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Lawmaker urges Oath Keepers to ‘stand up now … while we still can’

Tim Farley / Red Dirt Report
Canadian County Sheriff Randall Edwards says war protesters and those critical of the military "shouldn't be allowed" in the U.S.
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Canadian County sheriff shows contempt for free speech; says flag burners, Westboro members should be jailed

MUSTANG, Okla.  – A state House member and an Oklahoma sheriff railed against the federal government Sunday, claiming states ‘ rights often are ignored and their sovereignty is unprotected.

The comments came during a meeting of the Oklahoma Oath Keepers, an American nonprofit organization that generally advocates its members disobey any orders they believe violate the U.S. Constitution. The group met at the Mustang Community Center for four hours with speeches by several elected officials including Canadian County Sheriff Randall Edwards and state Rep. Dan Fisher (R-Yukon).

Edwards, known for his opposition to a legislative proposal that would change Oklahoma’s civil asset forfeiture laws, apparently doesn’t believe in the First Amendment. Edwards called for Westboro Baptist Church members and those who burn the flag, to be jailed. He also said war protesters and those who are critical of the military “shouldn’t be allowed in this country.”

“People who were burning the American flag should have been thrown in jail,” he said, a comment that drew a thunderous ovation. “People who fly any flag above the American flag should be put in jail for treason.”

Edwards also said Westboro Baptist Church members who protested outside a soldier’s funeral in Mustang would have been jailed if he had been in town.

Changing the subject to religion, Edwards said the United States was founded on God and Christianity “and no heathen religion.”

Later in the meeting, Fisher stirred the crowd with several comments about states’ sovereignty and the federal government’s apparent intrusion with state business. During his 30 minutes at the podium, Fisher quoted several historical figures, including John Adams, Patrick Henry and James Madison, on the topics of liberty and states’ rights.

Fisher, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Yukon, labeled the federal government and its massive bureaucracy a “runaway mess.”

“Governments were created to protect people’s rights,” Fisher said. “Government can only govern with the consent of the governed. But I did not consent giving Planned Parenthood $500 million and I did not consent giving $150 billion to extreme jihadists who want to kill us,” he said, referring to the U.S.-Iran nuclear arms proposal. “The only way to stop a runaway federal government is for states to stand up and say no.”

State Rep. Dan Fisher (R-Yukon) known as a member of the radical, right-wing "Patriot Pastors," spoke to the Oath Keepers on Sunday. (Tim Farley / Red Dirt Report)

Quoting the Federalist Powers, Fisher said states’ powers are “numerous and indefinite” but that federal powers are limited.

“What right does the federal government have to tell our Oath Keepers they can’t stand on public property and protect our military recruiters,” he said, again receiving a loud ovation.

Fisher paid special attention to current controversies that likely will never be resolved, citing pro-life versus pro-choice, Biblical marriage as opposed to same-sex marriage and pro-gun versus anti-gun stances.

“We have irreconcilable differences and how we resolve them I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t want to force an Oklahoma mindset on the people of Massachusetts and at the same time I don’t want the Massachusetts mindset imposed on me. We are the opposite of what the original founders intended. We’re not what we were then (1776).”

Later, Fisher condemned the Oklahoma Republican leadership in the state legislature for paying lip service to bills they never intended to support. Fisher referred specifically to a measure he introduced that would have made embryonic stem cell research illegal. He also mentioned a pro-gun bill that would have been one of the strongest Second Amendment measures in the country.

Fisher said the stem cell bill was approved in the House, but failed to get a hearing in the Senate public safety and appropriations committees.

“Why did that bill go to those committees? Because the Republican leadership could count on those two chairmen not hearing the bill,” he said, giving an example of legislative tyranny. “There are times when I’m embarrassed to be known as a Republican. The leadership in the House and Senate will not let anything through that challenges their power.”

Earlier, Fisher quoted John Adams who wrote in a letter to James Warren, “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

Fisher concluded, telling the audience of about 100 people, “It’s time to stand up and say no while we still can.”

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Tim Farley

Tim Farley is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years of experience, including...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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