Former Georgia Legislator Making National Impact
Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, August 30, 2013 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler
Do you ever wonder what happens to politicians that “do good” in Georgia and then leave? It could be said we’re sharing personnel or it could be the Lord puts them where they can do even more “good.” That’s the way it seems for retired military chaplain Col. Ron Crews, former Georgia Representative, now executive director of the Chaplains Alliance for Religious Liberty.
As a Representative in the Georgia General Assembly, Crews sponsored H.B. 1580 that passed in 1996, defining marriage as “only the union of man and woman.” Several years later, his co-sponsor Representative James Mills was appointed to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. These men had such foresight that they, actually, pre-empted the passage of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, recently ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Eight years after H.B. 1580 passed to define marriage in state law, S.R. 595, which was introduced by Senator Mike Crotts, passed the General Assembly by a two-thirds vote and was ratified by voters in the 2004 General Election. That ratification amended the Georgia Constitution as follows:
“This state shall recognize as marriage only the union of man and woman. Marriages between persons of the same sex are prohibited in this state. No union between persons of the same sex shall be recognized by this state as entitled to the benefits of marriage This state shall not give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other state or jurisdiction respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other state or jurisdiction. The court of this state shall have no jurisdiction to grant a divorce or separate maintenance with respect to any such relationship or otherwise to consider or rule on any of the parties’ respective rights arising as a result or in connections with such relationship.”
Currently, Col. Crews and retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council are battling the threat against religious liberty in the military. Col. Crews said there’s an overall atmosphere of fear and concern among chaplains, pointing out that the head of chaplains at one military installation sent out a note forbidding chaplains to pray in Jesus’ Name at certain ceremonies.
Lt. General Boykin, who believes the direction of the nation hangs in the balance, expressed his concern as follows: “This is the anchor of our society. The military is the most respected institution in America. So if you want to change the rest of society, you have to target the military. If they do what they are trying to do, which is to totally change the culture and rob us of the Judeo-Christian values that still reside in the military … the consequences could be catastrophic.”
In April, a U.S. Army Equal Opportunity training brief listed evangelical Christianity first among “religious extremist” groups. That list also included al-Qaida, Hamas, the Ku Klux Klan, Muslim Brotherhood and the Nation of Islam. Also in April, an Army officer at Ft. Campbell, Ky. sent subordinates an email labeling two evangelical organizations as “domestic hate groups” for opposing homosexuality.
Col. Crews was a blessing in Georgia and is going full-steam ahead in Massachusetts. May the numbers of such men be multiplied! America, surely, needs MORE good men … and women! For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.