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Fighting Crime with Prayer

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Just pray and violence will be magically reduced... so says Winnipeg's new Chief of Police

I guess atheists can expect to be victims of violence, eh?

Winnipeg's new police chief is advocating the use of prayer to help address the city's crime problem.

Acting police Chief Devon Clunis says he would like Winnipeggers of all faiths to pray for a better and safer city, as he believes people often find inspiration in prayer to take action and help one another.

"I think if we have a community that's consistently praying for one another, hopefully we'll now see the physical reduction of crime and violence in our city," Clunis, who is a Christian, told CBC News in an interview.

"If you're praying for your neighbour, I don't think you'll be out there hating your neighbour or fighting with your neighbour," he added.

"If you are praying for your neighbour, you'll say, 'OK, I'm praying, but how can I practically do something to impact my neighbour's well-being?'"

Clunis, 48,
, succeeding Keith McCaskill. He will officially take over the position later this year.

A 25-year veteran of the Winnipeg Police Service, Clunis has also served as a chaplain with the force.

"My faith is foundational to everything that I do," he said.

Separate church and state, says ethicist

Some Winnipeggers said they like the idea of using prayer to help address crime and violence.

"I think it's a great concept," said C.C., a woman who had a long criminal record before she got in touch with her aboriginal tradition and started praying to the Creator.

"It ended violence in my life for me … how I acted violently toward other people," she said.

But Arthur Schafer, an ethicist with the University of Manitoba, said Clunis should not speak so openly about his religious views while he is holding public office.

"No one chose him to be police of our souls," Schafer said.

"I think it's entirely inappropriate for a chief of police, in his role as chief of police, to be advocating prayer either to his colleagues on the police force or to the general public."

Schafer said there are many people in Winnipeg who don't hold any particular religious beliefs, and those individuals may take offence to Clunis's views.

The police chief should focus on promoting concepts such as integrity and respect, without invoking religion, Schafer added.

"People who hold public office and who also have deeply-held private religious convictions have got to learn to separate the two," he said.

But Clunis said faith informs every part of his being, and he doesn't think he should leave that part of himself behind when he goes to work.

He said all citizens, even those who do not believe in prayer, should think about what they can do to build a safer city.
.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2012/10/22/mb-winnipeg-police-chief-prayer-clunis.html

Maybe Winnipeg needs new Christian superheroes to clean up the streets?

mrchristian1-orginofmrchristian-10.jpg

chrknightlogoY.jpg

And the crest of the the Christian Justice League of Winnipeg:

superhero350.jpg

Or maybe all Winnipeg really needs is just the crime fighting chaplain - Chief Devon Clunis.

li-devon-clunis-121022.jpg

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I suppose it puts a different spin on confession?

Seriously though... why not? Every little bit helps, right? As long as he doesn't rely on it as his only approach, it can't hurt.

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I suppose it puts a different spin on confession?

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What's next?

Fighting injustice with lawyers?

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Sharpshooter would have been soo against this.

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His greater idea's not wrong though - crime levels will decrease if community-oriented activities increase.

Consider the rationale behind the broken window theory - if an area is left to decay, it invites more crime into the ideas as it's saying that law enforcement tolerate this type of petty crime. Eventually, this becomes a bigger problem as broken windows become squatters and if there's an errant fire, a burnt building.

One facet of Christianity is to do greater societal good, and one way to do this is to be kinder to neighbours. In words, that's easy to type; in action, that gets missed.

As an aside, did anyone miss this part - "If you are praying for your neighbour, you'll say, 'OK, I'm praying, but how can I practically do something to impact my neighbour's well-being?'" Chief Clunis isn't asking for a passive method to reducing crime, so for the detractors, please don't assume that the topic title is the only thing Clunis said.

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Separation of church and state? How can a government employee tell people to pray?

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It saves people from cancer, so this will be a huge success.

Oh. Wait. Modern science saves people from cancer...

Hm. Hey. Maybe law enforcement can reduce crime! They should hire competent police! Ya!!

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Good idea. If you genuinely believe in prayer and you're praying on behalf of your community or, what's more, your enemies, you are loving them. Our modern culture so dramatically underestimates the power of prayer. Consider AA's origins - it was developed by Christians and it takes into account mankind's spiritual character and it has contributed to many people recovering from alcohol addiction.

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Its very irresponsible to pray in cases where you could be taking action instead.

Screw 911 all you gotta do is pray!

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Not a big deal, really. At no point did he say that in order to keep crime down, all you have to do is pray. Even as a Christian I think that would be ludicrous.

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If a Christian does this, no problem. It's not really such a bad thing, right?

Except, how far can we push that idea? If he advocated citizens sacrificing goats to Zeus, well, now it's just crazy talk. Pushing your beliefs on others is apparently acceptable as long as you believe in an "appropriate" or accepted imaginary friend. Sure, he talks about "all faiths" but that's a pretty huge blanket statement that means very little, especially to those of us with no faith.

Imagine the uproar if an atheist held this position and asked the community to stop praying and take action instead. The outrage and backlash would be swift and intense.

Definitely inappropriate. If your faith is so strong that you can't separate it from a public office, elected or no, you should not hold public office. Show some real commitment to your faith and go back to being a minister if your views are so strong.

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Im certain he does not intend to exclude those who do not pray to a certain god, or treat them any differently, so Im not going to get in a big twist about it.

It is inappropriate however.

Now that Ive thought about it Im not certain at all he would treat people with differing religions or the areligious the same. I can see there would be a problem with this.

"My faith is foundational to everything that I do,"

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His greater idea's not wrong though - crime levels will decrease if community-oriented activities increase.

Consider the rationale behind the broken window theory - if an area is left to decay, it invites more crime into the ideas as it's saying that law enforcement tolerate this type of petty crime. Eventually, this becomes a bigger problem as broken windows become squatters and if there's an errant fire, a burnt building.

One facet of Christianity is to do greater societal good, and one way to do this is to be kinder to neighbours. In words, that's easy to type; in action, that gets missed.

As an aside, did anyone miss this part - "If you are praying for your neighbour, you'll say, 'OK, I'm praying, but how can I practically do something to impact my neighbour's well-being?'" Chief Clunis isn't asking for a passive method to reducing crime, so for the detractors, please don't assume that the topic title is the only thing Clunis said.

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