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Alabama to allow church to form their own police.

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Why is this a problem?  The church has an extensive campus almost like a college.  How is this different from BYU police?

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29 minutes ago, longview said:

Why is this a problem?  The church has an extensive campus almost like a college.  How is this different from BYU police?

Would be curious how their powers differ and what kind of lethal force they can use.

22 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Will their police officers be allowed to use Bat-mobiles for their police cars?

I might consider becoming one of their policemen if I could have a Bat-mobile for my police car.

 

Im hoping for space marines.

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1 minute ago, Jake Starkey said:

Should a church have the force to take life?

Probably not.  I recall seeing an article written quite some time ago that directly stated that the LDS Church had not been authorized by the Lord to go to war itself.

But I also recall from history that when President Buchanan sent an army to the Territory of Utah to put down an imaginary rebellion, that Brigham Young sent newly-raised troops to confront the forces led by then-Colonel, later Major General Albert Sidney Johnston (CSA). They were given the instruction to take no life, but harass and delay their progress.  There were some "battles" in which gunfire was exchanged, but there were no casualties.  

Since a church is a group consisting of people, the right of self-defense that people have does seem to be able to be exercised by those people acting as a group.  Would that be beyond the pale, do you think?

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1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

......................................

But I also recall from history that when President Buchanan sent an army to the Territory of Utah to put down an imaginary rebellion, that Brigham Young sent newly-raised troops to confront the forces led by then-Colonel, later Major General Albert Sidney Johnston (CSA). They were given the instruction to take no life, but harass and delay their progress.  There were some "battles" in which gunfire was exchanged, but there were no casualties.  

Unfortunately, the militia brethren in Cedar City decided (without authorization from Brigham) to exterminate the Fancher Train at Mountain Meadows.

1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

Since a church is a group consisting of people, the right of self-defense that people have does seem to be able to be exercised by those people acting as a group.  Would that be beyond the pale, do you think?

Unless one takes a pacifist oath (such as in the BofM), no.

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4 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Unfortunately, the militia brethren in Cedar City decided (without authorization from Brigham) to exterminate the Fancher Train at Mountain Meadows.

Yes, I know, but I wasn't including that as a part of the Utah War -- I was just referring to official acts.

4 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Unless one takes a pacifist oath (such as in the BofM), no.

Which is a special case.

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20 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Yes, I know, but I wasn't including that as a part of the Utah War -- I was just referring to official acts.............................

The extermination of the Wagon Train of Capt. Fancher was a military operation during the Utah War ordered and directed by militia commanders Maj. Isaac C. Haight, Maj. John D. Lee, and Col. William H. Dame.  Oddly and ironically enough, long before, both Major Lee and Captain Fancher were part of the extermination of innocent Native Americans during the Blackhawk War.

Edited by Robert F. Smith

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None of the above really sheds any light about this church now wanting to organize a police force.

Why should a religious organization ever be in such a business?

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Jake Starkey said:

None of the above really sheds any light about this church now wanting to organize a police force.

Why should a religious organization ever be in such a business?

 

 

Same reason why universities have campus police.

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The 'religious' component is what bothers me.

Let the church contract with the city or the county: it would be cheaper, too.

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20 hours ago, Jake Starkey said:

Should a church have the force to take life?

No, but not sure why you ask in this way?

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Are campus police under the state or local law or are they only accountable to their employers (outside of not breaking the law)?

If a citizen has the right to use lethal force to defend lives, why not a church organization?  I think my reaction would depend on how far they go...is their force comparable to other schools and organization or do they have a significantly larger group?  Do they stop and search frequently, treat any political gathering not approved like a riot, etc.  

-----

It is not like there has never been military oriented church leaders (some popes, Mormon for example).  The question is if there are obligations to physically protect people under their care.  This would, imo, depend on in part how long and how large of involvement exists.  I think very large groups that would tax local LEOs if a crisis arose, it is not a bad idea to add security.  

Now should they have investigative powers at least beyond the basics of looking around a crime scene, preserving it for forensics, recording anything said by suspects....that is more debatable to me.

Edited by Calm

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A police force is an agent of the State with the power to employ force and violence to coerce compliance with lawful demands and orders.

No church should ever be so empowered.

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12 minutes ago, Jake Starkey said:

No church should ever be so empowered.

Should anyone but the law enforcement and military?

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28 minutes ago, Jake Starkey said:

A police force is an agent of the State with the power to employ force and violence to coerce compliance with lawful demands and orders.

No church should ever be so empowered.

 

15 minutes ago, Calm said:

 

Should anyone but the law enforcement and military?

What everyone seems to have forgotten is that the State does not get its power from the vacuum.  It gets its power and authority from the people, who band together and combine their individual rights to self-defense and governance into a body that is empowered to govern on their behalf -- but the power is not abandoned by the people, it is delegated.  The power remains with the people, collectively and individually.

And so it goes with the any body that is organized by people.  They do not give up their rights or power, but delegate it to an organization they create for the common good.  In the case of democratically-elected governments this power is periodically returned to the people for the purpose of exercising it in the form of elections.  All governments, including religious governments, derive their power from the consent of the governed -- although in the case of the government founded by God, namely the Kingdom of God, Deity is also involved.  Or so one hopes, anyway.

When the Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847 there was no state or territorial government.  It was totally unorganized and in fact it was technically still part of Mexico -- until the next year when Mexico ceded the territory to the United States by treaty.   And the Saints formed a government -- which so far as I know consisted of the leaders of the Church -- and in fact had to form a government, however temporary it was.  So in effect, the initial government of Deseret/Utah was the Church.  Something that was actually codified when the President appointed Brigham Young to be the governor of the territory.  And that effectively made the Church into the State.

When it comes to the question of whether a church should be so empowered, what do we expect when the Millennium arrives and Christ reigns personally upon the earth?  Church will be State, and vice versa.  

Any group of people who do not wish to live in state of nature must form a government for themselves, even if that group is a church.  When necessity requires it.  Because necessitas non habet legem -- necessity knows no law.  <=== that's a common law maxim, in case you were wondering.

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This is a false statement: " but the power is not abandoned by the people, it is delegated.  The power remains with the people, collectively and individually."  The power of the people cannot delegate violence to non-state entities. 

No church should ever have the state-sanctioned power to coerce by violence the obedience of citizens.

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2 hours ago, Jake Starkey said:

This is a false statement: " but the power is not abandoned by the people, it is delegated.  The power remains with the people, collectively and individually."  The power of the people cannot delegate violence to non-state entities. 

Nonsense.  You say this as if there was some kind of law of nature involved.  What is "the state"?  It is any collective organization to which the full power of the people is delegated.  There is nothing magical about "the state".  If you and I collectively delegate our full power to any collective body, be it a church, or a societal construct of some design, that church or that construct becomes "the state".  Do I want a church to be the state?  No, I do not, unless it is the millennial Kingdom of God.  But the power of people can most definitely delegate violence to any entity that the people deem appropriate.  You may not like it, but there it is.

I suggest a reading of D&C 136.  That revelation through Brigham Young clearly sets up a government -- a mini-state with all the power of a government.  Just because no punishment clauses were affixed does not contradict this. 

Quote

No church should ever have the state-sanctioned power to coerce by violence the obedience of citizens.

This is your opinion; it's not a law of nature.  I respect your opinion, and largely agree with you.  But your feelings or opinions are just that.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the short period between the initial settlement of Utah and the creation of the Utah Territory of the United States did, in point of fact, have the "state-sanctioned power to coerce by violence the obedience of citizens", and this was because the people implicitly delegated their power to it, temporarily of course. But in the absence of any other authority, it could have become permanent.  I am sure that if the US had not assumed authority, Brigham Young would have directed that a civil government separate from the church be set up, and it would have probably closely resembled that of the United States -- I can say this with confidence because of D&C 101.

Edited by Stargazer
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No, sir, your comments do not reveal a law of nature.  What is natural law is that secular government receives its power to enforce its mandate through the exclusive use of power to coerce people to live in harmony.  It does not have a mandate to share it with a religious entity.

BY did set up a theocratic government from 1847 to territorial organization, using JSJr.'s Council of Fifty to implement civil law.  Two good books exist.  Read them.

The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History by [Rogers, Jedediah S.]

The Council of Fifty: What the Records Reveal About Mormon History by [Grow, Matthew J., Smith, R. Eric]

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Jake, perhaps you missed my question.  I am curious if you would limit any other nongovernment organization or it is only churches in your view that need to be limited from using force and if so, why.

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Yes, Calm, I missed the question, and I apologize.

LEO is based on government inherently to employ violence  Within that sense, I suppose if you had a state-established church, you could have church police.  I would oppose that as hard as possible.

The idea of a religious entity having the authority to use violence to compel [whatever] horrifies me.

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I have had friends and colleagues who have served in LDS Church security over the decades, and the professionalism of the service has improved dramatically.  Still, theoretically, well-trained bad guys can get around the 'intel' and 'screen' without any major issues.  If they wanted to get in 'close', then it would probably be a blood bath in a fifty-yard square.  But such has never happened, and for that I am grateful.

 

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Remember that JSJr and BY and JT were big on guards, because they had to be so diligent to stay alive.

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