In the spirit of fiscal responsibility, the fire department of Obion County,Tennessee, stood by and watched as the home of Gene Crannick burned to the ground. Because he forgot to pay the $75 fire department service fee this year. Crannick offered to pay whatever it took to put out the fire. His neighbors volunteered to pay the fee (or even $500), if the department would put out the fire but the fire chief (who was playing golf nearby) said no dice – let it burn.
Thankfully no one was inside at the time (would that have made any difference, though?) but his pets, three dogs and a cat were killed. Well, I guess Crannick had it coming. People need to be held accountable, especially in this day and age. According to Glenn Beck, self-proclaimed Christian leader of the far Right:
And it goes nowhere if you go onto “compassion, compassion, compassion, compassion” or well, “they should’ve put it out, what is the fire department for?” [...] If you don’t pay the 75 dollars then that hurts the fire department. They can’t use those resources, and you’d be spongeing off your neighbor’s resources. [...] It’s important for America to have this debate. This is the kind of stuff that’s going to have to happen, we are going to have to have these kinds of things.
Of course, I’m not sure if allowing a man’s house to burn down, with living creatures inside, is exactly what Jesus would do, but we’ll have to wait to hear more on that from Beck and other Right Wing Christians. Then I’d like to ask, if government is so incompetent, as many conservative/libertarians claim, then do we really want to rely on bureaucratic paper pushing careerists to determine whose house burns and whose doesn’t? What if there was a filing error? Oops!
But what about those dogs and that cat? Allowing them to burn up in the fire, doesn’t that amount to cruelty to animals? According to state statute Title 39. Criminal Offenses. Chapter 14. Offenses Against Property. Part 2. Animals it seems that this fire department in the Bible Belt knowingly broke Tennessee law. Aside from any other laws that might come from a somewhat Higher Authority.