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Woman Sues Cop for Caring About Her Soul


Perhaps Ellen Bogan is hopeful that one day her name will be synonymous with Rosa Parks, or even Harriet Tubman.  Maybe she believes that one day her “courage” will lead others to erect a monument to her right there along U.S. 27 in Union County, Indiana, and dub her the “Moses of her people.”  That’s the non-churchgoing people.

Because according to the most recent asinine and frivolous lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, this one on behalf of Ms. Bogan, she was subjected to the oppressive and tyrannical hand of a police officer who cared about her soul.

Yes, that is seriously why she’s suing.

And as much as I’d love to pass it off as just a loony lady combined with the typical buffoonery of the ACLU, when I look at the way the media is covering this story, it’s apparently not just her and her sue-happy anti-Christian lawyers who have the problem.

In reporting on this lawsuit for the Indianapolis Star, Jill Disis first startles readers with the chilling details of this heinous crime:

Ellen Bogan expects police to protect and serve — not proselytize.

But she says Indiana State Police Trooper Brian Hamilton pitched Christianity to her when he pulled her over for an alleged traffic violation in August on U.S. 27 in Union County.

With the lights on his marked police car still flashing, the trooper handed Bogan a warning ticket. Then, Bogan said, Hamilton posed some personal questions.

Did she have a home church?

Did she accept Jesus Christ as her savior?

“It’s completely out of line and it just — it took me aback,” Bogan, 60, told The Indianapolis Star.

Wait, wait…he gave her a warning?!  That makes this complaint all the worse.  Listen, if I’m deserving of a couple hundred dollar ticket for speeding and the officer gives me a warning, he can ask me whatever personal questions he wants.  He can asks me how many times I was dumped in high school, if I ever smoked marijuana, if I’ve had a vasectomy.  Whatever.  But apparently the ungrateful Bogan was just too hurt by these unnerving questions like, “Do you know of this guy named Jesus?”  Isn’t it amazing – the guy hasn’t walked the earth for 2,000 years and yet the mere mention of His name still intimidates the snot out of people?

Bogan and the ACLU-IN have filed the lawsuit against Trooper Hamilton claiming that – get this – Bogan’s First and Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the officer.  The First Amendment prohibits the Congress of the United States from establishing a national church that everyone is compelled to attend.  The Fourth Amendment prevents the federal government from engaging in unreasonable searches and seizures of a person’s house, papers and effects.

See what I mean?  A stupid lawsuit.

So needless to say, at this point of the Star’s report, I find myself counting on Jill Disis to inject some common sense and rationality into the story.  I find myself disappointed:

The lawsuit raises questions about when it’s appropriate for a police officer to speak about his faith. If the allegations in this case are true, legal experts said, a violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause appears to be clear.

Clear?  Seriously?  Not to brag or anything, but I emerged from graduate school with a perfect academic record and a Masters in Political Science, having written my Masters Thesis on the meaning of the First Amendment no less.  And how this action of Trooper Hamilton even comes close to violating the establishment clause is far from clear to me.

But I’m in luck.  Apparently assuming that there would be ignorant boobs like me incapable of figuring out this clear violation, Disis and the Star trot out one they deem an “expert” on such matters – Professor Jennifer Drobac from the IU School of Law in Indianapolis:

“The most important thing for people to understand is that the First Amendment specifies that the government shall not prefer one religion over another religion, or religious adherence over anything else,” said Jennifer Drobac, a professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis who has studied religion and government.

With all due respect, I’m not so sure that she has.  Oh I think she’s studied and learned the liberal professorial spin on religion and government, but I’m fairly confident from reading her statement that in the course of her “studies,” she never actually examined the First Amendment itself.  Why?

Because her statement is not even close to being compatible with what the Founders saw as the meaning of that amendment.  The First specifically states, “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.”  It says nothing about government (or its officers) not preferring one religion over another.  Nothing.  Liberals like Ms. Drobac have done a spectacular job rewriting the document in the minds of our culture so that way too many (including reporters for the Indy Star) believe that it does.  But reading the First Amendment as it is written and as it was intended, there is nothing there to condemn the actions of Trooper Hamilton.  But Drobac was relentless in her mindless drivel:

“The police officer is representing the government … so that means, as a representative, this person, while on duty, while engaged in official action, is basically overstepping and is trying to establish religion.”

Hogwash.  This is what is so crazy.  Why would the Star even print this?  Are we really this stupid as a society that we’re going to pretend that kind of a statement even makes sense?  Why would a responsible reporter for a responsible news agency not be taken aback by the ignorance of such a comment?  Why isn’t there any kind of hesitation to print such a ludicrous leap of logic as, “Trooper Hamilton asking a woman if she has a home church is the legal equivalent to the Congress of the United States establishing a national denomination and compelling the citizenry to follow”?

This case, as currently being challenged on the basis of a First and Fourth Amendment violation, is insane.  But the media does us all a tremendous disservice by refusing to illustrate it as such.  And further, their unwillingness to appropriately turn the tables on Ms. Bogan only encourages and facilitates even more grievance-mongering attention seekers to follow in her footsteps.

Wouldn’t responsible coverage of this situation be to depict it for what it really is?  Wouldn’t it be appropriate to point out that Ms. Bogan is wanting to ensure that a man who showed her mercy (sparing her a legally deserved three-digit fine) and then expressed genuine concern for the well being of her eternal soul, loses his job and his livelihood?

Apparently not to the Indianapolis Star.  They’d prefer to wrongly and unfairly paint the police officer as the jerk.


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