Plymouth Congregational Church

God for All

No Respect for Authority?


A man had been driving his car, with several young children on board.  A policeman pulled him over for some infraction and wrote him a ticket.  As the policeman was getting into his squad car, he heard the man cursing him and gesturing in a “not so friendly” manner.  He walked back to the man and gave him another ticket.  This man took the matter to court, charging that the officer had violated his civil rights, the judge ruled in his favor and the police department had to pay this man $5,000. 

This scenario was being discussed on talk radio yesterday, with the question being, did the policeman have the right to issue a 2nd ticket?  One man called in to tell his story of how he had gone to pick up his sister at the airport, as she was coming home to see their dying mother.  Instead of circling around until she came out, he chose to park out front and sit on his trunk to wait.  After about 45 minutes, a policeman came out and told him he would have to move.  The man on the trunk proceeded to tell the officer that the car that he had been looking at for 45 minutes had been empty all that time, so why didn’t he go do something about that?  The policeman said, “Don’t tell me how to do my job,” to which the man replied, “Why don’t you go inside and get yourself another donut?” as he was giving him the “Hitler” salute.  The policeman told him to move, which the man eventually did, circling the arrival entrance like he should have in the first place.  While doing so, he was pulled over by another police officer and written a ticket for disorderly conduct.  This man told his story as if he was clearly the “injured party.” 

As I’m listening to people call in with their own stories and opinions, I’m thinking that all of this sort of “stuff” could be easily taken care of or prevented.  Why can’t people 1) just follow the rules and 2) treat each other with respect?  I would say that the caller response ran 50-50 on this one, which surprised me. Quite a few people seemed to think that the police should be “thicker-skinned.”  Only two people were outraged that this man overlooked the rule and then became angry when challenged.  And one of the two compared it to the lack of respect for authority in schools; that if parents don’t respect authority, then we know why kids don’t.  I have a friend who has worked in schools for years who says the same thing – kids have no respect for authority and that we would not believe the sense of “entitlement” kids have. 

Have you ever witnessed anything like this?  Do you think police should be “thicker-skinned” or do you think the police were wrong in both cases?


2 thoughts on “No Respect for Authority?

  1. Like I said … follow the rules and treat each other with respect. Life would be much happier for everyone, I think.

  2. It’s all about respect for everyone! We will make mistakes and be disrespectful of folks we come in contact with (my guess is most often happens to those closest to us in the form of taking them/things for granted). But my goodness we need to teach less “entitlement” and more respect. I agree that kids learn from the model parents send, but school isn’t helping them either. When teachers, etc. tell our children that they have rights and should call the police when parents spank them aren’t they telling kids “you have no need to be under the authority of anyone”?

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