State Rep. Pody Looking to Cut Vanderbilt Police Jobs



Oh, you guys, remember how swell it was way back in January (a whole two weeks ago) when Gov. Haslam waxed on about his love of providing jobs to Tennesseans at his State of the State address?

He said:

In 2011, there were more than 28,000 new Tennessee jobs created and over $4 billion dollars in capital investment. Our Jobs4TN plan is working. We continue to focus on regionalism, existing businesses and key clusters, but make no mistake, that does not mean we're taking our foot off the gas in pursuing new businesses for Tennessee.

I appreciate how well we have worked together on job creation. A good example is Amazon. I am proud that we worked with Amazon to expand the company's presence in Tennessee to include, in addition to Hamilton and Bradley, Wilson and Rutherford counties too, creating thousands of jobs.

I don't know what state Rep. Mark Pody was doing during the State of the State, but it obviously wasn't paying attention to Haslam's "Let's get everyone back to work" agenda, since Pody filed HB1046, which aims to fire all of Vanderbilt University's police officers.

The worst part is that Pody doesn't seem to have anything against police officers in general, or against the Vanderbilt police force in particular. He's just apparently made a calculation that Vanderbilt's police force is acceptable collateral damage because he's upset about Vanderbilt's all-comers policy.

The text of HB1046 makes this clear, since the only universities that will be granted permission to have their own police forces are those that "Do not prohibit a religious student organization from determining that the organization’s religious mission requires that only persons professing the faith of the group and comporting themselves in conformity with it qualify to serve as members in good standing or leaders."

This is so rich, really. Pody can't get the administration at Vanderbilt to bend to his will, so he's going to take it out on the police force? Police officers at Vanderbilt have no say in deciding the policy of student groups. I'd be willing to bet that many of them even side with Pody. Of all of the people at Vanderbilt, with the exception of maybe the groundskeepers, they have the least ability to change this policy. They are, for all practical purposes, innocent bystanders.

Pody still wants to cost them their jobs, because he can't touch the people he actually wants to push around.

What I take from this is that, apparently, in order to "protect" Christian groups, Pody thinks it's fine to act as un-Christian as need be. Is that the lesson these Christian groups at Vanderbilt are supposed to be learning? That they only have to follow Christ's example until it makes them uncomfortable, and then they can pick on whatever working stiffs can't get out of their way whether or not they're the cause of their discomfort?

Christ said both "Do unto others as you've have done to you" and "But I tell you not to resist an evildoer. On the contrary, whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other to him as well." But I don't recall anywhere in the Bible where Jesus says, "When you are feeling oppressed, take away the livelihoods of people who have nothing to do with the situation. That will surely show your oppressors."

But maybe I missed that part? Or maybe Pody needs to rethink this cruel disaster of a bill. No matter how mad he is at Vanderbilt, it shouldn't cost the police force their jobs.

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