Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.
...because nobody else seems to. Everytime some lunatic comes along to advocate violence, you can always find lots of people who will say, “Oh sure, *normally* violence is bad, but in our special case, things are so desperate that you’d have to be a fiend not to advocate violence.” This was the standard tactic of the vandals and thugs who destroyed college campuses in the 60s in order to register their disapproval of the war in Vietnam and it is, rhetorically at least, increasingly becoming the tactic of some on the Crazy Right today. Here, for instance, is Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle advocating what she calls “second amendment remedies” to current American politics in a conversation with conservative Nevada talk show host Bill Manders:
Angle: I feel that the Second Amendment is the right to keep and bear arms for our citizenry. This not for someone who’s in the military. This not for law enforcement. This is for us. And in fact when you read that Constitution and the founding fathers, they intended this to stop tyranny. This is for us when our government becomes tyrannical…
Manders: If we needed it at any time in history, it might be right now.
Angle: Well it’s to defend ourselves. And you know, I’m hoping that we’re not getting to Second Amendment remedies. I hope the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid problems.
How to put this delicately? Is she insane? She just said that if she loses a validly conducted democratic election to Harry Reid, it might well be time to start shooting people!? You might think this loony remark was a slip of the tongue. But no:
As Jonathan Karl reported earlier this month, she told the Reno Gazette-Journal that people are quietly stocking up on ammunition in case they need to resort to insurrection or, as she put it, a “fight for liberty.”
“What is a little bit disconcerting and concerning is the inability for sporting goods stores to keep ammunition in stock,” she told the newspaper. “That tells me the nation is arming. What are they arming for if it isn’t that they are so distrustful of their government? They’re afraid they’ll have to fight for their liberty in more Second Amendment kinds of ways?” she said.
So… let me get this straight. If some Islamic lunatic exhorts the faithful to commit violence, that’s a threat to national security. But if a Tea Party darling threatens “Vote for me or somebody could get shot”, that’s patriotism? Seriously? Have people lost their minds?