US Government Training Clergy to Quell Dissent in Martial Law

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By Joe Parko, Special to The Atlanta Progressive News

(APN) ATLANTA — A news report from CBS affiliate, KSLA-TV, of Shreveport, Louisiana, has confirmed the federal government is training so-called Clergy Response Teams (CRTs) to quell dissent should martial law ever be declared in the US.

The report confirms the existence of a nationwide program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which a whistleblower first reported to the website, PrisonPlanet.com, in May 2006. The whistleblower had attended one of the training sessions, the website reported.

The program is “training Pastors and other religious representatives to become secret police enforcers who teach their congregations to ‘obey the government’ in preparation for the implementation of martial law, property and firearm seizures, mass vaccination programs and forced relocation,” Prison Planet said.

“It was stressed the pastors needed to preach subservience to the authorities ahead of time in preparation for the round-ups and to make it clear to the congregation this is for their own good.” Prison Planet reported.

“Pastors were told they would be backed up by law enforcement in controlling uncooperative individuals and they would even lead SWAT teams in attempting to quell resistance,” Prison Planet said.

The video is available on the Internet at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-BtWhs8qlg

The report entertains the scenario of martial law as depicted in the movie, The Siege, and states “quelling dissent would be critical… and that’s exactly what the Clergy Response Team, as it’s called, helped to accomplish in New Orleans.”

Guns were seized in New Orleans during the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and the use of US troops to police on US soil was made easier by last year’s elimination of the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, KSLA notes.

During Hurricane Katrina, the CRT provided 28 chaplains around the clock at 8 different camps, KSLA reports.

“The primary thing that we say to anybody is, ‘let’s cooperate and get this thing over with and then we’ll settle the differences once the crisis is over,'” Dr. Durell Tuberville, Chaplain for the Shreveport Fire Department and the Caddo Sheriff’s Office, said of the CRT’s mission.

Such clergy response teams would walk a tight-rope during martial law between the demands of the government on the one side, versus the wishes of the public on the other, KSLA reports.

“In a lot of cases, these clergy would already be known in the neighborhoods in which they’re helping to diffuse that situation,” Sandy Davis, who serves as the director of the Caddo-Bossier Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, assured.

“For the clergy, one of the biggest tools they will have in helping calm the public down or to obey the law is the Bible itself, specifically Romans, Romans 13,” KSLA reports.

“Because the government’s established by the Lord, you know. And, that’s what we believe in the Christian faith. That’s what’s stated in the scripture,” Tuberville elaborated.

“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established,” says Romans 13, according to BibleGateway.com.

“The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”

The program raises serious concerns about the wall between church and State in the US.

The program also raises concerns in light of a recent President Decision Directive on May 09, 2007, which, as reported previously by Atlanta Progressive News, allows the President of the US to bypass all other levels of government during a “catastrophic event.”

This article contains additional reporting by Matthew Cardinale, News Editor, The Atlanta Progressive News

About the author:

Joe Parko is a former activist with Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition- Atlanta, and the Atlanta Office of the American Friends Service Committee. He is also a retired college professor who taught in the School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. After many years in Georgia, Parko is moving tomorrow to Tennessee for retirement. He may be reached at parkoj@bellsouth.net.

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