Congregation of church and state

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Congregation of church and state

Postby eebamxela » Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:15 pm

So I was driving home today, and I passed a church. Not hard to do in a big ass city like Jacksonville. The very large crowd leaving the church in their smog producing automobiles wasn't what caught my eye. What grabbed my attention was the Jacksonville City police officer intentionally blocking oncoming traffic so that the church-leavers could be ushered onto the road with no trouble.

As I was sitting in the long line of on-coming-traffickers I couldn't help but ask myself if this situation was permissible or not. After all the police officer is an employee of the state/city government whose salary is paid for by my tax dollars, and here he is blocking my way home, making my trip take more time, giving preference to a religious event, while he is on duty. I can only assume he was on duty, cuz he was in uniform and the lights from his vehicle were flashing red and blue making his presence known.

Am I looking too much into this? Or is there something that I can shake a stick at? Or sneeze at? Or any other applicable metaphoric action?

Is there something that says that the church itself could finance the stationing of the police officer? Like, as long as the money does not come from the city, but from a private fund, the officer can do as he pleases?

Either way, fuck the church for blocking traffic like they did and always do.
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Postby Dust » Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:49 pm

I don't know. People have a right to congregate. I think that they should be able to receive assistance from the police. It's not like they are denying assistance to non-religious events. Police direct traffic in football games, parades, funerals, etc.

To deny services to an organization strictly because it's religious, would be religious persecution. (They love to scream that shit enough as it is, let's not give them an actual reason to.)
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Postby bugsoup » Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:24 am

As much as I would like to find fault with this, unless the policemen is doing this on personal time and using his uniform to assert power, I don't really see much wrong him with directing traffic. The police department's primary responsibily is public safety. If it was determined that the crowd leaving the church was a safety concern for the city, they probably have an obligation to help make it safer. As Dust said, the same would be done at football games and parades, and I would add that some movie theaters get a police detail.

Now, if the policeman was completely restricting cars already on the road until every last car was gone from the parking lot, then I would have a problem with it. Depending on traffic for the day, allowing perhaps ten cars out at a time and then allowing normal flow to resume before stopping it again would be fair. He should act like a traffic light as opposed to a stop sign.
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Postby dromedaryhump1 » Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:51 am

eeb,

I was at a gun show yesterday. The attendence before the doors opened snaked around the large arena twice. There were a couple of cops directing traffic going into the arena parking lot, and when I left, they were controlling flow going out.

Their presence had nothing to do with 2nd Amendment rights. It was a simple decision to ensure gridlock doesnt happen on a major thoroughfare , and that no one is hurt in the traffic melee.

If some anti-gun advocate protested that by their presence and traffic control involvement the police were supporting gun owners over non-gun owning drivers, or promoting "gun violence" or some other 1/2 assed far fetched breast beating foolishness, I'd have to fuckin pistol whip them. [joke]

With all respect, I don't think even making the inference that the government is extending special priviledge / preferential treatment to churchs reflects well on atheists. There are genuine Establishment clause issues that warrent our concern.
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Postby eebamxela » Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:30 am

You all are right. Thanks for the input and correction.

I guess i was just venting frustration from sitting in traffic.

Ignore that i even first inquired.
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