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Kingarthurhk
08-16-2012, 16:27
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/16/oklahoma-cop-sues-after-department-tried-to-make-him-go-to-mosque-for-event/

The Police Department really screwed up on this one. They just stomped all over Captain Field's First Amendment Rights

AKRover
08-16-2012, 16:58
I saw this and it's an outrage. However, this kind of thing happens because as Christians we tend to turn the other cheek instead of standing up for ourselves. This is as much religious discrimination as it would be to tell a Muslim they can't pray in accordance with their religion. Captain Fields needs to stand up for the rights of all Christians. If we don't stand up this is exactly what happens.

Captain Fields deserves to be commended for standing up for his beliefs.

High-Gear
08-16-2012, 18:32
How is this a problem? Our State requires diversity training. I've had to have training with Jews, Muslims, Hindu's, and other cultural groups. No one said he had to convert, just represent the agency as a professional. I am required to attend community events where there is an invocation, should I be able to refuse because I couldn't tell the Christians they were wrong? When in uniform I am required to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, even though I object to the "under god" section, however I do it because I am representing my agency! Should soldiers be able to protest such things? No? Then neither should this officer.

I think he took a stand for the wrong thing, refused a direct order, set a poor example for his subordinates, and will have to pay the price.

Animal Mother
08-16-2012, 18:58
How is this a problem? Our State requires diversity training. I've had to have training with Jews, Muslims, Hindu's, and other cultural groups. No one said he had to convert, just represent the agency as a professional. I am required to attend community events where there is an invocation, should I be able to refuse because I couldn't tell the Christians they were wrong? When in uniform I am required to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, even though I object to the "under god" section, however I do it because I am representing my agency! Should soldiers be able to protest such things? No? Then neither should this officer.

I think he took a stand for the wrong thing, refused a direct order, set a poor example for his subordinates, and will have to pay the price. The nature and venue of the event seem like they should be the determining factor in this instance. The defense that he wouldn't be allowed to proselytize is stupid, unless he is able to do so in the normal course of his duties. If he can't witness to someone while giving them a traffic ticket, and has no objection to that, then his objection here doesn't seem to hold much weight.

On the other hand, if the event does have a religious nature and is taking place at a mosque, requiring attendances smacks of government endorsement and that's clearly forbidden. If it is a "meet the community" sort of thing, there's doesn't seem to be anywhere near as much an issue. Unfortunately, the article in the OP doesn't really make it clear what was involved.

Edited to add: I missed it, but the article does make clear what was included. From the article, "a promotional flier for the event cited in the suit states the event would include meetings with Muslim community leaders, a tour of the center's mosque, talks on Islam, as well as a 45-minute prayer service." In my mind, that last part makes the event impermissible as a required activity for a government employee.

Kingarthurhk
08-17-2012, 04:27
How is this a problem? Our State requires diversity training. I've had to have training with Jews, Muslims, Hindu's, and other cultural groups. No one said he had to convert, just represent the agency as a professional. I am required to attend community events where there is an invocation, should I be able to refuse because I couldn't tell the Christians they were wrong? When in uniform I am required to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, even though I object to the "under god" section, however I do it because I am representing my agency! Should soldiers be able to protest such things? No? Then neither should this officer.

I think he took a stand for the wrong thing, refused a direct order, set a poor example for his subordinates, and will have to pay the price.

Sorry, I agree with Animal on this one. No government employee, or anyone for that matter, should be compelled to attend a worship service. They were to be taught about Islam, and then subjected to a 45 minute prayer service. This is clearly a First Amendment violation. This is the state colluding with religion by forcing people to attend a religious service. This is the sort of thing that has led to attrocities throughout history. Once the state puts itself in the business of religon, it has crossed the line.

I suspect you would find it equally rephrensible if your employer demanded you attend a Bapttis Church, and particpate in the worship services. Worse yet, when you have government entity acting under the color of law.

High-Gear
08-17-2012, 06:34
Sorry, I agree with Animal on this one. No government employee, or anyone for that matter, should be compelled to attend a worship service. They were to be taught about Islam, and then subjected to a 45 minute prayer service. This is clearly a First Amendment violation. This is the state colluding with religion by forcing people to attend a religious service. This is the sort of thing that has led to attrocities throughout history. Once the state puts itself in the business of religon, it has crossed the line.

I suspect you would find it equally rephrensible if your employer demanded you attend a Bapttis Church, and particpate in the worship services. Worse yet, when you have government entity acting under the color of law.

I don't think they were being required to participate in the prayer service, just observe. I have been required to attend religious services. As a member of the department honor guard I routinely attended funerals where there was plenty of prayer. I have been required to attend other civic events where there has been an invocation. I have been required to attend a Boy Scout meeting and make a presentation, even though that group openly discriminates against atheists.

There is a huge difference in attending an event as an observer so one can learn about a groups culture, and learn about the building should there be an active shooter event (like in WI) and being forced to participate in the religious service.

AlexHassin
08-17-2012, 07:20
what does this guy never runs across non christians other times on duty? does he normaly proselytize?

Woofie
08-17-2012, 07:46
The captain should have quit his job long ago. The people he arrested throughout his career were not fine upstanding citizens subscribing to "his" faith. Did he get to preach to them while in uniform?

Geko45
08-17-2012, 08:53
Actually, I'm with the captain on this one. As an atheist, I would not have wanted to be forced to attend a religious service as well (be it muslim, christian, catholic, whatever) in an official capacity.

Geko45
08-17-2012, 08:56
The captain should have quit his job long ago. The people he arrested throughout his career were not fine upstanding citizens subscribing to "his" faith. Did he get to preach to them while in uniform?

To be fair, the captian stated that he did not have a problem going in to a mosque if it had been in response to a call for help or to perform an investigation or similar official police duties. This was just a poorly executed attempt at public relations. I would have objected to being forced to attend a muslim service as an athiest as well.

Lone Wolf8634
08-17-2012, 10:15
I, also, must come down on the side of the Captain, as long as active participation was required. I would dig in my heels like a stubborn old mule at being forced to participate in any worship service.

If all that was required was attendance, and not participation, the waters become a bit muddy, I've attended weddings, funerals and several church functions in support of friends without participating in the actual rituals.

His argument that " I have a duty to proselytize my faith to people (who) don't subscribe to my faith. I can't do that in uniform. And so therein lies the conflict or moral dilemma I face." is just so many buffalo bagels. He can't proselytize his faith while representing the PD at any time so why would an official function be any different?

Woofie
08-17-2012, 10:27
To be fair, the captian stated that he did not have a problem going in to a mosque if it had been in response to a call for help or to perform an investigation or similar official police duties. This was just a poorly executed attempt at public relations. I would have objected to being forced to attend a muslim service as an athiest as well.

I'm at work and don't have time to read through too thoroughly, but was the captain being required to participate in religious services or just to be present at the event? If the department expected him to participate then I agree with you.

But I didn't notice anywhere that it was stated he had to pray with them;it sounds like they just wanted a police presence for the event. Attending "Law Enforcement Appreciation Day" at a mosque no more invites a religious discussion than it does when one of our more prominent local churches holds the "Night Out Against Crime" and the police show up to show the kids and old people that cops are the good guys.

Geko45
08-17-2012, 10:36
But I didn't notice anywhere that it was stated he had to pray with them;it sounds like they just wanted a police presence for the event. Attending "Law Enforcement Appreciation Day" at a mosque no more invites a religious discussion than it does when one of our more prominent local churches holds the "Night Out Against Crime" and the police show up to show the kids and old people that cops are the good guys.

As a former christian, I do understand the principle that the captain was trying to express (admittedly poorly). His religous faith would require him to not give the appearance of condoning any other religion. Simply attending a muslim prayer service could be construed as an implicit endorsement. So, yes, I feel he was within his rights to decline. Although, perhaps not quite for the same reasons as he articulated.

As a current atheist, I would have had a problem with it as well. It's one thing if I choose to attend a wedding or funeral that contains religious components on my own time. That's my choice to make, but to be required to attend an actual service as part of my duties? I can't imagine that going over to well with any other profession. The only reason it is not as clear cut here is the obvious public relations aspect to police work, but that does not negate the individual rights of this police captain.

Asking for volunteers was appropriate. Changing it to a mandatory requirement when no one volunteered was highly inappropriate.

Lone Wolf8634
08-17-2012, 11:25
As a former christian, I do understand the principle that the captain was trying to express (admittedly poorly). His religous faith would require him to not give the appearance of condoning any other religion. Simply attending a muslim prayer service could be construed as an implicit endorsement. So, yes, I feel he was within his rights to decline. Although, perhaps not quite for the same reasons as he articulated.

As a current atheist, I would have had a problem with it as well. It's one thing if I choose to attend a wedding or funeral that contains religious components on my own time. That's my choice to make, but to be required to attend an actual service as part of my duties? I can't imagine that going over to well with any other profession. The only reason it is not as clear cut here is the obvious public relations aspect to police work, but that does not negate the individual rights of this police captain.

Asking for volunteers was appropriate. Changing it to a mandatory requirement when no one volunteered was highly inappropriate.

I dunno Gecko, my job requires me to attend certain functions and groups that are very religious in nature, an example is funerals. When an inmates close relative dies, he may be granted a furlough to attend the service, two security staff must accompany him during the entirety of the time he is absent from the facility.

Another example, since I work at a drug and alcohol treatment program and they use many methods of helping these inmates, including AA's dependance on a "higher power" I am confronted by all denominations of Christianity and various other religions from paganism to Satanism on a daily basis. Sometimes I am required to attend these services in my capacity as a security officer. Since I am not forced to participate, and no one in authority has ever ordered me to either "find God" or be silent about my Atheism (I do that willingly, since I think stating my objections to religion would undermine the good work the facility does) I do not feel that my rights have been violated.

Woofie
08-17-2012, 11:36
As a former christian, I do understand the principle that the captain was trying to express (admittedly poorly). His religous faith would require him to not give the appearance of condoning any other religion. Simply attending a muslim prayer service could be construed as an implicit endorsement. So, yes, I feel he was within his rights to decline. Although, perhaps not quite for the same reasons as he articulated.

As a current atheist, I would have had a problem with it as well. It's one thing if I choose to attend a wedding or funeral that contains religious components on my own time. That's my choice to make, but to be required to attend an actual service as part of my duties? I can't imagine that going over to well with any other profession. The only reason it is not as clear cut here is the obvious public relations aspect to police work, but that does not negate the individual rights of this police captain.

Asking for volunteers was appropriate. Changing it to a mandatory requirement when no one volunteered was highly inappropriate.

I understand that the captain didn't want ot be there, but I can't see how his rights were violated if he wasn't required to participate in the service. He can't preach while on duty anyway, so his location is irrelevant. If he were required to work an event at a church, he still couldn't spread his faith.

Does the department attend functions at the request of other groups? If so the mosque has every right to have that same courtesy extended to them. If no one volunteers, then someone has to be voluntold or the department and city are left open to legitimate discrimination lawsuits.

The thing is, the captain wasn't even required to be there personally. He refused to delegate the task to a supervisor and officers, and it sounds like that's where he got in trouble.

Geko45
08-17-2012, 12:00
I understand that the captain didn't want to be there, but I can't see how his rights were violated if he wasn't required to participate in the service. He can't preach while on duty anyway, so his location is irrelevant. If he were required to work an event at a church, he still couldn't spread his faith.

Yeah, but these things go well beyond actively preaching. His location is not irrelevant. His presence gives the implication that he condones islam. Clearly, he doesn't. It's not quite the reason he cited, but I can see a valid argument from a christian worldview as to why he would not want to do this on religious grounds. Would you require a hindu to attend a function at a beef slaughterhouse? Would you expect a jew to attend a service in a mosque or a muslim in a synagogue?

Does the department attend functions at the request of other groups? If so the mosque has every right to have that same courtesy extended to them. If no one volunteers, then someone has to be voluntold or the department and city are left open to legitimate discrimination lawsuits.

This is a very good point. Which is why the best thing for the department to do is to politely decline all invitations to any religious facility. Secular events only would be the best for all involved. "Voluntold"ing leaves the dept and the city to EEOC action and hostile work environment lawsuits.

The thing is, the captain wasn't even required to be there personally. He refused to delegate the task to a supervisor and officers, and it sounds like that's where he got in trouble.

Well, I actually admire him for not requiring someone else to do something that he himself was not willing to do. I don't agree with his religious beliefs, but at least he's not a hypocrite.

Geko45
08-17-2012, 12:04
I dunno Gecko, my job requires me to attend certain functions and groups that are very religious in nature, an example is funerals. When an inmates close relative dies, he may be granted a furlough to attend the service, two security staff must accompany him during the entirety of the time he is absent from the facility.

Context is everything. In the example you cite, you would clearly be there to guard the prisoner. In the captain's instance above, the context was that his presence was an implicit endorsement of the actual event.

Sometimes I am required to attend these services in my capacity as a security officer.

Again, that's you in your official capacity. The captain clearly stated that if he was responding to a call or performing some other typical official duty as a police officer then he would not have an issue entering a mosque.

Lone Wolf8634
08-17-2012, 12:18
Context is everything. In the example you cite, you would clearly be there to guard the prisoner. In the captain's instance above, the context was that his presence was an implicit endorsement of the actual event.



Again, that's you in your official capacity. The captain clearly stated that if he was responding to a call or performing some other typical official duty as a police officer then he would not have an issue entering a mosque.

In this context and in his own words he was being compelled to attend, not participate:


"Here, I have an instance where I'm being compelled to attend an event that's very -- it's an open invitation to discuss their religion ...and yet I can't express my faith to them."
If my understanding is correct, he would not be forced to participate, only attend what would be considered an official function in his capacity as a high ranking officer.

IMHO that's the same context as what I am required to do.

In his own words his problem wasn't that he was required to attend, his problem is he wants to "proselytize" his faith and he can't do that "while in uniform". I have to ask, whats the difference in not being able to do that at a Mosque, and not being able to do that at a traffic stop, or a crime scene?

" I have a duty to proselytize my faith to people (who) don't subscribe to my faith. I can't do that in uniform. And so therein lies the conflict or moral dilemma I face."

If not being able to proselytize in uniform is such a moral dilemma for him, he should never have put it on.

High-Gear
08-17-2012, 12:30
Yeah, but these things go well beyond actively preaching. His location is not irrelevant. His presence gives the implication that he condones islam. Clearly, he doesn't. It's not quite the reason he cited, but I can see a valid argument from a christian worldview as to why he would not want to do this on religious grounds. Would you require a hindu to attend a function at a beef slaughterhouse? Would you expect a jew to attend a service in a mosque or a muslim in a synagogue?



This is a very good point. Which is why the best thing for the department to do is to politely decline all invitations to any religious facility. Secular events only would be the best for all involved. "Voluntold"ing leaves the dept and the city to EEOC action and hostile work environment lawsuits.



Well, I actually admire him for not requiring someone else to do something that he himself was not willing to do. I don't agree with his religious beliefs, but at least he's not a hypocrite.

Gecko,

Ive been required to provide security for the Phelps clan. My presence in no way endorses their views. It is my duty.

Geko45
08-17-2012, 12:40
IMHO that's the same context as what I am required to do.

Keep in mind, I'm only playing devil's advocate here (kinda ironic actually). It might be a fine line, but knowing what I do about the christian worldview (having held it so long myself) I can see why he fealt the distinction was an important one. And, in an EEOC action it's his perception of being compelled to violate his religious beliefs that will matter in the end.

In his own words his problem wasn't that he was required to attend, his problem is he wants to "proselytize" his faith and he can't do that "while in uniform".

Well, I already said that he did not phrase his objection well, but I think what he meant is that his required silence (and the absence of any other official reason for him to be there) would constitute an implicit endorsement and christian teachnigs are clear that you should never leave doubt where you stand when confronted with a dilemna like that.

I have to ask, whats the difference in not being able to do that at a Mosque, and not being able to do that at a traffic stop, or a crime scene?

I would say it would be the reason why he was there. Being present to investigate a crime would not carry any sort of implicit endorsement of the location in which the crime took place (e.g. a mosque). Everyone would know why you were there and that it was unrelated to your personal beliefs. Same with a vehicle accident. If you're investigating why the mosque bus hit a telephone pole, nobody is going to be left with the impression that you endorse islam.

If you are sitting in a muslim prayer service doing nothing else other than participating in a "police appreciation" ceremony (even if you skip the religious components) then I can see how that would leave others with the impression that you endorsed that event. And his religious beliefs would be to never leave that sort of doubt present.

Geko45
08-17-2012, 12:42
Gecko,

Ive been required to provide security for the Phelps clan. My presence in no way endorses their views. It is my duty.

Exactly my point, you were providing security. There was no doubt that this was your reason to be there. Now, change the situation to a westboro baptist church "police appreciation" event. Would you want to go up there and sit next to them, shake their hand, say a few encouraging words, etc? You don't have to pray with them or anything like that, but wouldn't you feel uneasy at that point? Wouldn't you feel concerned that someone might mistakenly believe you supported their stance on other issues?

snowbird
08-17-2012, 12:45
In this thread, I agree with Kingarthurhk and Animal Mother.:faint:

The Bible tells us in the book of Daniel that he too was told he had to worship a false god. Like this courageous captain, he refused. Luckily, the Tulsa PD doesn't have a dungeon full of lions.

Recall how Christians were arrested on a public sidewalk in Dearborn for handing out literature near a Muslim Fair? There does seem to be a campaign being waged against Christianity and in favor of Islam.

But it would have been interesting if they had sent a contingent of female officers; that might have highlighted certain Islamic practices. Would they have been allowed in the front door to the main worship hall? Or would they have been relegated to the back, or to a secondary hall? If any were menstruating, would they even be allowed there? Would they have had to remove their police headgear and don scarves? Would they have had to quietly listen to Mohammed's thoughts on how "women are deficient in intelligence"?

Dhimmitude needs to end in Tulsa and everywhere that wishes to remain free.

Geko45
08-17-2012, 12:50
In this thread, I agree with Kingarthurhk and Animal Mother.:faint:

What, no love for me? I thought I was doing a pretty good job defending the position of the captain.

:crying: :wavey:

Lone Wolf8634
08-17-2012, 12:52
Keep in mind, I'm only playing devil's advocate here (kinda ironic actually). It might be a fine line, but knowing what I do about the christian worldview (having held it so long myself) I can see why he fealt the distinction was an important one. And, in an EEOC action it's his perception of being compelled to violate his religious beliefs that will matter in the end.



Well, I already said that he did not phrase his objection well, but I think what he meant is that his required silence (and the absence of any other official reason for him to be there) would constitute an implicit endorsement and christian teachnigs are clear that you should never leave doubt where you stand when confronted with a dilemna like that.



I would say it would be the reason why he was there. Being present to investigate a crime would not carry an sort of implicit endorsement of the location in which the crime took place (e.g. a mosque). Everyone would know why you were there and that it was unrelated to your personal beliefs. Same with a vehicle accident. If you investigating why the mosque bus hit a telephone pole, nobody is going to be left with the impression that you endorse islam.

If you are sitting in a muslim prayer service doing nothing else other than participating in a "police appreciation" ceremony (even if you skip the religious components) then I can see how that would leave others with the impression that you endorsed that event. And his religious beliefs would be to never leave that sort of doubt present.

Well, I , and his superiors can only base my judgement on what he himself says his objection is.

And his objection, as stated, is unacceptable.

Lone Wolf8634
08-17-2012, 12:53
What, no love for me? I thought I was doing a pretty good job defending the position of the captain.

:crying: :wavey:

I understand what you're trying to say, I just think you, and the Captain are not saying the same thing.

Geko45
08-17-2012, 12:57
Well, I , and his superiors can only base my judgement on what he himself says his objection is.

And his objection, as stated, is unacceptable.

I'll agree on that. From what little is in the article, he did a fairly poor job of stating the signficance and reasoning behind his objection. But then again, EEOC doesn't place the burden on the employee to articulate why he objects on religious grounds. Once that is stated, the employer has to make reasonable accommodations.

Lone Wolf8634
08-17-2012, 13:06
I'll agree on that. From what little is in the article, he did a fairly poor job of stating the signficance and reasoning behind his objection. But then again, EEOC doesn't place the burden on the employee to articulate why he objects on religious grounds. Once that is stated, the employer has to make reasonable accommodations.

Apparently, the PTB in Tulsa disagree with you.

If I had to guess, the Captain is gonna lose, since his objection is based on his inability to preach his religion while attending (not participating in) a function of another in his official capacity.

Geko45
08-17-2012, 13:11
Apparently, the PTB in Tulsa disagree with you.

If I had to guess, the Captain is gonna lose, since his objection is based on his inability to preach his religion while attending (not participating in) a function of another in his official capacity.

The EEOC will only care why the department didn't try to find someone else to participate and being unsuccesful at that, simply withdraw from the event. This is ultimately a human resource and hostile work environment issue and the department is not going to have the final word on this. There will be a civil lawsuit and an EEOC investigation and the feds will have the final say. I've taken human resource law for my business degree, they are pretty serious about things like this.

Kingarthurhk
08-17-2012, 17:02
I don't think they were being required to participate in the prayer service, just observe. I have been required to attend religious services. As a member of the department honor guard I routinely attended funerals where there was plenty of prayer. I have been required to attend other civic events where there has been an invocation. I have been required to attend a Boy Scout meeting and make a presentation, even though that group openly discriminates against atheists.

There is a huge difference in attending an event as an observer so one can learn about a groups culture, and learn about the building should there be an active shooter event (like in WI) and being forced to participate in the religious service.

If you raised a First Amendment objection to being compelled to attend a religious service, it should be respected. Once we allow the government to dictate to people that they are compelled by force or threat of sanction or punishment, we have abandoned the Bill of Rights altogether.

What was done in this instance is the lead of this law enforcement agency commanded a subordinate to attend a religous service, which the article mentioned participation. This opens the department up to not only a Bivens, but a violation of the agrieved person's civil rights under the color of law.

You may have not raised an objection, but he did. Regardless of whether you like Islam better or Christianity better, or none of the above, you cannot legally compel anyone to attend a religious ceremony against their will.

Just like the Chief of that Department can't as an agent of that agency go and endorce a presidential candidate under the Hatch Act. It is illegal.

Only, in this circumstance, the actions committed was much more malevolent.

I have been to religious ceremonies burying people I have known in the line of duty as well. The thing is, I didn't have a personal religious problem with it.

Personally, I have a background in world religions, and would have been fascinated to observe what really goes on inside a mosque-so long as I was not compelled to particpate in the religious service. In that case, I would have stood up for my First Amendment liberties as well.

When the conscience of one person is tread upon, it diminishes us all, and opens the doors to the rampant evils and attrocities of history to happen again.

I have to repectfully disagree with him, I will stand up for anyone's Religous Liberty. It is a core belief I have. Yours, mine, his, it doesn't matter to me.

I also honestly believe, as a Christian, that freedom of conscience is very much a core principal and are of the character of God. That a lot of of evil has been perpetrated in His name by people who were determined to compel other people to by force throughout history.

Animal Mother
08-17-2012, 17:29
Gecko,

Ive been required to provide security for the Phelps clan. My presence in no way endorses their views. It is my duty. Do you not see a difference between "providing security" and "attending a prayer service"? If you were required to attend a church service where there was no imminent threat of physical harm to the congregation, you wouldn't object?

High-Gear
08-17-2012, 17:44
Do you not see a difference between "providing security" and "attending a prayer service"? If you were required to attend a church service where there was no imminent threat of physical harm to the congregation, you wouldn't object?

My point was simply being there does not show you are condoning the activity.

The way I read the article was this was not just a prayer service. This was a cultural diversity event with educational lectures, a tour, and allowing them to observe a prayer service (Not forcing them to participate).

Like I said, In Kansas we are required to attend this type of training on an annual basis by statute.

Kingarthurhk
08-17-2012, 19:28
My point was simply being there does not show you are condoning the activity.

The way I read the article was this was not just a prayer service. This was a cultural diversity event with educational lectures, a tour, and allowing them to observe a prayer service (Not forcing them to participate).

Like I said, In Kansas we are required to attend this type of training on an annual basis by statute.

You can get cultural diversity training without having to attend a prayer service. It really isn't hard. Just like you can carry a firearm and don't need to get shot in the butt to know what it feels like. I wish they had a similar thought process on CS gas and pepper spray.:rofl:

Anyway, levity aside, I realize in paramilitary organizations, when you are in uniform with a ranking structure, you are used to aking orders and a structured lifestyle. I get that. Been there, done that.

However, this issue crossed the line and crossed it hard when the Chief was compelling those who worked for him to attend a prayer service.

Cultural diveristy does not require being subjected to the religion of a culture. I have studied all the world's major religions a lifetime ago back in college. Ironically, I didn't have to attend their ceremonies, synagoges, cathedrals, temples, or mosques to get a grasp on what the adherants believed.

I've trained people on various things in my career. You can receive training without having to go out and be in the particular culture to figure out important and key elements.

For instance, you don't have to go out and hang out with Shake to figure out that showing the bottom of your foot is the equivalent of giving them the middle finger.

The cruxt of the issue is this is clear violation of the Captain's First Amendment Rights, pure and simple. It is no different than a forced assembly at a public school with locked doors so that the children can all enjoy being proselytized by the local Non-demoninational church. I lived that dream too when I was a young High Schooler, two lifetimes ago in a small town.

The point is, if you let people trample on other people's civil rights, then it just opens the door for anything is acceptable.

Bottom line, no government official or agent of the government has the right to compell another person by force, threat, or cohersion to attend a worship service-that is civil rights violation, plain and simple.

Whether it is at a mosque, church, temple, cathedral, or synogogue.

A meet and greet with the locals is fine. I remember in the last place I went, the local police in conjunction with fire department came out to my neighborhood to foster good will and entertain the children. It was great. There is was no religious compulsion involved.

There are a lot of ways to skin this cat. The Chief, instead, decided to screw the pooch.

High-Gear
08-17-2012, 20:25
You can get cultural diversity training without having to attend a prayer service. It really isn't hard. Just like you can carry a firearm and don't need to get shot in the butt to know what it feels like. I wish they had a similar thought process on CS gas and pepper spray.:rofl:

Anyway, levity aside, I realize in paramilitary organizations, when you are in uniform with a ranking structure, you are used to aking orders and a structured lifestyle. I get that. Been there, done that.

However, this issue crossed the line and crossed it hard when the Chief was compelling those who worked for him to attend a prayer service.

Cultural diveristy does not require being subjected to the religion of a culture. I have studied all the world's major religions a lifetime ago back in college. Ironically, I didn't have to attend their ceremonies, synagoges, cathedrals, temples, or mosques to get a grasp on what the adherants believed.

I've trained people on various things in my career. You can receive training without having to go out and be in the particular culture to figure out important and key elements.

For instance, you don't have to go out and hang out with Shake to figure out that showing the bottom of your foot is the equivalent of giving them the middle finger.

The cruxt of the issue is this is clear violation of the Captain's First Amendment Rights, pure and simple. It is no different than a forced assembly at a public school with locked doors so that the children can all enjoy being proselytized by the local Non-demoninational church. I lived that dream too when I was a young High Schooler, two lifetimes ago in a small town.

The point is, if you let people trample on other people's civil rights, then it just opens the door for anything is acceptable.

Bottom line, no government official or agent of the government has the right to compell another person by force, threat, or cohersion to attend a worship service-that is civil rights violation, plain and simple.

Whether it is at a mosque, church, temple, cathedral, or synogogue.

A meet and greet with the locals is fine. I remember in the last place I went, the local police in conjunction with fire department came out to my neighborhood to foster good will and entertain the children. It was great. There is was no religious compulsion involved.

There are a lot of ways to skin this cat. The Chief, instead, decided to screw the pooch.

I guess we can agree to disagree.

I wonder though, do you think it is a violation of 1A, to force everyone to listen to a prayer before a city council meeting? Could a non christian city official refuse to attend the meeting, or demand they stop the prayer?

Would you stand up with the Freedom From Religion Foundation to end such religious displays at government functions, or try to remove the 10 commandments from court houses, or nativity scenes from the lawn in front of city hall?

Or.

Does your interest in this topic end when when it is not a christian feeling his rights are being stepped on?


**To prevent accusations of hostility, these are honest questions, not said with ill intent**

Kingarthurhk
08-17-2012, 21:36
I guess we can agree to disagree.

I wonder though, do you think it is a violation of 1A, to force everyone to listen to a prayer before a city council meeting? Could a non christian city official refuse to attend the meeting, or demand they stop the prayer?

I really don't see why not. A government function is not a place for a prayer meeting. I've led out with prayer at church. I have never led out with prayer as part of a government function. Not, would I expect to. We live in a pluralistic society. That means, I, acting on behalf of a government have no right to compel people to listen to my prayer. I think it is perfectly reasonable to understand that I can have that dualality.

I have been an elected government official. Granted, the population was the size of a small town, but I will still and elected government official. When I had the floor in the senate, and it was was broadcast live, for those who enjoyed being bored by the University version of CSPAN, it was not to hold a prayer vigil, or to compel others to listen to my prayer. Nor, did I expect anyone to.


Would you stand up with the Freedom From Religion Foundation to end such religious displays at government functions, or try to remove the 10 commandments from court houses, or nativity scenes from the lawn in front of city hall?

I have never enjoined that fight. It is not my responsibility to crusade to remove religion. However, it is my responsibility to speak up defend personal liberty for those that are having their consciences violated. The Captain was being forced to have either be penalized for have his religions conscience violated. I saw the story, and am publically sticking up for him.

If the Chief demanded a Muslim employee attend a Christian church and participate in their religious services, I would be equally disturbed. If the Chief demanded a Catholic employee attend a Synagogue and participated in their religious ceremony, I would complain equally. I can keep going, but you see the point.


Or.

Does your interest in this topic end when when it is not a christian feeling his rights are being stepped on?


**To prevent accusations of hostility, these are honest questions, not said with ill intent**

I realize you have no ill intent. Also, it is irrelevant whose religious rights are being stepped on, if it isn't adressed, it diminishes that freedom for all of us.

I would happily defend your right to be Atheist. I don't agree with Atheism and find the concept exceptionally distasteful, but I respect your right to make that choice.

I would happily defend your right ot Muslim. I find the tenets of this particular religion exceptionally distasteful, but I respect the right of a person to believe in Islam.

I fould happily defend your right to be Catholic. I find the doctrines of the Catholic church to be exceptionally distasteful, but I respect the right of a person to believe in Catholicism.

I can keep going, but I think you see the point without me belaboring it.

High-Gear
08-17-2012, 21:58
I really don't see why not. A government function is not a place for a prayer meeting. I've led out with prayer at church. I have never led out with prayer as part of a government function. Not, would I expect to. We live in a pluralistic society. That means, I, acting on behalf of a government have no right to compel people to listen to my prayer. I think it is perfectly reasonable to understand that I can have that dualality.

I have been an elected government official. Granted, the population was the size of a small town, but I will still and elected government official. When I had the floor in the senate, and it was was broadcast live, for those who enjoyed being bored by the University version of CSPAN, it was not to hold a prayer vigil, or to compel others to listen to my prayer. Nor, did I expect anyone to.



I have never enjoined that fight. It is not my responsibility to crusade to remove religion. However, it is my responsibility to speak up defend personal liberty for those that are having their consciences violated. The Captain was being forced to have either be penalized for have his religions conscience violated. I saw the story, and am publically sticking up for him.

If the Chief demanded a Muslim employee attend a Christian church and participate in their religious services, I would be equally disturbed. If the Chief demanded a Catholic employee attend a Synagogue and participated in their religious ceremony, I would complain equally. I can keep going, but you see the point.



I realize you have no ill intent. Also, it is irrelevant whose religious rights are being stepped on, if it isn't adressed, it diminishes that freedom for all of us.

I would happily defend your right to be Atheist. I don't agree with Atheism and find the concept exceptionally distasteful, but I respect your right to make that choice.

I would happily defend your right ot Muslim. I find the tenets of this particular religion exceptionally distasteful, but I respect the right of a person to believe in Islam.

I fould happily defend your right to be Catholic. I find the doctrines of the Catholic church to be exceptionally distasteful, but I respect the right of a person to believe in Catholicism.

I can keep going, but I think you see the point without me belaboring it.

We agree on many things.

There is just one point that I think maybe we understand differently. You keep using the word "participate", rather than "observe". My understanding was he was not expected to participate in the prayer, simply observe it. How does this violate his religious rights?

Kingarthurhk
08-17-2012, 23:15
We agree on many things.

There is just one point that I think maybe we understand differently. You keep using the word "participate", rather than "observe". My understanding was he was not expected to participate in the prayer, simply observe it. How does this violate his religious rights?

[quote]...but a promotional flier for the event cited in the suit states the event would include meetings with Muslim community leaders, a tour of the center's mosque, talks on Islam, as well as a 45-minute prayer service.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/16/oklahoma-cop-sues-after-department-tried-to-make-him-go-to-mosque-for-event/#ixzz23s0vK1Ux

[/qoute]

That is were they screwed up by changing from voluntary to mandatory. Also, the government should have no business soliciting in its offical capacity, subordinates to attend a religious service.

For instance, Scenario 1:

"Come into my office, Bob, shut the door."

"Yes, sir?"

"Bob, as your supervisor, I believe that you are a godless heathen, and it would greatly enhance your peformance at work, if you come to my church this weekend."

This is clearly wrong.

Now, what could work? Scenario 2:

"Hey, Bob, how are you doing?"

"I'm alright."

"Hey, I was wondering, we're having a potluck at church this weekend, and if you and the wife and kids would like to come, we'd be glad to have you."

"I appreciate the offer, but I don't feel comfortable with religion."

"Not a problem, Bob. Hey, you guys have a great weekend."

Believe it or not, I have had issues about my religion come up in law enforcement.

When things were handled badly.

Years ago, I was asked by a fellow employee, and a good friend of mine if I wanted to go on some surveilance on my day off on the Sabbath, which I keep.

I explained that I would rather not, because I am a Seventh-Day Adventist, and I keep the Sabbath.

He was my buddy and was cool with that and moved on. It's not like there weren't a lot of other people to choose from.

Well, there was a particular supervisor who wasn't cool with it.

He started screaming at me that I did not have agency head approval to practice my religion. Last I checked, you don't have to file for permission to have a particular belief ever.

He ended up eating it hard over that. Law Enforcement folk and Doctors and other emergency workers respond to things on weekends. I have never had a problem when the fit hit the shan to roll in on a Sabbath. But, that was something that couldn't be avoided. It was an emergency that goes with the job. Volunteering, on the other hand, to violate the Sabbath, doesn't work for me.

Getting that kind of treatment on a voluntary thing, was and is unacceptable.

Back to the scenarios:

Scenario 1, very wrong.

Scenario 2, just two people having a respectful conversation.

The Tulsa Police Department screwed up and screwed up bad. They're not going to win this one.

Animal Mother
08-17-2012, 23:30
My point was simply being there does not show you are condoning the activity. It isn't the individual condoning the activity that causes my concern. As I said in my first response, the Captain's stated objections are stupid. However, the government requiring an employee to attend a religious service, whether or not they are required to participate, crosses the line of endorsing that religion in my mind.
The way I read the article was this was not just a prayer service. This was a cultural diversity event with educational lectures, a tour, and allowing them to observe a prayer service (Not forcing them to participate). And up to the point of the prayer service, I wouldn't see any Constitutional grounds for objection. However, requiring an employee to attend a religious service is outside the bounds of acceptability. Clearly, requiring participation would be even more unacceptable.
Like I said, In Kansas we are required to attend this type of training on an annual basis by statute.You're required to attend religious services? If so, I would fully support any employee who chose to lodge a complaint. I looked at the KLETC web site and its Trianing Act entry and I can't find anything about required attendance at religious services.

Animal Mother
08-17-2012, 23:34
We agree on many things.

There is just one point that I think maybe we understand differently. You keep using the word "participate", rather than "observe". My understanding was he was not expected to participate in the prayer, simply observe it. How does this violate his religious rights? The point I think you're missing is the objection isn't over either "participate" or "observe", it's over "attend". I don't see how the specifics of a Muslim (or any other for that matter) religious service would affect a police officer's ability to do their job. If the goal is cultural understanding, that can, to the degree necessary to perform law enforcement duties, be accomplished without attending a religious service.

High-Gear
08-18-2012, 07:51
Animalmother,

The requirement was written into the legislation which formed the Kansas Human Rights Commission. It is odd how this organisation can require training, conduct investigations and make rulings without following rules of evidence, and there is no option for appeal. (I'd like to get in depth but it is not pertinant to the conversation and not proper for the RI forum).

The requirement does not require attendance at religious services, but does require annual training in "cultural and racial diversity". We have had training with Muslims and Hindu's in one class, a Rabbi came to another.

I guess we can disagree, I don't see where observing a service with someone explaining why certain things are done, so officers are more aware is a violation. I personally am more bothered with the biblical scripture etched on our fallen officer's memorial.

nraman
08-21-2012, 18:24
Should soldiers be able to protest such things? No? Then neither should this officer.



You are not a soldier, you are a civilian.
An officer shouldn't be forced to go to a worship establishment and attend events that offend his religious sensibilities. It should be done on a volunteer basis.
If he had refused to arrest or help, that would have been another story.
I know a Jehovah witness who would not enter a Catholic church for the funeral service of a family member. I didn't agree but I understood knowing how important it was to that person.

nraman
08-21-2012, 18:35
His argument that " I have a duty to proselytize my faith to people (who) don't subscribe to my faith.

I don't know who made this statement, I remember when it happened the issue was not that he had to go, rather that he had to order his officers to attend and he refused to assign them.
The TPD had previously asked for volunteers and nobody wanted to go.
Tulsa is a city with a church in every corner and people who take their religion very seriously.