One of the current hot buttons around the country is Agenda 21. For those unfamiliar with it, it is “a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control that was initiated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992.”

That descriptive quote comes from a recently passed Joint Resolution from the 107th Tennessee General Assembly (GA), HJR 587, condemning Agenda 21 and exposing some of its more dangerous and anti-American foundational principles. In condemning Agenda 21, the Tennessee General Assembly is joining together with both grassroots groups nationwide and also a broad swath of Republican organizations who have also condemned the plan. The Republican National Committee (RNC) recently condemned Agenda 21. Locally, the Williamson County Republican Party issued a statement in solidarity with the RNC’s position. Even Democrats are getting on board in opposing Agenda 21.

Clearly, opposition to Agenda 21 is one of the few issues with broad appeal across the political spectrum; horizontally in crossing party lines and vertically from Washington DC to the Grassroots.

For good reason. Agenda 21 is a bad idea. Per the General Assembly’s resolution, Agenda 21 “…views the American way of life of private property ownership, single-family homes, private car ownership and individual travel choices, and privately owned farms all as destructive to the environment … [contends] social justice is described as the right and opportunity of all people to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment which would be accomplished by socialist/communist redistribution of wealth; and … [believes] national sovereignty is deemed a social injustice.”

While HJR587 is merely a resolution and does not carry the force of law in Tennessee, it reflects the sense of thinking in the Tennessee legislature about the matter and is a part of the GA’s intent to work to ensure “that the federal government and state and local governments across the country be well informed of the underlying harmful implications of implementation of United Nations Agenda 21 destructive strategies for “sustainable development.”"

Given all of this, it is most disappointing that in the face of actions by a prestigious national GOP organization, the Tennessee legislature, local GOP and grassroots groups in opposition to Agenda 21 that a GOP Governor in one of the reddest states in the Union, Tennessee’s Bill Haslam, has chosen not to join such a broad coalition. When HJR 587 was sent to Haslam for his signature, he refused to sign it, opting instead to simply let the legislature make its position known and declining to support it.

The final language of the Resolution was posted this morning at the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website. It lists the House and Senate sponsors, and the language of the Resolution. It features the signatures of both Speaker of the House Beth Harwell and Lt Governor and Speaker of the Senate Ron Ramsey. There is a place for Governor Haslam’s signature. It is blank.

I’m unclear on why the Governor has refused to sign the Resolution. He has not issued a statement on the matter.

But doing so gives ammunition to those believing the Governor is less than a reliable ally on basic issues. Taken alone, perhaps it could be explained away. In conjunction with actions such as his veto of the Vanderbilt Religious Freedom bill, it makes it harder to argue Haslam is a Governor of the People and not a representative of the establishment.

In fact, given the establishment and the People are in agreement on Agenda 21 and Haslam is out of step with both groups, the whole thing becomes even more confusing.

Haslam has refused to condemn Agenda 21. Just exactly where does that put him on the political map? I don’t know. Perhaps a statement from Governor Haslam explaining his decision would help pin down where he should be seen to be …

SEE ALSO:

Haslam Dodges United Nations Agenda 21 by Tom Humphrey @ Knoxville News Sentinel;

Haslam Opts Not to Sign Resolution Against Agenda 21 by Daniel Potter @ Nashville Public Radio, WPLN;

J.R. Lind @ Post Politics suggests Maybe He’s an Agent of the UN;

Conservative, Republican activists want answers from Haslam on Agenda 21 stance by David Oatney @ Conservative Statehouse Examiner;