you can’t force them not to. You can’t regulated it out of their culture or beliefs. We might be able to get “God” out of their law, but we won’t be changing their culture.

    • Tiffany Miller

      nope they should not be allowed to do so, it sets a dangerous precedent. They are traitors to do this

      • Traitors? Idiot. This country was founded on Christian principals. Get some morals and for Heaven’s sake an education.

  • AlengGiam

    Huh? There is such a thing as First Amendment? Is it the same decalogue as in Moses’ stone tablets? 😀

  • worrierking

    The city of Winfield is where it is today due to God’s grace and mercy?

    And that’s a good thing?

    I mean, they’re still in Alabama.

  • ExPFCWintergreen

    And with the median home value hovering around $95,000, it appears the God-dude doesn’t have a lot of real estate smarts. Unless he bought it for the tear-down in order to put in a Walmart.

    • Eg Kbbs

      Don’t know what the mean income is. But the only way to get Walmart (or for that matter any chain or franchise) to come in is to have a minimum population of people meeting certain incomes. In short, if they can’t afford you, don’t build there.

      Just saying that if the average home is $95k and they aren’t a big enough population, they might not even get that Walmart (which BTW – I live in a rural town and having a Walmart is a mark of pride here – UGH!!)

  • bruce

    So if god owns the town, does he pay all the property tax?

  • Dr. Dee

    When far right wing people mention god I always assume Mammon… I find that a lot of people that profess the Christian faith base their lives on acquiring as much money and material possessions as possible.

  • Anyone that says Winfield has violated the Constitution, CLEARLY has NEVER read the Constitution. Let’s see what it says…”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
    prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or
    of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition
    the Government for a redress of
    grievances.”

    Now, the city of Winfield has made no laws and has not prohibited anyone from exercising their religion of choice. The writer of this article is clearly incapable of understanding simple English.