Michigan Priest Urges Parishioners to Arm Themselves Against an Increasingly Dangerous Society

Photo Credit: Personal Liberty

Photo Credit: Personal Liberty

A Catholic priest from Ann Arbor, Michigan, recently encouraged his flock to arm themselves against worldly dangers via concealed carry because, “We’re not in Mayberry anymore, Toto.”

The Rev. Edward Fride announced during a sermon at Christ the King church last month that the parish would be sponsoring classes to help parishioners earn concealed carry permits in response to an uptick in crime in the area.

Fride sent a letter to parishioners using “a bad mix of two entertainment references” to explain why the church is encouraging concealed carry after some churchgoers questioned the religious merit of holding the classes.

From the letter:

Mayberry was a fictitious, idyllic rural American city in which the public safety needs were met by a kind-hearted sheriff and a clueless but well-intentioned deputy. The only “threat” to public safety was a bumbling, genial ne’er-do-well who was so accustomed to staying in jail that he had his own cell, which was never locked. The show, The Andy Griffith Show, was so popular that it had two spin offs, Mayberry RFD and Gomer Pyle, USMC. It was popular because it showed a kind of life that everybody wished were true, no threats, everything is fine, everybody’s perfectly safe, etc. There is no crisis that cannot be solved by hugs and Aunt Bea’s cooking. The “Toto” reference is to a famous line from The Wizard of Oz in which Dorothy, who comes from a rural Kansas version of Mayberry, but suddenly finds herself in a dangerous environment of witches, deadly flying monkeys, (I still have nightmares about those wretched and heinous beasts!) and real threats to her life. She begins to comprehend this and says to her cute dog: “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto!” 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. Pretending we are in Mayberry, while we are clearly not, can have very negative consequences for ourselves and those we love, especially those we have a responsibility to protect. If we are not in Mayberry, is there a real threat?

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