Sharia Alabama style?

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Sharia Alabama style?

Postby Haruo » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:27 am

Alabama House Committee approves church police bill

Sounds pretty scary to me, especially in a country where all religions are, constitutionally, created equal.
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby William Thornton » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:22 pm

Yeah. This is crazy.
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby KeithE » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:00 pm

Haruo wrote:Alabama House Committee approves church police bill

Sounds pretty scary to me, especially in a country where all religions are, constitutionally, created equal.

I’m not defending the action, but neither do I think that BriarWorld (as it is often called) will police according to any other standards than the Birmingham/Hoover police department. If they want to pay for it, that is OK by me.

It is located on a hill near the southern Interstate bypass around Birmingham. Briarwood Presbyterian Church is a large PCA (conservative) church. It has two entrances and a circular drive around it’s campus (maybe ten buildings). Recently attended an evening service there to drive my sister to an associate minister to reviewed her dissertation. Very large sanctuary, and very large campus.

I hear Whitesburg Baptist Church (SBC) in Huntsville has a group of 6 guys (with guns) that serve as a bodyguard to the Minister. Our church (CBF friendly) has one guy circling the grounds with a gun on Sunday mornings to protect us all.

Guns at church are not abnormal a southern churches. Police forces, now that is something new.

I think I'll go in search of DATA to see if having such gun-toting groups at church’s actually help or not.
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby William Thornton » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:21 pm

KeithE wrote:
Haruo wrote:Alabama House Committee approves church police bill

Sounds pretty scary to me, especially in a country where all religions are, constitutionally, created equal.

I’m not defending the action, but neither do I think that BriarWorld (as it is often called) will police according to any other standards than the Birmingham/Hoover police department. If they want to pay for it, that is OK by me.

It is located on a hill near the southern Interstate bypass around Birmingham. Briarwood Presbyterian Church is a large PCA (conservative) church. It has two entrances and a circular drive around it’s campus (maybe ten buildings). Recently attended an evening service there to drive my sister to an associate minister to reviewed her dissertation. Very large sanctuary, and very large campus.

I hear Whitesburg Baptist Church (SBC) in Huntsville has a group of 6 guys (with guns) that serve as a bodyguard to the Minister. Our church (CBF friendly) has one guy circling the grounds with a gun on Sunday mornings to protect us all.

Guns at church are not abnormal a southern churches. Police forces, now that is something new.

I think I'll go in search of DATA to see if having such gun-toting groups at church’s actually help or not.


I suggest reading the Wartburg blog queens' story on the matter.

Is it good use of the state's police power to have this church or Walmart or Starbucks or Augusta National empowered with officially sanctioned law enforcement capability? Churches routinely hire off duty cops and private security firms abound. We've already seen what can happen with government officials who are members of a church and who want to 'help out.' Does the AL law require the same public access to records and the like? What about high end subdivisions having their own public but private police force. Does that create a two-tier (or more) system of police protection for citizens? If the private public church police gets sued is the county or city exposed to that liability?

I'm not liking this unless someone shows me how this serves the public interest.
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Deplorable base

Postby Stephen Fox » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:44 pm

Briarwood is part of what is truly a deplorable base of fundamentalism in Alabama. It is networked to Crawford Broadcasting, Rick Burgess riknbubba radio, Baptist church of the Highlands and its 14 campuses and Gadsden campus where my state senator is a member, of which my state senator Phil Simms of the gerrymandered st senate district that would make Texas wince .
Also FBC Gardendale and Cliff Simms now in the Trump White House of Yellowhammer News is there. So Sharia Bama style has its supporters.

Time for Molly Worthen and Randall Balmer to come to Samford and let the light shine. I hope to ask Tommy Tubberville a few town hall questions as he is running for Governor now sooner than expected, or is that the senate seat.

Whatever, everybody is runnin now in Bama but this weekend, it's the Collinsville Lady Panthers hosting the county tourney as number 4 against number Five Fyffe and Number One Plainview, all state rankings.
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby Mrs Haruo » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:14 pm

I used to work in private security and know the damage a poorly trained wannabe cop who should NOT be packing a piece can do. If I saw private security around a church that were armed I would get right back in my car and not come back. :o Yes, I know all about the Bible Study class that was shot up a few years back by a crazy white kid, but I still don't mix worship with firearms. One of my weird personal beliefs and I am sticking by it.
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby KeithE » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:37 pm

William Thornton wrote:
KeithE wrote:
Haruo wrote:Alabama House Committee approves church police bill

Sounds pretty scary to me, especially in a country where all religions are, constitutionally, created equal.

I’m not defending the action, but neither do I think that BriarWorld (as it is often called) will police according to any other standards than the Birmingham/Hoover police department. If they want to pay for it, that is OK by me.

It is located on a hill near the southern Interstate bypass around Birmingham. Briarwood Presbyterian Church is a large PCA (conservative) church. It has two entrances and a circular drive around it’s campus (maybe ten buildings). Recently attended an evening service there to drive my sister to an associate minister to reviewed her dissertation. Very large sanctuary, and very large campus.

I hear Whitesburg Baptist Church (SBC) in Huntsville has a group of 6 guys (with guns) that serve as a bodyguard to the Minister. Our church (CBF friendly) has one guy circling the grounds with a gun on Sunday mornings to protect us all.

Guns at church are not abnormal a southern churches. Police forces, now that is something new.

I think I'll go in search of DATA to see if having such gun-toting groups at church’s actually help or not.


I suggest reading the Wartburg blog queens' story on the matter.

Is it good use of the state's police power to have this church or Walmart or Starbucks or Augusta National empowered with officially sanctioned law enforcement capability? Churches routinely hire off duty cops and private security firms abound. We've already seen what can happen with government officials who are members of a church and who want to 'help out.' Does the AL law require the same public access to records and the like? What about high end subdivisions having their own public but private police force. Does that create a two-tier (or more) system of police protection for citizens? If the private public church police gets sued is the county or city exposed to that liability?

I'm not liking this unless someone shows me how this serves the public interest.


I don’t like it either if you are talking about "officially sanctioned law enforcement capability” complete with ability to make charges, etc. But I'm OK with security forces as long as they pay for it. (I can see this going the way of state paid school vouchers for church schools). But even if it were a church police force at Briarwood, I would not expect it to follow Sharia Law or Biblical Law, but the laws of the land.

Read the Wartburg article. No strong points or DATA there.

Interesting story about a pastor's security detail getting a blogger’s name released because he spoke anonymously about problems in the church. It is ashamed that a church does not encourage open discussion of potential problems.
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby Haruo » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:40 am

Like my wife, I would see armed guards at my church as sufficient grounds to switch churches. But I don't see that this is just "private security" hired by the church. If so, I don't think it would need the state supreme court's permission to proceed.
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby KeithE » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:49 am

Haruo wrote:Like my wife, I would see armed guards at my church as sufficient grounds to switch churches. But I don't see that this is just "private security" hired by the church. If so, I don't think it would need the state supreme court's permission to proceed.

The articles did not specify what powers the "police force" would have but it is reasonable to assume that they would be the same as any muncipal police force. I would mildly disagree with giving them those abilities like booking on charges. In the scope of big policy issues, this partial melding of church and state does not get my hair on fire.

I have my own reasons not to like BriarWorld like it's theology (reformed), it's proud-to-be-so-big-churchianity (that came across clearly when I visited there recently), and its anti-environmentalism (that I witnessed a in a couple of it members in a class I went to at Samford University).
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby Dave Roberts » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:44 am

Actually, I have no idea what is in Alabama law, but in many states police powers come only after training through law enforcement academies, an internship assigned to a veteran training officer, and a thorough study of the law you will be enforcing, at least enough to recognize what sections may be relevant to making an arrest. It also involves firearms training, the use of non-lethal force, and the public dimensions of being a police presence. Alabama may not require this, but I bet that Birmingham and Hoover have strict standards on those who wear a badge. If the church is willing to put each of their recruits through psychological evaluations and up to six or more months of paid full-time training, then this might make sense. Without it, this is an invitation to the George Zimmerman's of the world.
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby William Thornton » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:14 am

The church administrator wrote:
"that any "personnel employed by the church will meet all requirements and be certified by the Alabama Peace Officer Training Commission." "The police officers would be restricted to the church's campuses and be able to respond to emergency situations while coordinating with local authorities," he wrote. Briarwood would not have its own jail or employ its own dispatchers. But it would pay the salaries of its police officers.


The ACLU of Alabama opposes this bill and another called The Alabama Church Protection Act, which would allow churches to enlist armed congregants for security and provide them with legal protections if they shoot anybody. "It's our view this would plainly be unconstitutional," Randall Marshall, the ACLU's Acting Executive Director, told NBC News earlier.


Presumably, these cops would have arrest and investigative powers. Would the church cops be subject to the discipline of the real Alabama cops, sheriff or whatever?

Way too many questions here. I'm with the ACLU although I haven't bothered to read up on why they think it is unconstitutional...but this is Alabama.
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby KeithE » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:37 am

Dave Roberts wrote:Actually, I have no idea what is in Alabama law, but in many states police powers come only after training through law enforcement academies, an internship assigned to a veteran training officer, and a thorough study of the law you will be enforcing, at least enough to recognize what sections may be relevant to making an arrest. It also involves firearms training, the use of non-lethal force, and the public dimensions of being a police presence. Alabama may not require this, but I bet that Birmingham and Hoover have strict standards on those who wear a badge. If the church is willing to put each of their recruits through psychological evaluations and up to six or more months of paid full-time training, then this might make sense. Without it, this is an invitation to the George Zimmerman's of the world.

This article says any police officer at Briarwood would have the same training requirements as any Al police officer (whatever that may be).

The officers would have to complete state certified training by the Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission. They would have the same powers as all police officers but those powers would be restricted to Briarwood properties.


Interesting that Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills is the bill’s sponsor, and I’ll most likely see his brother (retired lawyer) at Sunday School this morning.

Will also be interesting to see what new Governor Kay Ivey will do with this bill - a lot of voters would be upset with her if she does not sign it.

It will also be interesting to see what Roy Moore will be up to.
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby Haruo » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:22 am

I will say, regardless of the merits of the cases, that it's refreshing (or dizzying, perhaps) to see William on this side of this one ("I'm with the ACLU"), and Jim (in another thread) coming out anti-Oreilly/Fox.
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby Joseph Patrick » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:04 pm

Haruo wrote:I will say, regardless of the merits of the cases, that it's refreshing (or dizzying, perhaps) to see William on this side of this one ("I'm with the ACLU"), and Jim (in another thread) coming out anti-Oreilly/Fox.

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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby Sandy » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:07 pm

I just have a hard time figuring out why a church needs its own police force. To arrest women with too much cleavage showing, or who wear pants to church? To keep dissenters off the property? To make sure only visitors park in the visitor spaces near the building?
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby Jim » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:18 pm

This is not a First Amendment issue. The church/school, like any other private entity, is entitled to structure and finance its own security system and personnel but, also like any other non-government entity, should have no powers of arrest or other disposition related to a crime other than attempting to detain a miscreant and await law enforcement operatives, even to shoot one if he represented physical harm to another. Private security personnel should be required to have, if not the same certification of law enforcement officers, appropriate training and vetting, at least (no criminal record, for instance).
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby Dave Roberts » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:37 am

There are many private police departments in universities, hospitals, and in other facilities. States regulate the requirements for these and provide legal co-jurisdictional operations with local police. In Virginia, the co-jurisdictional arenas usually are either a 1/2-mile or a 1-mile circle around the facility. There are so many issues here for the church to have its own law enforcement agency. Also, in co-jurisdictional situations, regular law enforcement does not end at the property lines, because local LEO's still have authority on the property, even if it has its own law enforcement agency.

Having served in churches that have security plans, those plans work best when they are not visible to the public. Securing doors to preschool and children's buildings during worship is a necessity. Also, if there is a need for law enforcement, a designated person to do the calling is an advantage. In addition, I have been where the premises have been monitored from a central video console that even had a hidden camera among the organ pipes to allow for an awareness of any disturbance in the sanctuary. In addition, admission only by remotely operated doors under surveillance is an important part of security for most locations during office hours and other weekday operations.
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby Haruo » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:40 am

I was just thinking of what would happen when one of the larger mosques in Birmingham got its own police force.
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby Dave Roberts » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:51 am

Haruo wrote:I was just thinking of what would happen when one of the larger mosques in Birmingham got its own police force.


I can see the headlines now from Judge Roy Moore.
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Re: Sharia Alabama style?

Postby KeithE » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:28 am

Haruo wrote:I was just thinking of what would happen when one of the larger mosques in Birmingham got its own police force.

I was actually headed to the Huntsville Islamic Center (HIC) to discuss an upcoming class at the Discovery Center with the Imam there (he had not replied to email, texts, phone calls and I needed input to further advertise upcoming classes) when I drove by the NSSTC building also on Sparkman.

The HIC was clearly marked as “Secure” ADT System (but no police force that I know of). It was locked but some cars parked. I noticed that there was no car in the Reserved parking space for the Imam, but I thought I’ll try to talk to someone inside anyway (they had had an open house there a few weeks ago and they were all most friendly). I tried a “bell”, no answer. Then I knocked on the door and alarms rang inside but no one came to the door. I waited in case the police came; they didn’t. As I was waiting I called Imam again and reached him - he promised to provide the needed info (on a .pdf form) by the end of this week (it was due last Friday).

More than you ever wanted to know.

But the point is security at Mosques may be common. Probably needed at least as much as a Climate Research facility.

But I would like comment on the Discovery Center which I am the Founder. The first sessions started in Feb and we had 48 participants across 4 classes. It is an evolving effort.
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