Cops and Christ: a brilliant response

Cops and Christ: a brilliant response

Ever since the story broke earlier this month of an Indiana state trooper giving a driver a dose of Jesus along with a warning ticket, thousands of discussions have erupted over whether police officers have the right to proselytize whilst in uniform.

Well, today on Reddit I stumbled across a post by that ought to silence those in favour of evangelising plods.

“Dogs not Gods” wrote that after he he posted an article about State Police Trooper Brian Hamilton, his Christian uncle  – a cop – responded thus:

I have spoken to people about my faith on duty numerous times and wouldn’t hesitate to do it in the future … thousands of police officers are Christians and have spoken openly of their faith on duty. We too have rights. Just because we wear a uniform does not mean that we give up those rights.

“Dogs not Gods” said a few friends responded, but this was the best:

[… ] The fact that you are all comfortable doing it has no bearing on the legality of the action.

Thousands of Christian pastors endorse political candidates from the pulpit. That’s illegal. Thousands of football coaches lead Christian prayers on the field. That’s illegal. Thousands of government buildings feature monuments to the Ten Commandments, or nativity scenes around Christmas. That’s illegal. There are laws designating a ‘day of prayer’ or designating the Bible as a state book. There are laws preventing atheists from holding office.

All of these things are illegal, but they happen anyway because the Christian majority thinks they have special privileges and protections that are not shared by the rest of us. I could provide you with hundreds more examples, but the law is the same no matter what.

As to your rights, I have clearly explained that those rights are not universal. Target employees have every right to carry a concealed handgun in their daily lives, but not at work.

Military employees have every right to wear their hair however they want, but not at work. Colorado citizens have every right to smoke marijuana recreationally, but not at work. And I’m willing to bet that if you showed up tomorrow with a goatee, ponytail, and swastikas tattooed on both cheekbones – all things that you as an American are well within your rights to have as personal accessories – there would be repercussions.

Similarly, you have every right to be a Christian and to believe whatever you want. You can talk about your faith to your friends and family, you can accost people on the street and explain to them how wonderful Jesus is, you can even stand on a street corner with a sign that says that heathens like me are going to hell. BUT NOT AT WORK.

While at work, you are not the autonomous individual you are outside it. You are an agent of the law, and as such are bound to uphold it. You even took an oath when you joined the [omitted] County Sheriff’s office saying that you ‘will enforce and administer the law according to the standards of the US Constitution and applicable State Constitutions and statutes so that equal protection of the law is guaranteed to everyone. To that end, I shall not permit personal opinions, party affiliations, or consideration of the status of others to alter or lessen this standard of treatment of others’.

That means you cannot proselytize at work. This is not my opinion, it’s a fact, and the only reason you think it’s an infringement on your rights is that you’ve been in the privileged majority for so long that equality feels strange.

Here’s a little test: Imagine you’re in plainclothes and you get pulled over by an officer you’ve never met before. As far as he knows, you’re not an officer at all, just another civilian. In the middle of your traffic stop, he asks you if you’re a member of the Church of Satan or would like to become one. He explains that the sins of the Bible are just oppressive means of control, and that the Church of Satan believes in indulgence rather than abstinence, and undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit (by which, of course, he means your personal beliefs).

I’m willing to bet you’d be offended. You might even feel threatened. After all, this man is in uniform, carrying a gun, leaning over your open car window and telling you to believe what he believes. If you tell him to go away, he might write you a stiffer penalty, or even arrest you ‘on suspicion’ of something.

THAT is why you are required to remain neutral on religion, politics, race, etc. THAT is why you said as much in your Code of Ethics. And THAT is why, no matter how comfortable you are talking about Jesus – and I have no doubt that you feel totally comfortable doing so as a Christian working for a Christian government in the middle of a predominantly Christian state and nation – it is grossly inappropriate for you to do so.

Cop uncle’s response predictably sidesteps all of the points made by author:

Listen guys I’m not sure what God ever did to you but the fact is He is real. You will stand before Him someday to give an account for everything that you have said and done. All of your anger towards Him and towards Christians isn’t going to amount to anything. I wish nothing but the best to you all and I hope that at some point you will wake up. Hopefully, not at the judgement seat of Christ because then it will be too late.

• The photo used to illustrate this post is of Sheriff Brad Rogers, who was in group of about 30 people who gathered on the lawn in front of the Elkhart County Courthouse in Indiana to worship on the National Day of Prayer on May 1 this year.  Asked what he was praying for, Rogers replied:

I’m praying about the government and that the Lord would protect us whether we’re police officers, firefighters, state or local employees. We pray for wisdom and guidance in the decisions we make as we serve we the people.


14 responses to “Cops and Christ: a brilliant response”

  1. Newspaniard says:

    You can’t educate pork.

  2. Paul Cook says:

    That is a very thoughtful, precise and intelligent reply.

    Interesting that the counter-reply is an overt threat of terrible things.Believe in me or I will burn you and torture you. “Hopefully, not at the judgement seat of Christ because then it will be too late.”

    How can these people not see the threat of having to worship jesus or the christain god and if they don’t then terrible things await. Why? It is always a threat of if you don’t comply to the omnipotent, omnipresent, beautiful jesus/god who loves you – then he will crush you and burn you and torture you for ever.

    The concept is truly evil and monstrous.

  3. Trevor Blake says:

    Religious attendance is voluntary, submission to police not. To keep freedom of religion in the former, don’t invite confusion with the latter.

  4. Rob Andrews says:

    I don’t see how anybody can love anybody/thing that say love me oe else. Could you respect a husband that said that.

    I’m told by Xtians that: ‘he’s a jealous god’. What can god worry about-another god, stealing his love. This is clearly from a time of polytheism.

    “I know your religion isn’t true, the same way you know other people’s isn’t true”.–Mark Twain

  5. Dennis says:

    Being stuck at a work conference on a sunday morning having to endure the insanity of a vice-president rail on about the god shit from his podium is just as bad as a cop doing it. The VP knew I was an atheist and he starred at me for 30 minuets during his rant trying to convey a true wish for my soul. No he was looking to notch his six shooter with a convert. Power over my pay check and power over my soul he got neither only disgust for him having broke the law.

  6. Barry Duke says:

    OT but you ought to know that today is Pope Day.

    Hurry, hurry, hurry … get 20 percent off of your Lourdes/Frankie rosary for a limited time only.

  7. L.Long says:

    I always claim religious people are natural LIARs!!
    He said…Listen guys I’m not sure what God ever did to you but the fact is He is real. … HE DOES NOT KNOW THAT BY ANY MEANS!!!!.
    AND he is making the totally false assumption that if the psychotic invisible friend is real, that his version is it!!! And for most of these people even if they are loved by someone, the term delusional means exactly the same as when used to describe an insane person. As insane means not able to tell right from wrong. Ask the guy who gleefully cut the other guy’s head off how wrong it was!!!!

  8. Stephen Mynett says:

    Liar is a perfect description, along with totally delusional. It amazes me that they cannot see, or refuse to see, that we are not angry with any god, we do not believe in gods, we are angry with them for the arrogance and bigotry.

    However, I doubt any religionist would ever accept this as using logic and reason invalidates all they believe in.

  9. Matt Westwood says:

    You can’t make a conscious decision as to whether you are going to believe something or not. If the facts support it, then it can be believed. If they do not, then they cannot. But it’s impossible to say: today I’m going to voluntarily decide to ignore the facts which I know to be real because I have an emotional desire for a pretty little story to be the truth instead.

  10. tonye says:

    I think the obvious solution, should anyone be pulled over by this twat, and regardless of the crime, is to state:

    ‘Well, forgive me!’

  11. Peterat says:

    As a retired police officer I can provide a personal example: a fundamentalist christian member I worked with refused to provide security duties – while on duty – at a women’s clinic because they performed abortions and were the target of abusive “pro-life” protestors. He was given a simple ultimatum: do your job (provide security to the staff and patients) or be written up for insubordination.
    You don’t have the luxury of an opinion in the matter.

    He went home, sick!

  12. AgentCormac says:

    Bravo! What an intelligent an eloquent retort. It’s good to know that there is still sanity is out there.

  13. Robster says:

    “Listen guys I’m not sure what God ever did to you (which by all reports is absolutely nothing) but the fact is He is real (but only in my vacuous head). You will stand before Him someday to give an account for everything that you have said and done (or better still nip down the pup for a pint). All of your anger towards Him and towards Christians isn’t going to amount to anything (because he doesn’t actually exist and is in reality a Bronze-Age middle eastern fantasy fabricated by superstitious nomadic tribesmen who knew no better) . I wish nothing but the best to you all (except eternal torture in my loving jesus’ lake of fire) and I hope that at some point you will wake up (and realise I’m a completely deluded idiot that’s prepared to believe what ever nonsense I’m told to believe because I’m too thick to think for myself). Hopefully, not at the judgement seat of Christ because He died two thousand years ago and left no reliable believable evidence tthat he actually existed) then it will be too late (for my church to get its tacky scratches on your money”.

  14. Ragtop says:

    “None are so deluded as the faithfully blind who refuse to see the truth.” That’s my version of the old saying “None are so blind as those who won’t see”. Faith is blind they say, so none are so faithfully blind as those who won’t (refuse to) see. But their blind faith is really just a delusion, so: None are so deluded as the faithfully blind who refuse to see…see what? Facts, which are truths. So: None are so deluded as the faithfully blind who refuse to see the truth. On a side note I was thinking of starting an anti-religion, but then I realized it already existed-it’s called science.