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Fighting Spectator Syndrome and Mob Mentality

If you have been living in a cave, you missed the latest viral newsfeed coming straight out of Memphis.  In the last several days two major crimes have made national headlines.  The first incident was a mob attack of 3 citizens outside of a Memphis area Kroger store.  Coming from a CiCi’s pizza, to which police had already been called earlier, two groups of teenagers were planning to fight one another.  How much “planning” is unknown.  An hour, still hanging around, they chased someone exiting their car and beat up two Kroger employees.  So far, 11 are charged with some level of involvement in the criminal activity.  One of the criminals is being charged with aggravated assault.  That used to be called attempted murder, boys and girls.  Just a few days later, a woman was shot and killed outside an area Target store.

If you have seen the video of the Kroger attack (and it’s all over the web) you see scads of people aged anywhere from 14 to 19, according to reports, racing around, cheering, yelling, some participating physically in the beat down.  The reports have also indicated that after leaving the CiCi’s the group was running through the shopping center banging on properties and generally causing problems.  You’ll also see the person filming with a camera phone while all this is going on.  Toward the end of the clip you’ll see a security guard hand the cameraperson his phone and then turn to one of the beaten victims, now unconscious and bleeding.

Here’s what you don’t see: somebody helping.

When the cops were called in the first place, why wasn’t the crowd dispersed?  Why didn’t the police stick around until they were gone?  When the first person was being chased, where were the people to help?  Where was anybody?  They were all watching, possibly waiting on someone to do something, but watching.  I’d be surprised if others were not filming as well.

I cannot place blame on anyone other than the attackers, but obviously this was more mob mentality than a planned attack.  Of course, the courts will prove how much premeditation was involved.  I don’t have enough information to know what circumstances aided the crimes or what were the reasons for the complete absence of help for these victims.

This kind of crap is on the rise, though.  There is no check valve in the brain to say, “this is not a good thing to do” much less the courage to stand up in the mob and say something.  Rioting and looting are very similar.  Mob mentality.  No thought.  Just do what everyone else is doing.

The other crap is the standing around.  Way too much of that going on as well.  People are either too scared or too voyeuristic to involve themselves in the real life struggles.  Whether local or abroad, apathy is a big problem.

The only solution that I know that works is ACTION.  Men, women, and children must be willing to THINK FOR THEMSELVES against the mentality of the mob and against the apathy and laziness of the culture.  They must ACT and stand up for what is right, most especially to defend those who cannot defend themselves.  I don’t care whether you are Catholic or even Christian.  Caring for your fellow man is the right thing to do.

Men, I look to you first.  Your kids will act or sit based on what they see and hear from you.  They will learn from others what you fail to teach them, even if “others” means the mob and the apathetic culture.  Do not lay down.  Stand up and FIGHT LIKE YOU HAVE A PAIR.  You know what I mean.  We need fierce faith and fidelity.  We need to show that there are things worth standing up for, even dying for if necessary.  I know it’s difficult.  But man, look at the women and children and yes, men, who have been butchered for their faith in recent days.  If their courage does not give you a sharp challenge and a burning heart, you need to run as fast as you can to confession and begin the healing process.

Guys, we gotta be strong.  If we do not stand up, who will?  Start something.  Stand up.  Fight hate.  Fight racism.  Fight violence.  Fight for the weak.  Fight for dignity.  Fight for freedom.  Don’t wait on somebody else to do it.  Don’t stand around filming it.  Be the one who acts.  Pray for each other.  Pray for me.  I am praying for you.  God has not abandoned you.  He has a plan.

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Encouraging Vocations

As Catholic men, we should encourage one another in our vocations. For many of us, that vocation is the Sacrament of Matrimony. That means being the man our spouse needs. If God has given us children, that also means being the man our children need. For others, this could mean a call to celibacy, or possibly to the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Read the rest of this entry

The Value of Delayed Gratification

In the motion picture, The Matrix, Mouse tries to play digital pimp to Neo. One line I remember goes like

“To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human.”

Did you catch that when you saw the movie?  I didn’t. I was waiting for more fighting.   Anyway, think about what he said. Is he right?  Actually, he isn’t.

Read the rest of this entry