Saturday, May 5, 2007

May I Help You, Centurion?

Many years ago in Israel, Centurions roamed the streets of Jerusalem in one of many occupied countries, enforcing dominion with soldiers who had authority to basically do as they pleased in administering Rome’s laws. Essentially this boiled down to roaming mobs of armored Roman soldiers who went about extorting people in shakedowns for “taxes” and in some cases, I am sure, generally just being bullies, as power has the tendency to corrupt. This infuriated the Jews who saw their money going to support pagan works in Rome.

Much the same thing is happening today, in my own eyes. Officers who used to go by the vow “to protect and serve” instead have become revenue raising agents for the state. For example, in Denver, motorcycle cops have received an order to write 2 traffic tickets per hour on duty (regardless of whether said citizens were breaking the law or not.) This is not in the public interest, but simply to pad some coffers in a city municipality. One would think that such duties could instead be spent protecting citizens instead of robbing them. Here’s the link to this story:

Jesus did not address these political issues, which were hot topics of the times. Rather, he took to himself Matthew, a tax collector, to be one of his disciples. In my own mind, he saw beyond the earthly power of political institutions. God’s kingdom resides in the hearts of men, and it was here He sought to bring His ministry.

Additionally, I am very concerned with the actions of the LAPD over the weekend. A peaceful demonstration for the rights of illegal immigrants was occurring in a park there, with thousands of people attending. (I am strongly against illegal immigration, as many more Americans have been killed by illegal immigrants than have been killed in Iraq, but forget the biased news reporting on THAT story.) Unarmed people were fired upon with rubber bullets by a “gang” of police that were telling the demonstrators to break up. Reporters who were on the scene were unlawfully ordered to put their cameras away and in one instance a female cameraman was attacked with a billy club from behind. Other cameras were seized, I understand. Here is the link to the video, it’s rather chilling:

Long gone are the days of squeaky clean Adam-12, where officers actually served the people, although perhaps this view is simply just the sanitized perception of the way things were supposed to be, a Leave It to Beaver/Truman Show sort of thing. One of the first shows to question government’s motives was “The Prisoner,” and I hope to discuss this show in one of my future articles. (Outstanding article- click and read it!)

Armchair coach
Amateur historian

PS Thanks to the FunTimesGuide for the picture. I used MS Paint to insert the Centurion.

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