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The nonprofit Freedom From Religion Foundation sent one of its annual “attack Christian symbols” letters to Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders, demanding that the nativity display be removed as an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.  Judge Sanders and the Henderson County Commissioners Court declined to bow to the demands of  the Wisconsin-based state-church watchdog group.   There are still some folks in Texas who just don’t take kindly to bully tactics and are more than happy to tell the Wisconsin group to take a long walk off a short pier. 

Events in support of the Henderson County Commissioners Court and Liberty are planned for this Saturday.  I am unable to attend on Saturday, December 17th due to travel plans I cannot change; however, Grassroots America is communicating its support directly to Judge Sanders and the Henderson County Commissioners.  I also urge you to support the following efforts:

Nativity Programs – Athens, Texas

Event schedule: Friday, December 16 and Saturday, December 17, 2011  

Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders is very appreciative of grassroots support from local, state, and national responders. He said that he has heard from most local news outlets and some of the national news programs.   He welcomes Tea Party/Grassroots organizations as well as religious and community supporters. He emphasized this is not a political rally. It is a rally in support of religious freedom. He clearly stated that the birth of Christ is the reason for the season, and the nativity. 

Agenda for the Nativity Program

Four area pastors will speak. Nathan Lorick, pastor of First Baptist Malakoff, will officiate and begin the event. Afterward, three other area pastors will speak, with prayer between each speaker. Pastor Lorick will be the final speaker.  Everyone who attends is asked to bring one (or more) cans of food to be donated to Henderson County area food pantries.  Event is expected to last 1 hour. (12:00—1:00PM)

Flags and signs for the event:

This is not a political event. No candidates will be allowed to speak and please do not bring candidate political signs. Religious Christmas themes are in order. Signs that say, “We Support Religious Freedom”– “The United States has a Christian Foundation”–“Jesus is the Reason for the Season” or something similar are in order. 

Judge Sanders told us today that flags are welcome. The U.S. flag, the Texas flag, the Christian flag, as well as the Gonzales Flag  (Come and Take It) are fine. The T-Party/Gadsden flag (“Don’t Tread On Me”) is also welcome.  Remember – the emphasis is on the loss of our religious freedoms. 

Friday evening event: For those who want to come on Friday evening, Mel Moss, coordinator of the Arlington Tea Party has volunteered to set up a staging area at the corner of Larkin and Hwy 19, near the square in Athens.  This area is directly in front of the Henderson County Jail. It is an open parking lot and it is recommended that you park there. It is within walking distance of the nativity scene.  Judge Sanders gave us permission to stage there.  

The Henderson County Tea Party has an office in the Republican headquarters building across from the nativity scene on the courthouse square.  Jeff Tuley of the Henderson County Tea Party has offered this area to us in case of bad weather, or if someone needs assistance. The press will also be welcome to conduct interviews in this facility. 

Event coordinators will be at the staging area of the parking lot (Larkin and Highway 19) at 9:00 AM Saturday. Coffee and donuts will be available for the early arrivals. 

If you plan to attend the Friday evening event and stay over for the Saturday event, these are recommended area hotels: 

  • Holiday Inn Express—Athens, Texas—903-675-2500
  • Quality Inn—-Athens, Texas—903-675-9214
  • Super 8 Inn—Athens, Texas—903-675-7511

 Event organizers will meet at the Saturday staging area Friday night around 6:00 PM and go to dinner.  Everyone is invited.

 Please be aware that this event has been designed by its planners to be a spiritual experience that honors the Lord. 

We are looking forward to standing in defense of our religious freedom and to joy in the birth of Christ.


 JoAnn Fleming, Chair – Advisory Committee to the TEA Party Caucus of the TX Legislature

Executive Director (volunteer), Grassroots America – We the People
(903) 894-7204 home office or (903) 360-2858 cell

 Where applicable, a political advertisement paid for by the GAWTP PAC, PO Box 130012,Tyler, TX 75713, Jimmie Taylor, PAC Treasurer.