Thursday, December 28, 2006
The "New Police Professionalism": Serious Christians Need Not Apply
Enemy of the Almighty State: Ramon Perez, formerly an exemplary police officer in Austin, is seen here with his wife Michelle and their home-schooled children (from left) Victoria, Philip, Rachael, and Sarah.
Ramon Perez was a rookie police officer in Austin, Texas when he responded to a domestic violence report in January 2005. When he arrived at the address, he was greeted by a distraught woman who claimed that her elderly husband had pushed her down the stairs, leaving her with injured arms.
As he interviewed the alleged victim, the alleged assailant, an elderly man apparently in frail health, emerged from the home carrying car keys and a cup of coffee. Perez, who had called for backup, told the man to stop. As he did the backup officer, Robert Paranich “lunged” at the elderly man, nearly knocking him off his feet.
“I considered that an escalation of force,” Perez later recalled.
With the suspect struggling to regain his balance, Paranich yelled at Perez to use his Taser to subdue the elderly man. To his considerable credit, Perez refused to do so, chiefly because the man wasn't resisting arrest, but also because the rookie officer was concerned that the man was so frail the electroshock device could send him into cardiac arrest.
Those considerations, incidentally, are spelled out in the Austin Police Department's Taser policy, which Perez followed exactly. In the event, Perez and Paranich were able to effect the arrest using “soft-hand” tactics. When it's possible to arrest a suspect without resort to violence, Perez later said, doing so is “the constitutionally correct thing.”
A few days after this incident, Perez received what he and his attorney Derek Howard describe as a punitive transfer to the night shift. Two months later, Perez was questioned at length about the January arrest, as well as a second incident in which he acted with unauthorized fastidiousness about constitutional correctness.
He was told to report to APD psychologist Carol Logan to undergo what was described as a session of “word games” to develop better communication skills with his superiors. Perez was not told that the interview would be a "fit-for-duty review" held to facilitate the pre-ordained decision to fire him.
According to the Austin Chronicle, Logan confirmed that Perez had been told the meeting would focus on “word games.” However, her four page report mentions nothing about that exercise; instead, it focuses “entirely on Perez's moral and religious beliefs, which Logan concludes are so strong they are an `impairment' to his ability to be a police officer.”
Perez is a self-described non-denominational fundamentalist Christian, an ordained minister who home-schools his children. This, according to Logan, produces an “impairment” of his ability to absorb new facts, to communicate with his superiors, and to deal with “feedback.”
“Perez has a well-developed set of personal beliefs,” wrote Logan. “These seem to be based primarily on his religious beliefs and it is obvious that he has spent a lot of time reflecting upon and developing these views.”
While Logan, displaying the reflexive condescension of a career servant of the Regime, describes Perez's convictions as “admirable,” she criticizes him for displaying “defensiveness” when his convictions are challenged. The firmness of Perez's moral beliefs is problematic, she concludes, because they “provide him with a rationale for explaining how his views differ with others.”
Boil down Logan's assessment in a saucepan, and here's the residue: Perez was unsuitable to serve as a police officer because his values transcend the authority of the State, and his moral convictions have immunized him against collectivist thinking.
"Those meddling Christians always interfere with official police state business!" While Nazi second-in-command Martin Bormann didn't use those exact words in his 1942 memo calling for Germany's Christian churches to be "absolutely and finally broken," that's more or less the gist of what he wrote.
It should be noted that Perez was also troublesome because, unlike most newly minted law enforcement officers, he had two decades of adult life in the rear-view mirror before beginning his police career. He was a 41-year-old ex-engineer when he graduated from the academy, and his fellow cadets honored him with the Ernie Hinckle Humanitarian Award for compassion, integrity, and leadership on the strength of the character he had displayed.
A month after the psychologist – who actually functions as what the Soviets called a Zampolit, or “political officer” -- rendered her assessment, Perez was given an ultimatum: He could resign from the APD and keep his peace officer's license, or be fired and lose that license, and thus be left unemployable by any other department. Perez chose the first course, while fighting with the Austin City government for a year to see the report that had led to his firing.
The triggering incident was his refusal to use a Taser on an unresisting elderly suspect; this episode revealed that Perez -- who would appear to be an exemplary officer, a throwback to an era when police were peace officers, rather than heavily armed enforcers of the State's decrees – was not morally ductile. He was fired for disobeying an order from a superior that was unconstitutional and illegal by the department's own standards.
The official explanation is that Perez was fired for being a “substandard cop.” Perez's attorney, Derek Howard, offers a more credible assessment: “He didn't fit in because of his religious belief system.”
“It was concluded that my [morality] justified it [the decision to disobey], when in fact it was my commitment to policy and our training at the academy and the U.S. Constitution, and not necessarily my moral, spiritual foundation, that led me to that decision,” explained Perez at a press conference earlier this month. “Being tough is a good thing. Being tough, as a cop, can save your life or someone else's. But when that toughness crosses over into civil liberties, that's where a line needs to be drawn... and for some officers, that's a gray area.”
Like Molech and other omnivorous pagan idols sustained by lethal violence, the Regime under which we live is a very jealous god: It requires unqualified, instantaneous obedience, particularly from those in the business of enforcing its decrees.
Perez, like any Christian worthy of that designation, will render to Caesar only that to which Caesar is due – which in our system means only the power necessary to protect the lives and property of the innocent. Or, as he put it: "I do believe, if you are a police officer, you have an ordination by God to protect and preserve life." All of this resonates with the actual meaning of the much-misapplied verses in Romans chapter 13 that are often wrested by those preaching unconditional submission to State power.
So now Perez is out of a job, and Austin's branch of the Leviathan Force will fill his slot with someone willing to adapt to the Regime's priorities. In simple terms, this means it will find someone willing to shoot an unresisting elderly suspect, at point-blank range, with a Taser.
This is not the only time I've heard of a police department using psychological testing to weed out police recruits whose Christian convictions make them unsuitable to serve the Regime.
A few months ago a former professional associate of mine described how his son, who applied for a position with a Sheriff's Department in Wisconsin, was rejected after he was made to play similar “word games” with a psychologist. Despite scoring well on every evaluation, this young man was deemed unworthy to work as a deputy sheriff because of his inflexible moral views and impatience with arbitrary bureaucratic policies.
One such incident could be an anomaly, and a second a mere coincidence. Three or more, however, constitute a trend. I'm confident that a third episode of this variety could be found with relatively little effort.
at 10:18 PM
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Great write-up Mr. Grigg, but the typos were a bit distracting in this one. Are you still suffering from your flu?
I enjoy your chronicles of the increasingly absurd society we live in. I hope more people take note and can share in the outrage.
taylor -- thanks for the kind words, the timely correction (I've gone back and repaired at least those typos I can recognize in my present depleted condition), and your concern for my health. I've overcome the Flu, although our one-year-old seems to have contracted it.
Right now I'm suffering from a combination of travel lag -- we just finished a Christmas trip to visit family in Las Vegas -- and the distractions produced by five small children still wired from excessive consumption of Christmas treats and excessive generosity by their maternal grandparents.
the sad truth is...i seriously doubt that this "policy" is only taking place in police departments, but also other bureaucratic, and gun-toting agencies.
so like i always say, "get it now before it's illegal". after all, laws are passed every day to protect police officers. now there is some good in that, but there is bad in that when protecting police officers takes away our rights or freedoms. the indiscriminate use of terry searches/frisks, and having to disclose that one is armed (and in some cases render the weapon to a police officer) are cases in point. i guess we can't be trusted.
and one last thing.
will, have you figured out how to drop posts yet? sink sink socks is at it again.
It seems the seizure of weapons from flood victims in LA were just the beginning. It seems to be getting worse and worse as time passes and yet there is an apathy that says "if we don't do anything wrong"... Oddly enough more and more things that are now 'wrong' didn't used to be anything of the sort. It is saddening.
I hope you'll forgive reticence about my professional experience, but I can assure you at the federal level the training doctrine materials subtly make the State god over all. It's only going to get worse out there, and many older officers lament the change. May God have mercy on us.
Hello brother Will,
Back a bit sooner than I expected, but I had to trip around a bit to see some of my folk since I didn't have anybody over my place this year. I hope your Christmas get-togethers were a swell affair as well ;).
This is a sad story to say the least. I have to concur with broken on this as I'm no stranger to government...ugh. I've been in the military ('84-'90), worked for AAFES, worked as a private contractor on a military base and NNS, a private shipyard (now Northrop Grumman), which is a major defense contractor for the Navy.
And I can tell ya, these "psycho" tests have been in use for many years, unfortunately, and not only in government proper but in the private sector as well. Although, I think it's been only in more recent times that these "word games" are being aggressively and proactively used as a lean-to and ammo for firing folk. And, as I recall, some of the questions that I've encountered in the past did seem specifically designed to filter out anomalies or folk who didn't fit a pre-ordained mindset that the employer was looking for. That would usually entail being an unquestionably compliant doormat and obedient servant of the boss and perform the job in question regardless of whether right, wrong, fraudulent, or wasteful to the government (the people actually), or the company. As I mentioned, this scheme is also used but to a lesser extent, of course, in the private sector, but accountability of deeds is much more significant and makes disreputable and/or evil conduct less prevalent in that space. At least in the realm of small business; corporations are a different matter entirely.
Will, I think we're reaching the stage now, as Mr. Perez's episode clearly demonstrates, whereby folk who possess a genuine Christian worldview will either have to be ready to lose jobs, lose freedom, lose material, and inevitably at some point even lose life itself in America, not the Sudan, Cuba, Soviet Union, or a China. Otherwise, you're a fake. Others suffer for their belief systems, those that are genuine believers in, and practitioners of, that particular belief system, that is. So it must be with Christians. Folk for decades and decades always seemed to brush off cultural and political trends in this country. "Oh, don't worry about that, son, that's happening on the 'Left coast' what do you expect from a San Francisco...from politicians in Washington...and so on..."
Well, now these former cultural "anomalies" are in everyone's face and extant in every locale to some degree. Ignoring it, brushing it aside, doesn't and won't cut it.
This all kind of reminds me of this church during a Sunday service, where the folk therein are all attired in their Sunday best, listening to the morning sermon from the pastor.
Suddenly, the doors burst open in the rear of the sanctuary and a couple of hooded gunmen, brandishing Carbon 15s and AK-47s, rush inside. One of them, the presumed leader, utters a loud ultimatum: "Renounce your faith in Jesus Christ by exiting through the rear of the church at a quick pace, otherwise you will be summarily executed."
95% of the church quickly crowds up at the rear doors and run out the back of the church, including the pastor, and just 5% remain.
The leader of the gang of gunman closes the back doors, walks to the podium, and then makes a statement to the remaining members: "Now that we have filtered out the genuine believers from the genuine deceivers, let's worship together!"
Yep, to borrow your metaphor, Will, when the heat is cranked up, the chaff is boiled away out of the saucepan, leaving the residue.
How solid is the American Christian's faith? Because, it will very likely be severely tested sooner or later.
Psh, both of those groups of people are wusses, dixiedog. I'd have shot the gunman.
Then again, it's rumoured that, here in a couple Southern States, you're required by law to bring a gun to church. Either way, I'm set.
Psh, both of those groups of people are wusses, dixiedog. I'd have shot the gunman.
Then again, it's rumoured that, here in a couple Southern States, you're required by law to bring a gun to church. Either way, I'm set.
I liked your article and just wanted you to know that as a fellow Christian I have observed similar trends which, in my opinion, seem to be all part of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy about people's love for one another growing thin as we near the end of the age.
I know a couple people who became police in the past 10 years or so. I watched their attitudes go from bad to worse... now they have a cold "us versus them" mentality, where the public are suspects at best. The utter contempt they have for most ordinary people, which they now call "civilians", shows through often when they talk. One of them occasionally brags about beating up on people. As if that's really something to be proud of, especially when there are 4 or 5 against one.
I used to wonder how these guys ever got through the psych tests, but now I realize the psych tests only look for whether they'll follow orders. It's creepy, even the guys who are not actual psychopaths have a vaguely rude demeanor about them in times when there's no need for it. The personable, all-around-likeable small-town type policeman of yesteryear is becoming more the exception than the rule.
It's not how I remember the police being when I was a child. Past 20 years it's gotten bad. A friend of mine had the police put a gun to his temple because they say he tried to outrun them, all this in a small town where the police knew him and his family by name, and he'd never had any criminal record.
In other countries, unchecked police power has never led anywhere good. Brazil... China... Iraq... Cuba... the list goes on and on.
Americans should say No to the militarization of the police at every turn. It's hard to do when television programs, advertising, and other media have been subtly teaching everyone to be in love with unchecked authority.
We can discern that this kind of authority, one which persecutes Christians and others for their religious beliefs... one which is obviously and deliberately dehumanizing... which handcuffs 5-year old girls, kills unarmed people, beats already-subdued suspects half to death, etc, etc... is no longer an authority that's of the Lord.
Yes, things are getting pretty absurd.
God bless and keep the faith.
thank you for writing this
may God bless the Perez family!
The ONLY problem I have with it is it's foundation is a lawsuit prepared by his attorney. Suits are almost always loaded with hyperbole and carefully selected quotes and partial statements compiled by clever attorneys.
I've read suits on incidents I had first hand knowledge of or were named in and was shocked (early in my career)that plaintiff's attorney wasn't criminally charged, fined, or disbarred for what was alleged. No one will question it what is alleged. The jury will NOT compare the original suit to testimony offered. A complimentary reach into the deep pockets before trial is what drives many of them to be filed.
However, if this ends up on the docket, and if it turns out to be true, then someone needs to pay dearly for what was done to this man.
I was prompted to write my first paragraph by my disappointment with so many to digest what an attorney alleges. Some readers of this may have experienced the unfairness in the system. For those of you who haven't, good for you.
It's not much fun having your name attached to a course of events that in no way resembles what really happened as witnessed with your own senses. And even though no evidence exists to support the manufactured scenario, the wisest business decision is for the defendant (cop, insurance company, employer, et al) to write a check so they go away.
I wish him luck if his case is the exception. Better yet, there should be a very special category of punitive damages awarded to the plaintiff in this case.
i think this man's case can also serve as a Christian lesson. now, i do not know the spiritual side of this story, so i'll get to that in a few.
sometimes in life the Lord will tell us to do something. sometimes He will tell us not to do something. In the realm of employment, we need to go to Him and ask if this is where He wants us to be. take king david for instance.
2 Sam 2: 1 - 2
1. And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? and the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron.
2. So David went up thither,...
so what we have here is david knowing exactly where the Lord wanted him, and once there he was sure to have His anointing. so let's say we have a Christian fellow and he is in one of the following situations:
1) he's where the Lord wants him, but doesn't want to leave just yet even though the Lord has told him it's time to go.
2) he's not where God wants him to be, does not want to leave, but the Lord loves him enough to get him out of there.
3) he's trying to go into a place where the Lord does not want him to go.
4) he's where the Lord wants him, and the devil wants to remove him.
in situation #1, what will the Lord do? well, first He might tell him to leave......again. but remember that He loves you so much that He chastises His children!! so what happens to our Christian fellow at work? well, hell breaks loose. nothing works out. he's being discriminated against. oh no!! this is not fair!!! then...he's fired. now, the Lord can speak to our unemployed brother and better get him to where he needs to be.
In situation #2 you'll get the same thing. despite the warnings, and without asking the Lord "where should i go?" our friend is in dire straits. why? becasue Satan knows he's not in God's will so what do you think Satan will do? not a dang thing!!! he'll make it oh so comfortable for our brother and he'll even 'bless' him with raises and promotions and all the goodies that he owns (and our brother will think it's God doing all of this!). meanwhile, God wants our brother in His timing and where He needs him to be. so what does He do? He gets personally involved b/c Satan knows our brother is powerless out of God's timing and will. So God directly or indirectly facilitates the removal of our friend.
in situation #3 our brother will encounter one of two things: 1) the possible opposition of the Lord doing what He can to keep our brother from gaining this employment (i say possible cause sometimes the Lord will let us run until the rope runs out); and 2) the possible opposition of Satan (i say possible because our brother's presence, as a Christian, and even in the wrong place, might disturb Satan's operations; otherwise Satan will welcome him with open arms).
in situation #4, Satan can only disourage our brother to quit the job. if our brother knows that he is in the will of God, Satan will not succeed.
God is capable of putting anyone anywhere, and even place his people right under the nose of evil and wicked rulers who in turn will place God's people in charge.
Joseph. Daniel. Shadrack. Mishack. Abednigo. Esther. Mordecai. God placed every last one of them in empires whose rulers were not of the same faith and worshipped other gods. i hope that mr perez's situation works out, but we need to be cognizant of the spiritual background of his situation before we pass judgement. i sincerely hope he's in God's will in working for the police department. but if not, then he will lose the case, and God will place him where he needs to be, and mr perez and family will be more effective in their new assignment...in God's will.
the wealth of the wicked is laid up for the just. that should be us. maybe...just maybe, we find ourselves suffereing on the job, or getting fired from a job, because the Lord is telling us to go out and start our own businesses? the only way to know is to ask......Him.
bantam: Psh, both of those groups of people are wusses, dixiedog. I'd have shot the gunman.
You swung and missed the ball entirely. The point of that illustration was to show how persecution (illustrated in this particular example with armed thugs breaking into a church) quickly reveals the faithless among the faithful. You could substitute government agents for armed thugs since those terms are becoming increasingly synonymous in America.
IF you even had your sidearm with you in the church to start with and IF you could draw it fast enough, fire and kill ALL of the gunmen without missing a beat, sure you would save the day. The likely result is otherwise, however. You’d get mowed down as well as every other man, woman, and child, all because of your “hero” ego and knee-jerk reaction. As the illustration clearly showed, with no armed bantam playing “hero,” nobody gets mowed down, neither the fakes nor the genuine.
Again, you missed the point by a mile.
rick, I agree to a point. You seem to be saying that anytime things “go south” for the believer that it must be him/her not following the Lord’s will. Where I agree, to a point, is that indeed that could be the case, but OTOH, it also is very likely, as Christ Himself warned many times would be the case, that the believer is simply being persecuted. You seem to be stuck in the OT. Lots of scenarios outlined in the OT were particular to the Jews of that era. For example, we wouldn’t march around a city seven times, blowing trumpets, then shout, and have it’s walls crumble. We wouldn’t slaughter every human being in that city as well, i.e. Joshua at Jericho (Joshua 6:1-21).
Take a gander at a few verses:
Matthew 5:10 (NIV) - Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 13:21 (NIV) - But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.
2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV) - That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
John 15:20 (NIV) - Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
I think it’s quite clear that we should be ready to suffer persecution in some manner because it’s a definite probability, not merely a possibility, if we’re following in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Only our Lord Jesus Christ can guide us in the life and death decisions we make on a day to day basis when we Police the community The secret to Policing is not toabsorb all the terrorizing events that are experienced by Officers who are long time Patrol Veterans in an environment of constant violence and distrust. When we lose sight of who we are and why we serve then its time to hang up the badge,the vest and the gun. Remember how would you like to be treated if you were arrested.
points well taken. i realized that's how it sounded after i posted it, but situation #4 covers the point you were making. yes. sometimes it's just plain ol persecution, but all we've got to do is stand if we are where we are supposed to be. :-)
To a large extent, the department's personnel policies are an extension of the same culture promoted by the state's school system. The schools' main purpose is processing "human resources" for employers; and in the service McJobs and white collar cubicle warrens that currently predominate, what employers need is people socialized to be "team players." That means the "other-directed" personality type who will absorb the values and goals of the group (well, really of the boss), rather than evaluating the bosses' policies in terms of a previously internalized, strongly held set of values of his own.
That's why "professionalism" is a god-term in the current job culture. And the term "professionalism" itself has undergone an 180 degree shift in its meaning in recent decades. It originally entailed the possibility of defending the autonomous values of the profession against the commands of bosses. Now "professionalism" IS doing what the bosses want.
The jackboots have been suspicious for some time of anyone who claims an independent capacity to evaluate government policies in terms of the Constitution. Back before 9-11, the Reno era FBI had a sort of "you might be a terrorist if..." list for identifying terroristically inclined groups. And one of the identifying features was an inordinate interest in the Constitution and upholding its integrity.
They're all in favor of public worship for the Constitution, so long as it's only worshipped as a legitimating symbol for the regime. Just as they're all in favor of a belief in "freedom" so long as it's understood that armed servants of the state are by definition "defending our freedoms." It's when the Constitution and freedom become independent bases for evaluating the state that they have a problem with it.
Responding to Fred...I can assure you that the lawsuit, as written, is sound, and free from hyperbole. The lawyer is well renown in these parts on similar cases and I would hardly be involved if I weren't confident in his and especially Ramon's ability to take the City on on their weak, weak defense.
I'm the president of the local chapter ACLU board (you can see my shoulder there above Ramon in the pic) and while I certainly hope that Ramon gets what he needs out of it, I obviously have a stake in seeing that the larger picture of ills with our police department are brought to the forefront and continue to work with Ramon to that end. He too hopes that his case will affect the structure of APD and pave new paths for incoming and present officers as well as citizens.
Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.
Thank you Mr. Grigg... I am where the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has placed me. This is his battle and not mine. I have forgiven all and I do what I am called to with a pure heart.
Like I said, deb: "I wish him luck if his case is the exception. Better yet, there should be a very special category of punitive damages awarded to the plaintiff in this case."
Godspeed! make that change! :-) stand...
A self-righteous, morally superior Christian? Is there any other kind?
Pasted this from Austin Chronicle Comments
Support APD!!! by guest | hide/show
Who is this idiot that wrote this article? Have you ever been a police officer and do you know what they really go through? The rule on the streets is "are you a danger to yourself or others?" If two officers are working together and one of them won't do what is necessary to protect himself than he is leaving the second one open to injury and possibly death.
Making ignorant accusations about the actions of the people who sacrifice their privacy, rights, family life, and health to protect us should be illegal. If we had more good citizens and less free loading losers, these articles wouldn't be written. More people need to support our police and stop trying to criticize them for a job that most people aren't brave enough to do.
To Guest of 1-12-07 by guest | hide/show
Based on what you say former APD Officer Joel Fulmmer should have continued beating the already hand cuffed suspect. But he did what is senior officers told him to for their safety, and beat on the suspect some more even though he was faced down head in the dirt and hand cuffed while being tazed. He lost his job doing the wrong thing. Yet you probably would support him to. What about the mentally disabled man sleeping at the bus stop when on video he never fought with the officer. I guess he did nothing wrong because after all he could have hurt the officer. And the mere perception of that is to break his nose anyways? How much is a drop of blood worth to you when it comes from a deceased American GI out fighting for freedom in foreign lands. Is it worth beating some one inspite of his or her sacrifice. Or do you expect your freedom as an officer to violate civil liberties of passive suspects justified in the shed blood of these brave soldiers. I suggest you turn in your badge and enlist in the military and go face an IED. See if your sorry feelings would not change. If you are still a cop you need therapy! Do not dishonor the constitution and the sacrifice of others.
SEMPER FI 01-13-2007
I don't think you should apply for a job in the bureaucracy if you have little tolerance for "petty bureaucratic policy."
Still, this kind of nonsense sounds perfectly believable.
Smells like christian propaganda to me. I bet there's a lot more to this story than this spin merchant is letting on.
I find it interesting that all the positive attributes associated with Mr. Perez are linked by the author to his Christian beliefs. It's as though Mr. Perez couldn't have acted responsibly or appropriately if it were not for his religion. It's a shame that a good police officer should lose his job for doing the right thing, but doing the right thing is not predicated on being Christian.
Considering how much effort was spent associating society, and the Austin police force, with Nazi Germany, I find it appropriate to point out that many Christians are equally "Nazi-like" in their approach to homosexuality. In fact, in contrast to the universal and total intolerance the church shows toward gays, the police department in question may have had other problems with Mr. Perez not mentioned in the cases here.
Mr. Perez may have acted honorably in these cases, but being a devout Christian indicates to me that he's less likely to be honorable to all of our citizens. There is no room for hatred, bigotry, and oppression in our police or our society, and christian churches preach their share of that. Clean up your own house first.
You quite aptly say folk who possess a genuine Christian worldview will either have to be ready to lose jobs, lose freedom, lose material, and inevitably at some point even lose life itself in America, not the Sudan, Cuba, Soviet Union, or a China. Otherwise, you're a fake.
This describes exactly the situation in which conscientious objectors have found themselves when resisting the government's imperative that they commit murder on the government's behalf -- a position for which they have been widely vilified as "cowards" or "traitors".
I don't think that an attitude of respect for life is exclusive to Christians, or even to religious people as such. Any human being can defend values of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".
I think the question here is one of empathy. Mr. Perez saw a fellow human being and treated him as he would have liked to be treated in the same situation, ie, with respect and minimal force.
One of the main objectives of military and paramilitary training is to destroy the natural human empathy of the recruit, his inborn respect and reluctance to hurt others; to make him ready to follow orders, even if these cause unnecessary suffering to others.
When large segments of a society undergo this kind of training (reinforced by a system of macho values communicated constantly via the mass media), and became aggressive and paranoid, then you get a society which is prepared to wage war, to kill, to torture without questioning its motives. Which is what is happening to America.
In that sense, Mr Perez could be considered a failure - his training did not work. Really, the world needs more failures like him.
One of the main objectives of military and paramilitary training is to destroy the natural human empathy of the recruit, his inborn respect and reluctance to hurt others; to make him ready to follow orders, even if these cause unnecessary suffering to others....In that sense, Mr Perez could be considered a failure - his training did not work. Really, the world needs more failures like him.
Amen to that!
I grant that practicing Christians have no exclusive franchise on nobility and empathy. In the case of Ramon Perez, his convictions were the immediate source of his principles, and the identified source of his "problems" with following unethical orders.
One reason I underscored Officer Perez's Christian commitment was to highlight the difference between his conduct and that of so many other professed Christians who have no difficulty doing the kind of things Perez refused to do.
Our nation is lousy with Christians who eagerly support various kinds of institutionalized murder and cruelty -- from illegal war in Iraq (and elsewhere) to officially sanctioned torture. It says much about our predicament that the genuinely Christian behavior of Officer Perez would be such a conspicuous exception among those of us who profess to follow Jesus of Nazareth.
I'd have to agree with Hypocrite spotter.
The article gets so caught up in hysterics and dramatics about Nazis and Christianity that it painfully detracts from what might be valid concerns in the article.
As Hypocrite spotter stated, moral and ethical behavior is by no means predicated on Christianity. I have a strong feeling that there is more to this case than meets the eye, but we really can't know because it's obvious that this article does nothing to accurately portray the issue, focusing instead on portraying the "victim" as a martyred Christian saint and the police force and society as evil Nazi communist atheists.
It should also be noted that Hitler himself promoted Christianity and Christian values in many of his speeches and writings, especially in Mein Kampf etc.
It is easy to pick and choose what you want to believe when you ignore all the facts... such as that a devout Christian belief would have you never borrowing money, never asking loans to be repaid, giving the shirt off your back... much less condoning or even participating in the hatred and murder of homosexuals and people of other faiths, such as "witches", wiccans, pagans etc.
The bible is replete with its own horrors, bigotry, and genocides.
You would do well to focus on the facts here and not get so carried away with juvenile drama.
As for dixiedog, I can only hope that someday you are caught in such a position where you are offered to say you renounce your faith or to get a bullet in the head and you choose the latter. The world will surely be a better place without you in it.
Evolution gladly favors those of us with working brains and functioning senses of self-preservation who know that it's a hell of a lot smarter to speak a few words and live another day to bear children and share our message etc, than to refuse to say we don't believe in some imaginary sky god and be killed on the spot for it.
It's like watching someone refuse to get a blood transfusion because of their religious convictions and dying slowly and horribly from it... or worse, the evil sons of bitches who refuse to allow their children medical treatment because of their "faith" and end up killing their innocent children who cannot defend themselves from the mythological homicidal idiocy of their parents etc.
Sure this officer sounds like a great guy and I fully agree with his actions in the case portrayed, as it is portrayed here... but when he seems to share the same beliefs as the rest of you, it does have to make me wonder indeed if he is truly suited as a whole to serve as an officer of the law. I'd withhold judgment on that in the absence of a good deal more information from unbiased sources.
I'd withhold judgment on that in the absence of a good deal more information from unbiased sources.
Surely as a paragon of rationality you're capable of following hyperlinks, aren't you? I would hardly expect any reader to agree with all of my conclusions -- or any of them, for that matter -- but I would expect that people would at least follow the links before concluding that what I've written is entirely without merit.
Hitler and Stalin (a one-time seminarian) both exploited the religious convictions of their subjects while apparently sharing none of them.
The link to the brief essay about Martin Boorman offers a passing reference to something documented in great detail in the transcripts of the Nuremberg Tribunal: The intention of the National Socialist regime was to crush Germany's Christian churches, once the war was won and the Thousand-Year Reich was consolidated.
For a couple of really good treatments of the anti-Christian origins and practices of the Nazi state, I'd suggest Nazi Culture by George Mosse, and Leftism Revisited by Erik Ritter von Kuehneldt-Leddihn.
As for dixiedog, I can only hope that someday you are caught in such a position where you are offered to say you renounce your faith or to get a bullet in the head and you choose the latter. The world will surely be a better place without you in it.
Spoken/written like a proud heir of the modern atheist tradition, which was responsible for the murder of (per the findings of RJ Rummel in his study Death By Government) something on the order of 100 million + human beings. Many millions of them were Christians given the choice you fantasize about imposing on my friend.
For all of the flatulent, self-exalting rhetoric about the quality of your oh-so-evolved brain, the comment quoted above indicates that you spend far too much time dwelling in the reptilian portion of the same.
I'm aware of some of Hitler's views in private, as well as those of some of his men etc. But it pays to note the use of religion to make people blindly follow authority figures etc.
Also, I don't wish death on almost anyone, but when someone is stupid enough to choose a figment of their imagination over their immediate physical well being, when there is no proof of God, but surely a proof of your current life, friends, family etc... that is an irrational choice and one which I feel deftly illustrates the evolutionary mechanism of survival of the fittest. Those who would rather die for figments of their imagination are killed off, thus leaving those who prefer to live another day based on what they actually know exists to ensure their genetic lineage and hopefully children who will share the same tendency to trust reality and value their own lives more than the notion of an imaginary sky god.
If you believe so much in God and the afterlife, why do you bother getting treatment if you're sick? Why not just die and hurry to what you claim to believe is such an infinitely greater and glorious eternity with your God?
Because a part of you trusts the physical assurance of the NOW. That's your heritage telling you to value your life and not give it up over myths about a man in the sky no more real than the stories of Zeus or Apollo or any of the other countless Gods which man has believed in and subsequently left behind on the road to enlightenment.
Oh, and should I point out the hypocrisy of Christians trying to act like Atheism equates to Genocide? Should we have a look at the number of deaths in the name of God which resulted from the Crusades? The Inquisitions? From "missionaries" in the New World and elsewhere who converted or slaughtered the people as heathens who were often treated as not even human unless they converted to Christianity?
Christianity has been a root cause for the slaughter of "others". Anyone who didn't believe. Who had a different faith, or different culture etc. Atheism has simply been a characteristic of a few men who killed over the pursuit of power or nationalism etc. Hitler didn't wage a war on Christianity, he waged a war on the world to create a new German empire modeled after the Roman Empire. It was a nationalistic move to wipe out anyone he saw as undesirable, not just the Jews, but gays, political dissidents, gypsies, and many others.
A hatred of gays is a quality Christians share with the Nazi party. The bible clearly states in several cases to kill them, and even goes so far as to advocate raping innocent girls rather than allow a male guest to be sodomized etc.
So while I'm sure you are delighted to jump on my comment directed towards dixiedog, you fail to take into account the entirety of what I wrote... like the part just after that where parents kill their children rather than get them medical treatment because they believe that the "power of prayer" will heal them, just as the bible states it will.
I have to say that I have little pity for people who stubbornly refuse to accept reality and end up giving up their own lives for figments of their imaginations, in spite a wealth of hard evidence proving otherwise.
How is it evil for me to say that the world would be a better place without a person in it who would rather a bunch of people be slaughtered like sheep than speak a few words and live another day? You believe it's ok to cost someone their life because you THINK there is some magical father figure in the sky who will reward you for getting yourself killed... when I KNOW that I'm alive RIGHT NOW and that every aspect of science for the past century at the very least has pointed, with a preponderance of evidence toward the verdict that God does not, and cannot, exist and thusly I should value my PROVABLE life in the here and now over the highly unlikely possibility that some millenias old fairytale about a man in the clouds will reward me with eternity in a blissful castle in the clouds with all my friends and loved ones for foolishly getting myself killed etc.
You can stick with your hypocritical death cult... I'll gladly stick with those of us who actually VALUE humanity and life.
Justin's energetic rants here take the discussion too far afield with a shotgun scattershot indictment of religiosity in general. Responding to his points would not be pertinent to the article.
Mr Grigg's article centers around the state oppressing those who base their moral compass around their religion. It's not easy to be non-partisan in evaluating the extent to which this is a problem in modern America.
Those of us who love liberty, and want to preserve and enhance it, should be in clear opposition to efforts by the state to use the weak science of psychology to categorize us as fit or unfit persons.
Mr. Grigg's thesis - that states have a tendency to demand a form of worship of the state - is a crucial one for us to understand. By viewing the issue as a conflict between liberty and authoritarianism, we see that it matters little whether the enforcers of 'right thinking' represent a secular or theocratic regime.
Thanks for the great blog Mr. Grigg - hope to hear you interviewed by Scott Horton some time.
cowbot: I agree with your statements. As I initially stated, my problem was with how distracting the religious hype was from the meat of the article. The ensuing comments only further distracted from that.
Admittedly I have a hair trigger when it comes to religion, but I think my initial stance was justified given the obvious bias of the author and commentors that dramatized the role of religion in the issue.
Thank you for so eloquently stating where our collective priorities should have been. :)
This law suite is scheduled to go to Federal Western Court on September 08, 2008. The discovery phase of this process has been completed and all I can say is everything is looking good. Many experts have reviewed the case and are challenging the unjust termination.
The trial that was scheduled for Monday, September 2008 did not occur because the City of Austin filed a pre-trial motion appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. This was filed with in hours of the trial. This is largly considered to be a move of desparation and delay tactic. Trial has been delayed by at least 6 months. It is unlikely the COA will prevail at this level either.
Arguements are scheduled with the 5th Circuit Court Appeals in New Orleans La, this September 1, 2009. What is being argued is the right of the defendants to obtian qualified immunity in an attempt to overturn the lower courts decsion that would of green lighted the trial. COA is expected to once again fail.
5th Court of appeals "affirmed" the district courts position not to allow qualified immunity for the defendants. See the link below to review the judges decision.
This article is full of half truths. The real truth is that Mr. Perez, a commissioned police officer may be a wonderful christian man but made more than one comment saying he would NEVER under ANY circumstances, whether it be another officer or citizen be in danger, shoot someone. I am sorry, but that is part of his job and if he can't or won't do that, then he does not need to be a police officer.
Last Anonymous, That is simply not true, he stated in an Article with Austin American Statesman "That if you are a police officer then you have an ordination by God to protect and preserve life". This means that it would be "sin" not to use his weapon under the correct circumstances. Please show some documentation to your point that he wouln not use his weapon if he had to.
Will, as usual your article was right on target.
Any update on the case? What about Mr. Perez...is he still in law enforcement?
(I mistakenly deleted the following comment, which was received earlier this morning)
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The "New Police Professionalism": Serious Christia...":
You will all be relieved to hear that after 5 days of testimony this week, involving 2 seperate chain of commands, 5 inches of documentation, 2 videos, and Ramon Perez testifying and unfortunatly purgering himself, the jury found Mr Perez was not truthful in his claims and the defendants were found not liable. Ironically, he has already been suspended without pay on two ocassions from the Pflugerville PD for officer safety issues.
Mr. Grigg, The person reporting in the negative for Officer Perez, may be intentionally distorting the case. Officer Perez was only suspended one time at his current position with the Pfluggerville Police Dept. and it was for not removing the shoes and shoelaces from a suspect before placing him in a holding cell. To put this suspension in a perspective, not to distantly, Austin Police Dept. Officer Quintana was suspended for 15 days for breaking into his girlfriends house, yet would go on to shoot a man in the back and later be given an 'Officer of the Year Award.' I was at the trial and one of his main officers Sgt. Zumwalt testified and it was shown on a video screen, she wrote, 'Seems competent, just needs to work on the little things.' She also added 'He genuinely appears to want to help people both spiritually and physically.' The city defense lawyer mounted personal attacks on Officer Perez at every chance and when the jury deliberated, it asked for his performance records at Pfluggerville but was denied because the evidence had not been placed into evidence. Had his supervisor from there, testified favorably for him, I feel the jury would have been drawn to the conclusion that the other defendants had used religious reasons to resolve their personal conflicts with Officer Perez. I feel that his lawyer may have been incompetent, to not have that supervisor testify. Michael Brooks
"He (Perez) has well-developed personal beliefs..." which, according to supervisors, leave him unfit for duty.
Funny though, were his personal beliefs, let us say, of the homosexual variety, and say, he were a cross dresser during his time away from duty, and let us say he engaged in 'recreational' sex with multiple partners and was proud to wear his dress blues and lead the annual 'Gay/Lesbian/Transgender/ETC Parade'; would the brass have determined him unfit for duty because of his well developed personal beliefs? I think not.
There is now a book out with the technical facts of this case, as well as the court documents, on Amazon.com and down-loadable to Kindle Readers and PC's called 'Are There Christian Cops in Austin Texas'.
Included is information on Police History around that time and the surrounding culture.
This has become obvious. Thanks for the post.
Post a Comment