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PC folks are intolerant of Catholics

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POSTED June 19, 2014 12:10 a.m.

We were bicycling along North Murphy Road nearing the last farmhouse before connecting with Mariposa Road when two mean looking and snarling German Shepherds starting chasing us down.

My instinct was to jam, but my riding partner for the day said we’d never out sprint them. As he said that, he quickly dismounted and reached into his fanny pack for what he said was some homemade pepper spray.

What his hand brushed up against as he grabbed the pepper spray made my eyes bug out. He was packing a handgun. To be honest the fact that someone was carrying a gun wasn’t what startled me. It was the fact the man carrying it was a Catholic priest.

After he got the dogs to stay at bay and we rode away, I asked him about the gun.

“It’s not loaded,” he said. “I use it when I need to.”

The priest happened to minister to wards at the California Youth Authority. This was back in 1991 when some of the most vicious and violent juvenile offenders in California were housed in Stockton.

He explained he started carrying the weapon after he was threatened with physical harm when he came across some former wards who mistook him for one of the guards.

While I have never owned a gun, I thought it was foolish for anyone to carry one who had no intention of using it. It seems if you are forced into a situation where you feel compelled to draw a weapon that you’d better be ready to use it. An unloaded gun doesn’t do you much good.

The priest thought otherwise saying it would be enough to de-escalate most confrontations he was likely to face.

The gun-toting, bicycling priest popped into my mind this week after the unfortunate incident in Phoenix. A priest was killed by a handgun of a fellow priest whose weapon was wrestled away by a burglar who had beaten the gun owner prior to him retrieving the gun in an attempt to defend himself.

 The beating was so severe that authorities originally didn’t believe the priest that owned the gun would make it through the first night in the hospital. A homeless ex-convict has been arrested and charged in the attack.

A number of non-Catholics have expressed shock that a priest owned a gun. They contend the priest was a hypocrite. Whoa. First, I’m not Catholic. That said Catholic teachings may compel priests to advocate greater limits on guns but self-defense is also part of Catholic theology.

Being a Catholic priest has to be the second toughest job in the world behind being an apologist for the policies of a sitting American president.

Everything they do is criticized and attacked by non-Catholics or those who contend they are Catholic but are hell-bent to overturn centuries of church doctrine in the next three weeks.

The Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone is being slammed for having the audacity to exercise his right of religion and free speech. Politicians and at least 30,000 others that signed petitions are demanding he not speak or march at Tuesday’s event supporting traditional marriage being staged by the National Organization for Marriage in Washington, D.C. They contend he will be engaging in hate speech since the views of some attending they say are anti-gay and anti-transgender.

Cordileone stated the gathering is “not anti-anyone or anti-anything.” It is being staged to support a long-standing belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Protestors don’t see it that way. They hold onto a one-dimensional view of the Catholic faith and lash out at anything that doesn’t meet their politically correct standards whether it involves freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or even the right to bear arms.

Thank goodness — I’d say God but I’m afraid it would give the PC crowd a massive stroke — the Catholic Church isn’t as myopic as its critics.

If so, those stricken in the gay community with AIDS at the depth of the health crisis would have had few options to turn to if it hadn’t been for the compassion of the Catholic Church in funding and running non-profits in San Francisco to assist victims of the disease.

Someone who gives time, money and compassion to someone who is gay can’t exactly be called anti-gay can they? But they can in a PC world where those self-anointed as censors of ideas and speech believe they are gods that dictate human opinion and will.

It is a double standard for a priest to pray for peace and own a handgun? Is it a double standard for a priest to believe in traditional marriage and have compassion for those that can’t marry each other within the tenets of the Catholic faith?

The short answer in both cases is no.

Priests just like you and me exist in the real world. 

Thou shall not kill held to as an absolute by a number of faiths would have assured their extinction centuries ago.

Faith operates in an imperfect world, the world of man.

As such those of faith often are pragmatic. That’s why they can have compassion for perceived sinners by the standards of their faith.

It’s too bad the politically correct folks don’t display the same attitude for those that go against their core beliefs.

 

This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at dwyatt@wmantecabulletin.com or 209.249.3519.

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