Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cop Worship

The Pro Libertate blog discusses "cop worship":
“Get on the ground! Get on the ground!”

That demand is spat by police into the face of thousands of people every day in this country, many – perhaps most -- of whom have neither been caught in a criminal act nor have been named on an arrest warrant. ...

It is often performed as a prelude to Taser strikes, baton blows, or other punitive violence used against people who refuse to render immediate and unqualified obedience.
Once the victim is forced to the ground, the familiar liturgy continues as the assailants chant “Stop resisting! Stop resisting!” in counterpoint to punches, kicks, and other varieties of state-licensed criminal violence.

This exercise, we are told, is carried out in the service of that most important of all considerations, “Officer Safety.” It is true that the use of such methods is of great practical value to the privileged aggressors in government-issued attire.

However, there is a sacramental function being performed here, as well: When a police officer – a carnal emissary of the divine state, an accredited member of its punitive priesthood -- orders a citizen to prostrate himself, he is, quite literally, demanding worship.

The Greek word translated as “worship” in the New Testament is proskuneo; it is related to such English words as “prostrate” and “prone.”

The typical gesture referred to by that term involves placing one’s self face-down on the ground: “…. And when I, John, saw these things, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel…. Then saith he unto me, ‘See thou do it not: For I am thy fellowservant…. Worship God.” (Rev. 22:8-9)

Prostration in prayer and worship is widely practiced in many faith traditions today – both Catholic and Protestant Christianity, in addition to Judaism and Islam. For believers, this is done as a display of complete submission and unqualified surrender to the only Being who has the right to require it from us.

... Until the late 1980s, it was unusual for police to require such worship from citizens. The 1991 Report of the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department describes how elements of the LAPD had made it a common practice to order black and Hispanic men to “prone out” during ordinary traffic stops and similar encounters.

... One officer explained to the Commission that the use of the “prone-out” was “pretty routine” as a way of intimidating the targeted public and imposing a proper attitude of contrite submissiveness. According to that officer, “aggression and force are the only things these people understand.”

This is why such people must be ordered to prostrate themselves before the Holy State and its anointed representatives – and then beaten into submission and caged if they resist. With evangelistic zeal, police have spread this gospel at gunpoint from inner-city neighborhoods in Los Angeles to the farthest reaches of rural and suburban America.
 (H/t Western Rifle Shooters Association)

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