Alabama lawmakers have voted 24-4 to allow Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham to establish a police department. The church has over 4,000 members and is also home to a K-12 school and a theological seminary with 2,000 students and teachers:
"After the shooting at Sandy Hook and in the wake of similar assaults at churches and schools, Briarwood recognized the need to provide qualified first responders to coordinate with local law enforcement," church administrator Matt Moore said in a statement, referring to the mass murder of 20 first graders and six teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut by a deranged man with an AR-15 style rifle just before Christmas 2012. "The sole purpose of this proposed legislation is to provide a safe environment for the church, its members, students and guests." The church would pay the bill for its officers.
[...] "It's our view this would plainly be unconstitutional," Randall Marshall, the ACLU's Acting Executive Director, told NBC News. In a memo to the legislature, Marshall said they believe the bills "violate the First Amendment or the U.S. Constitution and, if enacted, would not survive a legal challenge." "Vesting state police powers in a church police force violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment," his memo states. "These bills unnecessarily carve out special programs for religious organizations and inextricably intertwine state authority and power with church operations."
(Score: 3, Interesting) by deathlyslow on Thursday April 13 2017, @04:20PM (1 child)
This really is no different than public schools or hospitals with their own police agencies. Do you have the same issues with non-government groups having police powers or are biased due to it being a religious entity that has both primary and secondary education on campus? I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm truly interested your reasoning. My thoughts are if they abide by the same rules and regs as all other accredited agencies there's really no problem.
(Score: 2) by SomeGuy on Thursday April 13 2017, @08:54PM
The problem should be obvious.
It is fair to say that most private police forces have some agenda - usually enforcing laws that normal government law enforcement cant be arsed with. They must still operate within the law. Most companies recognize reality and most of the time work within the laws of the real world.
But when you have a bunch of wackjobs who seriously believe in some imaginary magic sky fairy, especially a magic sky fairy that is perceived as having some kind of authority and ocasionally hands down its own "laws" (usually the result of someone getting high, or making up their own laws and putting magic sky fairy's name on it), then it becomes almost a certainty that they will eventually make up and enforce their own laws - such as making a law to rape all non believers.