Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"Father God, Bless Mark and his family...."

     Officer Mark Young and seven fellow officers from the equestrian unit of the Fort Worth Police Department drove with their mounts from Texas to Cleveland this week. As they lined up in front of the Terminal Tower, as part of 4,500 police officers providing security for the Republican National Convention, they were approached by Cathie Burson, of Mt. Gilead, Ohio, a member of Hope Is Here, an organization that brought 100 of the faithful to the convention to pray with people they encounter here. She thanked Off. Young for being here, protecting everybody, and asked if she could pray with him. He said yes.
    "Father God," she began, "bless Mark and his family and all your fellow officers." When she was done praying with him, she asked if there was anything I wanted to pray for. I thought about it, and told her that my mother is worried about me, being in the thick of the protests, and perhaps we could pray for my safety, with her in mind, and we did. It was a nice, quiet moment, and a few minutes later, when I found the Bible Believers in the square, again, spewing their Bible-based poisonous hatred, I was glad I had run into people who were trying to use their faith for good, to aid and comfort humanity instead of harassing it.  Isn't that what religion is supposed to be all about?


  1. They seem to be lovely people.

    Still, I'm reminded of Matthew 6:5, "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others."

    And then there is Matthew 6:1, Be careful not to perform your righteous acts before men to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

    So often it seems like religious righteousness is ala carte.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Good point, Dennis.

      When fundamentalist evangelical types get pushy, start reciting a "Hail Mary" to them, they'll usually back off, lol.

    3. I prefer to start saying: Beelzebub, Asmodias, etc, smite these fools".
      I love to see their reactions!

    4. But according to Neil's account, they're not praying to be seen by others here -- they are praying for people who ask for prayers, they are asking if they can pray with people, etc. If Officer Mark had said no to praying with them, I doubt they would have prayed against his wishes.

  2. Lovely. Grateful for your collection of smaller moments.

  3. : "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people". Karl Marx. You sound a lot like him lately.

  4. "Religion is excellent stuff for keeping the common people quiet. And it is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich." N. Bonaparte.

    A lead story in today's paper covered an Illinois, now ex, delegate, who had a different solution: police snipers shooting Black people acting up. The rather elaborate, and lawyerly, apology was kind of funny.

    Tom Evans


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