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Archbishop on Violence

March 03, 1991

In vilifying the weapon used by the killer, the archbishop neglects to note that a similar weapon is carried by all police officers. Does a pistol then become evil only when held by someone without a metal icon on his/her chest? Fortunately, St. Augustine answered that question nearly 1,600 years ago. He stated that steel of itself is not evil; however, should a man use steel for a criminal purpose, then that man is evil.

When affirming the dogma of individual free will, one would be equally illogical in condemning members of the clergy for failing to instill the value of brotherly love in the killer as it would be to blame an inanimate object for an evil man's chosen actions.

By calling for more government control, Mahony demeans the right of free will. It is indeed sorrowful that a leader of a religion that exhorts its parishioners to strong, individual beliefs should stray from his vocational path. Instead of striving to build a community based on a foundation of strong believing individuals, Mahony has chosen to act as a catalyst in the formation of the new mass man. The ideal governable citizen--one who is devoid of rights, spiritually dead, mentally malleable and physically controllable.

RANDALL D. PFIESTER, Canyon Country

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