News Intelligence Analysis
Homeland Security Enlists Clergy to Quell Public Unrest if Martial Law Ever Declared
Aug 23, 2007 07:38 PM PDT
By Jeff Ferrell
[Yurica Report Editor's Note: Another step has been taken in the merging of the church with the state: The following article is alarming precisely because the clergy selected by the government are already citing Romans 13 as authority for requiring Christians to submit to the government's edicts--no matter what they are. The ideas in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution--that the people are sovereign--and in the first amendment that require the separation of the church from the state are being set aside and subordinated, as government agencies foster anti-democratic and church-state concepts. Romans 13 asserts that all government authority is derived from God--and therefore civil disobedience of any kind is unlawful. This is a Christian Reconstructionist and Dominionist view. For a more comprehensive reading of this religio/political doctrine see Katherine Yurica's essay, "The Despoiling of America" at the portion linked here and here for a discussion of Justice Scalia's use of Romans 13. ] And see the responses we have received from our readers regarding Romans 13 below and on our Letters to the Editor page.
Click Here for the KSLA-TV Video Report
Could martial law ever become a reality in America? Some fear any nuclear, biological or chemical attack on U.S. soil might trigger just that. KSLA News 12 has discovered that the clergy would help the government with potentially their biggest problem: Us.
Charleton Heston's now-famous speech before the National Rifle Association at a convention back in 2000 will forever be remembered as a stirring moment for all 2nd Amendment advocates. At the end of his remarks, Heston held up his antique rifle and told the crowd in his Moses-like voice, "over my cold, dead hands."
While Heston, then serving as the NRA President, made those remarks in response to calls for more gun control laws at the time, those words live on. Heston's declaration captured a truly American value: An over-arching desire to protect our freedoms.
But gun confiscation is exactly what happened during the state of emergency following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, along with forced relocation. U.S. Troops also arrived, something far easier to do now, thanks to last year's elimination of the 1878 Posse Comitatus act, which had forbid regular U.S. Army troops from policing on American soil.
If martial law were enacted here at home, like depicted in the movie "The Siege", easing public fears and quelling dissent would be critical. And that's exactly what the 'Clergy Response Team' helped accomplish in the wake of Katrina.
Dr. Durell Tuberville serves as chaplain for the Shreveport Fire Department and the Caddo Sheriff's Office. Tuberville said of the clergy team's mission, "the primary thing that we say to anybody is, 'let's cooperate and get this thing over with and then we'll settle the differences once the crisis is over.'"
Such clergy response teams would walk a tight-rope during martial law between the demands of the government on the one side, versus the wishes of the public on the other. "In a lot of cases, these clergy would already be known in the neighborhoods in which they're helping to diffuse that situation," assured Sandy Davis. He serves as the director of the Caddo-Bossier Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
For the clergy team, one of the biggest tools that they will have in helping calm the public down or to obey the law is the bible itself, specifically Romans 13. Dr. Tuberville elaborated, "because the government's established by the Lord, you know. And, that's what we believe in the Christian faith. That's what's stated in the scripture."
Civil rights advocates believe the amount of public cooperation during such a time of unrest may ultimately depend on how long they expect a suspension of rights might last.
Story by Jeff Ferrell
To the Editor:
Romans 13 Is Not Accepted By Catholics
Romans 13 is not accepted by Catholics as a primary doctrine that governs their response to government. Catholic groups frequently contest government policies based on conscience.
In fact, it was Martin Luther's late "doctrine of the two kingdoms" that mandated Christian passivity in the face of the authoritarian state. This is what you might bring to the attention of your readers, since Luther resorted to this doctrine only after the peasant and sectarian rebellions led to social uprisings and disorders. Karl Barth, the 20th century Protestant theologian criticized Luther's doctrine as having led to the submission of the state church in Germany to the Nazi regime.
In fact, giving clergy this role in a state response to disaster, amounts to "domesticating" the church in America, and savvy clerics are aware of this. Unfortunately, this plan to co-opt religion in service of the state will fool many clerics who see it only as a chance to serve the unfortunate in a critical situation and to be heard (initially) by the state.
It's a bad bargain for the churches and the people. Religion has been described as a "culture of dissent" by prominent scholars who study it. Catholic dissidents--most recently in the new sanctuary movement--do not inherit Luther's solution to the political disorder spawned by this theological reformation. He told his followers that they belong to "the kingdom of God" and "the kingdom on earth." They should obey the rulers who rule by God's choice, but they should lead exemplary lives because their souls would find ultimate rest and redemption in the kingdom of God.
Jean Rosenfeld, Ph.D.
Historian of religion (and violence)
For additional letters on Romans 13 click here.
And for a letter to the editor on Justice Scalia's Position on Romans 13 and our response, click here.
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