A Connecticut police chief thinks that crime is on the rise in his city due to people not being religious – actually Christian – enough.
“We need God in our lives,” Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez said on Saturday to a crowd of people attending a police solidarity march, according to a Connecticut Post report.
Does this really make sense, though? I mean, I think everybody needs Beyoncé in their life, but perhaps the fact that Beyoncé isn’t in everybody’s life isn’t the reason bad things happen?
Maybe Perez has some thoughtful reasoning for this remark, I thought to myself, as I continued reading through his quotes.
“The problems that we’re having is because people have abandoned church, people have abandoned God, and that cannot happen,” he continued.
There goes that thought.
So, essentially, we don’t need merely any God in our lives to get rid of crimes in our community; we just need the god some Christians subscribe to. So much for diversity!
Perez also thinks that people “cannot” continue to freely think how they want. If you want to stay devout to Christianity and any other religion, so be it as long as you’re not harming others. If you don’t want to? That’s also OK. Public officials can’t force religious collectivity, and this nation does not have an official religion.
If at first you can't do your job as effectively: pray, pray, pray the crime away.
Yet that mindset of a national religion was evident when marchers kept chanting a frankly creepy slogan, “One faith, one city, one baptism.” How about everybody who thinks that’s a good idea pick up a world history book and read up on why it’s not?
“Let’s bring God back in our lives, back in our church – bring our kids – in our city, in our schools, absolutely,” Perez said.
Actually, let’s not have government bring God into cities and public schools. Both of those institutions contain people of many faiths and none, and it’s not possible to come up with a one-size-fits-all, state-approved deity for mass consumption.
Sure, God has home-field advantage in churches, and it’s great that people have that outlet to freely worship – although I have never heard of a church that needs to bring God “back” into it as it is a house of worship. If you are a person of faith, has it ever been logical to believe that God was expelled and can be brought “back” by government action? People of faith can pray voluntarily in public schools or in cities, but they can’t be compelled to do it by government dictate.
Perez’s attempts to clarify his remarks was even more pathetic.
“When asked to clarify his remarks, Perez said that he didn’t advocate a specific religious belief, though he stood by his statement about religion in schools,” the Connecticut Post article read.
That makes no sense since Perez apparently wants to enforce some kind of religion in school. He’s a Roman Catholic, and I got the sense from reading about the rally that Buddhism would not be the religion on offer in the schools if Perez and his pals have their way. So how is that not advocating for a specific religious belief?
How else are people supposed to read into statements that explicitly validate Christian beliefs only and encourage religion to overlap with state? Believe what you want personally, but these things don’t mix.
As for reducing crime in the city, I have a suggestion: Maybe the police chief should spend less time worrying about when, where and how people pray and more time on the street tracking down criminals.