Uncle Catholics

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2019/01/22/uncle-catholics/

The Covington Catholic confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial is a story of high school kids enduring repeated abuse of their religious and political beliefs and then responding with school chants to drown out the abusers.

They did nothing wrong and not even much noteworthy.

Is that what you learned from the mainstream media?

If not, watch a long-version video of the encounter, and you’ll see. This one is 1 hour 46 minutes 18 seconds long. But if you want a shortened version, read on.

Yet first, consider the reaction, not of the left-wing radicals who confronted the Catholic kids, and not of the left-wing media who smelled blood this past weekend based on a selectively edited version of the encounter and decided to go for the kill.

Instead, consider the immediate reaction of administrators of the kids’ Catholic school and Catholic diocese (“We condemn the actions … we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion”).

Consider the reaction of two Catholic priests who frequently comment publicly on national matters:

Or the one from a Catholic U.S. representative:

These reactions are not just exaggerated. Given the facts that have come out in the last couple of days – the video evidence – these reactions are hilarious.

Yet they point to a serious problem in the modern Catholic Church:  Apologize first, ask questions later.

We’ve gone from militant-and-triumphant to submit-and-surrender.

To his credit, Father James Martin apologized to the students yesterday. But like many others, he hides behind the fig leaf that the confrontation is somehow murky, and that there was something unclear about who was wrong.

It isn’t. And there wasn’t.

The long-version video shows that the conflict stems from about five men who are members of a group called the Black Israelites. What they believe will become clear below from what they say. Judge for yourself whether it’s true or savory. But there’s no arguing what happened:  They started it.

The video (apparently made by the Black Israelites) begins in the late afternoon of Friday, January 18. It’s light out, about an hour and a half before sundown, so it’s probably around 3:45. The March for Life, which boys from Covington Catholic High School in northern Kentucky attended, had concluded a short time before. In the video the boys are waiting near the Lincoln Memorial to be picked up by buses.

Members of the Black Israelites stand at the bottom of the Lincoln Memorial, attracted by a small group of American Indians demonstrating for indigenous peoples’ rights. The leader of the Black Israelites starts calling out the American Indians.

“We honor our God, brother,” he yells out. “And that’s what we out here to tell you, what you have to do. You have to come away from your religious philosophies and doctrines, and start worshipping the true and living power, which his name is Jehowah. That’s who’s the most high God. The most high God, his name is Jehowah. You not supposed to worship eagles, buffaloes, rams, all types of animals. This is the reason why the Lord took away your land.”

The Indians didn’t like hearing that, and a few of them came over. What follows is a dense discussion of radical left-wing principles, revolving around who rightfully gets to call himself indigenous and what such a person should believe.

It includes the following commentary from one of the Black Israelites about an Indian woman who disagreed with the Black Israelites’ leader:

“And you see this? This is the problem, Israel. There’s always our women coming up with their loud mouth. Thinking they can run and [unclear word] things. Thinking they can come and distract things with their loud-assed mouth, because they not used to dealing with no real men. And you think we’re supposed to bow down to your damn emotions, when you come and run your mouth and distract what we doing, instead of coming with order, and with a [unclear word] dialogue. She’s coming around here being wicked.”

And the following exchange:

Black Israelites Leader:  “You don’t have no decorum, and you’re out of order. Where’s your husband? Bring your husband here. Let me speak to him.”

Indian Woman:  “Is that what you would say to your wife?”

Second Member of Black Israelites:  “That’s right.”

At one point, the leader of the Black Israelites accuses the Indians of being “Uncle Tomahawks.”

But eventually the Black Israelites shift their focus to the Covington Catholic High School kids. Most of the kids are white, but a couple are black and a few may be Latino. Some of them are wearing red Make America Great Again baseball caps. They’re standing what looks like about 100 feet away.

The main speaker and another member of the Black Israelites call out the Covington Catholic kids 14 times over the course of the first 1 hour 8 minutes of the video. What the Covington Catholic kids said to them, if anything, isn’t audible. But most of what the Black Israelites said is. Some of it is anti-Trump, anti-conservative, and anti-white. But a lot of it is anti-Catholic.

The presence of a balding white-haired priest in black clerical dress standing about 75 feet away sets off the leader of the Black Israelites at one point. (It’s not clear if the priest is connected to Covington Catholic, but based on what happens later it doesn’t seem he is.)

Here’s a sample of the Black Israelites’ loud commentary (with some harsh language included):

“And like this, child-molestin’ faggot priest right there.” (46:16)

“Father Hands, Father Hands. That’s right. That’s right.” (46:16)

“The Catholics are child molesters. ‘Cause the Catholics, that’s what they worship. They worship men, too.” (46:23)

“This is the religion of America. That’s Make America Great Again. A bunch of child-molestin’ faggots. Just like your damn Donald Trump.” (46:55)

“A bunch of pedophiles. You want to talk about R. Kelly. Why we don’t talk about the Catholic Church? Why we don’t talk about the Roman Catholic Church? And especially you so-called Hispanics and Negroes, you got no business calling yourself a Roman Catholic. When’s the last time, when’s the last time you been a Roman, you been in Rome? When’s the last time you so-called blacks, Hispanics been in Rome?” (47:16)

This train of abuse triggers muted reaction, if any, from the Covington Catholic kids.

But the 14th time the Black Israelites accost the Catholic kids, calling them “a bunch of incest babies,” the kids respond in organized fashion.

At about 1:09:54, one of the boys goes down the steps, takes off his sweatshirt and shirt, and starts leading the group in what sound like school chants. (You may have read elsewhere that they chanted “Build the Wall” and other confrontational sentiments. The audio of the video shows no such thing.)

At 1:12:06, for no apparent reason, American Indian leader Nathan Phillips makes his move, beating on a drum and moving toward the crowd of Covington Catholic kids with several others behind him. He later told the Washington Post that he was trying to defuse the situation and calm the kids down. But all the kids were doing was chanting and jumping up and down from a distance, forming a sort of huddle among themselves. In the video their expressions sound more like the warring chants you might hear from rival schools at a high school hockey game than any sort of dangerous situation about to get out of hand. Even when Phillips wades into the crowd of kids, not much happens.

What do the kids do? They start chanting in time with the drum Phillips was beating. Some of them start doing the Florida State Seminoles/Atlanta Braves chant while jumping up and down. (Roughly:  Wohhhhh-ohhhh, oh, oh-oh-oh-ohhhhhh, whoh-oh-oh-ohhhhh, oh, oh-oh-oh-ohhhhhh.)

Mocking? Yes. But these kids had been approached and confronted after being repeatedly insulted. What do you expect?

Now, personally, I would have been edified if the kids had broken out with the first sorrowful mystery of the rosary, the Agony in the Garden. But I wouldn’t have done that when I was a teen-ager, and I don’t expect these teen-agers to do that.

There was no physical altercation. None of the kids can be heard threatening anybody, either. Indeed, there’s nothing to remember the incident by except video posted on social media. Without it, this interaction would have been ignored and in short order forgotten.

How about the now-famous student, junior Nick Sandmann, much reviled for his supposed smirk?

Here he is standing with a group of his schoolmates when a 64-year-old activist marches up to him and starts banging a drum in his face and chanting at him. Nick stands there, keeps his cool, and offers neither resistance nor threat nor surrender. What’s the problem?

What about the Black Israelites? The leader at first welcomes the intervention by the American Indian, but he soon realizes the focus is off him. So he tries to get it back, saying, among other things (1:15:11):

“This is what America produces. This is a bunch of future school-shooters.”

He goes on in that vein for more than a minute, until he gets the attention of several boys, who come closer and start responding to him, unhappy but not animated.

At 1:17:17, a man, apparently a chaperone from Covington Catholic, orders the boys to back up.

There’s some back-and-forth after that, but the video mostly shows the leader of the Black Israelites shouting and the Covington Catholic kids standing there.

At 1:26:45, the Covington Catholic kids start leaving, apparently because their buses have arrived to pick them up.

This is the point where the mainstream media narrative ends, but there’s additional illuminating material in the video.

The leader of the Black Israelites turns his attention to a different circle of people nearby who are being led in prayer by a Catholic priest. (It’s hard to tell if he’s the same priest who appears earlier in the video, although he may be, since he’s standing in about the same place.)

The leader of the Black Israelites erupts (at 1:27:34):

“What the hell’s going on here? … We got the Catholic Church here. The child-molestin’ Catholic Church here. This is what we come to. How long are we gonna stay in the Catholic Church? How long are we gonna continue to worship idols in the Catholic Church? Where is Hail Mary in the Bible? There’s no Hail Mary in the Bible.”

Some of the second crowd try Catholic apologetics. A teen-ager from the group points out that Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist) says to Mary (the mother of Jesus of Nazareth) words from the Hail Mary prayer (“blessed art thou among women, and blessed be the fruit of thy womb”), referring to Luke 1:42. (The actual words “Hail, full of grace” are addressed to Mary by the angel Gabriel in Luke 1:28.)

A woman from the Catholic group says, “We love you.”

The leader of the Black Israelites isn’t buying it (at 1:32:01). He says:

“You all mix up love. According to the Bible, love is keeping the commandments. Love is not an emotion. Love is a deed. You gotta prove it. You can’t just say you love somebody, and not show it. That don’t make no sense. You gotta think about it. So how can you say you love us, but yet, we’re sittin’ on stolen land? Yet, we have no reparations. But the Jewish people, they have reparations. They have a Holocaust Museum. Where’s our 40 acres and a mule? You ain’t even give us a pit bull. We don’t even got a German shepherd. We got a black history museum that we have to pay to get in.”

(So love is giving money and land and other free stuff to the descendants of long-dead people for centuries-ago injuries from people who didn’t commit the injuries. Seems unbiblical, but whatever.)

Another teen-age boy from the second Catholic group says at 1:35:08, “I feel a little bit sad because I’m not a child molester. And I’m a Catholic.”

The leader of the Black Israelites responds, apparently referring to altar boys:  “Right. You might not be a child molester. But you probably become a victim if you become an usher boy.”

The teen-age boy says (using the same language), “I’ve been an usher boy for six years and I’ve never …” before what he says becomes inaudible.

The conversation peters out, and the woman from the second Catholic group says they have to go.

A short time later, when it’s dark, an unseen law enforcement officer approaches the Black Israelites and asks if they were victimized by the Covington Catholic kids.

“The big group of kids, were they the ones that were taunting you guys?” the law enforcement officer says at 1:40:05, apparently unaware of what actually happened.

“No, we good,” the leader of the Black Israelites says.

A second member of the Black Israelites says: “We not worried about that. We wasn’t threatened by them. It was O.K. dialogue. Sometimes stuff get like that. …”

“You good?” the law enforcement officer asks.

“They were O.K.. No threat,” the second member says. “… We didn’t feel threatened. We didn’t feel threatened by those guys.”

There you have it. The instigators of the conflict did not feel threatened by the instigatees.

Why do so many Catholic commentators feel threatened by them?

And why the need to denigrate the March for Life?

Yes, he’s deeply pro-life. But Father Dan Horan was sorry to see pro-Roe-v.-Wade justice Anthony Kennedy retire from the U.S. Supreme Court. He opposes the largest and most effective pro-life gathering in the country. And as of Tuesday evening, he hadn’t yet responded to a questioner who asked him if he’d make abortion illegal.

If you can’t say yes to that question, how pro-life can you be?

But even more to the point, what are all these comments about? Nobody forced Father Martin, Father Horan, or Congressman Ryan to comment on the Covington Catholic incident, which was at best ambiguous from the brief video posted online over the weekend. They decided to do so, anyway, and got it spectacularly wrong.

Now that they know the truth — that the Covington Catholic kids and other Catholics at the Lincoln Memorial were subjected to sustained abuse in part because of their faith — where is their outrage against that?

Father Horan as of Tuesday night (long after it had become clear what happened) hadn’t even had the decency to apologize to the boys he wrongly called “racist” and “shameful” and accused of “white supremacy.” Neither had Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who wrongly accused them of “hate” and “intolerance.”

This is the worst kind of virtue signaling:  bearing false witness against your neighbor’s supposed lack of virtue while demonstrating your own.

And for what? So no one who follows you on Twitter will associate you with the far-off alleged activities of fellow Catholics you don’t know but nevertheless for some reason are eager to tell the world how ashamed you are of them?

Some predictions. I invite all participants to prove them wrong, but here goes:

—  The Roman Catholic bishop of Covington issues a muddled follow-up statement through a spokesman that leaves readers scratching their heads

—  Covington Catholic issues a muddled statement saying the school can’t say what actions it is taking, if any, because of concerns about the students’ privacy

—  Mainstream media outlets move on quickly without reporting much more detail, as it becomes clear this story isn’t accomplishing their goals

—  Nathan Phillips gets some sort of award, for his bravery

—  Cable television pundits in a few months start referring to right-to-lifers’ “bigotry” as demonstrated by the Lincoln Memorial incident

—  Covington Catholic cancels next year’s trip to the March for Life, “out of concern for the students’ safety”

And Father Martin, Father Horan, and Congressman Ryan quickly find some other Catholic target to dissociate themselves from. All out of their deep concern for the faith.