We have recently heard about the court case involving an officer who choked Eric Garner to death. Now across the New York metropolitan area, as well as across the country, people have been staging what is being called a “die-in”. This is a protest against police brutality where people lay down on the floor or the ground on their own backs, often blocking traffic or interrupting political assemblies. On Monday, December 8th, a story broke out about clergymen participating in the protest. Priest and Rabbis joined in the protest laying down on the ground singing spirituals and saying prayers and chanting “God can’t breathe”, which is a clever play on the phrase “I can’t breathe”. This event in my opinion has rekindled a controversy over how much the church should be involved in political processes. We have heard about the separation of church and state in history classes. The question is how much separation is needed? I will now examine the media in how they broke this story and what their rhetoric towards this event is.
This story appeared on the Huffington Post, which is a very fair and unbiased news source. The reporters asked the participating clergy members about why they are protesting the Eric Garner ruling. It would seem that a lot of the clergy that they had interviewed were Hispanic, black, or Jewish. This brings about a biased point of view because the reporters mainly spoke to minority members over the protest. If you had asked a white Christian the same question, they might respond similarly but they wouldn’t actively protest in the streets or on the sidewalks. The media is trying to spin the idea that the minority is the majority in this case, and mainly dismiss mainstream Christian’s thoughts on the matter.
Other media outlets are outraged by the Eric Garner ruling. They take this example as an opportunity to degrade white policemen and their law enforcement practices. These media outlets unlike Huffington Post are quick to jump on a story like this. They use these kinds of stories to push their own agendas rather than give light to both sides.
This story brings about the question of how much separation of church and state should there be in this country. This story is gaining light simply because the church is getting involved in this. I’m not saying that you can’t express your own religious views on political situations, but I believe that these kinds of protests should be reserved for a church setting. If you are a person of faith and are outraged by the Eric Garner ruling, don’t go lying on the ground to protest this. Instead go to church and pray to God about this. Making your voice known to the public isn’t going to change the minds of law enforcement. Instead you should pray that law enforcement, no matter what race or what color that person may be, should use proper training in taking down suspects or offenders.
Thanks to this case, I’m sure the media will have a field day with this. This is because the media tends to view the religious unfavorably and this gives them an opportunity to validate their own opinions. Another part of this story is the fact that some of these clergy members have also been arrested for their acts. The media will jump on this surely as it seems that clergy members have been targeted by the media as being increasing violent. This is just another example of church being involved in something that should be left alone.