A Note on Sheriff Clarke’s Memoir and Evangelicalism

From the Los Angeles Times:

President Trump took to Twitter Sunday morning to promote a book by Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, a staunch Trump supporter who has drawn controversy with his tough talk and provocative social media postings.

…The book includes a passage in which Clarke advocates treating terrorism suspects as “enemy combatants,” allowing them to be detained indefinitely, questioned without an attorney and tried by military tribunals.

Clarke’s book, Cop Under Fire: Moving Beyond Hashtags of Race, Crime and Politics for a Better America has been out since February; Trump’s Tweet is obviously meant to send a message after his pardoning of Sheriff Joe Arpaio for contempt of court and last month’s speech at Long Island in which he encouraged police to be “rough” when making arrests.

The book is published by Worthy Books of Nashville, Tennessee. This is an evangelical publisher which, according to a tagline on the copyright page, describes itself as “Helping People Experience the Heart of God”. Clarke may be famous for secular reasons, but he describes himself as a “man of God” who prays every day, and he has a (moribund) blog presence at Patheos.

His memoir thus includes chapters entitled “Changing the Culture Is a Matter of Faith, Not Politics” and “God is not the Enemy, but He’s Being Attacked”. In one passage, he attacks the 2012 Democratic Convention for failing to mention God or to refer to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – the two topics are apparently intertwined. Elsewhere, he notes Bible verses that apparently support gun ownership, noting that “Jesus instructed his disciples to carry a weapon”.

The book comes with a foreword by Sean Hannity and blurbs from Paul E. Vallely, Chris Cox of the NRA, David Horowitz, a Milwaukee radio host named Mark Belling, Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute, T. Boone Pickens of BP Capital, Kris Paronto (“Hero of Benghazi Attack”) and Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation.

The book was written in collaboration with Nancy French, a professional author who also facilitated Sarah Palin’s Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas, Bristol Palin’s Not Afraid of Life, and the Chinese dissident Bob Fu’s God’s Double Agent: The True Story of a Chinese Christian’s Fight for Freedom. Her husband David French is an attorney and conservative writer (“His legal work defending religious liberty on college campuses helped inspire the hit movie God’s Not Dead“), and he gets a few references in the Clarke volume.

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