Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Methodist priest pepper sprayed by police just for the H of it

Posted by Charles II on November 16, 2011

Bloomberg shreds the Bible
(Via Media Bistro, the Occupy Wall Street Library shows a photo of a Bible destroyed by the book vandals among Bloomberg’s New York Police Department)

And from Seattle, Rich Lang, from the Temple pulpit, video here:

I was alone in full alb, stole and cross when six officers turned their spray on me thoroughly soaking my alb and then one officer hit me full throttle in the face.

I praise the courage and compassion, the discipline and the decency of the Occupy Movement. Out of the rag-tag mob came help, grabbing my hands, leading me (I was blind by then) to the wall and administering care and concern for my well-being.

The protesters were assembled around all the wounded, and maintained the discipline of nonviolence (granted the nonviolence was in behavior but not language). And they were not afraid.

The spraying had been a baptism sealing them into the security of knowing that their prophecy of repentance was indeed the Spirit-Word through them – it is as if they did not prophecy their very bones would melt within them. Against the wall in increasing pain and burning I realized I was in the midst of church.

The police, on the other hand, were afraid. Their quick use of chemical warfare reveals how cowardly they are. The unwillingness of their commanders to maintain discipline reveals how incompetent they are becoming.

The only tool in their bag is brutality and like a drunken-raging father beating wife and kids, the police have increasingly disgraced themselves. Step by step, they are being shaped into the front face of fascism, the emerging police state that protects the property interests of the Marie Antoinette’s who have seized control of our government, commerce, media, military and increasingly the Church itself.

My question to my clergy colleagues is this: “Where are you? How much longer can you preach without practice? How dare you remain protected in your sanctuary while your people (the rag-tag mob of the least, last and lost whom Jesus loved) are slaughtered doing that which God has commissioned you to do (prophecy!).

“Where are you? Who have you become in this age of baptism by pepper spray? Do you not know how much power you have to stop our national descent into chaos? Don’t you realize that the world is your parish and right before your eyes the Spirit of God is doing a new thing?

“Can’t you hear that God’s judgment is upon the land? God is against the thieves that bankrupted our nation. God is against the armies of the Beast who pillage other lands in our name, and turn and destroy our people on our own soil.

“Are you blind? – Perhaps you need a baptism of pepper spray in your eyes to restore your vision.”

I never knew Methodists could get that excited. Good for Lang.

Tocicity information here:

Capsaicin causes conjunctivitis, periorbital edema/erythema, ophthalmodynia, blepharospasm, blepharitis,corneal abrasions, and lacrimation. In a retrospective study of 81 patients who presented to the emergency department following aerosol exposure from law enforcement use of OC, 56% of individuals developed ophthalmodynia, 44% conjunctivitis, 40% conjunctival erythema, l3% lacrimation, and 9% corneal abrasions (Watson et al., 1996). Another study involved exposure of 47 human volunteers to OC for evaluating effects on the cornea and conjunctivae
(Zollman et aI., 2000). All subjects reported significant eye pain, blurred vision, and lacrimation 10 min after exposure to OC pepper spray, but symptoms improved by 1 h later. Corneal abrasions were not apparent, but 21 % of subjects showed evidence of punctate epithelial erosions and reduced corneal sensitivity. Corneal abnormalities were absent 1 week after exposure. Another human study identified 23% of subjects (7 of 30) with corneal abrasions following aerosol exposure to OC spray (Watson et al., 1996). In mice, a single subcutaneous injection of 12.5, 25, or 50 mg/kg capsaicin causes corneal changes characterized by neuronal axon degeneration in the corneal epithelium
(Fujita et aI., 1984).

That’s assuming you aren’t very young, very old, or asthmatic, in which case you might choke to death.

How can officers of the law stomach themselves? If most of us had to do that for a living, we’d end up on suicide watch.
Added: As PW notes in comments, an 84-year old woman was pepper sprayed, as was a pregnant woman. The mayor has apologized. My point in highlighting the attack on a religious leader who was there as a peacemaker and the trampling of a Bible is that we are late in the day. These kind of things do not happen until things are serious.


7 Responses to “Methodist priest pepper sprayed by police just for the H of it”

  1. Oh, that silly minister! He’s just “rabble”, you know:

    Just like the 84-year-old retired schoolteacher who got pepper-sprayed in Seattle:

    • Charles II said

      The priest was in the same protest as the 84-year old. The difference is that he was there as a peacemaker, not as a protester. He was between police and demonstrator lines trying to keep angry demonstrators from mixing it up with the cops. The cops apparently do not want peacemakers. They want people to lose it.

      The lady was a demonstrator of considerable experience. On Keith, she said that the militarization of the police reminded her of Hitler-era Germany, a sobering comment from someone who lived through that.

      One other interesting bit of news. It turns out that amid the Zucotti library was indeed a Bible which, like thousands of other books, was wantonly shredded.

      That’s another sobering parallel with Hitler-era Germany. The people ceased to love learning and knowledge–or even God–and began to worship power.

      I don’t mean to dwell on the religious aspect to the exclusion of other worthy topics. But I can tell you this: when religious leaders and holy books get abused, it is late in the day.

  2. Stormcrow said

    How can officers of the law stomach themselves?

    That’s a rhetorical question, right?

    If they didn’t like what they were, they wouldn’t be where they are, doing what they do.

    There are reported cases of psychopaths who disliked what they were. And sought help.

    But not in police departments.

    There, you’re looking at the result of a selection process, retaining what it selects for. The way selection processes always do.

    • Charles II said

      That’s an astonishing letter, Stormcrow.

      Thank you. It gives me new insight into what goes through the minds of a number of people I know.

      The one place I would differ with the writer is that I think that psychopathy, like any condition, exists in degrees. For people in combat, it presumably exhibits positive selection. For people in peace, negatively. Officers are in an occupation that is both.

      The thing is, there are certain officers who are trouble with a red light flashing over their heads. People like Mark Furman. Most officers are not that way.

      Thing is, officers despise criminals… and they fear crossing the line and ending in jail. So they repress urges to beat up on sympathetic victims. Pepper spray an anarchist, sure. But club a city councilman? Pepper spray an 84 year old survivor of Nazi Germany? Those are self-dangerous acts.

  3. xargaw said

    People in Western Washington know and love Rich Lang. He is AUTHENTIC and lives his convictions. He reminds me of William Sloan Coffin giving refuse to draft card burners during Viet Nam inside the Caplains office at Yale, the Rev Coffin that was a freedom rider, fighter for social justice, fighter against nuclear weapons, anti-Irag War voice. Lang is the real deal. There is no better spiritual leader or speaker of the truth.

    • Charles II said

      Thanks for saying so, Xargaw.

      I do think that one can see the hand of God against this nation. The elites very clearly thought that if they gave the nation a black president and slightly better healthcare, they could go back to business as usual. Instead, every effort they make, whether to subdue Afghanistan or to repair the world economic system, seems to end in failure. The failures are often darkly comical and humiliating.

      But even non-believers should be able to understand that if a nation wastes its talent by leaving it idle, if it demoralizes its citizens by behaving unjustly, if it expends all its energy trying to repress efforts at reform… such a nation cannot thrive. That is what having the hand of God against a nation means, because God is truth, justice, mercy, life.

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