Church to have police department

Pastors get what they want in the south, and a Presbyterian church in Alabama wants to have its own police department.

The Alabama Senate has voted to allow a church to form its own police force.

Lawmakers on Tuesday voted 24-4 to allow Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham to establish a law enforcement department.

The church says it needs its own police officers to keep its school as well as its more than 4,000 person congregation safe.

It shouldn’t need to be said that this has so many problems that the bill should never have even made it to the floor for a vote.

  • Will the uniforms have sectarian decorations? Almost certainly.

  • Will persons of all religions, or no religion, be eligible for service on this police force? Not likely.

  • Can the public enjoy confidence that crimes within the church will be properly investigated? No. After all, the Chief is the pastor, with a reputation to protect.

This will doubtless be challenged in the courts if the bill passes the Alabama House and a police force is authorized. Let’s hope the courts aren’t as craven as Alabama’s legislature.

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Uplifting theology-related tweet for the day

This was s-o-o-o predictable. I predicted it, and I’m sure others must have, too. Why didn’t evangelicals know they were discrediting themselves?

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Quote for the day

The annihilation of shame requires two things. First, nerve: Whatever else might be said about Trump, it takes immense brass to lie as frequently and flagrantly as he does without apparently triggering any kind of internal emotional crisis. Ordinary mortals tend to blush when caught out in some kind of mischief. Trump smirks.

But it also takes public acquiescence.

[ … ]

It was once the useful role of conservatives to resist these sorts of trends — to stand athwart declining moral standards, yelling Stop. They lost whatever right they had to play that role when they got behind Trump, not only acquiescing in the culture of shamelessness but also savoring its fruits.

Bret Stephens, New York Times

I’ve wondered over the years, and more frequently since Trump seized control, whether the Republican Party is even aware of the credibility and heritage they’ve squandered and, if so, if it even matters to them.

They are so lost in delusion, and unable to fool anybody but themselves nowadays, that, No, I don’t think they know. Or care.

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More signs of decline

Michael Hamar points toward yet another story that evidences the damage done to the Christian brand by the Evangelical Right.

For the first time “No Religion” has topped a survey of Americans’ religious identity, according to a new analysis by a political scientist. The non-religious edged out Catholics and evangelicals in the long-running General Social Survey.

Ryan Burge, a political scientist at Eastern Illinois University and a Baptist pastor, found that 23.1% of Americans now claim no religion.

Eighty-one per cent of white Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump and, after more than 2-years of relentless chaos, squalor and mismanagement, Trump’s support amongst white Evangelicals remains at 73%; they are his most important voting bloc.

It’s bad enough that the Christian narrative is childish and obviously false. When you add to that the bad character of the Evangelical Right’s hero … nobody sane wants to be identified with them.

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More pain at SWBTS

Still struggling to recover from the Paige Patterson era, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is laying-off about one-quarter of its faculty.

We have been told by multiple sources that Southwestern is letting go of almost 25% of its faculty (25 professors out of approximately 106 is the number I was given). Here is the information I have. I would love confirmation or correction.

Ho-hum. You can’t hide squalor forever, and reality always has the last word.

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