PARKER: Being “in the game” with officers is one way to honor them

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I was proud and moved to attend the opening ceremony at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, commemorating National Police Week.

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President John F. Kennedy signed the proclamation in 1962, declaring May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that day occurs as National Police Week.

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It seems another strange and disturbing irony that the president who wanted to institute a national day and week to commemorate police officers who did their duty is a president who was himself assassinated.

The scriptures always speak loudest to me, so the inscription on the monument from the first verses of Proverbs 28 immediately caught my eye and captivated me.

“The wicked flee when no one is pursuing them. But the righteous are as bold as a lion.”

Also noteworthy are the immediately following verses that do not appear.

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“When the land is sinful, its princes are numerous; but if there is a reasonable man who knows what is right, he will endure.”

King Solomon, the author of Book of Proverbs, the wisest of all kings, shows the timelessness of wisdom. His words from thousands of years ago still ring true today.

In fact, in our contemporary land, “our princes are numerous.” That means the government is growing and growing.

Our debates on the debt ceiling reflect a government that has outgrown our resources. And this is happening and getting worse every day because we expect government to solve problems for which individual citizens should take personal responsibility.

As I write this, news is being reported of yet another senseless, meaningless and unnecessary act of violence and murder. Three civilians were killed and two New Mexico police officers were shot dead with a gun by a berserker. The report contains the now all too familiar words: “A motive is also currently unknown.”

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The hillthat reported the story conveys that “according to the non-profit Gun Violence Archive, the country has logged more than 200 mass shootings since the beginning of the year.”

A just and peaceful society must have an outside and an inside.

Outside, our streets are patrolled by government, law and peace officials, whom we seek to recognize and honor during National Police Week.

These incidents, which are the exception to the rule when police officers misbehave, receive disproportionate attention.

Because we have become a society where there is no longer an inside, only an outside, we are always looking for the culprits. The last place we want to look is inside.

But a society must have both an inside and an outside.

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As The Wall Street Journal According to a new poll conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, today only 39% say religion is “very important” to them, compared to 62% in 1998 who said religion was “very important”.

Only 31% of under-30s say religion is “very important”.

Unfortunately, those polls don’t ask people who say religion isn’t important how they distinguish right from wrong, or if such a thing even exists.

The “inner” rules that illuminate the light of self-government are flickering or gone altogether.

The result is the chaos we are witnessing now.

Fortunately, we still have courageous and principled men and women willing to don a uniform, patrol our cities at personal risk, and help maintain the law, order, and peace without which no society can function.

But to honor them, let’s step in and let them know we’re in the game with them.

It is not easy to restore the “inside”, the recognition of right and wrong and personal responsibility in a society where these things are being lost.

For example, when we hear politicians say that our answers lie in more government, more spending, and more politics, we know it’s time to change the channel.

Star Parker is President of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education


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