Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Dear Calgary Police

Dear Calgary Police,

Having recently read an article on your new practice of arresting those praying and preaching on street corners, I brought up the subject up with my church Bible study. We are very interested in discussing the issue further with you.

First of all, to put your mind at ease, we don't meet in Calgary, so no need to arrest us for reckless study of the Bible or public prayer.

What interests us is the decision of the police force to start enforcing the Sermon on the Mount as law in Calgary, as demonstrated by the recent arrest for praying on street corners, as referenced in Matthew 6:5. We are hoping to learn more about your future intentions in this regard. So, first, a few questions:

- Will you be arresting all philanthropists who receive credit for their gifts (Matthew 6:2) or only those who ACTUALLY use trumpets?
- Will you be arresting those who let their left hand know what their right hand is doing (Mattthew 6:3)? If so, how will you determine this? We had some questions on this passage and would appreciate your clarification.
- Will you be arresting those who babble while praying (Matthew 6:7)? Exactly what is your threshold for babbling? This seems a little subjective. What about flowery language?
- We haven't gotten up to the fasting passage yet (Matthew 6:16-18), but would love to know your thoughts. Will you be arresting everyone looking somber and testing their blood sugar to determine if their fasting? Are you developing a breathalyzer test for this?
- Moving to earlier passages, will you be enforcing the commands on anger and lust? Do you have enough officers to arrest all those shouting insults at each other? What about gossip and other talk that would harm someone's reputation? Will your colleagues in Edmonton be enforcing this in the provincial legislature? As far as the lust passage, do you have a special threshold for this? I think that perhaps using something like wolf whistling as a threshold could threaten the construction industry.
- Do you have enough room in your jails to enforce the divorce section?

This is just a start. There are many more questions. Passages on turning the other cheek, not worrying and storing up your treasures in Heaven all seem a little subjective to try enforcing.

While we applaud an idea of basing laws on a Biblical basis, we think you may have missed the overall idea that Jesus is saying the Sermon on the Mount isn't just about the law. I know, I know. A hard concept for police officers.

If you require any further clarification, I would suggest the following:

- read Matthew 5-7
- pray about it, specifically asking for wisdom and clarity

If this is not enough, you'd be welcome at our Bible study. Send me an email and I'll be happy to provide directions. I'd offer to pray for you, but I don't want to be seen as a troublemaker.

Yours sincerely,



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