Opinion

Why do the Covington Catholic kids get the benefit of the doubt?

A video of Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann, left, and Native American activist Nathan Phillips went viral after their encounter in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 18, 2019. Screenshot via YouTube

(RNS) — None of us could escape the image on social media this week. Everywhere we scroll, there’s the face of Nick Sandmann, feet away from Nathan Phillips. A sea of white faces in red caps sneering at an elderly Native American man peaceably banging a drum.

In the wake of the run-in between Phillips, an indigenous peoples activist, and Sandmann’s group of Covington Catholic high schoolers after the March for Life, the same question keeps coming up: When things go wrong, who gets the benefit of the doubt?

After the initial video of Sandmann and his peers jeering at Phillips, a more complicated narrative allegedly emerged. Phillips approached the boys, it turns out, not the other way around. (Phillips had said as much to the Detroit Free-Press from the beginning.) There was a small contingent of Black Hebrew Israelites yelling at both the Covington students and the Native protesters. Sandmann, like Phillips, said he was only trying to diffuse the tension.

A group of men interacts with Covington Catholic High School students and other people on the National Mall on Jan. 18, 2019, in Washington. Although not specifically identified, the group is thought to be a sect of Black Hebrew Israelites. Video screenshot

The original video of Covington Catholic students in MAGA hats doing a racist “tomahawk chop” is hard to dismiss, however, even if conservatives have attempted to do so, in much the same way that Brett Kavanaugh’s cruelty toward Renate Schroeder was dismissed as harmless high school behavior.

As the incident became another flashpoint in the larger conversation about religion, racism and Donald Trump, Sandmann had a sit-down interview with Savannah Guthrie. He released a statement that has gotten national airtime, followed by an email from his mother and tweets from President Trump defending him. Numerous conservative publications have followed suit.


RELATED: Seeing each other in the public square: The lessons of Covington Catholic


One indication of how acceptable a person is in society is the set of standards to which we hold them. At 17, Sandmann is the same age as Trayvon Martin was when he was killed and five years older than Tamir Rice was when he was shot for playing with a toy gun, a decision that the former Cleveland police union president defended on the grounds that Rice was “a child in a man’s body.” Rice and Martin and many other kids of color in America never get to actually be kids. They are weapons, loaded from the get-go, bigger than they should be and therefore a threat. They never got the benefit of the doubt. Sandmann did.

And what do we know about Phillips? Both the Washington Examiner and The New York Post reported Phillips’ arrests in the early 1970s, which include driving without a license and underage drinking.

But there is more to learn about Phillips, and his is the story that doesn’t get told by conservative outlets. Born and raised in Lincoln, Neb., Phillips was separated from his family at the age of five and raised by a white family. He is 34 years sober. He has two children and a long history of activism. His wife, Shoshana, died of multiple myeloma in 2014. Yet what we see of Phillips in most reports is flattened and reductionist — he is not a person with a rich history of advocating for native people; he is, instead, a caricature, a liar, a fool.

Native American advocate Nathan Phillips, of Ypsilanti, Mich., sits for a portrait in Ypsilanti on May 2, 2015. Phillips gained national attention after a standoff between him and a group of Catholic high school students went viral on Jan. 18, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Chris Stranad via USA Today

Conservative outlets are leading the charge against Phillips, because the story that a Native American protester intimidated a MAGA hat-wearing teen fits into their narrative about Christian persecution. The coverage of the confrontation itself fits their conviction that the media shapes national events favorably to left-wing narratives. As evidence, Rod Dreher, the conservative blogger, bizarrely heralded the media’s failure to cover the “massive gay March on Washington” in 1993 — which included a man with “a branch coming out of his butt.”

And so, we ask: whose story is it that we choose to tell here? Sandmann will certainly go on to college and live the rest of his life without being dragged down by the weight of his encounter with an older Native American man.

Already celebrated as a conservative hero unfairly maligned by the big, bad liberal media, he would hardly surprise us if, offered thousands of dollars per speech to address conservative groups, he accepted the mantle of a living martyr. Two days after the March for Life, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News that she had “never seen people so happy to destroy a kid’s life.” Sanders tsk-tsked further that news outlets jumped too quickly on the story. “Quit trying to be first and start trying to be right,” she said, a rich statement coming from the woman who regularly lies on behalf of her boss.

Sure, we can blame Twitter, or the news cycle, or our own dopamine rushes for the need to weigh in quickly when we don’t know the whole story, but it’s nothing new. Back in 1711, Alexander Pope famously wrote that “fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” bearing witness for us moderns that for at least 300 years the human need for certainty can trample caution. Warning people to slow down, let cooler heads prevail has a nice moralizing ring to it. There’s no virtue in rushing to get in a hot take!

But neither is there in ignoring clear evidence of racism and cruelty. As new accounts and new videos of the incident emerged, more stayed the same than changed: Sandmann’s simpering expression remained, as did his immovable opposition to Phillips. (In his “Today” show interview, Sandmann says he now wishes he “could’ve walked away and avoided the whole thing.” The use of “could’ve” is doing a lot of work there — he always could have chosen to walk away. He chose not to.)

The national conversation about the confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial should always have been how we treat Native Americans, older people, and the marginalized, not whether a white kid got a bad rap in the media. It is a good thing to hold one’s tongue when there is more to be learned; it is an even better thing to speak up when injustice occurs.

The nature of social media — which is to say, the nature of humanity — is to speak imperfectly. We may need to apologize, or ask questions, or wait. But in the oft-memed words of Desmond Tutu, to be neutral in situations of injustice is to choose the side of the oppressor.

I hope Nick Sandmann profoundly reconsiders the orientation of his heart. And I hope that when he does, he considers the example of Nathan Phillips, who is not perfect but who has devoted his adult life to the service of others. In a 2000 profile of Phillips, he tries to make sense of all of it — the activism, the work, the drive to keep going in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles:

“There is a purpose for all this,” Phillips said. “I just don’t know it yet.”

(Laura Turner is a freelance journalist covering religion and politics for places like The Atlantic, Buzzfeed, and The New York Times. She lives in San Francisco.)

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of Religion News Service.

About the author

Laura Turner

Laura Turner is a writer and editor living in San Francisco. In addition to being a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s “Her.meneutics” blog, she has also written for publications such as Books & Culture and The Bold Italic. She is interested in the intersection of church and culture.

298 Comments

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  • Nice article, faulty basis.

    The outcry against the high school kids was vicious and immediate and widespread and unrelenting.

    It was Mr Philips who was given a pass…oh..Vietnam Veteran (NOT). He’s on tape lying about in several tapes.

    “man of peace” (NOT); he disrupted the boy’s own inner circle…then he disrupts Mass at the Basillica.

    Go re-write the article. Too tendentious and lightweight.

  • Interestingly enough, you mentioned Trayvon Martin. What is being accorded to Nick Sandemann Is the benefit of the “stand your ground” defense. What is not being accorded to Mr. Phillips is the same benefit.

  • Phillips and co. aggressively sought out, approached, and harassed Sandman by beating a drum inches from his face. That is not “stand your ground”.

  • As I recall, Mr. Phillips is quoted elsewhere as saying he is a *Vietnam times” veteran. Whether he ever said he is a “Vietnam veteran”, I don’t know. The proper term for a veteran who served (a) the required length of service on active duty for preference (b) that included at least one day of active duty during the period beginning August 8, 1964 and ending May 7, 1975 is a “Vietnam Era” veteran. I suspect he was using the word “times” as a synonym for “Era”.

    USCG vet, Vietnam Era 1970-1974 (no Vietnam service)
    Federal civil service examiner w/CSC and OPM 1974-1983

  • Sandmann is a product of white male privilege. His parents have hired a lawyer and a PR crisis management team for him. White male privilege in action. Maybe someday he will be on the Supreme Court along with the other boys-will-be-boys Justice that was just confirmed

  • “The national conversation about the confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial should always have been how we treat Native Americans, older people, and the marginalized” No, the national conversation should be about getting the facts straight so people might actually take the news seriously again.

  • The short answer is that the Covington boys get a pass from any adult who would personally wear a MAGA hat for Dear Donald and they do not get a pass from adults who would not wear a MAGA hat for Dear Donald or who disapprove of parents or schools who put those hate signs on children.

    Nick Sandmann would be a national hero overnight if he decided to get arm-in-arm with Nathan Phillips and we heard the two of them agree that “Man, we all wish none of this had ever happened. It was a mess of the moment. We are friends, not enemies, not rivals, nor do we wish to be figureheads for rivalry. We both want to dial this acrimony and all acrimony back in the United States”.

    You never know, but my guess is that Nick’s handlers will never let him do it, even if he wants to.

  • “so people might actually take the news seriously again.”

    It is only the Trump Gullibles that don’t take the news seriously, and that is a shrinking demographic.

  • I’m wondering if you are referring to the uneducated, the gullible, and the easily led who don’t take the news seriously,Or was eight years of “Obama is a Marxist-socialist-Kenyan-Ugandan-Hawaiian- atheist-muslim who wants to take your guns, hates America, and wants you to have gay-married-abortionable-babies when he puts on his Hitler Mustasche” really what was coming from the educated, the critical thinkers, and the not so easily led who don’t take the news seriously?
    Please. There are plenty of mistakes on all sides to make this whole lamentable mess a learning experience. But there is plenty of good stuff coming from people in the media who are looking at this whole lamentable mess. And at least the liberal media is looking at it and apologizing for where it went wrong. As in this article.

  • Go get your daily dose of NYT. Last recorded 2016 election figures give Hillary a 91% chance of winning.

  • A child accosted by a weirdo stranger and a foul-mouthed angry mob for no reason whatsoever. And viciously libeled by the media.

    And the child is already more of a man than the lot of them.

  • Pfft. “This article” is little more than a excuse-making for this contemptible show of hostility and aggression toward a child.

    A more concise version would be, we may have messed up but he was asking for it.

  • Why give the Covington kids the benefit of the doubt? Because….

    1. The Black Israelite gang messed up
    2. Mr. Phillips and his gang messed up
    3. The Gummy Worm media messed up.
    4. And that includes the **Religious** Gummy Worm media as well. Turner’s article = Gummy Worm.

    So stop trying to bang the drum for these wild anti-Catholic bigots & haters (looking at you, Mr. Phillips — and please lower your drum next time, because some adults will NOT put up with your bullying intimidation cr*p.)

    Meanwhile, it’s time for Turner to start calling out these twisted back-alley cults (like faux Black Israelite factions), who think they can get away with any kind of Thug Mess if they curse at high schoolers loudly and harshly enough.

  • He lied. There are videos everywhere where he doesn’t make any distinctions like you state and in fact implies he was in the field. Other veterans have called him out on these clear omissions and distinctions.

  • No, more like you have pet peeves and want to take it out on an underage minor. Nobody should confront minors that are minding their business.

  • LAURA TURNER, Freelance Soup de Jour(nalist): “And so, we ask: whose story is it that we choose to tell here?”

    HpO: And so, I go, Well, DUH. Todd V. McMurtry’s, Lin Wood’s and Robert Barnes’ “stories” for the juries and judges to hear in the courts, all sound good to me. AND SCARY FOR Y’ALL. As per:

    (1) Todd V. McMurtry, @FitLwyr, Twitter, January 24, 2019: “Sandmann family has added high-profile media attorney L. Lin Wood to its litigation team. Lin is committed to bringing justice to 16-year-old Nick Sandmann and his family.”

    (2) Lin Wood, @LLinWood, Twitter, January 24, 2019: “Along with their attorney Todd McMurtry @FitLwyr, I met with Nick Sandmann & his family today in Cincinnati. I have agreed to assist Todd in pursuing full legal accountability for the injustices inflicted upon this fine young man. A statement on the case will be issued tomorrow.”

    (3) Robert Barnes, @Barnes_Law, Twitter, January 23, 2019: “As Covington families look into legal action, one lawyer is offering his services for free | https://video.foxnews.com/v/5992836012001/ …”

  • It is interesting how much Philips has been derisively called “a professional protester” or “professional activist” by cons. Like that is even a bad thing LOL. I mean at least he is devoting his life to better others’ lives and change people’s understanding of others. The cons’ superhero Hannity and Tucker are “professional activists” in the sense of profiting off of people’s hate to push for a worse society. How sad but unsurprising which one the cons love more.

  • I think everyone should be able to agree that at least the smirk is bad. 30 years ago when I was in catholic school the nuns would have literally smacked it right off his face. I bet Covington doesn’t have nuns…

  • “Sandmann is a product”?!?!?!

    He’s a 16-year old human being, going on 17. Singing like in that song:

    I am sixteen going on seventeen
    Innocent as a rose.
    Bacheledandies, drinkers of brandies,
    What do I know of those?
    Totally unprepared, am I,
    To face a world of men!
    Timid and shy and scared am I
    Of things beyond my kin!
    I need someone older and wiser
    Telling me what to do!

    (Just not alwaysGUZZLE, that’s for sure. Nor CRUDDIE. Nor Nathan Phillips. Nor this here Soup de Jour(nalist) Laura Turner!)

  • Speaking of “more”:

    4 “more” years, Trump!
    4 “more” years, Trump!
    4 “more” years, Trump!
    4 “more” years, Trump!

  • A child… v.s an angry group of black supremecists hurling racist remarks and threatening death upon the only black kid in the croud, and also an (adult) native American activist with a history of baiting people who beat a drum inches from the kids face. You sound like a racist.

  • A group of black adults and a native american adult got away with harrassing minors and you are saying that the kid is the one who got a privilege pass? come on. Its on video

  • There are two videos where he says he was a Vietnam vet…not era, not time, but a Vietnam Vet

    He said “deployed”. That too is a lie.

    He also said he was a “ranger recon” [sic] Marines colloquially use “recon ranger” while singing cadence, but it’s not an official name. He obiously is remembering some ditty he sang in boot camp.

    The real term would be “reconnaissance Marine” or “recon Marine”.

    But his record shows he was a refrigerator tech/electrician.

    So has lied in a number of ways and it’s on record.

  • This is a terrible article. The kids were told to stay where they were until the buses arrived and as soon as the buses arrived they left. So no they couldn’t just walk away. The kids were not messing with anyone or doing anyone harm. Phillips lied about being surrounded by the boys, he lied about the boys being beasts going after their “prey” meaning the Black Hebrews who were the aggressors. He lied about his military service. He says he was trying to defuse a situation when he was being aggressive. Sandmann was trying to tone the situation down even telling his friends to back off. Phillips past with all the nuance of his life add nothing to the meaning of his actions that day. Nor does anything matter about what Sandmann may have done when he was eight. What matter is that Phillips forced a confrontation with a young man for no clear reason. His actions most likely escalated tension or he perhaps wanted drive Mr. Sandmann and his classmates off as his granddaughter said in one the videos when the kids did leave. Yes a couple of the kids in the crowd made tomahawk chops and hopefully adults have informed them they should not have done that, but Sandmann himself did no such thing.

    She does not even characterize the Conservative position correctly. Conservatives were not mad that a native American elder “intimidated” anyone. They were upset that boys were vilified for no good reason after they were accosted by Black Hebrews and a Native American Activist, who at in the most charitable reading, has terrible judgement. But she does attack Rod Dreher for something he wrote in 1993. Good on her. How could the RNS publish such nonsense? The only person that got massive benefit of the doubt from the media was Phillips and his word is not good he has told multiple versions of what happened and the videos don’t back up any of his narratives. Shame on RNS for have such low standards.

  • Who cares? It’s a hat.

    You might consider a career in defending rapists if you can pass the LSAT. Perhaps you can get paid for discussing the irresistible impulses elicited by other people’s clothing choices. 😒

  • You must not know much about teenage boys. They’ll invariably smile or laugh to mask confusion or nervousness.

    Phillips should consider himself lucky he only got a smirk and not a fist up his nose — which he probably knew he’d get if he had banged his drum in the face of one of the actual instigators.

  • “Conservatives were not mad that a native American elder “intimidated” anyone. They were upset that boys were vilified for no good reason after they were accosted by Black Hebrews and a Native American Activist.”

    This.

  • Have they? Been given the benefit of the doubt? Because all that I saw, read, and heard in the news this week was how “bad” the Covington Catholic boys were for not “letting a member of ‘an “oppressed ‘minority'”‘ pass through ‘their’ group”; how they deserved to get punched in the face for smirking; how they chanted racist slogans; how they mocked a Vietnam War Vet; how they were ready to fight with some unnamed blacks; how this made several celebrities and Hollywood Elitists “cry” because of the “horrific ‘racism'” on the Covington Catholic boys’ part; and how their MAGA Hats “triggered” some “journalists” of “color”, making them equate the MAGA hats with KKK hoods…

    And when all of the above turned out to be totally false, entirely bogus, and totally fabricated, NOT ONE of the Leftsit Propaganda Machine Outlets nor their Operatives offered one word of apology, one sentence of retraction, nor one request for forgiveness (one of the boys was even asked by one of NBC’s Anchor-Hos if he should offer an apology to the Veteran Grifter Nathan Phillips’ for Phillips getting in his face).

    Benefit of the Doubt? No way: these good students from Covington Catholic are STILL being maligned for simply waiting patiently for a bus, while they were goaded and marched upon and insulted by two “minority” groups for nothing but being who they are.

    Anyone who thinks differently is either an Amerikan Kommunist, an operative of the Leftist Propaganda Machine, and/or to simply too jaded and stupid with whom to have a conversation about this.

    #IStandWithCovingtonCatholic #GoCovingtonCatholicColonels

  • For sure. It’s spectacularly cringe-worthy to see Mr. Why-I’m-A-Nice-Guy-In-85,000-Words and his usual buddies doubling down on this despicable episode. If they can’t openly and honestly repudiate it, they could at least slink away into their hyena dens quietly like most mainstream journalists have already (not because they are ashamed as they should be but because they fear lawsuits).

  • QUESTION: “And so, we [i.e. Laura Turner] ask: whose story is it that we choose to tell here?”

    ANSWER: Go ask the Covington families’ lawyers! They’ll tell you!

    Source: (1) “Sandmann’s Family Hires High-Power Attorney Known for Aggressive Libel and Slander Suits Against Media”, PJ Media, January 25, 2019. (2) “Kentucky Prosecutor [Kenton County’s Rob Sanders] Vows to Hold Culprits Accountable for Threatening Covington Catholic Teens”, PJ Media, January 23, 2019. (3) “Lawyer for Covington Catholic Families Gives Media 48 Hours to ‘Retract and Correct’ Smears: ‘Lawsuits will start to occur next week”, PJ Media, January 23, 2019.

  • Dude, Phillips went on TV and lied repeatedly about what happened, his own background, and probably some other stuff I can’t think of now. What makes you think he’d be willing to get arm-in-arm with Sandmann? Why do you think Sandmann wouldn’t be the one to offer that – and get turned down in the process?

    (And, uh, what handlers? His parents? A PR firm that he hired?)

  • yeah, a very weird comment

    “hey, you know that thing trump wasn’t trying to do, well he failed”

    hmm, i wonder why that happened

  • you started out by claiming that Phillips didn’t get the benefit of “stand your ground” defense, but when it was pointed out that he didn’t, uh, stand his ground at all, this is your response?

    honestly, the comment itself makes no sense; only one person can be “standing their ground”, so it’s just a question of who it was, not who “gets the same benefit”.

  • Complaining about Trayvon and Tamir’s cases ignores the facts of those cases; not only the positive media portrayal from mainstream media, but the support from big cultural figures, especially in Travyon’s case with Obama and Lebron alike. Stop pretending like progressives in charge of major institutions have no influence. Oh, and the other facts ignored are that Trayvon seems to have beaten up Zimmermann and Tamir was pointing a realistic-looking toy gun at people in a park. Look, these cases are complex, there were unfair things said about the both of these kids, and so on…but, uh, the point is that Sandmann’s case isn’t complex. In fact, it’s so simple that you have to bring up totally unrelated cases just to try and make it more complex.

    I mean, that’s what this is about, right? You’re mad because people put effort into trying to understand what was really going on…but the fact is that they did and they succeeded and all you can complain about is facial expressions, rather than the racial harassment alleged by Phillips that got everyone fired up in the first place. By the way, this is why it’s important to expose Phillips as a liar; if he wanted to talk about his hard past, he could’ve brought it up in any of his fake interviews, but he wanted to talk about his fake past instead. It’s fascinating that you take anything the guy has to say at face value at this point…just kidding, it’s obvious that you share his political agenda and thus you’re unwilling to call out his BS.

  • Why is Laura Turner writing for RNS when she’s works for The Times, Buzzfeed, and TA ?

    Hey Laura…..Philips is a con artist. I notice you didn’t mention his shakedown lawsuits, his going AWOL on the army, his lies about his service record, or his disrupting a Catholic Mass.

    The guy should be scalped and then stuffed and mounted in a Cigar & Tobacco Shop.

  • Only bigots here are (1) the Negro race radicals posing as Hebrews and (2) Philips, who should be scalped and then placed in a Cigar Shop the next time he disrupts a Catholic Mass.

  • Why should he ? He did nothing wrong. He was a tower of strength, unlike his pedophile-protecing, sodomy-loving, feminist-appeasing leftist bishop (Stowe), who needs to be removed from the Lexington Diocese immediately.

  • Philips and the racist Hebrew Negroes brought the lemons.

    Don’t start a war you can’t finish.

  • Are you one of those 70-IQ Negroes who obsesses about race ? Or just another guilt-written dumb white liberal ?

  • He did nothing wrong. Next time, I’ll be there with my AR-15 to make sure nobody gets that close to him.

  • How’s that racist Congressional Black Toilet doing ? Still working with Farrakhan and Sharpton ?

    Libs always like to point out nonexistent imaginary GOP racism, but ignore the racial stench right in their own backyard.

    A racial stench, I might add, that is increasingly anti-Semitic and anti-Asian.

  • Unlike Trashcan, Sademann didn’t assault Philips.

    See if you can grab this Ben: Trashcan assaulted White Hispanic George Zimmerman. Nick just smiled at Philips.

    See the difference, dick splash ?

  • NEWS UPDATE: Nathan Philips just claimed he fought at the Battle Of Little Big Horn……details to follow…..

  • Exactly. I fought in Vietnam but had trouble adjusting to civilian life. Shot up a town and got thrown into the pen for 5 years hard labor. Got sprung on a top-secret mission back to Vietnam to rescue American POWs. Was betrayed by sinister forces within the government/military (again) and had to fight my way back to Thailand with the POWs after disposing of a few dozen NVA, Vietcong, and Soviets.

    Oh wait, that wasn’t me, that was RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II.

    Never mind.

  • NBC…the network that accuses Trump of racism and also employs Al Sharpton, a guy with 10 dead people on his resume and numerous race riots.

  • White Male Privilege is like the Yeti, or Bigfoot, or Loch Ness Monster. They all don’t exist despite some people claiming to see it.

  • The only racists in this country are white liberals and the Black Left.

    Their day is coming, Shawnie, bet on it !

  • It’s the hat. It was always the hat.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but these kids did not get the benefit of the doubt. The reaction to the video – the original, one minute viral copy – was swift. The kids were more or less instantly vilified by everyone, including their own diocese, with young Mr. Sandmann filling the role of lightning rod. Doubts only arose in the wake of additional, longer video placing the incident in a broader context.

    I vehemently opposed the election and administration of Pres. Trump. I even cut ties with family members over their choice to vote for him. Moreover, as an atheist I have an intense dislike for the policies of the Catholic church, and oppose the goals of the March for Life, the reason these kids were there in the first place. However, I’m forced to ask, am I ready to indict kids for their clothing. or their poor choices when faced with a difficult situation? Am I ready to embrace doxxing and death threats against children and their families as acceptable parts of public discourse?

    I think not.

    The more I think about it, the more I’m forced to consider that in a society where controversy is the media’s stock in trade, where less than 280 characters is enough to assassinate a person’s character, and where context is routinely ignored in favor of polarizing narratives, people of all backgrounds do, in fact, deserve the benefit of the doubt. After all, Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice deserved it, but were killed by people who didn’t care enough to give it.

    Yes, you’re probably right about Mr. Sandmann. He has a chance to grow up, attend and graduate college, and move on from this encounter. No doubt, however, he’ll remember it for the rest of his life. Hopefully he learns from it. In the meantime, I think I’ll withhold judgment pending additional facts next time a video goes viral and the accusations start flying.

  • Beginning with this article.

    If RNS bends any further backward to avoid issuing corrections and retractions, it will be standing on its head.

  • Do you have a serious issue with the fact that a large part of the population disagrees with you?

    Do you honestly want to pretend that a teenager is NOT entitled to present a view in public while minding his own business, or that doing so entitles an adult to get in his face and be confrontational?

    “Let us not assassinate this lad further …. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”

    https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/minute/Have_you_no_sense_of_decency.htm

  • Alwaysdumbfounded does provide one service: it throws into stark bas-relief the difference between opinion-based quasi-realities and fact-based realities.

  • It is not a terrible article.

    It is the third, and not the last, article at RNS trying to put a fig leaf over its dissemination of fake news:

    https://pantheon-live.religionnews.com/2019/01/19/catholic-school-apologizes-after-clip-emerges-of-students-mocking-native-americans/

    The first was “Native American man from viral video offers to meet with Catholic students, leaders”.

    The second was “Seeing each other in the public square: The lessons of Covington Catholic”.

    The major lesson from the Covington Catholic incident is that there is a portion of the media that simply can’t put its big boys’ or girls’ pants on and man or woman up.

    A minor lesson is that some of the commenters have little no interest in facts.

  • “Why do Convington kids get benefit of the doubt”
    They did not.

    The lynch mob would have reached them if not because of the emergence of the full video.

  • Of course such a big hearted responsibility falls to the shoulder of a 16 yr old boy not a wise 64 yr old “Vietnam veteran”.

  • RNS is not throwing its main stringers into the fray.

    It knows they screwed up, but keeps trying to put a fig leaf over it with journalists(?) who have nothing to lose.

    This author last showed up three years ago.

    The author of “Seeing each other in the public square: The lessons of Covington Catholic” appeared for the first time and is PR type for the Jesuit schools with an interesting track record.

    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BLWphSb0i3o/XAQ8p2qk1UI/AAAAAAAAWK0/Fsv1J7_eB_MT-RWW2QT2rdxgM-MCN753gCLcBGAs/s1600/Fill%2BIn%2BThe%2BBlankety-Blanks%2B1.jpg

  • “Phillips has two children and a long history of activism”
    In short, he’s a professional activist

  • ” But there is plenty of good stuff coming from people in the media who are looking at this whole lamentable mess.”

    Which they created.

    Time for them to ‘fess up.

  • When that poor child put on the Make America White Again hat, he self-identified as a loyal member of the Cult of Trump the P-Grabber. Thankfully, his white privilege parents are able to afford a lawyer and a PR crisis management team for him.

  • When that adolescent put on a MAGA hat, he was exercising his constitutional rights.

    When that adolescent stood waiting for a bus to pick him and his fellow students up, he was exercising his constitutional rights.

    There was no “PR crisis management team”, there was the simple weight of reality versus the whacko pseudo-reality that you like imbibe. Truth will out.

    Were this young man native American and Phillips a white from Georgia, you’d be ranting about the white man’s oppression.

    Give it a break.

    https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-o2Fty9TOnzU/XEeQt6LwZsI/AAAAAAAAWqE/jZ9nA3H12l4KrkE6YruT5jVdq3qbvQNBQCEwYBhgL/s1600/News%2BTeams%252C%2BStart%2BYour%2BInjuns%2B1.jpg

  • Most troubling & suspicious about this “regular contributor to Christianity Today” and “freelance journalist … for … The Atlantic, Buzzfeed, and The New York Times”, is she DID review “the full video.”

  • Best critical “atheist” on Planet Disqus: J.C. Samuelson.

    Looking forward to Disqus-sing with him going forward.

  • You’re throwing away your entire “12 years plus kindergarten of catholic school!”” LIFE. People with no self-respect deserve no public respect, except a Ratmanger. That word not only rhymes. It characterizes.

  • Come on, it is an obvious fact that the news media as a WHOLE has forgotten to report the news and instead reports stories that have a political slant to them. To even begin to say one political media narrative is truthful is quite egregious. This story would have been a blurb if political ideology was removed from the story as well as the social justice narrative. In fact, I can sum up this whole ridiculous issue in only a few words, “School group has differing opinion with lone protestor and small group.” No one was hurt, end of story.

    The media, social media, and everyone else who are eager for confrontation have taken this non event and turned it into a symbol of how far this country has gone off the track. The smart choice is not to play their game.

  • Phillips cannot do anything to fix this without some kids from Covington to join him. The idea here is not for one side to conquer the other. The idea is for both sides to rise above this quicksand and make win-win as example of what reconciliation looks like.

  • The reason this has turned into what it is, is because Philips is Native American and was alone. It feeds into their narrative that groups of whites go around harassing those who are non-white. You see, you have to amplify any incidents that on the surface feed their racist white narrative whether it’s true or not. That’s why after the all the facts have been released, we now know their narrative does not play out.

  • He and others together from Covington should initiate the peace for the sake of Christianity. They have a golden opportunity to shine some real faith instead of all this animosity which Churchians are otherwise dumping on the USA at this moment in time.

  • I’m for sweeter outcomes than America is getting from this fiasco. If the Covington kids reach out and are rejected, they would still look good. If they reach out and create an aura of mutual respect between America’s factions, they are real heroes. It would be a total astonishment to me if Phillips would not meet them in the middle. It is a worse astonishment if Conservative Church Incorporated does not want any middle-meet.

  • “He and others together from Covington should initiate the peace for the sake of Christianity.”

    You should get out more and stop reading National Catholic Reporter.

    This young man went on national television and said he had no axe to grind with Phillips.

    Having had his client say that, his attorney should get a restraining order on Phillips ordering him stay away from Covington, Kentucky, and this young man.

  • If the Covington kids “reach out”, they should engage a new attorney.

    There is no “middle”.

    You do not go up to minors and get in their face unless you want to be arrested and/or sued.

  • Phillipis lied technically every time he made a statement. He said he was hounded, cornered, and taunted to Washington Post. A few hours later he changed his story to Detroit Press. He said he was trying to stop the kids from attacking the black Hebrews whereas in the video, it’s the blacks who had been harassing everyone in the Mall. And from the yells of his own member “you white people go back to Europe”, Phillips appeared to actually side with those blacks. What is it that this man can fix ?

  • Sure, it’d be nice if they reached out, but Phillips probably wouldn’t agree…and frankly given what happened, if I were them, I’d stay away from him.

  • Love it when you morons insist this is a right/left issue or that ‘conservatives’ are attacking this wormy old scumbag indian.

    I despise the left and I despise the right, but my fkn eyes work just fine. Quit deflecting and defending simply because you are a partisan tool. Try reality for once. It sucks but at least it’s fkn real.

  • Actually the one who keeps getting the benefit of doubt is Nathan Phillips.

    No matter how many times he lies, mass media, the left and this author revere him still.

  • Sorry, my bad.

    And NYT was only one. Just about the entire media doesn’t get something THAT wrong by accident, it does tend to sour one permanently on the rest. And disgraceful performances like the present one certainly don’t help.

  • “The original video of Covington Catholic students in MAGA hats doing a racist “tomahawk chop” is hard to dismiss” My my, my first good example of the hatred instilled by the left and why those children and their school are receiving death threats.
    Thanks, I hadn’t seen one until now.

  • I don’t care if he identified as a flying purple people eater. Nobody had any business accosting him, much less lying about the events.

    The kid’s lawyer will simply take a cut of whatever they recover against those who libeled him — which will hopefully be enough to make the libs more careful about pulling crap like this in the future. As for PR firms…I’ve yet to hear a lib complain about the one hired by the very white David Hogg and his friends, which is incidentally one of the most expensive on the west coast. Either his parents are far more “privileged” than the Sandmanns, or lib donors are funding it for him in exchange for his profanity-laced anti-gun spew.

    High time to decamp — every word a lib says on this mess is only going to make it worse.

  • Very few secularists are anti-Catholic. When Catholics go MAGA into Trumpism, that’s quite another matter. The parents who did or do this with kids are off their rails.

  • That’s what all the local school handlers will probably tell the Covington kids, unfortunately. More division, more acrimony, more, more, more. Maybe some Fighting for the Fighting Irish—-or some such nonsense.

  • Oh please please take that back. I don’t wanna be “pray[ed] for” by species like you who – having no self-respect and therefore deserving no public respect whatsoever – just throw away their “12 years” of LIFE. WHO DOES THAT?!

    (Ratmanger, apparently.)

  • Their lawyer will tell them to stay away from Phillips until the suits are settled, and then only get near while visiting him in the mental hospital.

  • Do provide your citations for:

    “Very few secularists are anti-Catholic.”

    Btw, it does appear that YOU are off the rails.

  • It’s tempting to call this post-2016 Election American phenomenon a demonic … what’s-the-word …

    (a) possession?

    (b) zeitgeist?

    (c) pogrom?

    Some critical theorists have called it state-sponsored tension, typically applied to every country eyed by the U.S. But now it’s this country’s turn. It’s time for the American population to be so divided, and for the divisiveness to be so polarized. But to the extent that it takes no prisoner – not even from among these Covington Catholic High Schoolers – well, now, you’re right, “I hadn’t seen one until now”, either. Trump hadn’t either, I don’t think – which explains his Tweet the other day on their behalf and invitation to The White House. First time I sense the man sympathizing – commiserating, even. Pick on me, he seems to be saying, but why pick on these kids? KIDS!

    To which I say: OMG mercy Jesus!

  • I have no idea what you are talking about? Throw away my 12 years of life?! WTF? Species like me? You mean a decent human? Okay, fine.

  • The poor child put on a Make America White Again hat so he could get attention. It worked. He got a lot of attention. And then his lawyer and PR firm got him even more attention. Now he is a hero of the Make America White Again crowd. So why are you whining and complaining on his behalf?

  • Phillips can participate in a truce with people from The Righteous Right who are now otherwise bent on basically denigrating every American Indian and every American Black in the United States on excuse of drum-beating Phillips and Black Hebrew Israelites. I wish I was not meeting so many people in the comment section who refuse to recognize that the Famous Standoff Off White Church Kids against other people is a sick spectacle getting sicker by the day.

  • He was probably wearing the Trump hat because he’s a Trump supporter as we’re many others at the march. That is why people wear political hats and buttons and t-shirts. Duh.

    I complain because a child was libeled by a vicious liberal press. As you should too if you have any decency.

    I urge you again to look into that courtroom career. I can just imagine how well “she was looking for attention with that outfit and she got it” will play to a jury.

  • The classic line in this commentary, “whose story do we wish to tell here?” says it all. Her headline tells whose story she is gonna tell. But if she was just a minimally ethical journalist, the answer would be, we will tell everyone’s story. And you, the reader, will decide. But her’s is the typical snowflake response. Mentioning two killed black kids, but never mentioning Mr Phillips appearance at the National Shrine interrupting a mass the next day. I’m sure all those attending the mass, should not receive the benefit of the doubt either. Nor the police that arrested Mr Phillips during his many days in the bottle. Nor the military police that arrested him, when Mr Phillips went AWOL 3 times.

    And certainly we could discuss the synagogue the Black Israelis attended. Or their inherently racist beliefs. Which in many ways just culturally appropriates the Nazi Aryan superiority. Think about that. Racists .. .And cultural appropriation. Should American Nazis claim insensitivity?

    But let’s just bring up another older white man, and draw a line from these kids to him. Besides Kavanaugh has committed all their sins as well.

    White. Male. Older……………………………….And Catholic. The worst of all white men. And he certainly doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt either. Because Mr Phillips story is just as credible as hers. And just as easily disproven.

  • Wearing a MAGA hat was stupid here. Northern Kentucky (and Cincinnati across the river) are noted for their conservative political orientation. Mommy and Daddy can apparently afford hiring a Public Relations firm and a high-priced attorney to go after anyone who criticizes their little boy. These people are tone deaf as demonstrated by their little darling kid. Privilege and entitlement characterize such folks.

  • In a way, the answer is “Yes” because the hat likely reflects the views of his parents. Sad.

  • This “lad” made his own pile, and Mommy and Daddy are now paying a PR firm and a high-priced lawyer to clean it up. I doubt their sense of privilege and entitlement is gonna’ be successful. But, what the heck, “It’s *their* money. They can spend it any way they want” (h/t: J.G. Wentworth). What a wonderful way to prepare this kid for life!

  • https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/minute/Have_you_no_sense_of_decency.htm

    “”Let us not assassinate this lad further ….. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”

    So, what are you thoughts on an American Indian using faux Indian regalia to annoy and disrupt people minding their own business in Washington, DC?

    Does he get a GET OUT OF JAIL FREE card because he’s an aggrieved minority (or an unbalanced nutcase)?

    Do often get in the face of children?

  • “Let us not assassinate this lad further…. . You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”

  • “Why do the Covington Catholic kids get the benefit of the doubt?”

    A legitimate question in this instance. Might it have to do with Mommy and Daddy paying a PR firm and a high-priced attorney to change the narrative?

    As a Catholic, I can’t exclude this possibility.

  • P*ssy hats are stupid. Obama hats are stupid. Everyone, however, is perfectly entitled to wear them without harassment on the streets or defamation in the press.

  • There is nothing for the kid or his parents to clean up. They did nothing wrong.

    It is the failure of the press to clean up their own mess that is going to pay the family AND their counsel.

  • Lol! Google Obama hats. There are some on the market now that play off the MAGA hat.

    And I’m sure that anyone who get harassed while wearing them is “asking for it.” 🤣

  • You mean you are getting sicker by the day. I love it when frauds like Phillips and you are agonizing.

  • Phillips is just a supporting character. Center stage are the Make America White Again caps. Without the caps, there would have been no story.

  • DO THE MATH YOURSELF from these past six months alone! And I quote:

    “Etranger … a day ago [to] 6 months ago … 30 years ago … I was in catholic school … having been forced into religion without my choice by virtue of being baptised as an infant and then sent to Catholic school … I was religious for 20 years. … I was catholic for the first 20 years of my life. Catholic school, daily communicant. Very knowledgeable about Catholicism. … I had the benefit (Ha!) of a good Catholic School education and even two years of seminary (ugh). … [But] I left … the RCC … 23 years ago … because I’m a self-respecting kind of gay. … I have been gay my entire life and it actually DOES shape my being and views and defines my life. … I met so many good friends through online dating. And my partner of 15 years…yeah…sad and shallow I guess LOL … I have many acquaintances but often do not develop deeper relationships. Over the past two years I have made an effort to invite people over more to get to know them more personally and development that support network we all need. … Prayer [on the other hand] is more often than not a zero sum game. I figured that out 25 years and fortunately have not succumbed to it since. … Are there times [though] where we are just in a negative state of mind and simply thinking positive thoughts can help get us out? Sure. But to pretend that this cures all forms of depression or even being in a funk is outrageous and dangerous. … I remember a therapist I had advising me to focus on what I was feeling when I would go through periods of depression … and try to figure out what I can learn about my life and coping during those periods. It helped enormously – it made me feel more in control and able to recognize that often depression is just a part of life.”

  • Yep. I’m getting sicker—–of you. And you proved yourself such a pain so FAST. But, when people like you get in my face, I dispatch ’em as fast as they come. You’re blocked now so I won’t be seeing anything else you ever write. You will need to find some other sap to “agonize”. I just don’t stand for it, either in person or online.

  • Can honestly say I have no idea what purpose your comment serves aside from making it clear you need to be reported for stalking and spam.

  • Why no mention of the racial, anti-homosexual vulgarity by the Black Israelites? Why no mention of the racist vulgarity by Phillips’ roght-hand man, a few feet away from Sandmann and Phillips? Why no mention of Sandmann shushing his classmate that started to yell back (and curse) at Phillips’ racist cursing friend?

    You’re going to see what you want to see: white MAGA-hat-wearing racists.

    The rest of us will see what actually happened:
    – kooky black anti-homosexual racists
    – a racist Native American
    – a grown man inserting himself into a crowd of high school kids and getting up in the face (and beating a drum in the face of) one of those kids
    – the kid standing calmly, yet nervously, for several minutes, smiling nervously for part of it
    – other high school kids, already dancing and chanting and laughing, now moving to the beat of the drum, mostly wondering what exactly was going on.
    – some of those kids doing the tomahawk chop, not as an I sultry, bit as an immature way of enjoying the (as they seem to have initially thought) friendly participation of Phillips.

  • The reason there is no mention of any facts is because this is not a news article, despite being flagged by RNS as News.

    What it is is the third in a series of apologias for bad journalism after RNS ran:

    https://pantheon-live.religionnews.com/2019/01/19/catholic-school-apologizes-after-clip-emerges-of-students-mocking-native-americans/

    in an effort to put a fig leaf over it.

    Even normally anti-Catholic media like the Washington Post have issued retractions, corrections, and so on – but here we’re getting nonsense like this article.

  • “But, when people like you get in my face, I dispatch ’em as fast as they come.”

    Ewww!! The infamous FiendlyGoat Block.

  • People are wearing Make America White Again all over the United States without incident.

    Without your pal Phillips acting like a deranged looney, and you and your friends promoting a false narrative of the encounter, there would have been no story.

  • So a supposedly Catholic site seems to think it’s ok to harass people for wearing MAGA hats?
    Yet nada zilck about the pink hats

  • There’s another case of “giving the benefit of the doubt” that Turner fails to mention–Phillips. In this case the students, some with MAGA hats, were being vilely harassed with racist, homophobic slurs by members of a Black fringe religion. After asking permission from their school minder they responded with school chants. Phillips apparently saw what was happening and decided to intervene, which is fine if possibly dangerous–but targeted the wrong group. It seems that he had his own prejudices about White Trump supporters.

  • USA Today has an editorial in which the writer describe his look as “smug”.

    I am amazed at all the experts on reading facial expressions that have jumped out of the woodwork.

  • Yeah, that’s why thousands of Atlanta fans do them every weekend during football season with little complaint:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7-7rQF_3Q4

    For “offensive,” I’ll refer you to the Hebrew Israelites’ foul diatribe directed at a group of kids waiting for their bus. If Phillips had wanted to “diffuse”something — and wasn’t afraid of getting a REAL tomahawk chop in response — he would have taken THEM on.

  • No, not “little complaint”. It’s just the white privilege that allows you that point of view. You’re clueless.

  • “It is the failure of the press to clean up their own mess that is going to pay the family AND their counsel.”

    I’m not convinced, but time will tell.

  • “Everyone, however, is perfectly entitled to wear [stupid hats] without harassment on the streets or defamation in the press.”

    Yes, but there was no “defamation in the press” here.

  • That’s exactly the problem: They have no sense of decency. They are so consumed with hate that they have completely lost their humanity.

  • If there are privileged whites in the U.S., they are almost all left-wing WASPs and left-wing Jews.

    Somehow, I don’t think The NY Times and WaPo will be taking that angle.

    Wonder why……………………LOL

  • We saw the same overreaction with Charlottesville and with Steve King.

    Meanwhile, the Jew-hating, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic Black Left gets a complete pass.

    It would help if the USCCB would fess up and admit that the black political establishment is anti-Catholic.

  • Let’s not excuse the Kentucky Bishops (where was Kurtz ????), including Big Mouth Stowe who needs to go.

  • Well-funded ????

    Compared to fat-cat liberals on the East and West Coasts, most of them left-wing WASPs and left-wing Jews ????

    ROFLMAO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nor should he. He’s Catholic and that means standing up for what is right.

    The anti-Catholic Left can go straight to Hell.

  • No reconcilliation. Unconditional surrender or nothing.

    Did we reconcile with Japan after Pearl Harbor ?

    Did we reconcile with Nazi Germany when they declared war on us ?

    THIS IS WAR !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Right, because Donald Trump isn’t more friendly to Catholics than the left-wing filth in the Democratic Party ?

  • Let Philips show up. Kentucky is a right-to-carry state.

    Mr. Philips may be getting an introduction to a 7.62 caliber FMJ: Full Metal Jacket.

  • The Left f***** up and now they want an Obama-Officer-Gates beer summit to make sure this doesn’t show up as an Election 2020 issue.

    Guess what ?

    It will. I’ll see to it.

  • Why should he ? Why should he bail out Philips and the anti-Catholic Left.

    This is a teachable moment fro Catholics to finally start standing up for themselves and tell the anti-Catholic Left….DON’T TREAD ON US !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Just like billions of people do.

    “Mark Connelly” is a person name, “Canis Pulchrae” is a dog name.

  • You expect a freedom of religion country to surrender to either Catholic Conservatives or Protestant Conservatives or a combination of the two? Seriously? Unconditional surrender to religious factions? Why does that sound like just about the most Un-American thing anyone can say? Oh, I know. Because it is.

  • So vindictive, uninformed, low-IQ liberals aren’t to blame for this ?

    You sound like the kind of person who blames the Jews for bringing on the Holocaust and blames blacks in the Deep South for stirring up trouble in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

  • It was originally. Once the Left tried to frame these kids, they declared war. Now it’s up to us to finish it.

    We will.

  • Wow. Such scary, scary aggression. An old man singing and playing an instrument. Don’t know how little Nathan and his 200 besties endured such a terrifying threat.

  • Anybody who isn’t a member of the caviar-eating cosmopolitan cabal is a bigot.

    American’s Silent Majority thinks otherwise.

  • His theology is radical congregationalism, which he insists despite the definitions and facts makes him “catholic”.

  • He was under DC law committing a misdemeanor:

    § 22–3133. Stalking.

    (a) It is unlawful for a person to purposefully engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific individual:

    (1) With the intent to cause that individual to:

    (A) Fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person;

    (B) Feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened; or

    (C) Suffer emotional distress;

    (2) That the person knows would cause that individual reasonably to:

    (A) Fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person;

    (B) Feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened; or

    (C) Suffer emotional distress; … Etc.

    In an effort not to escalate no one called the police, which is what the chaperones SHOULD have done.

  • The hostility and aggression to which I refer is that of the lying liberal media and the hateful libs who fell for it. Learn to read.

  • I spent a little time on the DC statutes and believe Phillips could have fairly been charged under:

    § 22–3133. Stalking.

    (a) It is unlawful for a person to purposefully engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific individual:

    (1) With the intent to cause that individual to:

    (A) Fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person;

    (B) Feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened; or

    (C) Suffer emotional distress;

    (2) That the person knows would cause that individual reasonably to:

    (A) Fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person;

    (B) Feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened; or

    (C) Suffer emotional distress; … Etc.

    He sure did not get in the boy’s face and beat a drum to commence a meaningful conversation.

    That impression is reinforced by what Phillips did elsewhere:

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/national-shrine-says-nathan-phillips-allegedly-tried-to-disrupt-mass

  • Phillips appears to have been violating District of Columbia law:

    § 22–3133. Stalking.

    (a) It is unlawful for a person to purposefully engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific individual:

    (1) With the intent to cause that individual to:

    (A) Fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person;

    (B) Feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened; or

    (C) Suffer emotional distress;

    (2) That the person knows would cause that individual reasonably to:

    (A) Fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person;

    (B) Feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened; or

    (C) Suffer emotional distress; … Etc.

    That impression is reinforced by other stunts he pulled in DC:

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/national-shrine-says-nathan-phillips-allegedly-tried-to-disrupt-mass

    What you’re promoting is the Anti-Fa prescription: if you opponent is conservative religious believer, opposes what you believe, and you feel frisky, you can’t get in her or his face, annoy, harass, and otherwise be a complete jerk.

  • You’re a bigot when you say bigoted things. You’re a bigot. America’s Ignorant Majority isn’t capable of understanding this.

  • Seems like Jesus would have known something about “Just War Theory”. given he was God and all…

  • To clarify. When I say this is a non-issue, I mean regarding who is truthful and who is lying. I’m actually mad as hell about this.

  • “clear evidence of racism and cruelty”? Not much about this event is clear. We have no way of knowing the thoughts or heart of either Sandmann or Phillips. If we see a “simpering expression” instead of a smile and if we see “a sea . . . in red caps” when actually only a few students had them on, perhaps that says more of the viewer’s bias than anything about those who were there. It’s a subjective matter of interpretation whether Phillips was “peaceably” banging a drum. He, a grown man, initiated the encounter with Sandmann. He invaded a young man’s personal space and beat a drum inches from the boy’s face. I’m not sure that was intended to be “peaceably”. But in reality, we can’t know his intent, nor that of Sandmann.

  • I’ve never heard of that statute being applied to actions at protests, though, and i don’t see how it could be applied evenhandedly.

  • I would stop short of scalping him but I want him exposed as the fraud that he is. He’s a disgusting liar and the media has made him the victim.

  • It’s clear that the narrative has been false from the beginning and that even when the truth is obvious, the press hangs on a lie.

  • I have no idea what “how it could be applied evenhandedly” means.

    It is rather simple.

    Did the scary drum man get in the child’s face with the intention to to cause that minor to fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person, feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened, or suffer emotional distress?

    The answer is rather obviously “yes”.

  • Gee, “Bob Arnzen” sounds like a person’s name, while “Canis Pulchrae” (Beautiful Bitch) is a dog’s name.

  • No way!

    This author is using a religious platform to attack these innocent kids who were doing nothing but minding their own business. She has hijacked a religious platform to wage her campaign of hate.

    Leftist extremism has infiltrated almost every traditional denomination of Christianity. This author is a shining example of using Christianity to persecute the innocent.

  • Right now the United Methodist Church is facing a huge issue that will be voted on in February to allow gay marriage and gay/trans ministers in the church. Whatever the vote, it will likely split the denomination. We’ve already had people leave our local church over it.

  • What a stupid article. And the the sentence ”I hope Nick Sandmann profoundly reconsiders the orientation of his heart”. Why? The boy did nothing wrong. It looks like Mrs. Turner just can’t accept that.

  • I see. Using the same intellect that views the old indian prick as the victim and the kids as aggressors. Well you’ll win every argument, won’t ya?

  • Street Suggestion #483-B:

    Do NOT play musical instruments five inches away from another person’s face. It’s considered an open invite to Impromptu Free-for-all.

  • His handle “claims” nothing. If anything, it “suggests” that he’s a kid WITH a Corvette.
    Digging in to defend the indefensible discredits your credibility.

  • Calling Sandmann’s smile a “smirk” is passing judgment on the kid’s state of mind – a conclusion that no one has the ability draw unless they’re claiming psychic powers, and which is contradicted by a) Sandmann’s own account; b) the account of the kids’ chaperones on site; and c) the reality revealed by the contextualizng videos.

    Your conclusion is a “conceit – “a flight of imagination or fancy.”

  • Well I guess we are living in an age where it is impossible to call something what it is – you know PR firms and all.

  • What you’re talking about is yelling a very narrow world view into others’ faces, including mine, when we have no interest in hearing about it. If you don’t want Catholics embarrassed and embattled , don’t go about embarrassing the whole religion with your WAR talk..

  • When Catholics and the Church are attacked as they were in this smear-a-thon, it’s not me and others who are asking for war.

    The only difference between a war and what is going on now is that right now we aren’t fighting back. That changes now.

  • Or left-wing Episcopalianism or Unitarianism. Regardless, it’s a cancer in the Church not unlike pedophilia.

    In each case, the Catholic Church proved an attractive nuisance to a group looking to use it as a stalking ground for their personal agendas. Pedophiles needed children and teens; leftists like Stowe and Cupich hijack “social justice” mandates.

  • Have fun with it. I’ll be in spirit with those places which have far more Catholics than Covington, often brown-skinned Catholic Democrats who most likely won’t think much of the war you think you are in.

  • The Catholic Church in this country was build by and for and is largely comprised of white middle-class Catholics. We will NOT apologize for who we are.

  • Boo-hoo….the Left has cried BIGOT and RACIST and MYSOGNIST so often they have lost all meaning. Nobody cares.

    I remember in the 1970’s when being called a racist was a career-ender in politics. Today, it’s a badge of honor since the people doing the accusing are usually the racists themselves (i.e., NAACP, Congressional Black Caucus, Al Sharpton, etc.).

  • It’s a protest, “getting in each others’ faces” is kinda the point, and will be happening all over the place so there’s no way the police could get them all. Also, there’s a problem with “specific individual,” Phillips seems to have picked his target by two criteria, “White” and “MAGA hat.” Beyond that, it was a toss of the dice.

  • From a legal standpoint if “‘getting in each others’ faces’ is kinda the point”, it’s a mob or confrontation.

    Peaceful assembly is legal.

    Attempting to make people move, cower, wet their pants, or otherwise by your actions is not.

    That is why typically in crowd control police establish clear spaces between groups with conflicting viewpoints.

    Your use of the word “target” demonstrates that looking at the pictures and the video you understood that Phillips was targeting someone, which is the definition of the offense. That he could have chosen someone else is irrelevant.

    Apparently the minor he picked was the tallest in the group.

    The only surprise I had was that the DC law calls it “stalking”.

    In most jurisdictions stalking is defined differently.

  • It has been amazing to see all the facial expression interpretation experts coming out of the woodwork to analyze this young man’s expression.

    Oddly they all seem to share a single viewpoint on abortion, whites, and Catholics.

    It must be one of those odd coincidences we encounter every day.

  • Trump is not hostile to the Catholic Church. He may not be Catholic or even agree with the CC on 100% of the issues. But he is not anti-Catholic.

    Liberalism is inherently anti-Catholic.

  • Too bad you couldn’t have warned my black students when I tutored in the ghetto that I was a racist.

  • Your problem is in trying to insist that Catholics are Trumpees and/or in trying to make Catholics into Trumpees. God did not create you guys to be any such thing, and did not permit his Son to die on the cross for any such thing. Your Holy Father’s leadership is not about any such thing.

    Make peace. Make kindness. That is the only purpose of your church or any church.

  • Who said anything about Trump and the CC ? I am not proposing to make him a Saint or dedicate a Feast to him.

    I am simply pointing out the obvious: Trump is pro-Catholic when it comes to policies and issues that are of concern to Catholics. These include Catholic-centered issues (e.g., RTL, religious freedom, etc.) as well as meat-and-potatos stuff like racial quotas, affirmative action, crime, slum housing, etc.

    Trump is with us. The Democrats are not. Simple as that.

  • Trump made a Feast of you, devouring the heart of what your religion is supposed to be about and turning millions of might-have-been Christians into bots.

  • “Ricky” uttered “Durp”. It is a neologism that means something or other. So I responded with something or other. “CorvetteKid1969” portrays him/herself as a canine, and we all know that dogs would never be allowed to own, much less drive, a Corvette.

  • Somebody said “something or other,” and you replied with “something or other.” Well, that certainly clarifies…nothing. If you think CovetteKid is a dog because of his handle’s icon, I guess that would make you a faceless, featureless, poor imitation of a human being.

  • Wow, Laura, you so misrepresent what happened here that I think you too should be given notice of pending prosecution, You are a published journalist and are using your influence to defame these children. Our God is a God of justice and mercy. If I were you I’d come clean, recant and apologise. Why have this hanging over you for all eternity?

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