The Narrow Roads Nov. 2014

Bob_Anton_Narrow_Road

“As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison.” Luke 12:58

In 1979 a 21 year old Sheriff’s Deputy by the name of Kenny Cassell, from a small town in Arkansas, made a foolish mistake.  In that year, the young man stole chickens off a truck.  It probably didn’t seem like such a big deal at the time.  In fact, the Hens were worth only $100.00.  He may have thought that no one would ever find out.  But someone did.  Cassell was arrested and charged with theft of interstate shipments by carrier, a felony crime. The trial which certainly should have ended his career, ended instead in a mistrial.  He eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, was fined $300.00 and served 30 days in a local jail.

Fast forward some thirty years. Being ambitious, respected and well liked, Cassell decided to run for public office.  On Election Day 2011, Kenny Cassell was elected the new Sheriff of Searcy County, Arkansas.  But soon after, his troubles began.  The County Prosecutor, a man by the name of Hiland, immediately filed petition to have the Sheriff removed from his position.  It would seem that there was a law on the books which disallowed anyone convicted of an “infamous” crime, from holding public office.  The prosecutor claimed no ill will against the Sheriff, but maintained that the crime was in fact infamous because it had been committed by a law enforcement officer.  The law was clear and it was his duty to enforce it.  He would do everything in his power to ensure that the new Sheriff would be removed.  The misdemeanor the Sheriff had committed over thirty years earlier had finally caught up with him.

Although Cassell fought the petition for his removal and won in several lower courts, the prosecutor was good to his word and refused to admit defeat.  Cassell argued that he had been forthright with the voters, even paying for an ad in which he admitted to his indiscretion.  He didn’t contest the charge, but argued that his guilty plea shouldn’t stop him from holding office, since voters knew about it when they elected him in November.  “This is a very small county … Everybody knew,” he said. “It just wasn’t an issue.”

Hiland contended that it was irrelevant that Cassell made his transgression public “He was a deputy sheriff in a position of authority and was convicted and pled guilty to theft.” “State law requires me to proceed and remove folks from office who aren’t qualified,” “We can’t turn a blind eye to it.”

After appeal by the prosecutor, in May of 2013 The Arkansas State Supreme Court ruled that under the law, Sheriff Kenny Cassell was ineligible to hold public office.  He had clearly violated the Constitution of the State of Arkansas.  His career as Sheriff was over.

We all live under the laws of men.  Though we bend them and sometimes outright break them, they stand like sentinels over our lives.  Sometimes, when we violate these laws, we experience immediate repercussions.  Other times, like in the case of Kenny Cassell, we don’t experience their full weight until years later.

The spiritual laws of God function in a similar fashion.  We violate God’s law day after day, but don’t’ experience the full consequence.  However, in the end, when the books are opened, our every violation of God’s law will be revealed.  Nothing will be hidden, everything will be made known and there will be no justifiable excuses.  As in the case with Mr. Cassell, the law will catch up with each of us.  The Prosecutor will not rest until justice is meted out.  Therefore, it is exceedingly wise to settle with the Prosecutor now while there is still opportunity.  Once the court is called into session, a guilty verdict will be assured.

You think about that.  God bless you and …….

See you on the road

Bob Anton: Christian Motorcyclists Association

For more information on CMA or questions or comments concerning this column, please contact Bob Anton at 631-897-8122 or baftmny@aol.com