A Michigan priest is in some hot water after expressing views concerning Jesus Christ and guns. The Ann Arbor priest once considered himself a pacifist, but now is using Jesus’ teachings to back up his pro-gun views.
Reverend Edward Fride wrote a letter to his parishioners extolling the concealed carrying of weapons for “self defense.” The letter, which can be seen in whole on Detroit Free Press, is a “lengthy 4,150 word missive.” Within the letter, Fride urges parishioners to take classes to be able to legally carry a weapon. And where could the parishioners find such a class? Fride was urging parishioners to attend one at his church, Christ the King Catholic Church.
Fride begins the letter, though, by saying, “I have received some feedback from two events recently, one, the announcement I made at the 4:30 Mass on Palm Sunday concerning the CPL (Concealed Pistol License) class and some description of local threats, and the other, concerning the offering of a CPL class at the parish, co-sponsored by the parish. I’d like to respond to some concerns in the context of the broader issue of personal safety and reasonable protection in relation to the parish’s role.”
Fride goes on to say that people think they are living in the fictional idyllic town, Mayberry, saying, “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.”
While Fride admits to the power of Jesus, saying, “the Lord Jesus can intervene to protect us,” he adds that his parishioners aren’t enough and aren’t “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.”
Fride also refers to a popular teaching of Jesus to “turn the other cheek,” but says that it’s not enough and that Jesus in fact was not a pacifist. So how did Jesus, whom the church teaches used some of his last words to forgive those who had hurt him, suddenly become anything but a pacifist?”
“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,” explains Fride.
According to the Patch, the class at the Christ the King Catholic Church would “violate a diocese-wide gun ban implemented in 2012.” Fride has “canceled concealed pistol licensing classes” at the Christ the King church after the diocese stepped in.
Fride responded to the intervention of the diocese by posting on his Facebook page that “the Lord Jesus has blessed us greatly in calling Bishop Earl Boyea to serve us…in the fulfillment of the Holy Fathers’ call to the New Evangelization that all people would hear the message of the saving love of the Lord Jesus Christ…As our Bishop, he is responsible for setting policy…and he has decided and publically stated that CPL are not appropriate on Church property.”
While Fride has made quite the argument and has his supporters, it leaves many wondering just how Jesus Christ would feel about the use of guns for self-defense.
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