Myopia is nearsightedness, and it “is the most common refractive error of the eye…If you are nearsighted, you typically will have difficulty reading road signs and seeing distant objects clearly.” But there is another form of nearsightedness: seeing the items right under your nose, but missing the truly significant items in the distance. That nearsightedness can bring disaster. One example occurred this Thursday in the Baltimore City Council.
“The consent decree just approved on Thursday … cements into place the next step toward a virtual federal takeover of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD).
The U.S. government illegally and unconstitutionally investigated those charges, concluding that something must be done. Under implied threats, the consent decree was born, with obligations and mandates and changes to be enforced by a federal judge.” And sadly Baltimore is not the first city to surrender to Federal tyranny. “During the Obama administration, similar consent decrees have been implemented in 15 cities, including New Orleans, Oakland, Los Angeles, and Albuquerque.”
The actions of the City Council were myopic in this regard. When the police powers are not directly accountable to the people, which our State Constitution requires, history shows an inevitable record - the God given rights of the people will not be protected by the police. When the local police nationalize, history shows they become the tools of tyranny and the people are helpless to stop it, especially when they have been previously disarmed and thereby rendered unable to protect themselves. Study the history of the Gestapo, or the Red Terror of NKVD (Soviet secret police), or The Tiananmen Square massacre, along with multiple examples where hundreds of millions were murdered by their own government using the nationalized police to kill them.
The Twentieth Century was the bloodiest century in all of history; but the two World Wars and numerous violent, bloody revolutions did not even contribute to the largest number of deaths.
“Let's start with a number: 262 million. That's the number of unarmed people the late Prof. R. J. Rummel estimated governments murdered in mass killings he termed 'democide' during the 20th century. 'This democide murdered 6 times more people than died in combat in all the foreign and internal wars of the century,' he wrote.
Unsurprisingly, the bloodiest body count was run up by totalitarian regimes, though authoritarians were busy stacking up the corpses, too, if in smaller piles. Democracies were also responsible for unjustifiable deaths, especially in subduing resistance in their colonial possessions (think: Belgian Congo) and in indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets during wars (think: Hiroshima), but to a far lesser degree than Communists, Nazis, and overdecorated generalissimos….So keeping any sort of government on a short leash is just good sense.”
It is myopic not to do so.
Now you might think, not to worry, a police state wouldn’t trouble you, after all, you are a law-abiding patriotic citizen. But think of this, “Heritage Foundation warns that 'the number of criminal offenses in the U.S. Code increased from 3,000 in the early 1980s to 4,000 by 2000 to over 4,450 by 2008., [currently at over 22 million words and that is not to mention the Federal Regulations created by administrative edict].'” Those laws, originally limited to obvious crimes, now touch on areas of life that most people would never guess to be of interest to prosecutors and law enforcement officers.
Civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate made a similar point in his 2009 book, Three Felonies a Day. He says that laws have not only proliferated, but they're applied in unpredictable and arbitrary ways, so that it's virtually impossible for Americans to avoid subjecting themselves to potential arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment. That's to say, you can break a law by accident, and end up behind bars…Radley Balko wrote 2013's Rise of the Warrior Cop to document the increasingly military-style weapons, attitudes, and tactics of the nation's police forces as they enforce those myriad laws and keep the prisons stuffed to the brim. Last year he wrote ‘too many cops today have been conditioned to see the people they serve not as citizens with rights, but as an enemy.’
I believe that history teaches it is extremely myopic to hand over the local police powers to a centralized government authority. But there are many other examples of myopia; consider how most people live their lives. They study hard to achieve the degrees and certifications to find a good job. They put some money aside for when they reach that stage of life when they can no longer work. But as they move toward retirement, they rarely lift their eyes higher than that goal; they don’t think about their own departure from this world, and they don’t ask what lies beyond. That is myopic. This life on average lasts for seventy or eighty years, but what lies beyond that is so much greater than eighty years that the comparison is comical. Myopia about eternity is very prevalent today. Turn to Titus 1, where Paul addresses this myopia.
Titus 1:2 “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;”
Paul lived in the hope of eternity, he never let it out of his view. That perspective is what we need for ourselves, our families, our churches and our country.
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