By Andrew Hudgins, NCCC Program Associate for Operations, for The Resistance Prays
News: In a speech delivered to law enforcement officers last week, President Trump seemed to endorse police brutality when he asked officers not to be “too nice” and suggested that they should hit suspect’s heads on the doors of their police cars. The White House later said he was joking.
Scripture: “My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted.” Galatians 6:1
Redemption: If there is one theme that is clearly consistent throughout the Bible it is this: no one is beyond redemption. Our sacred text is full of stories of individuals who mess up, make mistakes, and commit heinous crimes. Moses killed an Egyptian guard. King David committed adultery, lied about it, and when that didn’t work, he had his lover’s husband killed. Paul was a terrorist who persecuted the early followers of Jesus. But thanks be to God that none of their stories stopped there. Moses would later go on to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. David was blessed by God when the long awaited Messiah entered into the world as his descendant. Paul went on to become one of the most important figures in early Christianity and write most of the New Testament, including the above verse in a letter to the church in Galatia. President Trump makes it pretty clear he believes it is okay to rough people up if they are even suspected of doing something wrong. It is as if he is saying that we, as a society, don’t have to treat them with decency and respect, because their mistake warrants them being treated as less than fully human and no longer bearing the image of God. When we start allowing that happen, what we are implicitly saying is that certain people are beyond redemption. As the testimonies of the above individuals prove, no one is beyond redemption. As Paul instructs, the proper response to people who commit crimes is a spirit of gentleness, not brutality.
Prayer: God of second chances, you call us to the work of the redemption of all people. We grieve with you over a criminal justice system that too often perpetuates violence and creates more brokenness rather than bringing about healing and restoration. We give you thanks for our law enforcement officers who are tasked with very difficult jobs and often find themselves in tough situations. Enable them to do their work in a spirit of gentleness rather than a spirit of brutality. We ask that you remind us of our own times when we have fallen short and that you help us to see our brothers, sisters, friends, as individuals made in your image and worthy of dignity and respect. Amen.
Research: Find out what’s going on to stop police brutality in your state through Campaign Zero’s interactive resource.
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Anna Van Z says
I was pleased to see that a number of police forces across the country spoke out against the “rough ’em up” mentality, in response to Trump’s remarks. That indicates that at least some are still striving to be responsible community professionals. That gave me some hope!
Andrew Hudgins, Program Associate for Operations says
Yes, I was very pleased to see that as well. Holding onto hope that we just might begin to see improvements in relationships between police and the community. Thanks for your comment!