Christians should be first to mourn Ferguson decision

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Washington, D.C., March for Mike Brown | Photo by Stephen Melkisethian via Flickr (

Photo by Stephen Melkisethian via Flickr

Washington, D.C., March for Mike Brown | Photo by Stephen Melkisethian via Flickr (

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Darren Wilson's freedom was expected by almost every black person in America, and celebrated by many Christians. That is wrong.

  • David

    Laura, I really have to wonder about you. Surely part of justice is waiting until all the facts are in until making a judgment – the people who broke that rule are the people who, when this all began, saw a white cop shoot a black man and, knowing nothing else, immediately cried “racism!”. And now, after a grand jury has thoroughly looked into the matter and decided the evidence did not warrant an indictment… you are so sure they are wrong? Tell me what you know that they don’t. Or perhaps it is you that has the prejudice problem.

    And as to the looting – the innocent business owners are perhaps the clearest victims of all. Lives destroyed to your pooh-pahhing because you’ve got some bigger picture in mind, or something.

  • glen

    So what is exactly is the problem here and what is your point?
    Are those Christians the problem or is it their happy go lucky christian music or is it white people in general? You state ” McCulloch cited contradictory eyewitness accounts of the murder as one reason Wilson did not go to trial, which makes no sense; contradictory eyewitness statements ought to be even more reason to bring a case to trial.” That has to be the most absurd thing in your whole commentary. It is clear that you have never served on a jury, for surly, you would have chose to find him guilty because you “feel” he is. I’ve had the displeasure of be on a jury, in which, there were 3 men and 3 women. All the women voted to find the person guilty because of what they “felt” but the men voted to go with what was PROVEN beyond a doubt of guilty. Now with that said, it is clear the only “ugliness at work” here is to incite a provocative reaction from “christians” blaming them only for this situation.

  • OldFriend

    I have to agree with David’s principles. Laura, let’s not judge without the facts. You and I do not know the facts (yet). Would you please review everything McCulloch releases and provide an update? In your update, please also reflect on the 12 jurors who sacrificed the last six months of their lives to hear testimony, review evidence and deliberate for hours on end, day after day. Can you put yourself in their shoes? How would they respond to your article, completely devoid of reverence for our justice system and their autonomy to make rational decisions based on the facts?

    I’m sorry, but the system is not always broken. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty damn good. What do you suggest we do differently? Is there another system you can point to that is better? In the meantime should we just not try anyone of any crime? There would be no need for police officers. Then we wouldn’t have teenage thieves confronting, punching, and attempting to take the gun of anybody. Sounds like a peaceful and just society.

    You’re right, Michael Brown does not look like me or live like me. Anyone, regardless of race, who steals clearly has no respect for anyone let alone authority. This is likely why he attacked Officer Wilson. And this is why it seems very plausible that he would charge him, even after being wounded.
    Until I spend months reviewing all the facts, this is why I side with the officer who was just helping a woman in labor.

    Thanks for the reminder to pray for justice and racial reconciliation.

  • Andre

    Most of the press and bloggers who are disappointed in the Grand Jury decision seem fixated on the fact that Michael Brown was unarmed, and the conclusion is “unarmed, so obviously murdered in cold blood – the result of racism”.

    That type of thinking is naïve at best, to willfully and blissfully ignorant at worst. If you don’t believe that a 300 lbs angry man who is under the influence of illegal substances can be a lethal threat to another human being, then you do not live in reality. Also, we know from the physical evidence that Brown was the aggressor and initiated the physical violence against Officer Wilson. Testimony reveals that Wilson gave multiple verbal warning for Brown to cease his attack. Evidence shows that that Brown attempted to gain control of Wilson’s sidearm. Once Brown disengaged and stated to run away, he had been shot at 2 times, being hit once. Yet again, he turned and charged back towards Officer Wilson. Physical evidence and testimony show that Brown turned around after already being shot 2x, and charged at Officer Wilson over 7 yards through a hail of bullets. Wilson is NOT going to give Brown another chance to attempt to assault him or try to take his firearm again. He had a duty to stop Michael Brown, and his last shot appears to have done just that.

    That is a tragic story. It shows incredibly poor judgment by Michael Brown, but it is consistent with his violent actions earlier during violent strong-arm robbery he committed that was captured on video. He was acting as a man who was above the law, using his size to threaten and intimidate. That just escalated in his confrontation with Officer Wilson. Officer Wilson protected himself from a second attack, and that is completely justified.

  • Jan

    Injustice is always with us. We should strive to find truth.
    However, unless you sat on the grand jury and heard the evidence . . . You are not qualified to make the call on whether justice was served.

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  • William Deitenbeck

    It is disgraceful that a writer for a supposedly unbiased Christian website can only react to the grand jury decision with a pre-conceived, leftist political diatribe, castigating those who respect the rule of law. RNS is every day moving further and further from its moorings. You should be ashamed of this blindly political, hateful presentation.

  • This piece is intellectually violent and ought to be taken down as it incites further baseless rioting and reflect poorly on Christ’s church. We are not only people of compassion, people of the gospel, we are people of truth. Christ was for justice and mercy, but he bore our sins while we deserve death. That’s mercy. Justice is that the debt was paid. But Jesus is not for misrepresenting facts and playing into political elitism. In all that we do, do it to the glory of God. This means promoting freedom of speech, supporting protests that are peaceful, not inciting violence, and in the end, respecting the rule of law.

  • Betsie

    Sarah, I was surprised by your comment, which starts by saying Laura’s post should be removed, and then in the next breath says that promoting freedom of speech brings glory to God.

    “Christ was for justice and mercy, but…” is probably the saddest thing a Christian can say. A heartbreaking watering-down of the upside-down, earth-shattering new reality that Christ invites us to be a part of.

    Laura, to you I say what my pastor ended this week’s sermon with: “I would rather be a soul than an ego.” Thank you for being brave enough to write this and post it for all the world to see, knowing that it would be fodder for the endless nit-pickery and plank-in-the-eyery that dominates comment threads.

  • samuel Johnston

    Laura is a poster girl for anarchy. Our legal system also freed O.J. Does this mean white women married to black men ” have to go to sleep another night in fear for their lives”?

  • Betsy, this post is the equivalent of yelling “fire” in a crowded movie theater. It incites anger on a false premise, that being that a jury of your peers couldn’t have possibly have evaluated the evidence properly. Its not only an insult to our intelligence, it’s just plain reprehensible.

  • Philip

    Who are the Christians who are celebrating this? Have you (Laura) actually encountered Christians who are happy over this, or are acting smugly over this, or who are not sorrowful over Brown’s death? What reality do you live in? I know of no Christian who feels that way. Instead, I know of many who have prayed for peace and justice, who are mournful over this tragedy and who are working for peace and justice in our world. Your article doesn’t help like you imagine it does. It does nothing to bring us together or promote unity. In fact it contributes to the polarization of people by pitting one group (fellow Christians) against others (those only wanting an indictment). This is a false dichotomy and I am not sure you see it. Instead you decry Christians for not seeing the forest for the trees. Please don’t assume all of us Christians fit your preconceived notions of being unjust, uncaring, uncompassionate or uninformed. We are not and we are out here in the streets proclaiming God’s peace and justice to a world in need of that message.

  • Got your pre-conceived narrative and you’re sticking to it, huh, Laura.

    “Wilson claims that Brown charged at him, although that account makes very little sense. Why would an unarmed and wounded teen charge a police officer?”

    I don’t know. It makes as much sense as your implicit and libelous assumption that white police officers often think to themselves, “Hey, there’s a black kid over there. I think I’ll shoot him for no reason at all.”

    “McCulloch spoke at length about the role of the “24-hour news cycle” in perpetuating a narrative. He did not specific what narrative, but it’s easy to guess it was about Michael Brown and Darren Wilson. ”

    Which is his…job?

    “McCulloch cited contradictory eyewitness accounts of the shooting as one reason Wilson did not go to trial, which makes no sense; contradictory eyewitness statements ought to be even more reason to bring a case to trial. Wilson ought to see the inside of a courtroom because courtrooms are where justice happens in America.”

    The parents of Nicole Brown Simpson will be delighted to hear that. But what if Wilson had seen the inside of a courtroom and ended up walking? Would that also have been a racist tragedy? And do you honestly think, San Franciscan, that this country can have an honest “conversation” about any of this when one side automatically presumed guilty going in?

  • Laura. It doesn’t matter – we can argue this all day. Everyone has an opinion, except God. He knows the truth and that truth is on His side. I do not have all the facts, I am not on the jury and I am not the judge. The truth is there was injustice done – period. This is what we should all pray: “They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid.” I will pray this with you. Let the people grumble, let people complain, and let them roar but the truth remains the truth. God is still on His throne, God is still the Master of Justice and God will have His way. Yours ~ Chris

  • Gerald Pieters

    David, you nailed it. Too many people are looking at this unfortunate case not by evaluating the testimony and the facts but with emotion and often through the case but lens of racism. This blog portrays a very different situation than what actually happened. In that sense, it’s a fiction. It is colored up with loaded words (distorting the facts) to make it sound good, but it strays far from the truth. Opinions should be based on facts as you stated, but in writing a blog that ignores the facts of the case and the careful examination and deliberation of the grand jury, the blog loses credibility. I pray for the family and all the people of Ferguson to find peace. Rioting and violence is not a legitimate reaction to a grand jury decision and I hope that people there will think better of it.

  • Doc Anthony

    Okay, permission to speak candidly? I’m black. I’m a Christian. I’m old enough to remember (as a child) using a dingy restroom marked “For Colored Only.” I really, REALLY dislike racism and racists.

    And yet, with all that on the table, YES the Grand Jury gave the right decision, in my opinion. And both they and Robert McCullough apparently did everything they could to keep it above-board and in a just and honest manner. Nobody’s hiding the testimonies, nobody’s hiding the evidences.

    So NO, at this time, I am not going to mourn or protest the Grand Jury’s decision at all. They got it right.

    Young people, please don’t follow Michael Brown’s example. Don’t try to punch out cops right after robbing and terrorizing innocent store clerks while you’re still high on WEED.

    The game just doesn’t work out, and subsequently playing the race card over your dirty mess, will NOT help your next of kin.

  • Tom

    Christians mourning this decision would be another sad example of their inability to accept physical and scientific evidence.

  • The grand jury spent over seventy hours sifting eyewitness testimony and forensic evidence in the light of Missouri law on justifiable homicide and issued a judgment of no-true-bill. Laura has no substantive counter-argument, so we get this meandering pile of blancmange. Suggestion to the editors of Religion News Service: quit publishing the terminally mediocre simply because they self-identify as ‘writers’.

  • Michael

    Laura, you’re a good looking precious redheaded White woman. What happened to your? A Grand Jury, with 3 Blacks on it, looked at all the evidence, heard the testimony of all the witnesses, and came to the conclusion there was not enough evidence of wrongdoing to file charges against the officer.

    Why should Christians be the first to mourn this decision? It sounds right to me. Your position makes no sense to me. Not one iota. When you look at the Black on White rape rates, some years going to over 30,000 while ZERO Whites raped any Blacks you have to realize this Judeo Communist incited racial strife that’s been fomented since the early 1900’s is at the core of this.

    These Judeo Communists want America destroyed, and by creating and fomenting racial tensions is one more way to accomplish the destruction of America. We’ve already seen their push for abortion, legitimizing homosexuality, porn, destruction of the family, filthy society damaging movies, television, their hatred of Christ and all He stands for.

    Wake up to who your enemies are, and confront them. Blacks are just a pawns in their game, and when they’re done being used as battering rams against Whites, they’ll exterminate Blacks as they’re working to exterminate Whites and White families, Christianity, and Christians.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    This whole event is a great tragedy. And a column like this isn’t very far from advocating punishment for the cop without facts or legal process. The Grand Jury system is part of the process to make “innocent until proven guilty” a reality.
    But it seems many activists and media people aren’t very interested in facts just stirring up trouble.

  • Michelle

    No evidence is presented in this article showing the police officer acted without cause. Very weak piece. Not what I expect from RNS.

  • Frank

    So when will the apology be coming to Officer Wilson and the Ferguson Police Department by all those, who without the facts, tried and convicted them?

  • Deb

    I was so bewildered to read the headline of this story, I just had to read the entire story and the comments. I consider myself a Christian and insulted that you would judge me as not being a true Christian for not mourning Ferguson’s decision. What I mourn are the property owners who innocently had destruction done to their property and left to clean up the mess. They had nothing to do with the verdict. Talk about double standards! Laura, how would you feel if it were your husband who was trying to protect himself from someone who stole, disobeyed the law and had no respect for anybody! I think you are trying to be perceived as holier than thou. Get real.

  • Earold D. Gunter

    Sarah, this is a blog. An opinion. First you state “This piece is intellectually violent and ought to be taken down”, then you state “This means promoting freedom of speech”. See how this is contradictory?
    Whether you agree or not is irrelevant to the fact that Laura has the right in our country to voice her opinions. Don’t like it, don’t read it.

  • Jack

    We are never going to get racial issues, or any other issues for that matter, right, if we close our eyes, cup our ears to facts and reality, and refuse to think critically.

    Laura Turner has done her readers a serious disservice and shown them zero respect by failing at all of the above.

    She has closed her eyes, cupped her ears, and refused to attend to the actual facts of the case.

    Laura Turner has essentially said, “No, I refuse to hear you. No, I refuse to confront the facts. No, I refuse to respond to what the prosecutor said last night.”

    The irony is that there is a problem in relations between police departments and some communities within black America. It is not a figment of the black imagination. Most of the time it isn’t racism, but it’s even more complex, not less. It is a mutual lack of understanding of history and culture.

    But the Ferguson case is a terrible example to use, because the evidence in favor of an indictment was nil…..and it wasn’t even close.

    And Laura Turner did absolutely nothing in this article to engage that glaring reality. She simply pretended it wasn’t there.

  • Marcia

    Thank you for speaking out, Laura.

  • Earold D. Gunter

    Sarah, It is your right to say so, just as it is Laura’s right to say what she did. Get over yourself.

  • Not a fan

    I expect we’ll soon see a post on Mrs. Turner’s personal blog which gives her opinion of all the detractors here. She’ll call us something that starts with “a” and rhymes with mole then snicker with her uber-superior friends about the retrograde ignoramii who don’t grovel before her superior awesomeness.

    Next time a friend tells me “you won’t believe what Laura Turner has written this time”, I’ll sigh and and refuse to be baited into looking

  • Jack

    No, Salimparvej, there is nothing remotely authentic about Laura’s post. It is a sad example of what’s wrong with journalism today, including the refusal to engage facts and think critically. It contributes to the notion that journalists are too lazy to do so, and that most of the smart and industrious kids choose some other line of work.

  • Jack

    Laura Turner is part of a generation of evangelical Millennials who think that being Left is new and cool….not realizing that they are nearly a half century behind the times, and just mimicking the old 1960s generation. It may have seemed daring in 1968, but it is dull and conformist in 2014.

    But somehow I doubt Laura is a student of history…..or of much else, for that matter.

  • Jack

    Laura is one of a whole generation of “me-too” evangelicals who feel uncool and ashamed of their upbringing and want to be like the supposedly cool kids of the secular left. They’re not smart enough to get anywhere near an Ivy League school, and so they do the next best thing: They try desperately to become acceptable to what they think the secular left wants.

    But the secular left still laughs people like Laura to scorn….because so long as Laura has any connection to the Bible or to evangelicalism, she will be rejected by them. At best, they will consider the Lauras of evangelicalism to be useful tools. That’s the cold reality that Laura will learn with time. They will never accept her into their circles.

    Rather than conforming and coming across as a sad-sack stereotype, forever chasing cool kids like a Labrador chasing cars, Laura should decide what she believes about God and go from there. If she believes in Him, then she should follow Him and not the crowd. If the crowd means more, she should be honest with herself and deal with that fact in her life.

  • She does seem to be competing with Tom Ehrlich to see whose remarks can exhibit the most unadulterated douchiness.

  • Jack

    In her witless belief that the guilt of the officer was a self-evident truth, as opposed to a claim for which there was no evidence, Laura failed to listen to the crux of the prosecutor’s summary last night.

    The crux was how key witnesses disgraced themselves by breaking the commandment not to bear false witness against one’s neighbor.

    Maybe, just maybe, breaking one of the Ten Commandments is something relevant to a writer on a religion web site?

    The bearers of false witness made up wild stories about the officer, and were forced to recant after the autopsy results came in.

    But not a peep out of Laura about that.

  • I agree. Another thing Laura, you say ‘why would an unarmed boy charge a police officer?’ It doesn’t make sense. Can you tell me why would he rob a liquor store? Does that make sense? Why would he attack the officer and try to get his gun? (There were witnesses to this) Are you also going to justify the looting and the destruction of other people’s property? I believe there should be two officers together always and that would have deterred Brown from attacking; maybe.

  • Robbi

    This is absolutely absurd. He was not merely “walking down the street”. He robbed a gas station, threatened the attendant on the way out, and was walking down the middle of the street with stolen merchandise in his hands when the officer recognized him as the robbery suspect he had heard about over the radio. He asked the MEN to move to the sidewalk and they responded with hostility, cursing profusely at him. When the officer started to get out of the car, Michael Brown pushed him back into the car and slammed the door. He stood over him trying to intimidate him, swearing at him and then punching him in the face.

    I live 9 miles from St. Louis and about 35 minutes from Ferguson, so we are right here in the middle of this. We hear all of it. Articles like this are SHAMEFUL when they portray this man as a poor, innocent, unarmed little teenager. If Michael Brown had LIVED, he would have been tried as an ADULT for many many things including theft, resisting arrest, and assaulting an officer. “Black people” do not have to “go to sleep fearing for their lives.” That is an absolutely absurd thing to say!! Individuals, no matter the race, who break the law and blatantly resist an officer, beat an officer, charge at an officer, and try to take an officer’s weapon should know that an officer is well within his rights to use force if he feels his life is at risk. Garbage like this is adding to the media sensationalism of this unfortunate situation. All lives are valuable!! Articles like this one make it seems as though the officer was driving along and said “oh hey, a black kid…I’m going to shoot him for being BLACK.”

    What exactly should the officer have done? If a perpetrator RUNS, they do not just let him get away, they follow in pursuit. If you read his testimony, he exhausted every option available to him. He did NOT act mindlessly!

    I am a Christian. I mourn this entire situation. Especially the perpetuation of sensationalism like the first 1/3 of this article. We can’t sit here and pretend that white people are the only racist people. There are people of all races with racism and hate in their hearts. I believe that it takes a tremendous amount of hate to actually believe that this occurred simply because Mr. Brown was African American and Officer Wilson is Caucasian.

  • Unarmed people should never get shot and killed.
    Simple as that.

    If they are shot, the ambulance should be called immediately,
    not 4 hours later.

    Hey cops:
    Use a taser. That is what they are for.

    Next move:
    Sue the cops, sue the city and sue the Ambulance company.

    Get out the vote. America is a country where voters get the power.
    No Vote = No Power.

  • @Robbie,

    “We can’t sit here and pretend that white people are the only racist people.”

    That isn’t the point.
    White ‘people’ have a level of privilege that others do not have.
    Just like Christians have privilege and can decide to push non-Christians around without incident.

    Plus we whites have power over the purse strings in almost every city and we keep making our cuts to the people who can least manage those cuts – the poor who happen to be black and the blacks who happen to be poor.

  • pikku

    For those, such as this author, that assert that this case should have gone to trial regardless of probable cause (rationale for which is stated here as “because courtrooms are where justice happens in America”), I only have two words:

    George Zimmerman.

    IOW, whether this was a grand jury finding or a full trial, it wouldn’t have mattered. The reaction would have been exactly the same. At least we were spared a trial that shouldn’t happen — because having a trial when there was no chance of a fair conviction is also not justice.

  • Three points: First, I find it interesting that when I read this earlier in the day, the first line said “murdered” and it has been changed to “killed”. Why?

    Second: what about all the whites in Ferguson who aren’t safe now? What about the business owners who are more than likely neutral whose businesses and lies will now be ruined?

    Third: What if this was a black police officer who shot an unarmed white? Or a gang of black kids beating up a white kid? Why don’t we hear cries of racism then? Or is it only racists when white on black?

  • Steve

    Thanks for this Laura. We all could benefit from taking a breath and praying for those who feel injured, threatened and ignored by this decision, and for those impacted by the protests engendered by it. I am embarrassed at the tone and content of many of these comments–many folks here are living up to our least flattering stereotypes. 🙁

  • Hey Atheist Max. You’ve got one second to decide what to do an a life-threatening situation. Well, I guess I should…time’s up. You’re dead.

  • Pingback: Judge Not | The Wayward Catholic()

  • I noticed the same thing about the first line. It ultimately didn’t change the inflammatory intent of this piece.

  • Tracey

    Thank you for this article. Continue to speak truth to power even in the midst of conflict!

  • julie murray

    excellent, thoughtful reflection. Thank you!


    It’s the inanity that impresses you. Christianity Today must be careering into the drink if this is who they have to rely on to fill their column inches (or perhaps CT is yet another Christian apostolate taken over by parasites hostile to its foundational message).

  • Louis

    Don’t tell people how they should act as Christians if you wish to be taken seriously… State your opinion and leave it at that… As far as this one goes I believe the facts are not on your side but God will is the Judge of Mr. Wilson and Mr. Brown…

  • Fred Flongerburgerstein

    This is an unfair and shameful article. From the very first sentence the author’s bias is glaring. She makes it sound like the cop stalked an innocent black kid and shot him for no reason. The facts are out and the cop was defending his life. The Grand Jury found him innocent. The author of this article has lost all credibility and should not be given another platform for her awful writing ever again.

  • triago88

    This article is pure trash.

  • Tammy

    We as, African American understand blind justice more than anyone. But let me say this. If your skin is not black, you will never completely understand how we as parents feel. We have to tell our boys to pretend they are someone else because the color of their skin or how to dress. No white parents has never had to tell their child that. Because in the eyes of the police, “white is right”. White people still won’t recognize the racism in themselves because if you do then you would know that as a police officer your main object to do in these situation is to disable them first before it goes to far. Disable them is shooting in either four points; arms and leg. Not the head. Come on. From Trayvon Martin to Michael Brown is this fair. White kids goes to school and shoots everyone but he’s had a bad childhood. Excused is different when it come to blacks crimes. I pray over my only son every day that God protects him because the law does. White officer is not looking at my son as the same way he looks at my neighbor’s child. Why is one race superior than other. This is not what God created. Officer Wilson stated that “he was fearful and Brown was like a demon”. Black boys looks at police and demon as well. So often even in the world’s dictionary, black is deemed as evil and dark and white is looked as pure. It is hurtful that this world still looks at African American as 3/4 a person.

  • triago88

    I agree completely. Why would RNS allowed such petty garbage on their site.

  • triago88

    You are oblivious to how the police are trained. Police are trained to only use their weapon when they feel their life, or other lives are in danger. They are not trained to take out people’s limbs like in the movies. The shoot to kill. You are confusing Hollywood with the real world again. Also, are you implying that white people cannot be victims of racism? Let me tell you this. If you are not white, you will never understand what it is like to be attacked by a group of black people, just because of the color of your skin. Yup, happens all the time, myself included. But I am still not racist, because I choose not to be. Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Larry

    Why couldn’t a cop, who carries a number of non-lethal but harm inducing implements, subdue an unarmed man without resorting to deadly force?

    Because the cops either didn’t know what they were doing or didn’t give a crap about killing the guy. The cops didn’t even make up an excuse that Brown was pulling out something that looked like a weapon.

    Had Michael Brown been beaten within an inch of his life, this story would have never gotten more than local coverage.

  • Larry

    “If you don’t believe that a 300 lbs angry man who is under the influence of illegal substances can be a lethal threat to another human being, then you do not live in reality.”

    If you think a trained police officer requires lethal force against someone like that, then you should not be around firearms. To use lethal force against an unarmed person, you need a really good excuse. Incompetence in controlling a situation is not one of them

    Never heard of a nightstick, flashlight or radio?

  • Charles Freeman

    The Grand Jury delved into a huge amount of evidence, and deliberated quite a while. This is our justice system at work! Anyone with your opinions of our democracy shouldn’t be given credence by any of us. The terrorists, looting, burning and shooting, should be rounded up, tried and convicted for their crimes. Anyone who wants to object peacefully should be able to do so. The Grand jury undoubtedly considered your points about subduing the man. They certainly also evaluated culpability for any kind of homocide. Your comment attracted my attention because of its ignorance and attempted incitement to violence through your misleading and inaccurate statement.

  • Charles Freeman

    Some very good points, OldFriend.

  • Which is why cops have special training on what to do in a stressful situation. Acceptable: shooting your assailant with a taser that is handily in a quick-draw holster (by law, your gun is not, requiring two and sometimes three steps to unholster, thus invalidating the “minimum time to act” argument). Slightly less acceptable: shooting your assailant in a non-lethal part of the body. This will still almost certainly stop their advance, because 1. It hurts. 2. It may be in a part of the body vital for motion, like a foot. 3. People have flight-or-fight responses and an ingrained sense of self-preservation. Their brains will force them to stop and reconsider an attack.
    Not acceptable: shooting someone six times in fatal areas of the body (and if the entry/exit points are anything to go by, apparently from behind) and not giving proper medical attention thereafter.

  • In New York, and (I imagine, Missouri), the police are trained to use lethal weapons to administer lethal force and operate under a rule of ‘shoot to kill’, no matter what you find ‘acceptable’. He acted within the limits of Missouri law. (And Brown repeatedly disregarded instructions to hit the ground).

  • Scott


    You commentary is so disappointing for any number of reasons. First the evidence has been released and it is clear that the officer was defending himself from a man who was intent on causing the officer bodily harm. Your continuing to push the manta that somehow the young man was killed aka murdered will do nothing but inflame passions. Our Lord said the truth will set you free. Yes there are people who feel oppressed and there are many who continue to experience racisim. But ignoring the truth of the facts in this case to inflame passion is not going to help the situation. The truth sets people free, not bias and not irrational emotive responses.

  • Scott

    @ Max
    1. unarmed people shoudl never be shot – said by someone who has never put their life on the line for someone else or who lives in a fantasy world.
    2. ambulance shoudl be called – said by someone who has no experience of how to investigate a crime scene.
    3. use a taser – said by someone with no experience in policing. Tasers are not effective in many situations.
    4. Sue..sue…sue… no problem with that as long as they stick to the facts of hte evidence adn the truth wins out.
    5. voting – correct – everyone shoudl vote but with reasoned positions and not emotive reactionary hype.

  • Scott

    Having a trial when the evidence indicates the officer is not guilty but was defending himself from someone intent on causing him bodily harm IS NOT JUSTICE. You do not want justice, you want to exert power based on emotive response. You want revenge.

  • Tim

    Larry, you are ignorant. 5 (read FIVE) bullets did not stop him. Why would you be so silly to think that a nightstick or a flashlight would? You may want to think before you post next time….

  • Tim

    Robbi, very well-written comment. I wish that people would review the facts before deciding who’s right and who’s wrong. This was unfortunate, but the emotional aftermath is too. Praying for healing, but healing will only come through truth.

  • Dave V

    Disclaimer: I am not “African-American” or “Black.”

    Christians don’t make excuses for their behavior.

    But Black Christians and Black non-Christians do!

    “We used to be slaves.”

    “Racism against us dominates our very existence.”

    While the “Black Community” is so filled with IMMORALITY, VICE AND VIOLENCE COMMITTED BY “AFRICAN-AMERICANS” it staggers the imagination.

    In other Christian words: Cast the log out of your “Black” eyes, and then come and get the logs out of our non-Black eyes.

    Like it or not, Michael Brown set into motion the event that got him killed, because he violated the rights of another human being and of society at large.

    Brown DID COMMIT a crime. And excusing that away by saying ” that he didn’t deserve the death penalty?” is not being honest to the reality of what got him killed.

    Blaming everything on the Police (or policeman) is furthering injustice.

    And doesn’t the author of this blog call that “evil?”

    Why yes, she does.

  • Scott

    @ Larry,

    Check your facts. Wilson was not issued a Tazer. All officers in all departments are trained in a basic tactic, that is someone is using force to cause bodily harm to the officer or someone else, you go up one step in lethality based on what you have on you. He did not have a tazer issued to him, so the next step up was his side arm.

  • Scott

    @ Larry,

    Said by someone who obviously has never put his life on the line for anyone else or been in a situation where his life was threatened.

  • Mick

    Did the Ferguson Police Department issue tazers? That would be my first question.

  • Sissy

    I, too believe this article is complete nonsense. My white son has aspergers and behaves inappropriately a lot of the time. Still, if he were to charge a police officer, after robbing a store, I would NOT pull the “special needs” card! The officer has to act with the facts he has, if he were to lay back because, who knows what the assailant may be “dealing with”, then he will have to answer for letting the assailant go, and the damage that the assailant continues to cause. He’s darned either way….My prayers go out to officers who face this dilemma!

  • Jack

    It’s a sad fact that there are people among us like Laura Turner who put ideology and emotions and wanting to be cool ahead of the demands of honesty, reality, and justice.

    Granted, it’s tempting to dismiss her article by saying she’s just an immature kid who’s got a head filled with radical-left ideology and political correctness, with little room left for common sense.

    But the bottom line is that if she’s old enough to write an article, she is old enough to be responsible for what she writes.

  • Jack

    Supporting the demands of a mob backed by a corrupt and powerful media against a lone small-town cop who defended his life against a vicious criminal is anything but “speaking truth to power.”

    It is an atrocity committed against truth on behalf of power.

  • Michael

    What is with Whites who even before the evidence has been heard, support Black criminals? Has the Anti White Marxist conditioning sunk in that deeply into our society?

  • Jack

    Tammy, what is unfair is to judge the Michael Brown/Officer Wilson case on anything else but the facts. Your post explains why many black people might have initially sided with Brown over Wilson. Understood. But it does not explain why anyone would be unmoved by the facts when the facts suggested that this didn’t fit the old narrative of white cop abusing black kid.

    Justice, in order to be itself, must be color-blind. The justice system in America was hardly color-blind. It favored whites over blacks. That being the case, how can the answer be to favor a guilty black person over an innocent white person? Is that not equally bad? In both cases, justice is being crucified.

    By supporting Brown over Wilson simply because Brown was black and Wilson white, blacks who do so prove that victimhood does not confer virtue. It suggests that black people can be just as hate-filled and unjust and cruel as white people. It suggests that people of all colors are enemies of the truth and need the same Savior who died for them all.

  • Jack

    Marxism is indeed part of what’s behind the radicalization of both whites and blacks in our society.

    Somehow I doubt that Laura Turner even knows what Marxism is. She probably thinks it’s the name of a cool new rock band. So I doubt she comes to her views through a conscious embrace of Marxism.

    But unthinking people like Laura naturally pick up bits and pieces of Marxist thought, such that it is, through osmosis. People like her go to college, listen to some aging prof stuck in a 1960s time warp, or some Obama-aged prof who wishes they were old enough to have experienced that era, and simply buy what they’re selling. Maybe the prof is “cute,” maybe he represents rebellion against her “fundamentalist” parents — whatever the case may be, by the time people like her graduate, they’re spouting Marx without even knowing who Marx was or what he believed.

  • Jack

    If I were her prof and grading her piece, I would dismiss it immediately as devoid of meaningful content and tell her that fact-free articles are worthless to readers. I would take exquisite care to make sure that Ms. Turner understood that beyond that, it was no more worth discussing than the croaks of a cricket frog.

    Unfortunately, given the limitless space afforded by the Internet, articles like Turner’s have to be taken with some seriousness because there’s always someone somewhere who will publish them.

    The dilemma is clear. Once such articles are posted, they can’t just go unanswered. And yet to answer them is to give them a dignity they don’t deserve.

  • Jack

    Talking about Laura Turner having “counterarguments” lends a dignity to her thought processes that appears to be unmerited. It would be like asking a chipmunk to opine on Austrian school economics.

  • Jack

    Tom, I will go farther than that: Christians mourning this decision are an example of the failure of churches to encourage critical thinking of any kind.

    And that is a supreme irony, since most of the great critical thinkers of the past 20 centuries in every field, including the founders of modern science, have been committed, thoughtful Christians.

    To move from Isaac Newton and CS Lewis to the nitwits whom this web site regularly features is like falling off a very steep cliff.

  • Jack

    Yikes …A white supremacist anti-Semite responding to a self-hating evangelical spouting Marxist drivel.

    Hopefully this is not a glimpse into our society’s future.

  • Jack

    Art Deco, I obviously agree. I would add that if Laura Turner is what the evangelical establishment is turning out these days, perhaps it’s time for grassroots evangelicals to start new movements (yet again), thus doing an end-around these empty-headed, conformist, feckless blockheads.

  • Jack

    No, triage, the difference is that trash can be recycled. This “article” is unsalvageable. It is a marriage of arrogance to ignorance, producing a stillborn piece that’s as dead as a doornail.

  • Jack

    So according to Laura Turner, if we think critically and attend to the evidence in a case, and come to the same conclusion as a grand jury did, we are not good Christians.

    But if we commit intellectual and moral suicide and join angry, irrational mobs of brainwashed people spouting Marxist nonsense, we are, according to Laura, good Christians?

    I don’t think so.

  • Jack

    Not a Fan, I wouldn’t be surprised if your prediction turns out to be right, but I doubt Ms.Turner has “superior friends” in any sense of that phrase. She is a wannabe, though, which tells you all you need to know about what’s motivating her.

  • Jack

    Earold Gunter, I didn’t read anything in Sarah’s post that suggests that she denies Laura’s right to say whatever she wants to say. She was simply critiquing what Laura said, exactly as you are critiquing what Sarah said.

    It’s childish to respond to criticism by accusing the critic of opposing the freedom to speak.

  • Jack

    In other words, Max knows more than the grand jury which looked at all the available facts.

    His belief that he does represents the marriage of arrogance to ignorance that is all too prevalent in loony left circles these days.

  • Oh, she’s a clergyman’s daughter, so maybe it’s just the nomenklatura at work.

    One thing I liked about Charles Colson: the man was never photographed with a creepy Ipana smile. You see it again and again on the mug of prominent evangelicals (see Russell Moore).

  • Jack

    Agreed. Maybe it’s because Colson was a New Yorker. Okay, I’m biased in their favor, given that I grew up there.

    Her being a clergyman’s daughter fits with what we’ve been saying. She wants the world to know she’s not one of THOSE people…..

  • samhiram

    This has to do more with a faulty system than this one case…It is a systemic oppression and the lack of empathy or the obvious racial historical roots of such oppression, is what surprises me about the continual justification or wishful thinking that our laws are being applied equally. Racism exists. Racism is about power and oppression, and unless one is bravely willing to put themselves in the shoes of the powerless and question the power of authority, one will always justify a system that works for some and not for others.

  • samhiram

    Leftist political diatribe, to consider that authority, as a collective institutions, couldn’t possibly abuse its power. How arrogant to believe this when history show that the worst atrocities and oppression oftentimes occurs at the hands of the State, and usually against those who are voiceless.

  • samhiram

    Christians not mourning this decision would be another sad example of their inability to look at the evidence of oppression against the black community, the high rates of incarceration, the unequal application of law, the historical nature of institutional racism, the church’s complacency and its alignment with power, and its lack of empathy, a supposed christian characteristic widely missing from its continual pollyanna view of society.

  • samhiram

    The insult Sarah is that the ‘fire’ has been ignited by an oppressive system for quite some time now. I don’t see anything in this article that incites violence but instead encourages empathy. I think people like yourself are fearful to admit the system’s flaws and to acknowledge that we all support this violence in one way or another by ignoring the fact that a larger and corrupt system is at play here, and that the militaristic culture of law enforcement, much of it rooted in this idea of Christian Nationalistic Favoritism, is at work here, and less as to whether we can apply that perfect law-abiding morality to this young black man who got shot in this part of racist america

  • samhiram

    Your second point: yes..poor whites Paul, being oppressed by a historically racist system. Third: black officers are integrated into an oppressive system. Whether an officer is black or white, the culture of militarization and bullying is the same. It’s a racist ‘institution’. Black officers are like the black right-hand servants of the slave owners, that’s all. They’re there to oppress their own and have people like you enforce you idea that racism doesn’t exist and that the system is evenhanded. eratypp

  • I think Colson was a Boston native, and lived in New England until he was in his mid-20s.

  • Jack

    Samhiram, how would anything you just said justify prosecuting a police officer whom the grand jury found was defending himself against a bullying thug who (1) robbed a convenient store, tossing the little clerk around like a rag doll; (2) refused to obey orders to refrain from walking in the middle of the street; (3) charged at the cop like a raging bull, and (4) tried to wrest the cop’s gun out of his hand so he could shoot him?

    To elevate black thugs and sociopaths to saintly status or to make lame excuses for their misdeeds is to insult the vast majority in the black community who are law-abiding. It is itself a kind of racism. What is needed is for society to communicate to the law-abiding majority that we have their back and that sociopaths who terrorize them in their own neighborhoods will not be tolerated but will end up in jail or in a pine box.

  • samuelhiram

    …..because there is ample proof that the system, as all systems aligned to power have proven, does not work for certain sectors of our society. It’s very simple…I don’t trust the system, I think the system is biased and a huge sector is aligned to our racist tradition and the continual oppression of those who cannot (not WILL not) participate in a system that favors those who have generationally acquired power. So I look at those you deem ‘thugs’ and see more than the simplistic ‘they choose’ this or they ‘weren’t raised right’ sort of arguments, but understand we people are affected by the environment as well and that the environment is made up of systems…human systems….flawed human systems…that in my book and in many others’, can and are COLLECTIVELY Sociopathic…Of course, it’s more difficult to point out sociopathic systems because they seem orderly and ‘moral’, as compared to a young man acting like a ‘thug.’ Well, systems such as our militaristic police are thuggish-like, collectively, are bullish and yes…are capable of murder….So no…I don’t just look at individual choices, but also look at how we as a society affect others because we are connected, believe it or not, and we are still connected to our violent and racist past which, by the way, was also systematic. I do not see people as animals…Not even cops. I see them as flawed beings following a system, a culture of violence that is bred out of our militarization, our fanatical nationalism and GOD!

  • samuelhiram

    Jack…to elevate yourself as a critical thinker over those who mourn the death of a young black man, actually shows you have a deep seeded pride rooted in a superiority complex, all the while assuming that Newton and CS Lewis would stand right by your side. If you know anything about Christianity, and the beauty of it in our country, is that there have been many Christians who have stood against injustices….(which you’ll probably, and very simplistically, label liberals)…Things are a little more complex, Jack…

  • Jack

    Samuelhiram, perhaps you should read more carefully before responding to others’ postings. I did not say we should not mourn the death of Michael Brown. I said we should not mourn the grand jury’s decision. It is crystal clear to anyone dedicated to facts that it made the right decision, but that doesn’t erase the fact that Brown’s death was a tragedy.

    But thank you for unwittingly highlighting my point about the lack of critical thinking.

  • Jack

    Samhiram, again, what you are saying has nothing whatsoever to do with whether the grand jury decision was right or wrong. Based on your logic, the decision should have been to indict the officer regardless of whether he deserved it or not. That would be, by definition, a deep offense against justice based on any normal definition of the word.

  • Jack

    Art Deco, you’re right. Colson was from Boston. Thanks for the correction.

  • Anna B.

    Opposed to many of the opinions shared in reaction to your post on the recent Ferguson Case, I believe that you are 100% right in your reaction to this circumstance. Removing yourself from the nonsense that is constantly portrayed behind radical opinions with little background knowledge on the subject was necessary to dissecting this highly controversial topic. Relating this issue to religious morals, rather than as well as political thoughts surrounding this trial was crucial here, and although there clearly is much backlash surrounding your choice to tie your personal political values, they are necessary to the further analysis of this trial.
    On the other hand, I disagree with your choice to do such large categorizations of mass amounts of people. Not all Christians “celebrated” Darren Wilson’s death (clearly, due to the influx of comments on this post), yet there may be truth behind your statement about conservative Christians “missing the forest in the trees” after the results of this trial. By grouping people by their race, religious beliefs, etc you’re adding to this never-ending fire that is presiding throughout the issues that we’re constantly facing in this country.

  • samhiram

    Yes Jack. He should have been indicted. And eye for an eye….Unjust systems are being protected and in order to crack that protection, it is necessary to rip the bullying police culture from its root, one by one.

  • Betsie

    Jack, judging by the number of times you’ve commented on this opinion piece, you’ve clearly found it worth your time to provide multiple answers. You took the call to respond seriously indeed. Good thing you’ve been afforded limitless comments as well!

  • Jess
  • I agree completely. Why would RNS allowed such petty garbage on their site.