So, I watched “Fury” for Aleteia this week, David Ayer’s new flick starring Brad Pitt as the commander of a Sherman Tank in the waning days of WWII. While I’m still not quite sure what message (if any) the movie was trying to convey, the film definitely gets points for realism. If nothing else, “Fury” lets you feel what it must have been like to spend most of your day crammed inside a rolling metal box approximately the size of a standard hall bathroom with four other sweaty guys. And for the one or two of you out there who might actually find that idea attractive, remember that the Germans were consistently lobbing grenades at you the whole time.
Of course, as Private Snafu could tell you, enemy combatants aren’t a soldier’s only concern. What’s that, you’ve never heard of Private Snafu? He was the Warner Brothers animation department’s contribution to the military’s training program during WWII. All of their top talent worked on the series, which was shown only to members of the armed forces. Snafu, as his name suggests, was an idiot who never followed proper military protocol. As a result, he pretty much ended up imprisoned, hospitalized or flat out dead by the end of every episode. Where’s his final destination in “Spies?” Let’s find out…
Well, as it says in Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Because of that, later on in Proverbs 21:23, we are advised that “Those who guard mouth and tongue guard themselves from trouble.” If we don’t follow that advice, then James 1:26 warns us, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, his religion is vain.”
Yep, it certainly sounds like it would be a good idea to follow the example of the Psalmist, who prayed in Psalms 141:3, “Set a guard, Lord, before my mouth, keep watch over the door of my lips.” That’s an excellent prayer for us all, from the lowliest privates to the highest ranking generals, from the laymen in the pew to the loftiest princes of the Church. Not that any Cardinal would ever be in need of such a prayer… right?
OK. I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here. Sort of. The following comes from our parish priest. He preached avidly in pasty years over the issue of homosexuality, in line with church teaching. He encouraged parishioners in our Texas parishes to vote for the amendment to the Texas Constitution which specified that the term "marriage" applied to marriage between a man and a woman. He emphasized that we needed this amendment to protect the rights of pastors preaching from the pulpit against lawsuits when they advocated christian marriage. The amendment passed. Did it protect pastor? No. Recently, the Houston mayor subpoenaed texts of pastors' sermons after a petition was passed around. The subpoenas were issued in a response to a lawsuit, also known as the “Bathroom Bill.” Religious groups were opposed to a provision of the law that would allow men who identify as women to use the restrooms of their choice. It's a long story. The point here is that our priest did not "guard his tongue". In line with church teaching, he is suffering the consequence of having his sermons subpoenaed. He did not, and should not, have held his tongue. It depends on the circumstances.
Well, I think what your priest is doing falls under "Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, for we are members one of another." Another few years, we could all be in his place.
What I had in mind was more along the lines of certain Cardinals blabbing their personal opinions (rather than Church teachings) to the media. I've heard tale of such things happening from time to time.
Yes. I am old enough to remember the gaff when Cardinal Richard Cushing made an unfortunate comment about Jackie Kennedy's marriage to Aristotle Onassis. With a twinkle in his eye, our pastor said that there were no notes to subpoena. All his homilies are from here (motions to the Holy Bible) and here (motions to his head).
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