Not too pleased with the pastor's decision to host the class, some parishioners questioned Fr. Fride.
Apparently, Fr. Fride isn't one who backs off easily and the pastor sent a sent a very long letter to his parishioners titled "We're not in Mayberry Anymore, Toto."
In his letter, Fr. Fride argued a pro-gun point of view consisting of 8 points:
- "It is very common for Christians to simply assume that they live in Mayberry, trusting that because they know the Lord Jesus, everything will always be fine and nothing bad can happen to them and their families. Those who have followed the Lord Jesus for more than 20 minutes, however, have often experienced first-hand that the reality of living in a fallen universe can be very different. How to balance faith, reality, prudence, and trust is one of those critical questions that we struggle with all our lives."
- "In terms of our personal safety, and the safety of our homes, the situation is that approximately 50 years ago or so, the ratio of police to bad guys, i.e. criminals in the traditional sense, was more or less sufficient to reasonably control crime. However, in more recent years two regrettable factors have taken place. First, the amount of crime has substantially grown; second, due to budget cuts, there has been a significant reduction in the availability of an armed police response."
- "During the CPL class last Saturday at Christ the King, a police officer from a suburb of Detroit who was conducting part of the class pointed out that because more Detroiters are protecting themselves, more of the criminals are now targeting the suburbs, because most of the suburbs consider themselves distant or immune from the threat. But in point of fact, as the officer pointed out, the threat is actually growing there. It is not just in the big cities either."
- "That same officer from the CPL class personally thanked me for having the parish do this class and expressed a hope that more would follow suit, because having law abiding citizens armed makes their job as police so much better. When the police are expressing the fact that they cannot now sufficiently cover the areas assigned to them and are explicitly encouraging people to arm themselves and carry, who is the expert in the field of our protection that we should listen to more than them?"
- "It is the case, of course, that the Lord Jesus can intervene to protect us. I have personally experienced the wonderful combination of word of knowledge and release of the charismatic power gifts that have literally saved my life in several situations. However, not to be too blunt about it, but I would bet that there are not more than a handful of people in the parish that are currently operating in the charismatic gifts at that level so that they could utilize them in an attack situation for the defense of their family."
- "... what if I came across a woman being beaten or sexually assaulted, or somebody attacking kids? In those cases my response would be immediate and sufficient. The 'what would Jesus do' is often used as a defense for pacifism, but when you read what Jesus actually does, as Revelation describes as He leads His army to destroy those attacking Israel, to say it does not go well for the bad guys would be something of an understatement. (Or you could ask Ananias and Sapphira how that 'Jesus is a pacifist' worked for them.)"
- "Part of the announcement that I made at that Mass was misunderstood to suggest that I was about creating a CTK (Christ the King) militia to fight against the Moslem threat posed by Dearborn. In point of fact the comments I made about the jihadi threat were specifically in relationship to the published ISIS threat against the domestic families of our military, a threat the military has responded to very seriously. I will address the threat to our military families in a different email."
- "Several people have said to me, I'm afraid of guns. My response to one woman was, 'well, how do you feel about rape?' While that may seem extreme, when we chose against one option, we do, in a sense, empower the other."
Fr. Fride also explained in his letter that he grew up a pacifist and became a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. Fride converted to Catholicism after asking himself "What would Jesus do?" if he was to come across women and children being harmed. "I eventually concluded that I was certainly no longer a pacifist absolutist. There were situations in which I would actively intervene, even to a lethal level if necessary."
In sum, there's nothing in Church teaching that precludes carrying a gun for self-defense or to defend others.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the matter was brought to the Diocese of Lansing whose spokesman said that Bishop Earl Boyea "has never given permission for anyone to carry a concealed weapon in a church or school in the Diocese of Lansing....Additionally, Bishop Boyea further states that Concealed Pistol License classes are inappropriate activities to be held on Church property."
This is not surprising, as Bishop Boyea's wrote in a 2012 statement:
We are followers of Jesus Christ, who raised not a hand against those
who mocked, tortured, and finally murdered him. While we grasp both
the Second Amendment and the legitimate right of some persons to
defend themselves, our churches and our schools are dedicated to a
far different approach to life's problems.
Perhaps Fr. Fride might begin by discussing the errors of pacificism with Bishop Boyea?
Let the discussion begin...
To read Fr. Fride's letter, click on the following link:
To read the Detroit Free Press article, click on the following link:
To read Bishoop Boyea's 2012 statement, click on the following link: