The events of Saturday at the March for Life shocked Americans. A group of white teenage boys from the all-boys Covington Catholic High School allegedly screaming obscenities and insults at a Native American elder who served in the Vietnam War. While they stood and yelled at him, the man, identified as Nathan Philips, remained calm and continued his peaceful chants.
The teenagers’ actions have been condemned by thousands, with celebrities taking to Twitter to slam the kids for their uncouth behavior. And it’s not just liberal celebrities who put their two cents into the conversation. A Jesuit priest, who is also the editor of one of the biggest Jesuit magazines in the country, Father James Martin, took to Twitter to condemn their actions as well.
According to a report by the Washington Press, the priest also praised Philips for keeping himself out of a confrontation that could so easily have escalated into violence given the circumstances.
“I am as disgusted by the contemptuous laughter of the mass of students as I am moved by the quiet dignity of the solitary man who continues to chant. Those students could learn much from this elder, if they had chosen to. Or if they choose to,” he wrote on the social media site.
Catholic school to investigate taunting of Native Americans— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) January 20, 2019
"We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students," an archdiocese near Cincinnati said. #CovingtonCatholicHighSchool #CovingtonCatholic #Covington https://t.co/EUQp2vQfP3 pic.twitter.com/gZfCNb1VTb
Martin continued, adding a second tweet that condemned their actions from a religious point of view as well.
“Catholic school students at the #MarchforLife attempt to shame and disrespect a man at the #IndigenousPeoplesMarch. These actions are not Catholic, not Christian and not acceptable. Would that these students fully understood the dignity of all human life — including this man’s.”
Throughout the entire encounter with the teenagers, Philips continued to beat his drum and chant, ignoring the vitriol being thrown at him by young boys who have hardly paid their dues.
Aside from protesting women’s right to choose, they were also allegedly yelling “build that wall” throughout their march.
The main aggressor during the encounter has been identified as Nicholas Sandmann, and on Sunday, his mother tried to explain away his actions by blaming “black Muslims” who were at the rally, according to a previous report by the Inquisitr.
Philips also spoke up after the incident, expressing his sadness at the words the boys kept screaming in his face.
“When I was there singing, I heard them saying ‘Build that wall, build that wall.’ This is indigenous lands. We’re not supposed to have walls here. We never did.”