It was about one ago that I wrote on this blog that I was joining the ranks of the unchurched for a variety of reasons the first of which I was tiered of sitting in church alone. This endeavor if you could call it that started when I decided to take a few weeks off and see if anyone from my current church which I had been involved in for a few years would contact me, after a few months of zero contact I realized that one thing I wasn’t “doing” was community.
“Doing church” is a popular term among Christians these days. I must admit at my last church I wasn’t doing it, I was attending. Oh, I tried to get involved in a few ministries, and some of those efforts were sincere but my heart wasn’t in it. The church had enough activities and opportunities to get involved, it was possible to “do church” almost every night of the week. The sad thing for me was being involved in those activities ultimately was a lot like attending church on Sunday. It was something I attended, not something I was a part of.
I wrote earlier that I sat down in a previous church that I had been involved in a ministry for over three years and realized I didn’t really know anyone I was “doing” the ministry with. In three years I hadn’t had a cup of coffee or a meal with any of them. While I realize that part of it was me being single and most of the others in the ministry having significant others or family obligations, but that sure seems to be a long way from what church should be.
But then again who knows what church should be? I certainly realize the perfect church doesn’t exist. And while I was proud to be a part of a church that dug wells in Africa and sent medical teams to Haiti I didn’t enjoy feeling more lonely on Sunday mournings than I did during the week. I attended church a week ago and sat alone in a service again, not much has changed.
As a conservative I have written quite a bit about the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson MO. The reality is though, Ferguson appears to be based on a false meme. The “hands up-shot in the back” story that Browns friend propagated has proven to be false according to even a cursory look at the forensic evidence, much less the testimony of other witnesses.
I do agree that the Grand Jury process was flawed. As Judge Scalia has noted, Prosecutors don’t present all of the evidence to a Grand Jury, they present only the evidence needed to indict. But they don’t GO to a Grand Jury if so much contradictory evidence exists. While I have no doubt a prosecutor who wanted to could have gotten an indictment if he wanted to. It’s also very clear that no honest jury would have convicted Officer Wilson of anything other than bad judgment.
Should Michael Brown be alive today? Probably, but not because he was a “gentile giant”. Gentile Giants don’t strike police officers and reach for an officers gun. They don’t continue to move towards an officer after they’ve been shot and told to stop. But, Police officers should carry less than lethal means to deal with these kind of situations. Leaving his tazer at home because it’s “uncomfortable” was inexcusable for officer Wilson.
On The Other Hand, The Eric Garner story is the kind of story that should infuriate ANYONE who claims conservatism as a core belief.
One, Where can one find a greater example of an overbearing intrusive Nanny State than NYC whose politicians send the police out to arrest private citizens for selling individual cigarettes? I would argue that idea that selling individual cigerettes is a crime of any level in the land of the free and home of the brave would have the founders rolling over in their graves. But handcuffing someone to take them into custody for this? Absurd, you want to give the guy a ticket for it, maybe.
Imagine what they would have done if Eric Garner would have been selling big gulps? Would they have called out the SWAT teams with the surplus MRAPS? If ever there is an argument that government needs to get the @#*% out of it’s citizens personal affairs it’s this one
Second, Garner was on the ground complaining that he couldn’t breathe. After he was restrained he was left laying on the ground and no medical attention was provided. How the @$*& is this “protecting and serving”? ALL of those police officers who saw Eric Garners condition and didn’t respond should be job hunting. If cops aren’t interested in helping someone injured in their custody for the “Crime” of selling cigarettes they don’t deserve badges, plain and simple.
Third, it’s been argued that Garner died because he was overweight and in poor physical condition. Nonsense, I doubt any of New York’s finer physical specimens face arrest and a choke hold from an officer when they leave their Spa sessions on Park Avenue. The reality is Garner was a common citizen trying to make a buck whose activities were criminalized by an intrusive freedom hating government.
Fourth, I’ve heard some claim that the Giuliani “fix the broken windows” law enforcement ideal applies here. Absurd, the squeegee peddlers were approaching people aggressively in an intimidating manner while they were in their own cars and not engaging in any commerce. This is far different from someone offering to sell you an individual cigarette. His crime wasn’t that he was bothering someone, his crime was he denying the all encompassing greedy bastard nanny state of NY city a few dollars in confiscatory tax revenue.
Fifth, Does anyone else but me see the utter indefensible irony of a city that denies it’s citizens the basic human right to own and carry firearms to defend themselves justifying this kind of policing? And that the biggest critics of this kind of Law Enforcement agreeing with them that the same cops who are creating a “police state” are the only people in the city who can carry a firearm? If you disarm the citizens than only the bad cops have guns. How’s that working? Why don’t we ask the family of Amadou Diallo?