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Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Corona Martyr Shelley Luther: Here I Stand

May 7, 2020

We need many more brave Shelley Luthers:

If you have not yet heard about Texan hair salon owner Shelley Luther you really need to – so keep reading. A judge has sentenced the Dallas mother to a week in jail and a $7,000 fine. Her crime? Seeking to feed her family. She could have avoided that had she apologised, closed the salon, and admitted she was “wrong”. But true to her namesake, she could do no other – she had to stand.

The Dallas County State District Judge Eric Moyé, a Democrat and Obama appointee, also said she would have to pay another $500 each day the salon remained open. It seems the only thing the judge could have added as he berated the mother is this: ‘On your knees peasant and lick my jackboots! Grovel and repent, and I might consider letting you off the hook.’

Indeed, what the judge effectively told the mother was this: ‘You want to feed your children? Then go to jail you selfish bastard!’ That is the line the Dems and the corona alarmists have been peddling all along: anyone concerned about the loss of liberties and the need to have an income is just a selfish pig.

While the Democrat judge treated her with contempt, Luther was polite and respectful in her response: “I have much respect for this court and laws. I have never been in this position before and it’s not someplace that I want to be. But I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids is not selfish. I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids. So sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision, but I am not going to shut the salon.”

Wow, reminds me of another brave Luther who 500 years ago refused to bow down to the authorities and recant. She could not abandon her children and her conscience, so she was willing to face the consequences. In my book this woman is a hero.

And just in case there are some squeamish and limp-wristed Christians here saying we must never ever go against the state, let me remind them that this is patently false, and there is a biblical place for civil disobedience: billmuehlenberg.com/2008/11/02/christians-and-civil-disobedience/

And see too my recent piece on how the Christian should view the state: billmuehlenberg.com/2020/05/05/christianity-and-the-state/

Not that I am saying that this mother is a Christian – I do not know anything about her religion, or lack thereof. Those in the know might inform me of this matter thanks. But the biblical Christian has no problem with sometimes resorting to civil disobedience when conflicting duties arise.

Thankfully a huge outcry from freedom-loving Americans has been heard, and many prominent politicians and others are rallying to her defence. Dan Crenshaw, the former Navy SEAL officer serving in the US House of Representatives for Texas’s 2nd congressional district, said this about the ruling: “These punishments are NOT just. They are not reasonable. Small-minded ‘leaders’ across the country have become drunk with power. This must end.”

Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted this: “7 days in jail for cutting hair?? This is NUTS. And government officials don’t get to order citizens to apologize to them for daring to earn a living.” Social and political commentator Rush Limbaugh said this about her case:

“They don’t have any money. They need to get back to work. They didn’t demand that some government fix the problem. They didn’t demand a handout. They didn’t demand some paycheck protection plan or some other form of assistance. They went out and solved the problem as they have been taught, as they lived, as they were raised.”

He continued: “this is a tinderbox situation that is, I fear, being replicated in many parts of this country where these authoritarians are. You know, all politicians have a craving for power. It is a miracle the United States Constitution still rules the roost.”

One radio host said this: “The judge’s commentary is so sick and twisted and diseased that he should be thrown off the bench. Within this, there are two Americas: the people who believe that Shelly Luther is fighting for the very principle of being able to live her life as she sees fit, and those who believe that government is all-powerful in every way – even when they are in the wrong – and that if you grovel at his feet because of the robe on his back, then maybe, just maybe you won’t go to jail.”

The Texas attorney general Ken Paxton said Luther “should immediately be released from jail.” He said, “Locking her up is a misguided abuse of power, especially considering Dallas County released real criminals to ‘protect them from COVID-19’.” And Texas Governor Greg Abbot agreed with him that the judge in the case took “excessive action.”

Also, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick tweeted: “7 days in jail, no bail and a $7K fine is outrageous. No surprise Texans are responding. I’m covering the $7K fine she had to pay and I volunteer to be placed under House Arrest so she can go to work and feed her kids.” And a Go Fund Me site has already raised over $435,000 for her and the salon: au.gofundme.com/f/shelley-luther-fund

It is terrific to see so many Americans – including so many prominent ones – coming to her defence. This is so very vital, since all over America rogue leaders – almost always Democrat mayors and governors – have been releasing convicted criminals from prisons (to keep them safe from corona), while putting innocent American moms and dads in their place. This is outrageous.

Indeed, about the only thing worse than the emerging corona police state are all the sheeple – including Christian sheeple – who don’t give a rip about all this. They are living in fear and panic, and snitching on neighbours just like in Communist countries.

They are actually siding with the leftist authoritarians who prefer to strip Americans of their civil liberties and bankrupt the nation. One has to say, if this was a test run to see how quickly and easily the State can shut down a nation, with so very little protest, this has gone like a charm.

I for one applaud brave champions like Luther. With her and another courageous Luther I must continue to insist: Here I stand. I can do no other.

[1072 words]

25 Responses to Corona Martyr Shelley Luther: Here I Stand

  • Sounds a bit like the attitude Cardinal Pell had to put up with.

  • Stay strong! We resent the way you have been treated. We stand with you.

  • Dear Bill,

    This is disgraceful and I admire her for standing up for her human right to feed her family! At least the courageous lady has lots of support from prominent American citizens.

    Some of our local councils are also behaving like little Hitlers. I have an autistic grandson who also has epilepsy. He gets looked after from 9am until 5am daily by a disability agency whose lovely employees have been in the habit of taking him for walks, barbecues, swimming,cycle rides, train rides, libraries, shopping centres etc to fill in the day. However, since the lockdowns through the CV EVERYTHING has been shut down and there has been literally NOTHING for them to do except take my grandson for walks in parks. My grandson is non verbal so the carers have had great difficulty toileting him on these walks as some councils have closed the toilets which is absolutely ridiculous and totally unnecessary. Their autocratic behaviour have simply made these essential workers jobs harder. After all large crowds are unlikely to gather in council toilets are they?

    Also the MSM now seems to have taken it upon themselves to tell people how they should behave. They had the AUDACITY to show a segment on SUNRISE this morning about how to treat someone who isn’t practicing social distancing. ”Tell them nicely to move away. Be kind and speak nicely but don’t confront them” or words to that effect. How DARE they treat ALL their viewers like fools and idiots? I will be writing to complain about their patronising attitude.The sad fact is that some will take notice and think there is nothing wrong with this aspect of media coverage because they have never heard that the Lord Jesus said Christians would be recognised by their love John 13:35. Therefore, for Christians saying thank you and polite behaviour is normal behaviour for them in supermarkets. As for a social distancing infringement Christians would not bother to make an issue of it but move away themselves. How much more ridiculous can the MSM get?

  • Wow, what a great response from the mother: “So sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, … ”
    I see a kind of biblical parallel in the Matthew 12:1-8 account of the disciples, being hungry, picking some heads of grain to eat. When Pharisees objected that this was “unlawful”, Jesus told them bluntly, “If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.”

    It seems the Texas judge is ignorant (willingly?) of that account.

  • Wow, what an amazing hard-working women, and to go all the way holding fast to the truth. We need to see much more of people like her, and less of those who have a towering marshmallow spine. Thankfully so many have come to her side seeing the abuse of power at play. Thank you Bill once again.

  • Thanks Bill.
    I am reminded of a hymn here, the original author of which is Samuel Rodigast (1649-1708), but translated by Catherine Winkworth (1827-78), the first verse of which runs:
    “Whate’er my God ordains is right:
    His holy will abideth;
    I will be still whate’er He doth,
    And follow where He guideth:
    He is my God;
    Though dark my road,
    He holds me that I shall not fall:
    Wherefore to Him I leave it all.”

    By contrast, what so many are singing now—including erstwhile Christians—is a leftist version of the same:
    “Whate’er the State ordains is right:
    Its righteous will abideth;
    I will be still whate’er it says,
    And walk where it directeth:
    It is my god,
    Though dark my road,
    It feeds me though my finance fall;
    Thus to the State I leave it all.”

    Throughout this “crisis” I have been hearing incessantly, “The guv’ment should do this or that ; the guv’ment is not doing such and such…etc. etc.” I am tired of it, but it is a mentality that has grown up over many years, i.e. the deification of the State; that the State is the great god from whom all blessings flow. and of course, with that mindset the conviction grows of the divine right of the State, that whatever it decrees is right. That is my fundamental objection to socialism: it deifies the State.

    Like you, I don’t know if this lady in Texas is a Christian, but she is nevertheless standing for a very Biblical principle, “If one. will not work, let him not eat.” (2 These 3:10).

  • Yes exactly right Murray. Love the second hymn!

  • Long time reader never commented before.
    Just this once I strongly disagree with you . Many many people are complying with the lockdown and suffering for it . People like this potentially negate their sacrifice. By refusing to pay the judges order she showed contempt for the court and for her fellow citizens .
    Of course people need all the help that government and others can provide at this time , but they also have a responsibility to their fellow citizens.
    This virus has an incubation period of about 5 days . If you imagine her having the virus , how many people could she infect who would then take it home to their families.
    Americans seem very fine of their constitutional rights and freedoms , much less fond of their responsibilities.
    Of course you could say that Texas is one of the most lightly affected states , only 35,000 cases , 1000 deaths , trivial you might say , but that is still double Australia’s numbers.
    Total disregard for the life and wellbeing of your fellow citizens is not to be admired.

  • Thanks Nigel. Well you are right about one thing at least: “Total disregard for the life and wellbeing of your fellow citizens is not to be admired.” Exactly – so when you, the leftist judge, and other corona alarmists treat like dirt a mother desperately seeking to feed her own children, and even applaud her being thrown in jail, then yes, quite so: no one should have any admiration whatsoever for such callous insensitivity and hypocritical moralising. Next time you are fined and thrown into prison for seeking to look after your own family, then come back here. Otherwise we have little reason to take your concerns very seriously to be honest.

  • I realise you do not encourage debate on what is your personal website and I’m grateful you allowed my comment to stand . As I say I am a long time reader and supporter. I
    However I would like to respond .
    Over the last two months I’ve developed a deep hatred for this virus . I’ve seen , ” up close and personal” what it does to the human body , and , in all honesty , I have no sympathy at all for some one who would willingly inflict that on another person . C19 kills in a way I have never seen before . Even meningococcal meningitis gives you a (small) window of opportunity to stop it , c19 does not.
    As to lock down a get very dear friend is now dependant on the very good bank he used to contribute to in order to feed his daughter . Very difficult to get him to accept my help. In no way would be break the lockdown , he knows his duty to his fellow citizens.

  • Thanks again Nigel, but sorry, I must keep calling your bluff here. How in the world is a mother seeking to feed her kids by working at a salon with plenty of safety measures in place ‘willingly inflicting a virus on another’? Good grief! What a foolish thing to say. Have you ever gone out to get groceries in the past 2 months mate? Have you gone out to get petrol in your car? Have you gone out to take a walk? Have you gone to see a friend or a family member in the past two months? If so, were you willingly inflicting a virus on another? You are simply talking nonsense here, and you really need to ease up on the fear mongering, and try to get a grip.

    Perhaps you live in a nice fancy home and have heaps of money in the bank so you can bunker down for years on end if you prefer, but most of us mere mortals actually are NOT filthy rich. Instead, we have bills to pay, and we have families to feed. That matters a whole lot to us. But sadly you really do not seem to care about any of that. So spare us your rather nasty moralising and judgmentalism thanks. Your seeming contempt for struggling families betrays your moral posturing here.

    And let me ask you one last question: Why do seem to not give a rip about every single person who may die of starvation, who may die from suicide because of the economic collapse, or who may experience huge mental health problems and depression because of the lockdown? Guess what: I actually care about ALL of these people. But you seem to prefer to live in your little bubble, where only direct corona harms or deaths mean anything. Sorry mate, I will seek to minimise ALL suffering and fatalities.

    And I will never sit in judgment on a mother seeking to feed her own children, like some hard-hearted Pharisee. To be honest, your evident lack of concern for others is really quite worrying. Indeed, I remind you of your own words: “Total disregard for the life and wellbeing of your fellow citizens is not to be admired.” And I sure do NOT admire that. So we might leave it there thanks, as you are not really adding anything of value here.

  • Thank you again for allowing my comment to stand . I 100% accept your right to moderate your own website in your own way , so again many thanks.
    I would like to correct some of your assumptions .
    I am absolutely horrified at the economic consequences that are to come . Nobody knows better the link between poverty and mortality than a physician . Yet there have been over 30,000 deaths in the UK , I’ve seen 7 . I have enormous sympathy for the politicians who must balance these issues , but as a physician , my concern will always be with the patient in front of me.
    As to my personal experience of the lockdown , I’ve continued to do 13 hour shifts on the itu , despite being at high risk myself (ihd) . I can assure you 13 hours in full ppe , no food no drink and no opportunity to wee is no joke . I shower and change before leaving the hospital , and drive directly home . Keeping myself fed is a major issue , I’ve been able to keep trips to the supermarket to once every 16 days . I miss bread , milk and fresh veg.
    I’ve had no social contact since the lockdown began.
    One last point , doctors in the UK are paid far less than those in the USA or australia.

    I’m sure you won’t want to post this comment ! Never the less , many thanks , and I wish you all the very best . I very much hope this virus never touches you or your loved ones.

  • Thanks again Nigel. As I keep saying, I think ALL lives actually matter, regardless of how they are impacted. So whether death comes by a disease, or by starvation, or by abuse, or by suicide, they are all horrible and all to be avoided as much as possible. I refuse to say that only some types of suffering and death should be taken into consideration.

    And I already said that not all of us are the same. It is all very nice that you have the luxury of being able to go out once every 16 days – but not all of us have that luxury. So it is actually rather annoying to have those who are rather well off with a steady income looking down on those of us who are not, and claiming we are somehow selfish when we seek to feed our families. It is that selective moralising, and hypocritical moralising, that I and so many others find to be so offensive to be honest.

    The post here is about a mother seeking to feed her children. I happen to think she has every right to want to look after her own family, while you appear to think she does not have that right. So we differ – big time. I hope you will never get into the position that she and so many others are in who are less well off than you are, and be forced to make some really hard decisions. But if you do, maybe it will help you to become less judgmental.

    But we are just going over old ground here, so we REALLY will leave it at that thanks.

  • Hi Bill. Just want to let you know that my husband and I support you all the way. We thought of an old Sixties protest song that would be perfect for these times – Stop hey what’s that Sound by Buffalo Springfield. Remember that one? A couple of words would have to be changed, but otherwise it’s perfect for now!

  • People who seek to make a living and feed their families should NOT be made into criminals!

  • Bill has throughout the Covid19 dilemma consistently made it clear in each of his articles that we all should be smart and have some perspective on this matter.
    Herewith some links to scientific/scientists websites that offer some important points of view:
    https://climatism.blog/
    https://principia-scientific.org/
    https://wmbriggs.com/
    And many more.

  • Bill I agree with your point of view but I also understand where Nigel is coming from. He says he has been working 13 hour shifts and has experienced a number of casualties. It must be very traumatic to witness such suffering and feel helpless to stop the progression of the disease. I can understand his cautious approach especially as I have worked as a nurse. It sounds as if Nigel is working in the UK and in an area which has many more cases than Australia. Judy Mikovics in Plandemic states that the virus is made up of SARS, MERS and HIV so I am sure that someone who has a bad case or who is immune compromised would be very difficult to treat. Thanks Nigel for your work.

  • Thanks Gail. Of course until his third comment, we knew absolutely nothing about Nigel. And our discussion – like the topic of this article – was NOT about the importance of doctors: we celebrate what Nigel and all health care workers are doing during this crisis. But the topic at hand WAS this: the right of a mother to feed her own children, and not be jailed for doing so. That is where we have differed, and that is where I will not give ground thanks.

  • Hi Bill, possible minor correction – my understanding is that Moye was elected by Dallas not appointed by Obama.

    The Texas AG pointed out that hardened criminals are being released into the community for fear of coronavirus in the prison system, and yet Moye, and 12 of his Democrat colleagues, all apparently believe that is the appropriate punishment for a mother who only wants to feed her children. I cannot fathom their logic. Can anyone else? What makes the lives of hardened criminals so much more valuable to Democrat judges than the lives of mothers?

    As regards Nigel and his posts upthread, first off thank you for your service wherever that may be (UK?). My own understanding of the disease is as a layman, albeit one who has probably read slightly more than the average on the subject – I’m not claiming lay expertise let alone scientific! I appreciate that the disease might be an unpleasant way to die, but barring in your sleep, are there many ways that are ‘pleasant’? And as far as I can tell fatality rates are relatively low, though this depends on the country\state and policies in place. Places like New York or Italy which have put carriers\patients into aged care facilities\nursing homes have of course seen mass death tolls. Others, such as South Dakota which don’t even have a lockdown in place, have an incredibly low rate of fatalities. There is no one size fits all solution. Even in countries with lockdowns e.g. Australia, hair salons like Luther’s were permitted to continue operations and there are no reports of adverse consequences. On the other hand selling dope which is illegal most places, is actually legal in many of the US states with the most extreme lockdowns! The rules simply don’t make sense.

    As unpleasant as the virus may have been, only a mere 0.0269% of Australians are reported as having contracted a case, and 1.4% of those died. Of those dying, 28% were from the Ruby Princess or other cruise ship, and 27% from Newmarch House and other aged care facilities. Almost two-thirds of cases are from overseas. The situation in America or the UK may be different, but had borders been closed far sooner much of this tragedy might have been averted, or at least curtailed, but the Left screamed racism. Now it supports a lockdown, and everyone is suffering. Or for a non-Australian example, 700 Indians (Sub-continent\South Asia) have reportedly died of the disease and the country is in panic and yet there are 10,000-odd malaria deaths and 450,000 TB deaths recorded every year, but this is deemed normal and nothing to worry about.

    I fear that Nigel is right to be concerned about the post-coronavirus fallout. Yes the economic consequences will likely be devastating – and Beijing is already moving in for the kill on now cheap properties and corporations around the globe, but what about the the looming Biblical level famines? Some of this will overlap but does the cause really matter? In the West agriculture ground to a halt – food couldn’t get to supermarkets, restaurants aren’t buying, milk\eggs\crops etc is\was being dumped\ploughed back into fields etc. In countries like India however the situation is far more dire. Millions of people must either work each day, or starve, and governments have banned work. How many (hundreds of?) thousands will starve as a consequence of the “cure for the coronavirus pandemic”? If GDP around the world contract by 5%, or worse 10%, how many more people will shift from low income to poverty, and how many more will shift from poverty to near starvation?

    Fear of this virus will likely prove a far greater danger than the virus itself. Yes it has killed some, but the mindless fear driven response will likely lead to many times more needless deaths. Luther’s desire to open her salon and feed her kids is about rejecting this unreasonable fear.

  • I posted this as a share on FB about the lady from another article reporting about the case:

    “You owe an apology to the elected officials whom you disrespected for fragrantly ignoring, and in one case defying their orders which you now know obviously apply to you. That you understand that in a proper way, in an ordered society, to engage concerns which you may have had is to hire a lawyer and advocate for change and exception or an amendment to laws you find offensive.”

    Of all the possible reasons to condemn the woman this intrigues me. I presume elected officials refers to politicians giving the new emergency orders. In the American set up – elected representatives are suppose to be seen as servants of the people. The American system is suppose to be one of the people governing themselves. There are meant to be limits on where power should be invested into the government. It feels like the judge wants to message strongly “you are in a fair and democratic society and you should be grateful for those privileges”. But during this time all manner of constitutional rights (like work to put food on the table for your family) have been, if not violated, contradicted. Are these officials serving the people or are they going beyond the bounds of their intended authority? “Owing an apology to elected officials” is an interesting take, which I don’t think squares with the original set up of the American way of government. There seems to be as much messaging in that statement to the inhabitants of the state as there is to the woman in question.

    The article also points out how hardened criminals are being released for fears of … One could say it is an inversion of society. After all the woman is question is most likely in a normal course of events a law-abiding citizen. Who are the people who believe in inversion of morality in society and what is their general philosophical world-view?

  • I believe Shelley Luther did the right and courageous thing in reopening her business and allowing her hair stylists to once again make money. This is a small business owner who had the “guts” to stand up and do the right thing!

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