What did new police chief really say about God?

- October 28th, 2012

There seems to be some confusion regarding incoming Winnipeg police chief Devon Clunis’s comments where he mixed religion — or at least prayer, however you want to define that — with policing.

Clunis spoke recently about his desire to incorporate prayer into policing and how he believes praying is one of the keys to reducing violent crime in Winnipeg.

He was criticized by some — although praised by others who embrace the mixing of religion with public policy — for his comments.

Some, like yours truly, believe profoundly in the separation of church and state and that a senior civil servant like Clunis has no business mixing the two.

Clunis’s response was that he gave an interview to a Christian magazine and that he was addressing a specific audience. He says his comments were taken out of context.

His supporters say Clunis was simply talking about his own faith to a religious magazine about how his Christianity has had an impact on how he does his job as a police officer. They say he wasn’t “preaching” to the general public.

That would be interesting if it were true, but it’s not.

Clunis gave an interview to CBC TV that aired the day all of this broke. Clunis refused an interview with the Winnipeg Sun on the topic that same day.

The following are some excerpts from the 15-minute CBC TV interview, which has been posted online. Watch interview here.

Obviously an interview with the CBC, or any other major mainstream media outlet, is not geared toward a Christian audience. It is for general public consumption. During the interview, Clunis is shown in his police uniform speaking from what appears to be the offices of the Public Safety Building downtown. That is the context. And here are some of his comments.

On adding more police officers to the streets of Winnipeg:

“People believe that if you put more officers on the street that will be the resolution to crime in our city,” said Clunis. “I truly do not believe that because if you’re a person of faith you must believe that there’s good and evil in the world in the physical sense, there’s only so much you can do against evil so I believe you truly have to pray against some of the things that we see occurring in our city.”

On the need for prayer to be incorporated into policing:

“Some of these battles are definitely, I believe they are spiritual battles and we have to ensure that we engage in a spiritual way, prayer is a very powerful weapon I absolutely believe that,”

On the benefits of praying, even if you’re not a believer:

“Whatever your faith belief system is, and even if you don’t believe, if you spend a little time in prayer maybe even when you’re really angry at someone, I think it’s going to impact you in a physical sense how you feel, how you react how you deal with situations.”

On who is ultimately in charge:

“Ultimately I know that God is in control.”

On the need for the entire community to pray:

“Yes it’s wonderful to have police officers praying, but I believe if we have the entire community praying for our city we will see physical improvements, differences occurring in the physical realm.”

On how God wants us to do more than just pray:

“If all I ever did was simply sit here and say pray, I don’t think that’s what God simply wants us to do,” said Clunis. “Let’s step up and do something on faith.”

Categories: Politics

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5 comments

  1. Eric says:

    It’s time Tom Brodbeck left the new Police Chief alone… Brodbeck is starting to sound like he enjoys his word/ writings more than anyone else does… Let’s support the new Chief rather than drag him around by his ear, day after day after day…

  2. Candy Robb says:

    Bravo Tom, stick to your guns. Everyone else was calling for an apology from you after the new chief’s most recent interview “explaining” his comments and saying he was mis-quoted and taken out of context. Well Chief Clunis, what do you have to say for yourself this time..No mis-quotes here, it’s all on tape!!!!. I don’t think you can say that the demographics of CBC is one of believing in prayer.

  3. Mike - Winnipeg says:

    Although an avowed atheist, I was not initially concerned with this guy’s prayer comments, but after viewing the CBC clip and reading your comments, now believe this guy is a menace and should be forced to resign. How having a one-sided conversation with some make believe being, created by man I might add, is going to assist in my daily life, investigating crime, etc., etc. is beyond me. In actual fact, if these various gods had not been made up, millions upon millions of people through the ages would have lived a lot longer. No buring at the stake, no jihads and on and on. Religion kills more people that cigarette smoking.

  4. Gordon Howe says:

    -ERIC

    Maybe leave brodbeck alone. His job is to shed light on bullshit like this. His job is to give an opinion whether we like it or not. NOTHING in this article was unaccurate, so I ask you, on what basis should he just “leave the new police chief alone”. Maybe we should leave all government alone and never stand up for anything. Maybe we should just “support him no matter what”???. How ignorent could you possibly be??

  5. Feldwebel Wolfenstool says:

    I don’t care if it rains or freezes, as long as I’ve got my Plastic Jesus, sittin’ on the dashboard of my car.

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