Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Outsourcing Violence

I've gotten an email from Mike Hein concerning an article (about the Spellbound situation, natch) in the current Capital Weekly. I can't find an online version of it (Mike, if you've got the URL, I'd be happy to post it). Mike has posted the pertinent part of the article in the comments section of one of Pastor Bill Cripes' posts:

Hein said it's absurd that anyone would accuse him or his group of doing such a thing.

"The speculation that anyone I know or anyone from the prayer vigil is involved is completely wrong and unfounded," he said.

Mike, you need to understand that this violent action was easily seen by many (me included) as a possible follow-up to the threat of violence you initiated by contacting police and other officials of Augusta concerning the peaceful, nonviolent activities that Stockford and her models were undertaking. Sending the police is an act of violence. Police enforce the law with the threat of violence to those who won't abide by it.

Sometimes violence is justifiable, in order to defend someone from the violence of another. I myself once called police about suspected domestic violence in a home down the street from me (despite your allegation to me in another email that community standards in my neck of the woods favor spousal abuse), and even called to complain about some teenagers who were committing sonic violence against the whole neighborhood in the wee hours of the morning.

But when one has been peacefully going about one's business, harming nobody, then being faced with the threat of violence from police in particular and government in general unless one changes one's behavior is anathema to the workings of a free society.

Yes, it was wrong of me and others to publicly suggest that you, thwarted in your attempt to outsource compliance with your moral system through the Augusta police's legal application of the threat (and perhaps reality) of violence, could have decided to more directly commit an act of violence against one of Spellbound's models, and threaten yet another. I have already apologized for that.

But understand that your way is not the way of peace. It is the way of violence.

And I have noted that, despite your disavowal of the act that caused Spellbound to stop using lingerie models in its windows, the CCL has claimed victory on the issue in its recent appeal for funds. If your actions had nothing to do with Stockford's decision, how can Mike Heath claim it as a reason that the CCL deserves more funding?



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