Category Archives: hatred

An American story about an Irish priest, a brave girl, and the KKK

Father James Coyle                                                     en.wikipedia.org

By Larry Peterson

Each and every one of us is an individual work of art, crafted by God for Himself. Why would He do that? He does it because He is Love and wants to share Himself with us. We all are truly special in His eyes. He loves us all, individually and without reservation.

 

He will forgive each and every one of us for anything we might do to offend Him. All we have to do is admit it and ask Him for his forgiveness. However, that great interloper called “Pride”, oftentimes places for many, immovable roadblocks to humility, everyone’s needed ally on their path to Love.

 

What follows is an “American” story about a Catholic priest and a member of the Ku Klux Klan. It is about love and hatred in America. This is not about the present day. This happened in Birmingham, Alabama in the year 1921.

 

Father James Edwin Coyle had been born and raised in Ireland and, at the age of 23, was ordained a priest in Rome. The year was  1896.  That same year he was dispatched to the Diocese of Mobile, Alabama to begin his ministry. Father Coyle served eight years in Mobile. While there he also became a charter member of Mobile Council 666 of the Knights of Columbus.

 

Birmingham was rapidly growing and was turning into one of the primary steel-making centers in America. Thousands were flooding into the area and Bishop Patrick Allen assigned Father Coyle to be pastor of the Cathedral of St. Paul in Birmingham. This was in 1904.

 

In 1915, inspired by the silent film, “Birth of a Nation” , the second generation of the Ku Klux Klan rose up (the link can explain the first and third generations). These folks were not only anti-black they also hated Roman Catholics, Jews, organized labor and foreigners. They started the use of the “burning cross” as their symbol. By the mid-1920s, there were over 4 million klansmen nationwide.

 

Father Coyle was a passionate priest who loved his faith deeply and this love was infectious. He taught and inspired his parishioners about the beauty and importance of the Mass and Holy Eucharist and he held a deep devotion to Our Blessed Mother.

 

The parish grew as Catholics gravitated to the Irish shepherd in their midst. He became the chaplain for the Birmingham Council 635 of the Knights of Columbus and his presence there brought in more members from the growing Catholic community.

 

As the Catholic population in Alabama grew, virtual hysteria on the part of the Ku Klux Klan began to permeate daily life. The Klan was spreading rumors and innuendo about Catholics kidnapping protestant women and children and keeping them imprisoned in convents, monasteries and Catholic hospitals. The Klan even spread the narrative that the Knights of Columbus was the military arm of the Pope and that they were stockpiling weapons for the upcoming insurrection.

 

One of the leading Catholic-haters of the day was a klansman by the name of  Edwin Stephenson. Stephenson lived about a block or two away from St. Paul’s Church. His daughter, Ruth, at about the age of 12, had become fascinated by the comings and goings of the Catholics at St. Paul’s every day. One day she walked down to the church and  Father Coyle was outside. They began to talk. Her father saw talking to the priest and, screaming at his child, demanded she go home immediately. Then he had a few choice words to say to Father Coyle. He then went home and beat his daughter.

 

Young Ruth was undeterred and over the next several years even managed to secretly take instruction from the nuns at the Convent of Mercy. She was baptized a Catholic on April 10,1921. She was 18 years old. When her parents found out their wedding gift to her was the worst beating she had ever received.

 

On August 11, 1921, Ruth Stephenson, of legal age, was seeking full emancipation from her parents. She did this by marrying Pedro Gussman, a former handyman who had worked at the Stephenson house several years earlier. The priest that performed the wedding was a reluctant Father James Coyle.

Later that afternoon, Mr. Stephenson loaded up his rifle and began walking to St. Paul’s Church. He had just found out that it was Father Coyle who had performed the wedding. His heart was not filled with love. Rather, with hatred spilling from his eyes, he walked up onto the porch of St. Paul’s where Father Coyle was sitting down reading and shot the priest three times. The final bullet went right through Father Coyle’s head. He died in less than an hour.

 

Stephenson turned himself in and was charged with Father Coyle’s murder. The KKK paid for the defense, the judge was a Klansman and the lawyer who defended Stephenson was Hugo Black, the future U. S. Supreme Court Justice. Although not a Klan member at the time of trial, Black did become a member afterward. The verdict took only a few hours to come in. It was “Not Guilty”.

 

Father James Edwin Coyle was a Catholic priest who loved his God, his Faith, and his Church. He was hated and murdered because of it. May he forever rest in peace.

 

copyright©Larry Peterson 2017

Remembering Nauman Masih, age 14, Killed for Being Christian

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Nauman Masih, age 14, beaten and burned because he was a
Christian. He died on April 14, 2015.

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson 
Beginning at sunset on April 15 and ending the following evening, Jews around the world observe Yom HaShoah aka  Holocaust Remembrance Day . It may be time to change the name to simply, “Holocaust Day” because the genocidal onslaught continues with no end in sight.

The picture is of 14 year old, Nauman Masih. On Friday, April 10, he was walking home in Pakistan when he was stopped by some young men. They asked him if he was a Christian. He replied “Yes.”

The boy was not “smart” enough to “lie”. The fact of the matter is, he was PROUD that he was Christian and was not about to deny it. He tried to run but he was chased down and beaten. Then the group of demonic cowards poured gasoline all over him, lit him on fire and ran away. Along with the flames, I cannot even imagine the fear, pain and anguish they engulfed this fledgling teenager. Nauman, his skinny body ablaze and his skin melting away, managed to crawl to a nearby pile of sand and began rolling around to smother his burning flesh. Passers-by helped and got him to the hospital. He lived long enough to tell what had happened.

Yesterday, April 14, his is suffering ended.  Nauman Masih, Pakistani teenager, died. He died a martyr, murdered  for his faith. All of us Christians, being his brothers and sisters in faith,  can only imagine the wondrous peace and joy that was awaiting Nauman as he passed from this life. We must also remember his family and pray for them for their grief is a fresh wound that will take much time to heal. Our prayers will help their healing process.

Today WE Catholic/Christians are being slaughtered. Throughout Europe, in Syria, Kenya, Somalia, Nigeria, Iraq, Pakistan and other places, tens of thousands of our brothers and sisters in faith are brutally murdered by being shot, beheaded, burned alive, starved  and even crucified. Why is this happening? Because the satanic fueled HATRED toward followers of Jesus Christ knows no bounds. We here in the United States are only being spared because we live here. We just happened to be blessed by where we are. But even here, in America, there are those who would kill us all, simply for loving Jesus Christ. We certainly are under a relentless verbal attack.

Pope Francis stood tall Sunday when he called out the Ottoman Turks for perpetrating the first Genocide of the 20th century. The Turkish government was not happy and recalled their ambassador. The want to deny the fact that over one million Armenian Catholics were killed from 1915 thru 1917 by the trio of Muslim Turkish leaders known as the Young Turks. Then along came Adolf Hitler who hated the Jews and orchestrated the genocide known as the Holocaust. Hitler declared his actions were “in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator”. (Why do evil people always seem to claim  they are doing “God’s will”?)  Besides six million Jews another six million people were also slaughtered during his maniacal reign.

Adolf Hitler was the personification of evil during the 20th Century.  Josef Stalin of Russia rivaled Hitler as he was responsible for the annihilation of almost 25 million of his own people during his reign. This included over seven million during his “forced famine” of 1932-1933.

During the 20th century genocide has occurred in China, Nazi Germany, Cambodia (under Pol Pot), in Rwanda and in Bosnia. Countless millions of people just like us (whether Catholic/Christian, Jewish, and Muslim), have been exterminated for their personal beliefs. We are now in the 15th year of the 21st century.  Like locusts devouring a field of wheat, Muslim fanatics called ISIS, Al-Queda, Boko-Haram, Hamas, or whatever else they choose to call themselves, commit their evil in the name of Allah unencumbered and free to have their fill. They rape, burn, kidnap. behead, hang, crucify and do whatever other vicious, evil thing they can do to strike FEAR into their “enemy”. Where is the world’s outrage? Who will defend the Nauman Masihs of the world? Who will stand up for the women and children and babies that are objects of this incomprehensible evil? Is not GOOD required to confront EVIL? I believe it is.

Tomorrow, on April 16 at 10 a.m., the entire nation of Israel will stop doing whatever they are doing. Sirens throughout the country will begin to wail, traffic will stop, people will exit their vehicles and stand erect. This will continue for two minutes in honor of all those who perished in the Holocaust. On this Holocaust Remembrance Day it may be time for the Christian world to stand up at 10 a.m., along with our Jewish brothers and sisters. The genocide of today is now directed at all of us who are part of the Judeo-Christian connection.

                              copyright©Larry Peterson 2015 All Rights Reserved

On Valentine's Day a War on LOVE is Raging

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

 Valentine’s Day is here.  It is supposed to be all about Love. Yet beyond the heart covered Valentine cards, the flower bouquets and candy and all of that, we must, as unpleasant as it may be, recognize what we truly have going on this Valentine’s Day of 2014.  Yes, make no mistake, Love is under attack this Valentine’s Day and the war is brutal and bloody.

The Catholic News Agency (CNA/EWTN Newsreported today that Christians are the most persecuted people on earth.  Why is that?  Why is there such hatred by so many toward something that is all about goodness and love?  The word “CHRISTIAN” comes from the name of Christ, Jesus Christ.  Okay, is that a BAD thing? I don’t think so.

All Christians  (including 1.2 billion Catholics and 800 million Protestants  of varied denominations) follow Jesus Christ. That is 2 billion people or two thousand million people who follow His teachings and His promise of Eternal Life. What is the crux of His teachings? Well now, the bottom line is this, LOVE your NEIGHBOR & FORGIVENESS. Yeah, yeah, I know that many who proclaim to follow Jesus  do not even make an attempt to Love their Neighbor or Forgive anyone for anything. They let that old, deadly sin of pride rule their roost. Oh well, it is part of God’s gift of free-will allowing each and every one of us to make choices. However, the vast majority of Catholic/Christians do their feeble best  to follow His message.  For those that do it is a life-long work in progress and this was true even for the saints.

So, why the hatred? Why the persecution?  Why were more than 100,000 followers of Christ murdered in the past year alone?   The problem is the aforementioned  deadly sin of pride.  Why?  Because pride has filled the hearts of many and these are the people who now HATE. What they hate most is one word which is made up of  only two letters. That  word is NO. They want no-one dare telling them what to do or how to behave. They have embraced secularism (defined as: a system of political or social philosophy that rejects all forms of religious faith and worship). Christianity establishes boundaries.  Christianity tells us what God wants us to do and what NOT to do…why, the NERVE of Him!  So, many Secularists (not all) take it to another level in their personal, selfish requests to abolish the influence of institutions that have the temerity to say NO to certain behaviors. They even reject “natural law” for their own personal agendas.

They rant against Christmas which is all about “giving”. They rail on about using the name of God in schools and at sports events. They want Crosses at cemeteries taken down from the graves of fallen soldiers. In many cases those who hate Christians kill them. Men, women and children die every day in different parts of the world simply because they are followers of Jesus. How can  Love & Forgiveness be things to hate?

Well, nothing has changed since Jesus walked the earth two thousand years ago.  He preached Love & Forgiveness so they beat  Him, tortured Him and killed Him.  The loving crowds who screamed “Hosanna” on Palm Sunday turned fickle and screamed “Crucify Him” the following Friday.  The list of  people murdered for following Jesus over the centuries (including his own apostles) is countless. Being a Catholic and Christian was never supposed to be easy.  Jesus Christ did nothing but Love us, each and every one of us. Look what happened to Him.

So, on this Valentine’s Day, the question to be considered might be this. What is Love? The answer can be found in the Bible in the First Letter of John; Ch 4: 16-17.  “We have come to know and believe in the love God has for us. God IS Love, and whoever remains in Love remains in God and God in Him. 
Sadly today, February 14, 2014, the war on Love increases in intensity.

Pinning on the Marriage Label Changes Nothing

Charles Cooper, the attorney defending Proposition 8 supporters, was prodded in the court  as to what makes marriage between a man and a woman unique? Cooper responded that a man and a woman could procreate. Why the court room “chuckle, chuckle”.  If I am not mistaken, the whole concept goes back to Adam and Eve. So what is so funny?

Why would a Supreme Court Justice, namely  Elena Kagan,  say, “I can assure you, if both the man and woman are over the age of 55, there are not a lot of children coming out of that marriage.” That comment received an appropriate amount of laughter in the packed courtroom. I ask again, “what is so funny?”

It seems to me that gay couples are able to receive every right that married couples do. They can own real estate together, share medical insurance together, can be on the same lease together, be each other’s medical proxy, and be buried together. What is the problem? Is it the word, MARRIAGE? 

We are living in the Age of Relatavism. That means Absolute Truth has been kicked to the curb. There are 24 hours in a day. The earth revolves around the sun in 365 days. We have day and we have night. Our very existence is predicated on the perfection around us. Can you imagine if one day took 24 hours and another day 13 or maybe 16 hours? How would you plan. What time would you go to work? Would 2p.m be 6 p.m  depending on the day which would never be the same length? Absolute truth also says that a man and a woman are needed to continue the human race. Without  the joint cooperation between a man and a woman the human race would cease to exist and it would happen very quickly. If I am not mistaken men and women have been joining together publicly in what is called Marriage for thousands of years.

What is the paranoia about being  able to use the word Marriage? There are civil unions and nine states allow “marriage” between same-sex couples. Even Chief Justice John Roberts said, “Same sex couples have every other right, it’s just about the label.”

Why is that so important? Look, I am a catholic and I do not condemn anyone for what they do or what they believe. The Catholic Church does not condemn homosexuals. It does say “NO” to sexual relationships outside the state of marriage. That also applies to unmarried heterosexual couples. That will not change.It seems to be that same-sex couples want to be the SAME as men and women couples. It is an impossibility. It has nothing to do with hatred or malevolence or anything like that.  Being among those (including myself) who would be accused of that is not funny, it is sad.  The bottom line is this, pinning on the Marriage label changes nothing. Marriage is for men and women, end of story.