Notice the full tactical gear worn and the defiant body language of the police in the video below as the pastor talks to them.
Also, near the end check out what appears to be either a one finger gesture or a “gang” sign flashed by the officer with a beard, at side of his head facing the pastor seemingly directed towards the pastor.
Notice the expression on the officer on left with sunglasses and the wide legged stance—this kind of intimidating behavior among law enforcement officers is very disturbing to me.
To their credit the 12+ of the Lakeland police officers at the Lakeland Drag Queen Event, which was open to children 9-years old and under, back on August 13th, 2023 were not wearing intimidating full tactical gear.
Three of them stood amongst the crowd; four stood across the street watching us and the remainder stood in a group in the shade of the front of an adjacent building talking. I don’t know how many were actually on official duty and how many were “moonlighting” but it was in the middle of the afternoon (1:00 – 3:00 p.m.).
This many officers did seem like too many to me.
I agree with the following comments of John Lynn, Chair of the Polk County Chapter of the Republican Liberty Caucus,
I had this same type of conversation with some of the City of Lakeland Police Officers who were on duty at the last Drag Show in Lakeland a few short weeks ago. I encouraged them to, on moral grounds, respectfully refuse any future calls to work these kinds of events. I asked if they had children of their own and would they approve of their children, if for instance, an ex spouse were taking their child to a Drag Show. I pray they clearly understood that they have a biblical responsibility as instruments of good (see link) to obey God rather than man. As believers in Christ we are to obey laws unless they are in conflict with God’s Word. This also applies to each and every elected official on the City Commission. There is no more clear violation of God’s Law than harming these little ones (Luke 17:2) when allowed to attend an Adult Entertainment venue such as a Drag Show.
©2023. Royal A. Brown III. All rights reserved.
Enjoy being defenseless against carjacking, home invasion, rape, and murder… pic.twitter.com/48MRqhzLZQ
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) September 22, 2023
It’s fairly well known that God gave a set of laws and with it guidelines for the enforcement of those laws. Not only did the Mosaic Law define sin, but it specified penalties for those who broke the Law. Any law is essentially meaningless without enforcement. The people in Bible times may not have had a police force as we think of one today, but they definitely had those who promoted justice by enforcing the law. The Bible’s references to watchmen (Ezekiel 33:6), armed guards (Nehemiah 4:13), and judges (Ezekiel 44:24 and the whole book of Judges) could be seen as examples of law enforcement.
God is a God of justice (Deuteronomy 32:4), and He demands justice of His people: “Follow justice and justice alone” (Deuteronomy 16:20). This command implies the necessity of law enforcement. God has always given the responsibility of enforcing the law (and thereby maintaining justice) to man. “Defend the weak and the fatherless; / uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. / Rescue the weak and the needy; / deliver them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:3–4).
Romans 13 deals with submission to government authorities, and the same passage is instructive on the purpose of law enforcement and police work: “Rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. . . . The one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:3–4). Police officers or peace officers represent the “rulers” mentioned in this passage and extend their authority.
Therefore, a Christian involved in law enforcement or police work is doing a good and godly thing. The police officer who enforces the just law of the land should consider himself or herself God’s servant and, toward the lawbreaker, an agent of God’s wrath sent to keep the peace. One of the most important jobs of every police officer is the restraint of evil in society—a dangerous career, a noble calling, and a profession congruent with a biblical desire for justice and righteousness.