Since the time of Christ, much has been said about the Religious Pharisees -- enough that most people of good will would say that they don't want to be a part of that group. (Though a thoughtful read of Church history, or a careful examination of one's one soul, might result in the disquieting discovery that the Pharisee mentality is altogether too close for comfort.)
But my thoughts are here turning to the Political, rather than the Religious, Pharisee. Like the Religious Pharisee, the Political Pharisee has turned the Law to his own purpose. He doesn't see the Law as an expression of high ideals of human behavior, or national citizenship, but rather as a means of advancing his own ends through "law enforcement" -- his own ends, in this matter, being personal security, personal gain, personal self-justification, personal insider-status, personal control, and personal power. It is an agenda that is as addictive and destructive as a meth habit, and at the end, in my opinion, will be in complete contradiction to the free forms of personal liberty and a cooperative humanity.
The Political Pharisees have made a Long March through our American institutions, and we have an enormous number of them in the nation today -- many in positions of control, and many more wannabees. Both major political parties are completely controlled by them, and they have enormous sway in our religious and social institutions.
But at the moment, I want to draw attention to their influence in the Law Enforcement community -- by which I mean, our local and federal police, our local and federal judiciary, and their advocates and detractors in the national media.
By way of contrast to the Political Pharisees, I encourage you to read the recent post, "My Life As A Tyrant," by a police officer, Chris Hernandez. He gives an interesting perspective on the pressures and challenges that are faced by the good people who have chosen the career of law enforcement.
The article inspired quite a few comments, some of which were unprinted, for reasons that the author explains. I found them most interesting, and (mostly) encouraging. One of them, by Chuck Haggard, led me to his own post from several years ago, "Single Officer Response In Active Shooter Events."
While the two articles deal with very different circumstances, neither supports the control-agenda of the Political Pharisees.
Let us be truthful people, and be willing to discuss the problems that we face, and consider how they might be solved.
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Your thoughts and comments are most welcome.