Craig Northcott is the district attorney general for Coffee County, Tennessee (home of Bonnaroo), and he’s been under fire recently for saying that Islam is “evil,” which by extension, he says, means all Muslims are “evil.”
Now there’s another reason to despise the guy.
According to a sermon he gave at the 2018 Chafer Theological Seminary Bible Conference — but which is only getting attention now — Northcott was explaining the difficulties he faced as a result of the marriage equality decision by the Supreme Court. One of them was the decision of whether to prosecute a case of assault as “domestic violence” — a charge that carries a greater possible punishment — when the couple in question was in a same-sex marriage.
Northcott said he wouldn’t do that because his religion doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage as real marriage.
… the social engineers on the Supreme Court decided that we now have homosexual marriage. I disagree with them. What do I do with domestic assaults?… The reason that there’s [enhanced] punishment on domestic [violence] is to recognize and protect the sanctity of marriage. And I said there’s no marriage to protect. So I don’t prosecute them as domestics.
He told the crowd that decisions like this were precisely why they should always “elect a good Christian DA.” It’s hard to make sense of that since his theology overrides the law. That means he has no business being in a position where his job is to prosecute people who break the rules. The law means nothing if you think your religion gives you permission to break the rules — or, in this case, not apply them.
How can you dismiss the Supreme Court as activist judges when you yourself refuse to follow the law because you just don’t feel like it?
Kim Davis refusing to sign marriage licenses was bad enough. But because of Northcott, an abused person in a same-sex relationship wouldn’t be able to get proper justice because a Christian doesn’t think he or she is worthy of it. Incidentally, Tennessee’s laws about domestic violence don’t even require a couple to be married.
Unfortunately, because Northcott offered that comment rhetorically, it’s unclear if he’s ever acted on it. We don’t know if abusers have received a lesser charge than they deserved because they happened to be gay. Without evidence of wrongdoing or a formal proceeding against Northcott, the state’s Board of Professional Responsibility says it can’t do much.
Chris Sanders of Tennessee Equality Project said that one way or another, Northcott needs to leave office.
“In this case, it looks like we have a district attorney who is willfully ignoring the marital status, the relationships, of members of our community and not protecting them fully,” he told News Channel 5. “He is the one being the social engineer, picking and choosing which parts of the law he will enforce, and it appears he thinks he’s acting as God’s instrument in this case.”
The Tennessee Equality Project has invited anyone who has experienced domestic violence in Coffee County and believes they were mistreated to contact the organization.
He said plenty of other disturbing things in that video, too, like dismissing the authority of the Supreme Court because they just boil down to “five people in black dresses” making decisions for the rest of us. Which is the conservative Christian way of saying this guy whose job is to enforce our laws hates the process we use to adjudicate laws.
He also dismisses the notion of church/state separation and says that if atheists and Humanists and Muslims were elected instead of God-fearing Christians, then citizens are just turning their government “over to the Enemy.”
The fact is: Non-Christians can’t trust him to do his job properly. He’s freely admitting it.
If someone who wasn’t a Christian gave a similar speech, that person would be out of a job immediately. So why don’t the rules apply to him?
(via TN Holler. Thanks to Tawreos for the link)