With a Little Help from my Friends

I have a problem, several of them in fact, and I am hoping the many good people that read this blog can help.  I realize I do this at the risk of infuriating some and alienating others, but I think the benefits of any discovered truths outweigh the risks.

I would ask three things,

  • Keep the responses rational. Do not attack the question, answer it
  • Use logic and evidence to support your argument
  • Think, long and hard, before you respond. There is enough emotional vitriolic clamoring over these concepts, we do not need anymore. It will not be helpful.

The topics will get more difficult as we go on.

Topic One: Why is there a War on the Police?

When did the police become the enemy?

The media floods their various venues with story after story of “alleged” police brutality.   Rallies are held, vigils staged, street-corner lawyers armed with a cell phone camera argue with an officer on a car stop as if they were in the Supreme Court.

There are no stories of the thousands and thousands of officers that go to work every night, risking their lives, and do an enormous amount of good.

How did this come about? What happened to fair and balanced coverage?

The latest protest in Boston over a Police Officer involved shooting of a suspect is a good example.  The suspect was shot and killed, thus the ensuing gathering of “Neighborhood” leaders chanting “No Justice, No Peace.”

THE OFFICER IS IN A MEDICALLY INDUCED COMA AFTER BEING SHOT IN THE FACE BY THE SUSPECT. Where is the Justice in that? Where are the crowds, arms locked together, surrounded by the media hordes, chanting, “Don’t shoot Cops, Don’t shoot Cops”?

Topic Two: Is Same Sex Marriage Wrong?

Will someone, anyone please articulate a rational, cogent, and intelligent argument that proves the danger in recognizing Same Sex marriages?

Please do not use as references any material that cannot be validated and reviewed to the same standard we would hold in a court of law.  If the authority you cite once spoke to an iron-age leader of a small tribe in the Middle East through a burning bush, please provide evidence of this.

If my numbers are correct, thirty-seven states now permit same sex marriages.  The country has not been destroyed, by apocalyptic catastrophe or any other disaster.  So please provide a rationale we can all agree on that definitively establishes a risk to permitting Same Sex marriages.

Topic Three: Was the United States founded on Christian Principles? (a subset of this question is why should religion, or practices related to it such as prayer, play any part in the government, public schools, or the courts)

Can someone articulate the evidence to support this contention?

Much is made of the alleged “Christian” basis of the United States Constitution and thus our form of government.  Yet there is clear and unambiguous language included in that Constitution that prohibits the Government from sponsoring an official religion.

While some would argue this is different from the commonly accepted doctrine of Separation of Church and State, I do not see it that way.

The founding fathers held a mix of religious beliefs. Two of the principal architects, Jefferson and Madison, are good examples of the clear conflict here.  Madison was a devout Christian, Jefferson not so much.  While Madison supported the involvement of religion in government, Jefferson clearly opposed it. That hardly shows a consensus in the use of Christian doctrine as the foundation of government.

Along with this question, comes the question of prayer in any government or public school activities.  Can someone demonstrate the efficacy of prayer?  Is there proof of the value of it being included as part of any official function?

Anecdotal stories of people claiming I prayed, I was cured, and the doctors cannot explain it is not evidence.  Doctors cannot explain many things.  Absence of an explanation is not proof of divine intervention. The absence of an explanation is an argument for more research and scientific studies, not validation of the existence of angels.

And the good people do in the name of religion, or under the auspices of a religious organization, is proof of the goodness of the people not the validity of their motivation.

Topic Four: Is there a Fundamental Right to Bear Children?

This is a tricky one.  The idea came up during a discussion about the number of children that end up in the foster care system, abused or abandoned by birth parents, and the seemingly lack of common decency by men that father these children and refuse to support them.

So it begs the questions, is there a fundamental right to have children?  Should there be a legal obligation to demonstrate the ability and willingness to support the child?

We license people for all sorts of things.  You need a license to run a daycare center in order to care for children, but there is no process to show your qualifications to be a parent before you place them in daycare.

Now I realize there are paternity statutes that can compel one to provide financial support, but that is like equating caring for a child to maintaining a car.

If you want an education in the number of people that lack any decency or sense of moral obligation, go to Family Court and listen to the arguments about child support.

I suggest as a solution, a modified version of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” Mandatory Birth Control.

Think about it; set aside all the religious morality and abstinence philosophies, mandatory birth control solves a great deal of our problems.

It would eliminate the need for abortions, unwanted pregnancies, abandoned children, and reduce the number of people requiring public assistance.

However, wait a minute you say, it would give them a license to have sex indiscriminately, (Pre-marital Sex, oh the horror).  Well, here is your opportunity for your religion to teach them self-control, unless the threat of pregnancy is all you have.   It seems to have worked well so far, don’t you think?

I know for some of you this may be a long forgotten premise, but very little prevents people from sexual activity given the right set of circumstances, raging hormones, and opportunity.  The risk of pregnancy is always an afterthought.

So please, explain to me why we should support the right to bear children absent a proof of one’s ability and qualification for such a fundamentally important obligation.

I await your able assistance.  Please feel free to reply here or to me at joe.broadmeadow@hotmail.com

For any Fatwas or other threats of death, excommunication, or damnation, please include “Important” in the subject line.

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About Joe Broadmeadow

Joe Broadmeadow retired with the rank of Captain from the East Providence Police Department after serving for 20 years. He is the author of the novels Collision Course, Silenced Justice, and Saving the Last Dragon available on Amazon in print and Kindle. Joe is working o the latest in a series of Josh Williams and Harrison "Hawk" Bennett novels and a sequel to Saving the Last Dragon. In 2014 Joe completed a 2,185 mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail
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2 Responses to With a Little Help from my Friends

  1. judy davis says:

    Topic one is a great question. I think the anti cop phenomenon started with the rise of the liberal media, most specifically television. This combined with the fact that there are certainly some bad cops out there, as well as bad lawyers, doctors, waitress’s etc., has created a broad brush stereotype that all cops are racist thugs. For those of us who’ve reached a certain age some of the first images we saw of cops on TV were scenes of troopers in Alabama beating peaceful protesters with billy clubs and unleashing their dogs on them or perhaps the Chicago PD beating protesters outside the Democratic convention in ’68. Media coverage of these events as well as the continued highlighting of incidents of police brutality a la Rodney King with no balance regarding the thousands of instances of helpful and often lifesaving conduct that happen every day is truly unfair. To add insult to injury we see video clips of these incidents which are often short and incomplete thus the true context is lost on the public and the only take away is that there is another brutal cop out there. Unfortunately the bad cops out there give the other 99% a bad name. There is no excuse for racist or even illegal activity on the part of the police but a little balance would be nice.

    The call for body cameras makes for an interesting debate. I believe that the cameras could actually hurt the image of the police in some cases. The continuum of force concept taught to every officer in police academies across the country is largely misunderstood by the general public. The officer always has the lawful right to go a level of force above what they are confronted with. Thus if confronted with fists the officer can go up a level to pepper spray and so on. Police must make split second decisions to protect themselves and the public. They have a duty to control the situation thus the ability to go to a higher level of force. The public may look at this and say well that’s not fair. In dangerous and life threatening situations the officers duty is not to be fair it’s to be in control of the situation. This control must be executed legally and without bias but it still must be executed. Body camera’s could give the untrained civilian a sense that what they are seeing is police brutality while it is actually proper police procedure.
    There is also a misguided notion by many civilians that deadly force can be used in a non deadly fashion. This is completely wrong. If the decision is made that deadly force must be used the officer has a legitimate fear that his life or the life of another is in jeopardy and the goal is to kill not be killed. If I hear another talking head on TV say “why don’t they shoot them in the arm or the leg” I will scream! The goal is not to slow down someone who is homicidal by “winging” him, it’s to take him down. Officers are trained to shoot at “center mass” the mid chest of the perpetrator, not to shoot the gun out of his hand as has been glorified on TV. Most police shooting encounters happen at close range, within ten feet, so there isn’t generally time or space to contemplate wounding someone.
    On the flip side the cameras could also provide police with protection against fabricated claims of brutality and expose those officers who do abuse their authority. The issue cuts both ways. If officers did their jobs correctly there would be no need for cameras. Again a few bad actors ruin things for the majority.
    Most police officers will never be confronted with a situation which requires deadly force. It is the most traumatic thing a police officer will deal with, the decision to end a life is not easy and there is no “do over”. They deserve careful and thoughtful review not full blown trial by public opinion shaped by the media.

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