The Columbus Dispatch had an article today entitled, "Crime Stoppers organizes 'Bless the Badge' prayer service," where three local pastors led about 75 in prayers to bless local law enforcement officers and firefighters. The event was scheduled to fall on the anniversary of the death of Columbus Police Officer Bryan Hurst so that he might be memorialized at the same time.
I'm all in favor of doing everything possible to support law enforcement and firefighters, but I don't see the point of this prayer service at all. To me, the event seems like about 75 people gathered in a room to talk to themselves about police and firefighters. Except to make those gathered feel good and the subsequent article which lets law and fire persons know that some people are thinking nice things about them, I don't see that the service has any effect on anything at all. I mean, this gathering doesn't raise any money, or organize a neighborhood watch, or provide any protection from harm (since god always answers prayers, but sometimes he answers "no"), so the whole event, pretty much, is just a Christian publicity stunt.
My next question is; why is Crime Stoppers organizing a Christian event? I can find nothing on their website that indicates that the organization has a religious affiliation or sponsorship, so why are they organizing an event that stops no crimes and alienates everyone in the community that is a non-christian? Has no one ever called in a tip to inform them that other religions and beliefs exist in Ohio or are they like the conservative evangelicals who believe all non-christians are the evil enemy?
A lot of us infidels would like to be involved in a gathering that showed support for these brave public servants and we'd like to be able to honor our fallen heroes, but we don't think we should have to have a gathering separate from the Xians and we don't think our participation should be contingent on our willingness to engage in the religious ceremonies of a belief system other than our own. Crime Stoppers is supposed to be about the whole community and they might want to start be ending their own participation in the crime of religious bigotry.