Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Protesting Too Much

Weakness of Idols on Display

Auckland has seen another violent protest by the same old faces.  This time it is protesting against free trade agreements.  The NZ Police took the brunt of the assault.  This from the NZ Herald
Police have condemned "violent" protesters who attacked two police officers and set fire to cardboard boxes as they tried to force their way into free trade negotiations.  A handful of police and SkyCity security staff were overwhelmed by more than 150 protesters, forcing the on-the-ground commander to call in reinforcements from around Auckland.

"Police staff moved in to prevent escalation and two officers were separated, attacked and kicked numerous times. Fire appliances were called to the scene to help," police said in a statement. "Two arrests were made. One of these arrests was a female that stomped on a constables head."
The usual suspects attended: John Minto (perpetual, serial, promiscuous protestor), Jane Kelsey (lecturer, Auckland University), Cathy Casey (Auckland City Councillor), Catherine Delahunty (Green MP) along with the mob.

Now in a rule-of-law democracy the only lawful way to propound convictions and arguments is by those means which respect the persons and property of your opponents.  The only successful way is to persuade a majority of voters to embrace your point of view.  When people resort to violence and seek to force, not persuade, people at least two things are happening.

The first is that the proponents of violence and lawbreaking believe the cause they represent is such a clear and present danger that normal rules do not apply.  Violence is legitimate and destruction of other peoples' property is acceptable.  Such provocateurs are madmen.  They are revolutionaries.  Even if they were correct they are not the one's charged with taking that decision and binding us all to its consequences. 

The second thing going on is that the violent, unlawful protest brigade are not really sure of their arguments nor the strength of their case nor their ability to succeed.  One facile way to cover this deficiency is to deflect attention away from the actual issues to the passion and zeal and commitment of the protesters as a means to make the issues appear momentous and, thereby, legitimate. 

This may have some traction amongst some for a time, but not now.  The tactic of unlawful violence is a double edged sword.  The same tired old names keep cropping up, protesting violently and publicly against so many causes that the public see little more than artifice in the passion and anger.  Now their passion serves only to undermine credibility.

We Christians are used to protest.  We protest against so much that secular humanism imposes upon us, employing its soft-despotism to crush out opponents and those who disagree.  But we are constrained in all we do by the law of God: respect for fellow-men and their property is at the heart of the law of the Covenant.  We are also protected from thinking that desperate times call for lawbreaking, since Christians have an eschatology of ultimate victory.  The Lord of lords does reign over all the kings and all the peoples of the earth. Ultimate triumph is assured.  

How the John Mintos of this world act betrays the impotence and weakness of the idols they serve.  It demonstrates that in their hearts they know it to be so.  Therefore, they believe it appropriate to give their idols a helping hand by a bit of force and violence. 

For our part, we trust that the prosecution against those who assaulted police officers and anyone else over the weekend at the protest against free trade will proceed apace and with the full force of the law. 

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