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Sheriff Mark / screenshot

(LifeSiteNews) – Sometimes life keeps you so busy, you can’t stop and think about the recent past. That is how it happened to me. Being occupied with my little family and its special needs, I vaguely noticed how even at medical offices, people do not wear masks anymore. There are no masks anywhere. But I did not stop to reflect on it, really.

Then I recently read Dr. Robert Malone’s post about his life on his rural horse farm in Virginia and how he is enjoying his work there. He wrote:

The truth is that the Covid crisis is done and I am enjoying work on the farm again. I am in avoidance mode with my cell phone, social media and email. Bad me. But my fitness is climbing back up and I needed a break. Being caretaker to all these animals and plants brings me great joy. Creating this living integrated farm/garden/horticultural park – it is my work of creation. Hard work is a joy for me.

These words are coming from one of the people whose life was turned upside down, after he started speaking up against the official corona response in 2020, getting stronger and more critical as the days went by. Since I had the blessing, together with my children, to get to know Robert and his lovely wife Jill in person, I know what they both went through. And they helped so many of us to deal with that corona crisis.

But suddenly, you realize: the corona crisis is over. All the agonies, all the distress over just simply going to shop groceries for the family are gone.

But two things come to mind now, too: gratitude for those who stood strong in the crisis, and the need to prevent such a thing from ever happening again.

Next to Dr. Malone – who at the time even encouraged Austrians and Germans via an interview he gave to me – another man stood out in the life of my little family: our local sheriff, Mark Butler. We in Front Royal have a lot of Catholics families, and thus many of the locals did not believe in the harsh, nonsensical “health” restrictions that were imposed by the state and federal government upon us citizens. Sheriff Butler himself seemed to agree with us that it was up to the individual citizen to make personal health choices, for example whether or not to meet with other people.

In a January 23, 2021 interview – that is, in the middle of the lockdowns and coronavirus restrictions – Butler made it clear that he is a strong defender of the U.S. Constitution. He told the local media outlet Royal Examiner that “I believe 100% in the Constitution.”

“If we start messing with that Constitution,” he added, “we start messing with who we are as America.” Butler told his audience that he has raised “my hand … to protect that Constitution.” He insisted that he will, as sheriff, “enforce the laws and protect the Constitution.”

“If we believe that it is unconstitutional, we will speak with the Commonwealth Attorney, we will speak with other attorneys,” he added.

“If it is unconstitutional, I do not stand with it,” Sheriff Buttler declared.

In the context of the then-widely spread mask mandates, the official explained that, while he himself wore a mask at work, it does not mean he will force others to do the same.

“Am I going to arrest someone for not wearing it [a mask]? No. I do not have that authority.” He also insisted that he would not arrest people for gathering in homes. “I am not going to arrest somebody because they have 15 people in their house, or 20 people… I don’t know that that is constitutional,” Butler stated. (The First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the “right of the people to peaceably assemble,” a right that sadly many elected officials and government bureaucrats completely disregarded during the tyranny of 2020, 2021, and early 2022.)

Together with the local Commonwealth’s Attorney, Butler was then examining “everything that comes down from the governor’s office, if it is constitutional, we will support it.” If it is unconstitutional, he will check with “our lawyers in the county and our Commonwealth Attorney” and see whether they agree, he said at the time.

Sheriff Butler not only said these words, he also acted accordingly. During the lockdown, he permitted several hundred Catholics to gather on the local fairgrounds, having “car Masses” – the only Mass at that time for Catholics publicly to attend.

LifeSite’s Jim Hale made a video on that group of priests from the traditional Society of St. Pius X who came and provided the Sacraments in Front Royal at that time and continue to do so. We are grateful for these priests that they have helped us through the lockdown, just as Sheriff Butler made it possible that they could do so. The priests were very careful to follow the restrictions in place while still providing the faithful the Sacraments – for example, only one family would exit their car at a time for Holy Communion, as to avoid violating the “ban” on large gatherings.

At some point, after the lockdowns were over, our little family decided to call up Sheriff Butler and to thank him personally for how much space and freedom he had given us at a time where worldwide so many people were coerced and intimidated by the very authorities they helped get elected.

Jon Fidero, a Catholic father and resident of Warren County (and former Vice President of Development for LifeSiteNews), told LifeSite how he assesses Sheriff Butler’s important work. “I commend Sheriff Butler for his outstanding leadership and handling of the covid crisis,” Fidero stated. “Throughout this challenging time, Sheriff Butler has demonstrated a deep respect for our constitutional freedoms while prioritizing the health and safety of our community.”

For Fidero, Butler was able to strike “a delicate balance between safeguarding public health and upholding the rights and liberties of our citizens” such as “the right to assemble and the right to worship.”

In Fidero’s eyes, under Sheriff Butler’s guidance, the county “has navigated the pandemic with grace and resilience.”

Butler’s “steadfast commitment to the principles that underpin our Constitution,” says Fidero, “serves as a shining example to law enforcement officials across the country.”

Just as Dr. Malone was a shining example as a medical expert, just as the SSPX priests were a shining example as Catholic priests, so was Sheriff Butler a shining example as a law enforcement official, elected by the people for the people, called to uphold the Constitution. We thank him for that.

As we reflect on what so many people suffered during the era of extreme coronavirus tyranny, it is worth remembering that we need to make sure, when the next crisis comes around, we have good men to protect us.

We need all of these good forces in our country so that families can work and provide for their children and raise them in peace. Just as Dr. Malone, in a most beautiful recent post on living on the Virginian countryside highlighted the forgotten virtues of America which need to be resurrected, we need men in all spheres who are willing to defend the common good of this country and their families.

And it is worth it.

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Dr. Maike Hickson was born and raised in Germany. She holds a PhD from the University of Hannover, Germany, after having written in Switzerland her doctoral dissertation on the history of Swiss intellectuals before and during World War II. She now lives in the U.S. and is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.

Dr. Hickson published in 2014 a Festschrift, a collection of some thirty essays written by thoughtful authors in honor of her husband upon his 70th birthday, which is entitled A Catholic Witness in Our Time.

Hickson has closely followed the papacy of Pope Francis and the developments in the Catholic Church in Germany, and she has been writing articles on religion and politics for U.S. and European publications and websites such as LifeSiteNews, OnePeterFive, The Wanderer, Rorate Caeli,, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Notizie Pro-Vita, Corrispondenza Romana,, Der Dreizehnte,  Zeit-Fragen, and Westfalen-Blatt.