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Maybe a little bit of overkill for a moving violation?

Maybe a little bit of overkill for a moving violation?

In early August, Ellen Bogan passed a vehicle on an Indiana road. State Trooper Brian Hamilton pulled her over. Then, as David Moye of Huffington Post reports, things got interesting.

Bogan says Hamilton kept the police car lights flashing during the traffic stop, but after the officer handed over the warning ticket [for making an illegal pass], he asked her if she had a home church and if she accepted Jesus Christ as her savior.

He also handed her a religious pamphlet that asked readers to acknowledge they are sinners.

The pamphlet advertised a radio program called “Policing for Jesus Ministries” hosted by “Trooper Dan Jones.”

Are you familiar with other incidents in which agents of the local, state or federal government used opportunities or resources provided by their office to proselytize? Do you agree with the leader of the Indiana branch of the American Family Association that, “while a traffic stop might not have been the best time to quiz someone about faith, it doesn’t mean the officer should lose his right to free speech”?

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Fran Gardner-Smith

I've not had this experience, but years ago, while a doctor was taking blood, he asked me about my Christian faith and whether I was a Bible believing Christian. At the time it felt like an enormous abuse of power - I did not want to debate Christianity with him while he had a needle in my vein!

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Gregory Orloff

The American Family Association would do well to read Ecclesiastes 3:1: "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens."

As a private citizen, on his own time, State Trooper Brian Hamilton does indeed have the right to free speech and to proselytize as he pleases.

But when he dons a uniform, a badge and a weapon, and on duty during a policing shift, he ceases to be a private citizen, becoming an agent of government and law enforcement, which means being their frontman and spokesman. And in the United States, so far as our Constitution is concerned, government and law enforcement are neutral in religious matters. On duty, State Trooper Brian Hamilton needs to stick to the one thing his uniform, badge and weapon single him out for: enforcing the law of the land without infringing on the civil liberties of fellow citizens, not enforcing his personal views, religious or otherwise.

Yes, there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

As someone has already commented here, such an approach is at the very best counterproductive: such pushiness smacks of spiritual entrapment and blackmail that only turns people off Christianity.

And if I may be allowed a "smarty-pants moment," the trooper in question might want to study some Christian history: he might be shocked to learn that in the first three centuries of Christianity, his line of work, according to the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus, would disqualify him from baptism into the church as a bonafide Christian, for any candidate whose livelihood involved bearing arms or soldiering, and thus put him in a position where he might commit bloodshed and take human life, thus breaking God's commandment "Thou shalt not kill," was barred from baptism until he ceased from such employment and took up more Christ-compatible work.

My, how Christian standards have changed...

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tgflux

Well, I guess it could have been worse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yoT_m4ku1o

Seriously, I have respect for the difficulty that is police work. But when that job comes w/ Power-Over (the right to pull people over, to interrogate, to smash windows, to taser, to kill) comes HUGE responsibility (to NOT abuse that Power-Over). Too many police don't seem to get that.

JC Fisher

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Linda Horton

This occurrence is especially bad in that the officer had implied power over the driver. Who in her right mind would challenge the officer with his ability to punish her? Not only is this wrong, but it is ineffective. Encounters like this often accomplish exactly the opposite of what the proselytizer intends. Shame on him.

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Linda Horton

This occurrence is especially bad in that the officer had implied power over the driver. Who in her right mind would challenge the officer with his ability to punish her? Not only is this wrong, but it is ineffective. Encounters like this often accomplish exactly the opposite of what the proselytizer intends. Shame on him.

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