Thursday, April 13, 2017

Today in not totally unearned stereotypes...

So is anyone else a little unsettled by the idea of a church police force? In Alabama? With guns? Like, am I being unfair?
"Blessed is he who aims for center mass."
Glock Chapter 3, verse 2
"If there are no more questions pertaining to
SB193, and not my name, I move that we vote."
-Jabo Wagoner
Probably, but still...the Alabama law, which just passed the State Senate and is moving on to the House, authorizes Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham to employ its own police officers with all the duties and powers of regular police officers, but whose jurisdiction is limited to the Church's property. On the surface the bill, SB193, written by State Senator Jabo Wagoner-wait, yeah, that's real, Jabo Wagoner. Anyway, the bill sounds kind of reasonable, like, they'd basically be security guards except with full police powers, sort of like universities that have their own cops. 

Pictured: what comes to mind anytime
the phrase 'southern cop' is mentioned.
So why does this make me feel all, you know, judgy? Because Alabama, that's why. It's a state kind of famous for that combination of Jesus and guns that just doesn't sit well with NPR-loving, ACLU mailing list blue-staters like myself. Armed church cops just totally plays into the narrative of corrupt good ol'boy authority figures in the South who will pull you over just for having out-of-state plates and then adds a hint of Iranian religious police. And speaking of, if this was a mosque that wanted to have its own police force, wouldn't everybody be loosing their shit?

"It's only religious fundamentalism
when non-white people do it."
-Alabama Lawmakers
Yes, indeed they would. Alabama is one of seven States with Anti-Sharia law legislation on the books. How come? Irrational fear that's how come. Somehow legislators got the idea in their head that Alabama was just a couple of years away from a takeover by radical Islamic fundamentalists who, despite somehow rising to power in the heart of freaking Dixie would not only try to impose Sharia law, but would be thwarted by some reactionary piece of legislation. So why is this ok? Again, because Alabama I guess.

I suppose it's possible that I'm just coming at this with my own baggage, but doesn't Birmingham have like, you know, their own cops? So why does this church need their own police force answerable only to them? And why are more guns the answer to an already dangerous, gun-filled world? And besides, this is Alabama, isn't everyone in church already armed?
Above: a negative, but not entirely unearned stereotype.

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