UPDATE: 04/29/2009 AT 4:45 PM
Tom Hough was elected in November 2005, took office in January 2006. That is the year [Hartville Council] passed the prayer resolution. Ron Beltz was elected in November 2007 and took office in January 2008.
Last Sunday the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report/SCPR) noted that Republican Hartville Village Councilman Thomas Hough wrote a letter to the editor of The Repository that should be instructive to citizens of Hartville.
In the letter, Hough launched a typical right wing attack on President Barack Obama.
Time will only tell as whether or not Obama turns out to be an effective president. Over 50 per cent of Americans are hopeful for Obama.
But not with Thomas Hough and Rush Limbaugh.
It is interesting that Hough did not refer to himself as being a Hartville councilman or “a pastor at Sixteen St. John's Church, an independent evangelical Bible church" located in North Lawrence (a little north of Massillon).
In The Report's view Hough is not only "right wing," but way, way, way right; and, to boot, religious Right."
Hough, who along with fellow councilman Ron Beltz, (Beltz shares with Palin her former denomination identity - Assembly of God), made instituting prayer before council meetings a top council agenda item when they first took office.
The Report wonders whether or not the likes of Palin and Stark Countians Hough and Beltz are the leading edge of a relative new burgeoning movement called the "Christian Nationalist" movement?"
One writer describes the movement thusly:
[W] hat Christian nationalism is, and how it differs from Christian fundamentalism. It's an important concept to understand, because the threat to a pluralistic society does not come from those who simply believe in a very conservative interpretation of Christianity. It comes from those who adhere to a political ideology that posits a Christian right to rule.Some folks discount political figures who serve at the local level in terms of what their views portend for their policies and programs both at the local level and higher level if they have greater ambition.
Christian nationalists believe in a revisionist history, which holds that the founders were devout Christians ... never intended to create a secular republic; separation of church and state, ... .
But not The Report.
Yours truly has seen these "religious Rightist" folks try to politically take over local communities where they can be successful because of a largely disengaged local electorate. All they do once is power is create political havoc.
Accordingly, Councilmen Hough and Beltz bear watching by Hartville voters.