To borrow the Weberian phrase…

If you haven’t seen it already…go see BFP’s “state brutality is not an anomaly.” It’s spot on.

I’ve talked about distrust of the state before, in terms of a queer/trans politic, and it’s stuff like this that makes it so important. The question is not what particularly happened there, though those details are important. The question is how does modern American life depend on a police system designed to inculcate obedience through terror? How does the political/social/legal creation of an underclass serve the needs of the privileged few?

A few excerpts from The Executed God: The Way of the Cross in Lockdown America by Mark Lewis Taylor on the theology of state violence:

The phrase the executed God reminds us that the God who was bound up with the life of Jesus of Nazareth was exposed to material conditions so malignant that he was executed. Jesus did not die accidentally.

Her blunt words speak more truth than perhaps she knew…”Without Rikers, the attractive lives some us lead in the nice sections of New York would not be possible.”

The spread of more vigorous and extensive police forces is a key example. The forces know how to wield technology and drama to control neighborhoods….The very spectacle of forces, the entrancing and awesome show, helped create acceptance of repressive paramilitary tactics.

Police, and the prison-industrial complex which they serve have become tools of terror. If we are comfortable, it is because we have told ourselves that we exist on the right side of the law. But when the law is lawless, there is no safety…and we has chased after an idol.

May we seek the mercy of the Jesus of the prisoners, the persecuted, the rebels, the campesinos, the migrants, and the alien.