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Reader: Denver police should have been allowed to pass out Bibles

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We're still collecting comments on Patricia Calhoun's post about an aborted plan by the Denver Police Department to allow officers to distribute Bibles.

Many of our commenters feel this would have been inappropriate, but not all. Take this reader, for instance.

Danny Gillam writes:

Way to massacre an e-mail and bend it to meet your own agenda WW. What's even more disturbing is the comments below show that your readers have not read the context of the emails at all. To quote the E-MAIL -----> "Please advise your clerks this will be happening over the next several days and make the Bibles available to the officers. Do not hand them out but let them know they are available and free for them to take if they choose to. Thank you." ---- Pretty sure this is no different than if a Muslim wanted to drop off a Quran or a Mormon the book of Mormon. Or any book for that matter. It clearly says, to let them know they're available to officers IF they want them. Not to pass them out. Not sure what the issue is. Oh and for those quoting "Separation of Church and State" - please go do some actual research and find out what Thomas Jefferson wanted to ensure when he wrote ---- "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." I don't see a law here or a congressional act. You need to do a better job of educating your readers and researching your articles.

For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.


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34 comments
Amelia Ebert
Amelia Ebert

Maybe they should just stop with beating up innocent people....Obviously these Christian morals have missed the Denver Police. The Police should read the bibles themselves. Just sayin.

Samuel Walter
Samuel Walter

The police absolutely should not be allowed to pass out Bibles on duty, even if it's completely voluntary. Police are paid by the taxpayer, and any such religious endorsement while being paid to perform the duties of their job is a violation of the Establishment clause of the Constitution.

Betel Eli Guese
Betel Eli Guese

You guys hiring. I have some great controversial stuff for ya. Horrible speller but so is lois lane.

Betel Eli Guese
Betel Eli Guese

wow even the commentators on this didnt read the article. There are to many words. So im just gonna rant and complain with to many words.

Bengy Martinez
Bengy Martinez

Humm... They should consider reading it for them selves first. In order to properly share something with someone. You should have an idea about it.

Ryan Davis
Ryan Davis

Why stop at bibles? Pass out Koran's, Torah's and comic books.

Stephanie Sarad
Stephanie Sarad

lets stick to separation of church and state. No bibles passed out and you can name your child Messiah. come on now.

Fred Kaplan
Fred Kaplan

I believe that rather than passing bibles out or making them available, some of the officers should be reading them. Perhaps if the officers read them there would be less fraud, and abuse to the citizens of Denver by a few of them.

Chris Vann
Chris Vann

Only if they hand out the Quran, Torah, Vedas etc. as well. This is a diverse country, not just an anglo Christian one...

Michael Beckerman
Michael Beckerman

That's one of the biggest problems with religions in general still today. They are always trying to be stuck in somewhere that they clearly don't belong, by someone. We don't need bibles or any other religious books any where near our government - not at the city, state or national level. Same goes for businesses as well. Keep religion as far away from business as humanly possible too. History has taught us very well the kinds of problems that can be created when you let religion intermix with government and business. We need to learn from those mistakes of the past and be smart enough not to repeat them.

Chad Kreutzer
Chad Kreutzer

Nope. "Making available" still counts as endorsement by a government entity. And while in theory, DPD could then "make available" any other holy book that an officer might want, that's cumbersome and unnecessary. The easiest, most logical, and likely to keep DPD out of trouble is to just not make any religious material officially "available."

James Gold
James Gold

If people want or need a bible, I'm pretty sure they'd be able to find one. There's absolutely no justifiable reason why officers of the law should have them for hand outs.

Kristina Gorman
Kristina Gorman

I think they should , if the peson's don't want it simply decline

Casey Killian
Casey Killian

I actually have no problem with this I was just being a smart ass. I'm agnostic so I think the bibles a complete joke and about as credible as a Disney movie but I couldn't care less who reads it an where they drop em it doesn't affect me in the least.

DougHubka
DougHubka

The Police Department was correct in not allowing this to happen. It could easily get into a division between who picked up Bibles ( The Truly Christians) and who didn't ( The Pagan Atheists). And then the Police Department would get sued and be forced to make copies of The Torah and the Koran available, and then they would get to quarrel about having Westword or the Wall Street Journal available. It was a correct decision to avoid all of this and let the Police Department manage it's own affairs.

kanthalion
kanthalion

It seems to me, even simply "making available for officers to take" would be tacit endorsement of the Bible by DPD, potentially creating an uncomfortable work environment for non Christian officers and encouraging Christian ones to explicitly bring their faith into their work. Quite aside from already violating the national Constitution, this violates the Colorado Constitution which states: "Nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship." 

Danny Gillam
Danny Gillam

Patricia, I'd love to know what the issue is exactly that you have with this. Your article is so bent and doesn't actually address the issue at hand which is whether or not Gideons or ANY person can come to a PD and drop off a box of any BOOK. Nothing was said about actually handing them out. Why do this to your credibility when anyone who actually read the emails will know you've bent the truth and spun it to be something it's not. The emails are pretty clear yet your titles are clearly misleading your readers. Pretty ridiculous that you're actually a good writer with zero reading comprehension.

bigtentent
bigtentent

Bad Idea.  Why the Bible?  Was Mein Kampf out at the warehouse?  NEVER a good idea for cops to be identified with any one creation myth.  Leads to Ulster and Beirut....  Of course, higher thinking never a police strong suit....

Danny Gillam
Danny Gillam

I agree Casey, nothing wrong with that at all. After all, they weren't passing out Bibles, they were making them available but yet again DW incorrectly titles their article. Nothing was ever said about passing around or handing out Bibles. Just making them "available" no different than they are at jails and hotels. No harm done to anyone's liberties but you'd never know that from a DW article because they slant their articles to meet their agendas.

Tracey Nichols
Tracey Nichols

We have many churches n a cpl mosques n synagouges.. they can direct ppl to those institutions for guidance..ALONG WITH A LIST OF OTHER CHARITABLE ORGS... where is it written that police can preach??? We pay them to serve n protect! This is not cool... even the battered womens shelters use sociology/psychology n civics to save lives.. no amnt of preaching can turn a man/woman from crime until he/she finds the REAL cause of why he/she engages in crime/drugs to begin with! Dysfunction needs to be addressed in mental health institutions and faith based institutions.... OF WHICH THE POLICE FORCE IS NEITHER! If u truly want to help somebody MAKE A REAL REHAB N QUIT SENDING THEM TO PRIVATELY FUNDED JAILS (where they meet MORE thugs n conditions worsen) MENTAL HEALTH IS WHATS NEEDED.. w/o a stable mind a man/woman can't even make a clear decision to get "saved"... he MUST hv REHAB FIRST! (I know this through experience, the church almost got me killed in a DV situation, THANK GOD FOR DENVER SAFEHOUSE.. who left my faith out of the equation n dealt with me PSYCHOLOGICALLY) NO! NO BIBLES OR QURANS ON THE FORCE!! (next thing we know we will hv to equalize it and police will be shoving books from 100 differing religions at us INSTEAD of directing us to places that SPECIALIZE in the psyche!!

Casey Killian
Casey Killian

As long as "On The Origin Of Species" is available too. If they want a bible just give em a coloring book and 15 min before nap time.

Steve Paradise
Steve Paradise

So the denver police will beat you into submission with a bible /hell no

LindaLee Law
LindaLee Law

Why don;'t they give one to everyone instead of just the cops. As a Catholic this would bother me ; Since when do the Gideons think their WORD is better then the rest. Maybe the Jews needs to drop copies of the Torah and God forbid we don't include the Koran. And I think the cops are mature enough to get their spiritual needs taken care of without the

Nikki Zwijacz
Nikki Zwijacz

That would be nice handing out Bibles instead a occasional twisting of a arm or other body parts! Anotherwords no CRIME HAS BEEN COMMITTED! sheesh!

Jordan Snyder
Jordan Snyder

This is ridiculous because the DPD was never talking about handing bibles out to citizens. It was about whether or not the Gideons could drop off a box of bibles for cops to take one if they wanted. Most astounding is that I seem to be the first person to point this out.

StillMM2
StillMM2

Danny Gillam  clearly needs to do a better job educating himself on how establishment clause case law has turned out, but I doubt he will do any such thing.  He'll just scream louder about how technically correct he is, rather than think of the fact that an armed agent of the government is trying to convert people to a religion.

patricia.calhoun
patricia.calhoun moderator editortopcommenter

@Danny Gillam 

if you read the original DPD e-mail, it reported that the Gideon's organization said it had a letter of okay from the City Attorney's office. No such letter exists. So someone either lied or someone got confused...but either way, the DPD did not ask for a copy of the letter. That would seem pretty basic -- especially since the City Attorney's office did nix the proposed distribution once it learned of it.

dannygillam
dannygillam

@StillMM2 Again, read the comment, read the email, and understand that I am not for the govt converting anyone(in fact very against it) but there was NOTHING in this email about police distributing Bibles to anyone.  Just making them available to officers.  Could have made any book available.  Who cares.

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