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Herb Fellow

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These are the people that want to pass a MMJ bill in Michigan U bet...

Michigan: Police Repeatedly Raid Church to Stop Music

Michigan: Police Repeatedly Raid Church to Stop Music
Religion; Posted on: 2008-03-11 11:44:46 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]

TMLC Files Federal Lawsuit

Without a warrant or other legal authorization, uniformed police officers conducted several raids on Faith Baptist Church in Waterford Township, Michigan, and threatened to prosecute several young Christian musicians for disorderly conduct — because the Township prosecutor objected to the playing of contemporary religious music. "Praise and worship" music is a central part of Faith Baptist's religious services.

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against the Waterford Township supervisor, prosecutor and two high ranking police officials. The lawsuit was prompted by the series of police incursions into the church and threats by the Township prosecutor.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center, observed, "Uniformed police officers entering a church during religious services and young church members being threatened with prosecution is something that happens in Communist China — not in America."

Continued Thompson, "It is clear that Waterford Township authorities targeted Faith Baptist Church because of the type of religious music it uses in its services. Some of the individual police officers involved in the raids — apparently more sensitive to the constitutional protections surrounding religion than were their superiors — personally apologized afterwards."

Faith Baptist Church, headed by Pastor Jim Combs, has a congregation of 10,000 members and conducts religious services on three different campuses. The police raids targeted the Waterford Township campus with 5,000 members.

Pastor Jim Combs first contacted the Thomas More Law Center in late October 2007, after the first in a series of police raids.

During a Wednesday night youth service, uniformed Township police, led by the Township prosecutor, burst into the Church's sanctuary where the Church's "Praise and Worship" band was warming up. The prosecutor ordered the officers to take the names and addresses of all the young people on stage so that they could be charged with "disorderly conduct."

The very next Sunday, Waterford Township police again raided Faith Baptist, this time during the Pastor Comb's evening sermon. Officers were about to disrupt the services and remove the "Praise and Worship" band members and order them to surrender their driver's licenses for personal information. However, an Assistant Pastor volunteered to bring the members to the police so as not to create an uproar among the congregation.

The Township prosecutor was caught conducting personal surveillance on the Church from his parked car just days later.

The lawsuit, filed Monday, alleges that Waterford Township officials violated Faith Baptist Church's and the band members' rights to Free Exercise of religion, Free Speech and Freedom of Association under both the Michigan and the United States Constitutions, and that Waterford Township's actions have chilled Plaintiffs' ability to worship according to their religious beliefs. Plaintiffs are asking the court to permanently prohibit further police raids and for monetary damages.

Brandon Bolling, the Law Center attorney handling the case, stated, "The Township prosecutor was very explicit: he told the pastors that churches should not play 'rock music,' and threatened that each time he heard music coming from the church he would conduct a raid."

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life through education, litigation, and related activities. It does not charge for its services.


From a Western Voices reader: Behavior like these raids is symptomatic of the politicization and militarization of the police, largely because of the infiltration of leadership echelons by officials who have been co-opted by special interest groups like the ADL, SPLC and others, offering free ideological "training" to departments nationwide in order to transform our officers into political police. These changes come as America grapples with a widespread move towards draconianism, which takes advantage of the justified fears of the public after 911. Among these are a slew of "hate laws," as well as a horrific new federal law meant to criminalize thought.

Targeting people and groups for their opinions is also lucrative, allowing department chiefs to tap into "homeland security" and other slush funds that have little if anything to do with fighting crime, but a lot to do with policing opinions. We have all seen the results since 911: shaven headed cops in paramilitary jumpsuits and a growing number of instances of police abuse. This aggressive, politically charged climate allows corrupt and/or insecure people to thrive behind a badge, putting the reputation of the vast majority of police, who are decent and brave men and women, at risk. Often, the same officials who follow political agendas refuse to defend officers when it counts.

In the English speaking world especially there is an atavistic fear of police becoming an "army," which is why England resisted properly organized police forces until well into the 1800s, and why the United States never had a national police service. Increased official misuse of the police for social and political control increasingly makes some police look like "occupying armies" and distances them from the people they are sworn to serve and protect.
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Herb Fellow

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MV sent me this article. That is one uptight township government. The young kids cruising with those loud sound systems would probably get hung in the town square of this town. Sometimes I wonder if I have moved so far left or is the right completely gone off the charts. I hope this is an isolated incident in this day and time. The church wants the freedom to rock, I want the freedom to grow and smoke my cannabis. Sounds so simple.

Matanuska Valley

Plant of the Year: 2011 - Member of the Month: April 2011 - Plant of the Month: Mar & April 2011
Its sad to see this kind of shit and the people of Michigan let the police get away with it...! :11:
WTF is wrong with you people in Michigan to let the police get away with this and no less to a church...! :hmmmm:
I would love to see Michigan pass a MMJ bill in to law. you read this story and you tell me honestly you think the people in Michigan will pass a bill like that...? No fucking way in hell...! :peace:

MV... :19:

Matanuska Valley

Plant of the Year: 2011 - Member of the Month: April 2011 - Plant of the Month: Mar & April 2011
Thank you for posting this Herb Fellow...


Herb Fellow

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The article is a wake up call!


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i live about 20 minutes from this place, and i used to work about one neighborhood over, it doesn't surprise me, waterford is a bunch of rednecks from what i've heard, it's outside of detroit, the boondocks, cops ain't got shit else to do but try to catch meth heads and people growing pot. it's sad, there's child rapists out there but they're fucking with kids at church.
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