Undoubtedly good news from the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen yesterday came with the defeat of Board Bill 34 by a surprising vote of 9-15. This bill would have created a so-called buffer zone around the driveways of “health care facilities”, by which term the bill intends the Planned Parenthood abortuary.
The purported intent of the bill is to ensure access to healthcare. The actual intent of the bill is to make the first amendment rights of peaceful prayer and protest illegal, to curtail protests near Planned Parenthood, and to ensure as many babies are killed as possible.
The Review story above fails to put parentheses around “heatlh care facilities” or otherwise accurately describe the term– an interesting editorial decision by the Archdiocesan paper of record, but one consistent with its past coverage. Be that as it may, the Archdiocese deserves a ton of credit in consistently and steadfastly opposing this bill and others like it. On this issue, as on the unsuccessful fight to defeat the last free speech-killing, pro-abortion bill passed by the Board of Alderman, the Archbishop and so many of the Archdiocese’s staff have worked tirelessly on behalf of the rights of Catholics (and others) and the lives of innocent babies. Well done.
On the other hand, this good news prompts me to finally post on an issue I’ve been meaning to cover for some time, but have been prevented from covering due to other obligations. About a fortnight ago, the bishops of the Missouri Catholic Conference issued a joint statement on gun violence that, though no doubt well-meant, undermines the safety of Catholic worshipers and supports the illogic of the gun confiscation movement.
The entire statement can be read at the link above. In it, the bishops try to have it both ways in acknowledging that lawful gun owners really aren’t a problem in terms of a danger of violence in our churches, and yet also yearning to be a statement of the need to “do something” about “gun violence”.
The Conference opposes bills before the legislature that would allow concealed carry holders to carry in churches without the need to receive the pastor’s explicit permission. The statement refers to this issue as a matter of religious freedom. I don’t know how this right is implicated; there are longstanding laws, secular and religious, against murder already. There are already laws against assault, threats, and the like. Yet people still murder. People still commit assault. And unfortunately, people have massacred worshipers in churches across this country.
So, if the legislature follows the logic of the bishops’ statement, what would it mean? It means that those who follow the law (and their spouses and children), and who worship at a church where the pastor does not specifically give permission to carry concealed, are sitting ducks. It means that an evil or insane person who wishes to make a name for himself, or who wishes to exact revenge, or who just plain hates God and man, is thus encouraged to act out in the belief that his intended victims are helpless against him.
Every such massacre to date has end only after someone with a gun, whether a civilian, a policeman, or the murderer himself, as used it to end the situation. You don’t like guns? Understood. But do you accept facts and logic?
Moreover, even if one prefers the pastor to have the say over allowing concealed carry, the very public statement of the bishops is counterproductive, in that it has (predictably) been covered in the media as being a statement that concealed carry is not welcome in Catholic Churches. So the public will see it. Also, it is a heavy-handed hint to pastors that they should not in fact grant permission to law abiding concealed carry permit holders who approach them for permission to carry. Thus, the decision is taken away from the pastors and made a practical statewide mandate.
And Catholics in the pews are made more vulnerable.
The result is not good, either in terms of the statement itself, or in the entirely predictable media coverage of the statement’s release. The statement does not limit itself to the issue of concealed carry liberalization, but also promotes the Democrat party wish list of “common sense” gun restriction laws. And by “common sense”, they mean “what we can get away with now” on the road to total gun confiscation.
The road to the elimination of the Second Amendment is paved with statements like these. With respect, the bishops should not be pushing an agenda that would end with the survival of the Bill of Rights in the exclusive control of the federal government. Its care of the First Amendment hasn’t gone very well for Catholics, has it?
So why should we be comfortable with its care of the Second?