If You Want Police To Continue Becoming Militarized
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “You must have missed the other part of that broadcast that detailed what the paramilitary guys have done when they’re not being choir boys and protecting the planet and protecting all the planet’s citizens. You’re only giving me part of the argument. You’re giving me all the great, as if there is no other side to the argument. There is another side to the argument.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Caller Mike: When I was down in Florida last year, I went down to the Millennium Mall. They have police towers in that parking lot. What level of training they had didn’t concern me because I felt safer knowing that they were there. If something did go on, they were prepared to defend me against whatever evil somebody wanted to come there and do. I didn’t feel threatened by it. I felt safer by it. I’m not the one that they’re being trained to repel. I’m not there doing evil. I’m not walking around with an AK-47 –
Mike: You must have missed the other part of that broadcast that detailed what the paramilitary guys have done when they’re not being choir boys and protecting the planet and protecting all the planet’s citizens. You’re only giving me part of the argument. You’re giving me all the great, as if there is no other side to the argument. There is another side to the argument. The other side to the argument is you’re assuming that you can’t be defended or you can’t have a defense. No one ever said you can’t have a defense. The question was: Who ought to be doing the kind of defending that the police are being charged with, or the kind of offending that the police are currently being tasked with? They’re being trained now as military. They’re not being trained as our neighbors and our friends and peace officers. That’s the point.
I never said that you shouldn’t protect yourself or be able to have protection at an event should you choose that you think your safety is in jeopardy. Only a madman would suggest such a thing. I most certainly didn’t. The question was about who ought to be doing it. If you want the cops to do it, Mike, go ahead. Ask the cops to do it. I’m going to say that I don’t think that the cops should be in that business.
That’s not what the business of peace officering is. [mocking] “Okay, Mike, you just need to shut because we’re police, we’re professionals, and we can’t stand idiots like you. We protect you.” Right, that’s because I just reject police forces in general. Sure, that’s exactly what I just said.
The point is, you guys are making arguments for the descent into a martial law as if it’s a good thing. That’s not a good thing. You make it sound as though this is how we secure paradise. If we’re constantly under threat of being blown away, what kind of a paradise is it? But then to just assume that anyone that has a counterpoint to the argument is some kind of a pacifist ninny that wants everyone dead is as preposterous as your argument is on the front end. That’s fine. I’m happy to be the scapegoat in all this. I’m also happy to be the only person that will raise their voice consistently, hopefully, honestly, and seeking truth in all things as a counterpoint.
As a matter of fact, I’m about a third of the way through now Paul Ramsey’s magnificent book. This is just wonderful reading. It’s a shame it’s out of print and you can only find used copies of it. They’re difficult and they’re expensive, The Just War: Force and Political Responsibility. As a matter of fact, Ramsey walks you through an argument that Mike from Oklahoma just made and what is the Christian response to it supposed to be. I believe that many of you would be shocked to read – it’s possible that Ramsey is incorrect. I haven’t finished the book and I can’t tell you that he’s totally correct. But I did follow his footnotes and am making a lot of notes myself on this. Ramsey’s argument is very persuasive.
I think at the time he made it in the 1960s, it could be made and reasonable men and women could hear it and would probably respond affirmatively to it. Today, I don’t believe there’s a receptive audience for it, which is why the book is out of print. One explains the other. That’s tragic. His point is: Is there a just war? Yes, there is. Is there a just use of violent force? Yes, there is. Can we know when it’s used justly? Yes, we can. We have a very good guide on this. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. His name was Jesum of Nazareth. Ramsey’s case on, for example, in this chapter, “On the Morality of War and the Case for Making Just War Possible.” For example:
However, it is only when the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” is viewed legalistically, and only when the actions that are licit or illicit under it are viewed externally, that the Christians who formulated the just-war theory can be said to have made, in regard to killing another human being, one, single, clearly defined and limited exception, and nothing more.
Those persons “formally” directing or participating in the military forces, or “materially” yet closely cooperating in the force that should be repelled and can only be repelled by violent means, these persons are—this theory states—legitimate objects of direct violent repression. The justification of warfare and of Christian participation in it was not actually an exception (certainly not an arbitrary one, or a compromise from the purity of Christian ethics), but instead an expression of the Christian understanding of moral and political responsibility. This conclusion was not simply the result of importing into Christian ethics certain conceptions of natural justice from Stoic and other ancient philosophies. Nor did the theory always simply result in a bifurcation of public morality, based on justice, from private morality, based on love—that love which required the early Christians to withdraw altogether form the resistance of evil by political and military means. Instead, intrinsic within the new foundation laid by Christ for the entire conduct of his disciples was the conviction that love and mercy are the fulfilling of the law, of natural justice, and of the meaning expressed in the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.” When in doubt as to the actual action required by this command, one had simply to consult again the requirements of compassion incarnating itself in serving the concrete needs of men. Therefore in the ancient theory of just war, Christian conscience took the form of allowing any killing at all of men for whom Christ died only because military personnel were judged to stand, factually and objectively, at the point where, as combatants, resistance to them was judged to be necessary in responsibility to many other neighbors. The combatant stood at the point of intersection of many primary claims upon the Christian’s life with and for his fellow man.
This still included undiminished fellow humanity with the enemy soldier; yet he was not the only one to take into account. The claims of many others had also to be acknowledged and realistically served in the only way possible. In this world and not some other, faithfulness to all our fellow men, and not only to the enemy, must somehow be enacted.
Mike: I could read on and on and on for days of Ramsey’s work on just war theory. You kind of get the idea in that brief passage of where he’s going with this. Where he’s trying to lead the conversation – again, this book was written in 1965. Where he’s leading the conversation is to try and reacquaint people with the ancient premise of just war. In other words, the early chapters of the book are: Can you show me a historical record where you can demonstrate, through the historical record, that Christians, immediately after the time of Christ, formulated the idea of when they could go to war, when they could serve in a war, and when a violation of the
commandment to not kill was justified? The answer is, as he demonstrated in that chapter, yes, you can. It serves as a reminder. You would think that it would be a reminder but it’s not a reminder. Now it’s a bold statement of ridiculousness.
[mocking] “That’s radical.” No, it’s not! You know what, it is radical. Keeping your eye on the eternal is a radical thing to do these days.
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“Is The West’s Loss Of Faith Terminal?” writes Douglas Murray:
“What am I doing here? What is my life for? Does it have any purpose beyond itself?” These are questions which human beings have always asked and are still there even though today to even ask such questions is something like bad manners. What is even more, the spaces where such questions might be asked—let alone answered—have shrunk not only in number but in their ambition for answers. And if people no longer seek for answers in churches will they find them in occasional visits to art galleries or book clubs?
Mike: That’s a legitimate question, and it’s a question that goes to the heart of [mocking] “You need to keep your religion separate from politics. I used to like your show when you talked about history.” The discussion of history would include discussion of how people who were “religious” lived that history. Of course, that doesn’t apply today. We must only look at secular sources for inspiration because we’re a secular people.
End Mike Church Show Transcript