Mock Arrests of Ohio Pastors Create Confusion

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(Photo Credit: video still)

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — The staged arrests of pastors in front of their congregations in northeast Ohio got a surprising reaction for one sheriff.

Videos of the mock arrests posted online brought a wave of criticism for the Summit County Sheriff’s office from people who thought the deputies really were interrupting church services to make arrests.

Sheriff Steve Barry says his deputies took part in the mock arrests Sunday at a couple churches around Akron after the pastors approached his office and asked it to participate.

The churches staged the arrests as part of their “Defending the Faith” sermons. Videos showed deputies handcuffing pastors while they preached and placing them in patrol cars.

The sheriff says he wishes that those who put the videos online would have noted that the events had been staged.

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  • Peter

    I’m confused. Contrary to what they say, were they staging this to defend their faith, or to bring attention to themselves? Sounds like a Pharisee’s thing.

    Guess the pastors and deputies didn’t think this one thru.

    • Blinkie McJitters

      In a country founded on a separation of church and state, how is either removing christianity as America’s main religion or demanding equality for all other religion’s an attack on christianity? The fact that “God” is in any official document, from our money to our Pledge of Allegiance (both of which were added in the 1950’s) confirms that christianity has taken a firm foothold in our government and must be removed. Is that an attack or a defense?

      • Jason

        For anthony:

        The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

      • Jammer

        Why is it against the law for a Christian to pray in school yet a violation of the Muslim faith to bar young men from growing beards that can’t be tolerated in high schools? Isn’t that an establishment of one and a restriction of another? Hypocrisy you must think is ok.

      • Rusty

        If they’re going to try to take over the country, then they can bloody well start paying TAXES like the rest of us. I’m sick of them getting billions of dollars to preach hate and intolerance. Don’t give me the whole “separation of church and state” when it’s only ONE sided. You can’t have it both ways. Either pay up or shut up.

      • Pax

        For Jammer: That’s cute that you think it’s against the law for one student to pray. It’s against the law for a school-led prayer. Are they FORCING people to grow beards? No. You’re comparing apples to hubcaps.

      • Anthony

        For Jason- The Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause are very different than separation of church and state. If we truly had separation of church and state, the government couldn’t prosecute people for bigomy or other crimes that are done because of their religion.

      • Carl Jung

        What God are you referring to? God is a generic name. You could be calling on Bob for all you know. YHVH is the true name. Yaweh and His son, Yeshua, means salvation. The 66 books were construct by the Council of Nicea in 328 or 4328 depending on the calendar. John 21:25 Who are these that defend themselves? Matt. 7:22

      • Matt

        Leaving the fact aside that ‘separation of church and state’ is not in any founding document whatsoever, the question must be raised: If every religion is guaranteed equality, then who draws the line at what a religion is? People like yourself toss aside the question with a hand wave, assuming that ‘common sense’ dictates what should and shouldn’t be a religion. But if your argument is simply, ‘all religions deserve equality’, then it’s very short road to the argument that anything goes, including anything you can think of that might be offensive, disgraceful or terrifying to YOU. I could expound upon this for hours with perfectly reasonable examples, but I think the next few years are going to be proof enough of my comment.

  • Daniel

    Leviticus 19:11
    “‘Do not lie. “‘Do not deceive one another.

    Proverbs 19:5
    A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will not go free.

    Perhaps the pastors should practice what they preach.

    And the cops should not be participating in morality plays while on the clock. Your tax dollars at work.

  • fozzynok

    Who paid for this and who was covering for the officers when they were wasting time pretending?? Tax payers ought to be screaming for this Sheriff’s head on a platter!

    • Jay

      Ref: The tax payer money

      The money is also used for training new officers and a set amount is also set for public displays/ shows of presence (eg: school and mall displays). Speaking from previous experiences when working with any “on call” organization there is always the fact that they can leave at any point that a real call comes up that is true from ambulances at public events to kids touring the fire hall.

  • Continuum

    When will the pastors pay back the tax payers for a misuse of the officer’s time, the misuse of police cars etc. I guess everyone was lucky that there are no other crimes in Summit county so the sheriffs can have the free time to play make-believe arrest. Someone needs to lose their job over this nonsense and misuse of the police.

  • Judy Lou

    I’m certain many in the congregation have had less-than-positive encounters with law officers, as I have. But they didn’t seem too upset about this. ??

    • Andy A.

      You know what I’m bothered about and relieved about at the same time?

      That not a single person in any of those congregations attempted to stop those arrests. I’m bothered about this because it means those churches want to cry about being persecuted and demand extra special exemptions from following laws they don’t like….BUT NOT ONE of their members was willing to face the consequences of resisting an obvious violation of their inalienable rights. For all the talk I hear about ‘being willing to die for my beliefs’ none of them was willing to take a beating/tasering/bullet to defend their rights.

      At the same time I’m relieved that neither the congregants nor the Deputies got hurt because of this stupid attention-getting stunt.

  • Missbeth

    Okay, time to investigate: were these officers on duty? Were they being paid by the tax payers to play with the churches? Is there nothing better they could be doing with thier time? No more crimes to solve?
    Calling FFRF, I hope the sheriff’s department answers for this as it is clearly an endorsement of religion.

    • Steve

      I did some research, and it turns out people of all religions are being murdered worldwide! Some of the murderers are Christian!

  • Robyn Norris Matthis

    This just makes ALL christians look like idiots!!! A true Christian would NEVER do something like this in order to “shake up ” their congregation. I also agree with the poster who said that Christians are NOT being persecuted!!! They’ve got their own political party, for God’s sake!!! It’s the TEA PARTY, and they’re trying to take away rights given to us by the writers of the constitution. All of this just makes me sick!!!

  • Steve

    Good thing my tax dollars are spent for the police to stage mock arrests for political propaganda.
    I wonder if anyone needed help from emergency services while these clowns were doing this?

  • Nell Webbish

    I’m not sure which is more embarrassing for this community … that they have a pastor who playacts at being persecuted in a world where real people ARE actually being persecuted or that the local cops joined in.

    Gotta tell you though, if I was a member of that community, I would be asking for an investigation into whether or not those officers were on duty and if they were not, what were they doing in uniform and armed.

  • Dale

    Your inability to persecute does not make you persecuted. Your inability to oppress does not make you oppressed. Your manufactured outrage is nothing but hate driven anger.

  • Ron Noname (@SEESTHROUGHIT)

    If christering IS under attack, it is only from truth.
    The various bibles of the world are collected folk tales put into a novel.
    Religion was invented when the first fool met the first charlatan.

    And, what is any religion?
    Any religion is a system of power and control, typically of the minds of the gullible or directed at women by the lechers of the world with empty scrotii.
    In the case of the bead mumbles, it’s power and control of altar boys;~)

    Not surprising that the cops would take part in this.
    After all, who seeks to become one of those?
    Yes, you guessed it~~those who neurotically need power and control.

  • William Chandler

    After they take the 2nd ……. the 1st, 13th, 4th, 19th will soon follow.
    Any government that will torture, will enslave.

  • DDrake

    A few mock hangings need to be done on these politicians. Maybe that will send the right message?

  • SonofMog

    This is so stupid it hurts to know about it. Hey, cops, how about thinking for two seconds next time and saying “no” when a church asks you to play storm-trooper in order to help indoctrinate their flock? Idiots.

Comments are closed.