Blue Lives Matter, But No More Than Anyone Else’s

By Doug Newman – email me here.
Here I am on Facebook.
If you would like to post this elsewhere – who knows why? – please just link to this URL. Thanks!


When police properly arrest violent criminals, I am the first to applaud them. When police perform good deeds, like directing traffic at ballgames and accident scenes, I am the first to thank them.

This does not, however, elevate them above the rest of us.

Before I go any further, I want to extend my thoughts, prayers and condolences to the widow, children and friends of Zackari Parrish, the Douglas County sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed when responding to a domestic violence call in south suburban Denver on December 31, 2017.

Parrish’s death, while undeniably tragic, was no more tragic than any other death. As a Christian, I believe that God is “no respecter of persons” – Acts 10:34 – and does not value the souls of police officers any more than any other souls.

Why, then, is the death of a police officer and the memorial service given so much attention? His funeral procession was no ordinary one. Indeed, an 18-mile stretch of road between Castle Rock, Colorado, and Cherry Hills Community Church in nearby Highlands Ranch was closed for over 3 hours. Much of this was along Interstate 25, the most important traffic artery connecting Denver with points south.

And, according to the Denver Post: “The sanctuary that holds 5,000 at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch was filled. More watched from an overflow room across the street at Valor Christian High School. For more than an hour beforehand, a motorcade of several hundred law officers weaved through the streets following a hearse with Parrish’s remains. People who never met him lined University Boulevard and Wildcat Reserve Parkway, where the evergreen trees were tied with blue ribbon, holding American flags and handmade signs.”

Funeral procession for slain Douglas County deputy Zackari Parrish

I-25 in Douglas County, Colorado. Credit: Denver Post

Contrast this with my friend and business colleague – let’s call him Bill – who died very suddenly while working out at the end of May 2016. Cherry Hills held the memorial service, where a few hundred people showed up. Was Bill’s passing any less tragic? Was the grief of his family and friends any less? Did God value Bill’s soul any less? Did Bill’s life somehow matter less?

May God have mercy on your soul if you answered “yes” to any of these questions.

Most troubling is that a large segment of society has elevated the police into some sort of what the late great William Grigg called a “punitive priesthood”. The fact that their job is riskier than most jobs has caused many millions to heap huge amounts of undue praise upon them.

When you become a cop, you know that you will come in somewhat frequent contact with some of the more undesirable elements of humanity and that you are taking more than a few risks. However, cops do not have the most dangerous job. In fact, cops don’t even rank in the top 10 for on-the-job fatality rate. Moreover, on-the-job cop fatalities are at almost a 50-year low. In fact, more cops died in traffic accidents in 2017 than from being shot. There simply is no “war on cops”.

Then why do police occupy such an exalted place in the minds of so many? Perhaps, this is because they are part of the government. Governments and their toadies in the media – both left and right – lie profusely and endlessly.

zach parrish top local now

Funeral for Zackari Parrish at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Credit: Toplocalnow.com

America has an absolutely massive problem with police violence, which is made even worse by the refusal of so many to acknowledge it. Almost 1200 Americans were killed by cops in 2017. Contrast this with the 19 killed by Islamic terrorists. You are over 60 times more likely to be killed by a cop than by an Islamic terrorist.

Google “police brutality”. The list of examples is endless. And do likewise on YouTube. And look here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here for countless other examples. Indeed, American cops kill more people in each week than cops in other countries kill in years.

In all fairness, some of these killings were probably justified by some cops’ lives being in imminent danger. Cops are not always wrong. However, to casually assume that every such killing was justified, and to nonchalantly presume their victims “had to have done something to deserve it” isn’t just stupid. It’s also dangerous. To assume that the cops are always right and to always give them the unconditional benefit of the doubt is likewise not just abjectly stupid. It’s also abjectly dangerous.

To make matters worse, cops who abuse and kill almost always get away with their crimes. And no, rocking a badge and a blue uni does not excuse criminality. Crimes by cops are crimes nonetheless. When cops commit crimes, “good cops” never show up and arrest them. And police are far more militarized than they were a decade ago.

boston lockdown atlantic

Boston Lockdown 2013. Credit: The Atlantic

Throughout history, the most murderous organizations have always been governments. And it is the police or their equivalent who get the dirt under their fingernails carrying out their crimes. And whereas private sector criminals have two hands, governments have millions of hands. And they also employ very effective propaganda techniques to lull their subjects into blindly supporting them. Remind yourself of that whenever you hear someone say “blue lives matter”.

Indeed, blue lives do matter. But no more than anyone else’s.

Rick Ferguson was the senior pastor of Riverside Baptist Church in northwest Denver until his untimely passing in a car accident in 2002. I once heard him say that he always insisted on being called by his first name, even by his congregation. This was because, while he had greater responsibilities around the church, he was no more significant than anyone else in the eyes of God. If a very influential senior pastor whose duty is to preach and proclaim the Word of God is no more significant than anyone else, then nobody is more significant than anyone else in the eyes of God.

Apprehending violent offenders and bringing them to justice is likewise a solemn responsibility. But it does not make one’s life matter more than anyone else’s. And no one’s life, no matter how lowly their circumstances, matters any less than anyone else’s either.

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Why I Didn’t Support Trump

I didn’t support Trump because I thought his presidency would be a disaster, destroy conservatism, cause many conservatives to defend the indefensible, legitimize every negative stereotype about us, and lead to years of hard left rule. So far, I have not been proven wrong.

~ Matt Walsh on Twitter

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The Accuser is not Always Right and the Presumption of Innocence is Sacred

By Doug Newman – email me here.
Here I am on Facebook.
If you would like to post this elsewhere – who knows why? – please just link to this URL. Thanks!


Have you ever been wrongly accused of something? I have.

Did you like it? I didn’t.

Did you want a chance to tell your story and clear your name? I certainly did.

It isn’t at all difficult.

Just because Person X says Person Y did something doesn’t mean anything. Person X has to prove that person Y did the deed in question. There is no “right to be believed”.

roy moore accusers wvtm13

Credit: WVTM-TV in Birmingham, Alabama.

I am not that much of a newshound anymore, so I have not been following the Roy Moore flap in much detail. The fact that his accusers waited 30 years to spill the beans and did so just a few days after Moore’s party had their heads handed to them in New Jersey and Virginia makes the whole thing very suspicious.

But not to Moore’s accusers and those who support them. A woman accusing a man – a conservative Christian, no less – of sexual impropriety is sufficient. It PROVES that the man is guilty and must step aside immediately. Such guilt can never be atoned for. And if you have any doubts, no matter how reasonable, just SIDDOWN AND SHUDDUP! 

This isn’t merely a feminist phenomenon.

If a black person accuses a white person of racism, the media digitally lynch the accused. The truth doesn’t matter. Whitey is on his own. And, like accusations from feminists, his guilt can never be atoned for. And if you have any doubts, no matter how reasonable, just SIDDOWN AND SHUDDUP! 

And this isn’t merely a leftist phenomenon.

Whenever there is an episode of police brutality, millions either look the other way or, worse yet, automatically take the cops at their word that their victim “did something to deserve it”. Because cops, ya know. And if you have any doubts, no matter how reasonable, just SIDDOWN AND SHUDDUP! 

On that extremely rare occasion that there is a terrorist attack, millions automatically believe media reports that Ahmed Al-Skumbaggi – or whoever – Did It and that we shouldn’t even bother wasting time and money on a trial. Al-Skumbaggi Did It! WE KNOW HE DID IT! And if you have any doubts, no matter how reasonable, just SIDDOWN AND SHUDDUP! 

Even non-Christians can get on board with the principles of reaping what you sow, of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you and of not lying about others even if they don’t acknowledge the source of these principles. For Christians, these principles are sacred. (Exodus 20:16, Proverbs 25:18, Matthew 7:12 and Galatians 6:7.)

The framers of the Constitution set up numerous firewalls to protect the accused against, among other things, malicious accusers and overzealous police and prosecutors. Five of the 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights as well as the habeas corpus clause do just this. The Sixth Amendment spells out the details of the rights of the accused.

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

Please note the word “all”. All means just that: ALL! Just because someone says someone did something doesn’t make the accusation true. It doesn’t matter if you like the accuser and hate the accused. It doesn’t matter if the accuser represents your particular faction and the accused represents the other faction. It doesn’t matter how serious the accusation or how intense the media campaign might be against the accused.

But this is politics, you say, so the presumption of innocence doesn’t apply.

Hogwash!

If a public figure can have his reputation and, with it, his career and life destroyed because of gossip, slander, rumor, hearsay or some combination thereof, why can’t you? Imagine if you, reader, were up for a major job promotion and that promotion never happened because a few people got together and started slandering you all over the office. What goes around comes around.

The presumption of innocence is not just for legal proceedings, but moreover is a matter of fundamental human decency. Have you ever been on the receiving end of malicious high school gossip or, later in life, office gossip? I bet you wanted the chance to tell your side of the story and restore your good name. If we remove the presumption of innocence not just from our courts, but from society in general, anyone can say anything about anyone and never be held accountable, and those unable to defend themselves will be rendered helpless. Do you want to live in such a society? I don’t.

lenin getty images

Among Lenin’s core beliefs was that of “who gets to do what to whom”? The “what” part did not matter, no matter how immoral it may have been. If the “who” was from some favored segment of society whatever they did to the “whom” did not matter. In contemporary America, we see the “who” in reckless accusers, rogue cops and playground bullies. Might doesn’t just make right. Might IS right!

If Roy Moore is guilty, yes, he does need to step aside and do so immediately. But if he is not guilty, he needs to stay in the race. He doesn’t “owe it” to anyone to exit. It doesn’t matter whether or not you like him.

And if he prevails and is elected, I pray this whole episode makes him more empathetic toward the rights of the accused.

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To Those Who Would Ridicule Prayer

By Pastor Larry Beane of Gretna, Louisiana. Original Facebook post here.

This was written in response to tragic mass murder last week at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. I especially needed to read this upon hearing of the shocking news of the death of a longtime Christian friend earlier this week. 


The people who are mocking the victims of the Texas church shooting (and the notion of prayer) are exceedingly ignorant of Christianity – which even if you don’t believe in it you should know something about it, as it is one of the pillars of western civilization, American government, classical liberal economics, and the system of human rights that has become the world’s standard.

Christian prayer is not a magic spell.

It is a form of communion with God. It isn’t where we tell God what to do, or command the forces of nature to bend to our will. It is a humble submission to God and His will – even in the midst of the rubble of evil and chaos and death.

Our forbears in the faith prayed and sang hymns even as the Roman lions stalked them in the stadium before jeering crowds, and as the beasts ate their little children before their eyes. Prayer is our refuge even amidst evil and death. For we worship One greater than evil.

Rather than see prayer as a magic spell by which we assert our power over our enemies, in the words of our Small Catechism, “God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and that we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear Father.”

In this life, sometimes parents say, “No” even when the children cannot conceive of how this can be. And yet good parents do say “No” and sometimes must endure the pain and even anger of their children who do not understand why.

One thing we pray for is the grace to forgive our enemies, and for them to likewise partake of God’s grace and join us in eternity. We pray for forgiveness of our own trespasses, where we have sinned against our neighbors – and to be able to forgive those who trespass against us.

The heart of Christian prayer is found in the seven petitions that Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord’s Prayer.

We are not God, He is. His ways are not our ways. We do not see the big picture, which is eternal in scope. We live in the fallen world that we have broken. We are also sinners in need of forgiveness. And death awaits all of us. And yet, God chose to rescue us from eternal death by His willingness to lay down His life as a ransom for ours. That is the theology of the cross. It remains a ‘scandal’ and ‘folly’ that angers the world and results in our mockery, even as it was when St. Paul wrote as much to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:23).

But this theology is truly Good News, a word that in Greek and Latin comes to us in English as the Evangel, the Gospel.

Like children, we only see a small part of reality, and do not understand God’s will. And yet we put our trust in Him, not in princes, in science, in snarky skeptics, nor in any other entity to rescue us from our enemies. Like the three young men sent to the furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar, we refuse to give up our faith, trusting that He will deliver us, but even if He doesn’t…

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18).

In the end, we pray, “Thy will be done” (Matthew 6:10), trusting in His mercy and grace.

sutherland church austing statesman

Credit: Austin American-Statesman

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There Is No Right to Be Free from Gun Violence

By Doug Newman – email me here.
Here I am on Facebook.
If you would like to post this elsewhere – who knows why? – please just link to this URL. Thanks!


There is no such thing as a “right to be free from gun violence”. There can’t possibly be such a right. If, God forbid, gun confiscation ever happened, it would be implemented by people with guns – i.e. the cops and the military. The result would be a government gun monopoly.

“Political power comes from the barrel of a gun.” – Mao Zedong … who disarmed his subjects, left them defenseless, and sent his goons to kill perhaps 100 million of them.

And would so many right-wingers still idolize the cops and the military if they were on their doorsteps demanding they turn over their guns?

gun ban groppi

Credit: Teno Groppi

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Gun Control Isn’t Biblical

By Doug Newman – email me here.
Here I am on Facebook.
If you would like to post this elsewhere – who knows why? – please just link to this URL. Thanks!


I have an old friend who is a great person, but also someone with whom I disagree on more than a few political issues. The other evening she called me out saying a Christian shouldn’t be opposed to gun control. I don’t have a lot of time for these things right now, but I felt compelled to give a basic biblical response to her challenge.

A few observations:

  • How did Cain kill Abel in Genesis 4:8? Not with a gun, certainly. The Bible doesn’t say because it doesn’t matter. Cain was evil, not his weapon, which may very well have been his own hands.
  • There are numerous wars all throughout Scripture and lots of killing. However, there were no guns as they would not exist for many more centuries.
  • In Luke 11:21-22, Jesus Himself states: “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” He wants His followers to be armed for defensive purposes.
  • In Luke 22:36, Jesus states: “… But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” This was the last instruction He gave His followers before He was arrested. He wants us to arm ourselves not just spiritually but physically as well!
  • “But what about ‘if you live by the sword you die by the sword'”? In the pertinent passage – Matthew 26:52-54 – Jesus tells Peter to put the sword in its place, not to get rid of the sword. Nor does He appeal to Rome to implement “sword control.”
  • There is absolutely zero indication anywhere in Scripture to support the notion that denying people access to inanimate objects will prevent them from doing evil. Attention right-wingers: therefore, the Drug War is just as unbiblical as gun control.
  • Gun control is not only not biblical, it is Darwinist! It renders the state – and criminals in general – more “fit” than its subjects. There is a HUGE correlation between citizen disarmament and genocide!

obeying

  • As my friend was a teacher for many years, it is relevant to point out that in the worst school massacre in American history in 1927 in Bath, Michigan, the perp did not use any guns. This was at a time when you could buy all sorts of guns in the Sears catalog! Indeed, you almost never heard of a school shooting until 1990 when schools became gun-free zones.

okc bombing meme

For a far more thorough treatment of this subject, please read this very fine essay by Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America.

Jeremiah 17:9 calls the human heart “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” All the laws in the world will not change the human heart. If the state will take away guns it will also, at some point, claim unlimited power over the lives of its subjects, fancying itself not merely as god, but as a very jealous god ruthlessly wielding an iron fist against any and all competitors.

gun problem heart problem

The state is composed of people. Becoming an employee of the state does not elevate one to any morally superior level. Daniel 4:17 tells us that God sets up the “basest of men” over earthly kingdoms. Do you want to trust the “basest” among us with a monopoly on tools of lethal violence?

My friend implored me to trust “God, not guns”. Very well, then. I therefore reject as unbiblical the notion that forbidding people to own certain inanimate objects will prevent bad things from happening. And, if anything, gun control means totally unwarranted reliance not on God, but on the most well-armed and deadly segment of any society: its government.

experts-agree-gun-control-works-1

 

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Is There a Right to Keep and Bear Nukes?

The best and most succinct answer I have ever seen from Tom Mullen.

Straw man question: So, I suppose you’re fine with private citizens owning nuclear weapons, right?

Answer: I wish nuclear weapons didn’t exist, but as they do, yes, I’d prefer they resided in the private sector, where there are consequences for killing people and destroying property.

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