"Tim," an 11-year-old child in Arvada, Colorado, was abducted from his home at gunpoint. The perpetrators of this violent criminal act insist that it was justified by the fact that the youngster, who is under the dubious care of a "therapist" for a purported affliction called "Attention Deficit Disorder," drew a picture of himself holding a gun and making a threat against an "authority figure." Collectivist "logic" dictates that it is a "crime" for a private individual to create an artistic depiction of a violent threat, but that armed state functionaries who seize a harmless child from his parents while tacitly threatening to kill anyone who objects are acting in the child's "best interests."
Last October, reports Denver Fox affiliate KDVR, Tim "drew stick figures of himself with a gun, pointed at four other stick figures with the words `Teacher must die.'" Tim, who was told by a therapist "to draw pictures when he got upset, rather than disrupt the class," was "throwing the picture away when the teacher saw it and sent him to the principal's office." School administrators, who were aware that Tim was in "treatment" and that he had no record of violent or troublesome behavior, decided he wasn't a threat and sent him back to class.
Unfortunately, albeit predictably, the school contacted the Arvada Police Department, which insisted that the budding Thought Criminal must be subjected to official correction. Accordingly, the youngster's mother, "Jane," received a visit from the police that evening. Jane made the tragic and common mistake of assuming the best, rather than the worst, about the State's armed emissaries. So rather than telling the predators to get a warrant and then spiriting her child to safety, she allowed them to defile her home, and instructed her son to cooperate. As a result, she saw her innocent son handcuffed and hauled away in a patrol car. Tim was put in a cell, handcuffed, and charged with "interfering with staff and students at an educational facility," a third-degree misdemeanor.
Atrocities of this kind have become fairly commonplace since schools adopted "zero tolerance" programs in the wake of the 1999 Columbine massacre. (That tragedy illustrated, among other things, the consummate uselessness of SWAT teams as a means of rescuing innocent people in hostage situations.) Under the "zero tolerance" dogma, anytime an inmate of the government mind laundry displays any symptoms of "aggression," or any interest in non-State-sanctioned violence, he or she can be arrested and prosecuted for terrorism-related charges.
Thus it is that such reprobates as Lindsay Brown, a National Merit Scholar from Ft. Myers, Florida, was arrested and jailed because school authorities found a kitchen knife under the seat of her car. Two eight-year-olds in Irvington, New Jersey, were arrested for playing "cops and robbers" with paper guns. (For additional examples, see chapter four of this book.)
"That's the normal procedure in a situation like this," insisted an administrator at Tampa, Florida's Oldsmar Elementary School after a fifth-grader was arrested and dragged away in handcuffs for drawing a picture of weapons. In some cases, administrators -- who must consider themselves worthy of congratulations for their leniency -- have been known merely to suspend youngsters who engage in such civilization-imperiling behavior as making "gun gestures" with their fingers. In other jurisdictions, police have actually developed special handcuffing techniques to deal with the challenge of shackling students six years of age and younger, whose wrists are too small for normal handcuffs. Perhaps some enterprising government contractor will fill that market niche by developing a line of brightly colored "Kiddie Cuffs."
The entire purpose of government "education" is to cultivate collectivist conformity. According to the Civic Religion, each of us in his unredeemed condition is a criminal who must be reformed through the proper application of sanctified coercion. This was explained to me several years ago by Dr. Gene Stephens, an influential criminologist at the University of South Carolina who has been an adviser at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia.
Where crime is concerned, Dr. Stephens told me, “It's not a question of `us versus them'; it's us -- we're all criminals." This is because "of the way in which people are socialized in this country. The rite of passage for an adolescent is to break the law, or defy authority.... [W]e don't like government, we don't like authority, and we don't like being told what to do."
Christians believe that all men are sinners, but should understand that not every sin is a crime subject to human jurisdiction. They should also understand that not every political enactment is a legitimate "law." Rebelling against "authority" is not the same thing as committing a crime -- meaning aggression against the person or property of another individual.
In the collectivist gospel, the State is a divine entity capable of purifying human beings through pain. This view was memorably expressed in a poem published by Rev. William P. Merrill, a progressive clergyman, in the April 26, 1917 issue of Christian Century: "The strength of the State we'll lavish on more, than making of wealth, and making of war; We are learning at last, though the lesson comes late, that the making of man is the task of the State."
The government's "secular" school system is actually a statist seminary propagating the religion of collectivism. So it shouldn't surprise us when children who display dangerous tendencies toward individualist heresy are singled out for humiliation and punishment by the State's punitive priesthood. One of the most urgent moral duties of conscientious parents is to instill incurable disrespect for the State in their children, and to teach them that its armed representatives are never to be trusted under any circumstances.