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Dallas Bishop Farrell writes a screed against the 2nd Amendment/firearms ownership worthy of HuffPost……. January 11, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, rank stupidity, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society.

……..and just as riddled with factual errors and logical non sequiturs.  I am stunned at Bishop Farrell’s apparent willingness to insult and deride a huge portion of his flock – probably a majority of practical Catholics in the Diocese – immediately on the heels of his imposition of an unprecedented $125 million diocesan fundraiser, the first ever in the history of the Diocese.  I guess now that most of that money has been raised, he can safely give vent to his real opinion regarding the souls he shepherds.

January 6, Bishop Farrell posted on his personal blog his strong support for President Obama’s unconstitutional (and, in the opinion of many 2nd Amendment experts, legally unenforceable and thus meaningless) executive action expanding background checks and other measures to limit certain kinds of gun sales.  There is a lot to unpack in the post, so I go through it, more or less line by line:

Thank God that someone finally has the courage to close the loopholes in our pitiful gun control laws to reduce the number of mass shootings, suicides and killings that have become a plague in our country. [First of all, whether the US has severe gun control laws or not, the US murder rate is not substantially higher or lower than countries that do have such draconian limitations on their citizens natural right to defend themselves.  There are countries with strict laws that have lower murder rates, it is true, but there are others that have higher murder rates in spite – or, perhaps, because of – such legal strictures.  The factors that most predict a high murder rate are rampant poverty, political disenfranchisement (a sense that the people have little to no say in the affairs of a nation), and ethnic diversity/balkanization.  More on the last later]

President Barack Obama’s executive actions, though modest, are first steps in correcting gun laws so weak that they are ludicrous. [Ludicrous to whom?] Congress has unabashedly sold itself to the gun lobby. [See what I mean by a screed worthy of Huffington Post or Daily Kos?] If there was ever any doubt, its recent action to kill legislation to ban people on the terrorist no-fly list made it obvious. [That was exceedingly problematic legislation.  For one, the process for placing people on this no fly list is done in secret judicial proceedings where most of the normal constitutional – nay, God-given – rights accorded citizens are not operable. Once placed on the list, there is very little recourse to appeal. This is a process meant for abuse.  I do not trust our government to not place political opponents on such a list as a means of persecution.  We have seen this administration in particular use all kinds of illegal means – OSHA and BATF raids, IRS persecution, etc – to punish political opponents.  That is to say, there are many reasonable, prudential grounds to oppose this legislation beyond simply being in the pocket of the so-called gun lobby. That Bishop Farrell apparently refuses to acknowledge this indicates not reason, not leadership, but ideology at work]

It is absurd that terrorists, criminals, and mentally unbalanced people can freely and openly buy weapons not intended for sport, but designed to kill people. Writers of the Second Amendment envisioned smooth bore muskets and not semi-automatic and automatic weapons of war. [Every single claim in this paragraph is wrong.  Criminals cannot legally purchase weapons.  Nor can those who are known terrorists or adjudicated to be mentally defective. And no, the writers of the Second Amendment did not envision only smoothbore muskets, they wanted an armed citizenry equipped to resist governmental tyranny.  There are literally thousands of books, articles, research papers, and court rulings to attest to this fact.]

The president’s action is a small but important step to control sales of weapons at gun shows and over the internet that sidestep background checks. These “back door” gun dealers have effectively nullified the law requiring background checks by legitimate gun dealers by creating a black-market in firearms for those seeking to avoid background checks for whatever reason. The proliferation of weapons must be controlled. [Once again, Bishop Farrell dramatically misrepresents the facts.  I have purchased guns on the internet.  In the vast majority of cases, they must be shipped to federal firearms license holders (FFLs) where the background check is performed.  There are larger booths at gun shows where background checks are performed, if the seller is an FFL.  The ONLY exemption – this so-called “loophole” – is to private individuals who might sell at gun shows and/or on the internet.  What Bishop Farrell and President Obama are demanding is a massive imposition on occasional gun sellers/traders whose volume does not require FFL.  These are basically people who a few times a year, at most, sell a gun.  Gun dealing is not their business. Bishop Farrell and Barack Obama call that a “loophole,” I call it granting reasonable freedom to private individuals to buy and sell.]

Sadly, Texas has become the 45th state to embrace the cowboy mentality that permits the open carrying of guns. [Why doesn’t he just call us a bunch of mouth-breathing inbred hicks and be done with it? BTW, it’s ALWAYS been legal to open carry long arms in this state, the recent legislation simply extends the privilege to handguns]  It is difficult to see how this new law allowing persons with concealed handgun licenses (CHL) to openly carry firearms can accomplish anything other than cause people to feel threatened and intimidated. [And, I think we get to the crux of the bishop’s angst right here. He fears and loathes firearms. He doesn’t seem that hot on those who don’t share his ideology, either.  Note, Bishop Farrell enjoys a very expensive home (at lay expense) in one of the most secure, crime-free locales in the state.  He often has security paid for by faithful souls. He has no spouse or children to protect. All of which means, he lives a privileged and unique existence, far different (one might even say above) the vast majority of those who make his comfortable life possible]

Under the new law churches may prohibit CHL holders from carrying open or concealed weapons on church premises with appropriate signage. In accordance with the law, the Diocese of Dallas will prohibit the possession of any weapon in any facility owned, leased and operated by the diocese or a diocesan entity, except as specifically permitted by diocesan policy.

This policy is rooted in the belief that our churches, schools and other places of worship are intended to be sanctuaries – holy sites where people come to pray and participate in the ministry of the Church. [I personally feel safer knowing there are good people carrying when I’m at church.  As I still don’t have a CHL, I rely on them for protection.  I don’t see them as a threat. I see them as a potential life-saver]

Let us pray that our legislators will see this as a human and not a political concern so that gun violence can be mitigated through appropriate legislation that allows us to live in a safe environment while respecting our Second Amendment rights.

————End Quote————

A few more points.  One, once again we see a bishop invest immense moral capital in a matter that is strictly prudential, instead of saving that capital for truly grave moral matters.  I certainly hope Bishop Farrell’s excitability on this issue – quite beneath the dignity of a bishop, to my mind – is due to his great love of human life, and not simply political ideology or a fundamental distrust of his flock.  That granted, deciding how best to reach the goal of preserving human life and the God-given rights of citizens from crime, terrorism, or governmental repression is an entirely prudential matter and one really in the purview of the laity.  Bishop Farrell has squandered a great deal of moral capital here, earning enmity where he had no real need to do so, on a matter over which reasonable people of good will can disagree while remaining good, faithful Catholics.

Second, I find it stunning that Bishop Farrell could simply lionize Obama’s stand, thus giving him political support, without making even a slight mention of Obama’s atrocious record on so many matters of truly grave moral import, such as the intrinsic evil of abortion and his frequent warfare against the liberty of the Church.  Whatever happened to “Fortnight for Freedom” and all that jazz about defending the Church’s rights?  I guess Obama’s fig-leaf of having insurance companies “pay” for “free” contraception was an effective one, after all.

Thirdly…….Bishop Farrell has come out quite stridently in favor of unlimited immigration, whether legal or no.  And yet illegal aliens commit murders in this country at a far higher rate than the general population, and contributed several thousand of the roughly 11,000 firearms homicides committed in 2013.  This leaves aside deaths due to drunk driving and other causes. In Texas alone from 2008 to 2014 illegal aliens committed nearly 3000 murders and over 600,000 other crimes.  There is more than a little bit of hypocrisy here, then, if Bishop Farrell is going to insist on trampling the rights of his sheep by excoriating one source of violence while ignoring other significant factors.

Finally, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, guns are tools like any others, tools Bishop Farrell so evidently despises because he regards them as alien and the propriety of “others” in the worst sense of the term.  More Americans are killed by automobiles every year in this country than firearms, but Bishop Farrell doesn’t spend time, effort, and precious moral capital railing in favor of legislation demanding greater automotive safety, because he’s familiar with cars, probably uses one most days, and thinks they’re great.  So he’s quite willing to put up with their downside.  But he doesn’t feel that way about guns, because they’re black and scary and icky and only a knuckle-dragging troglodyte would ever want one.  Even though almost 2/3 of annual firearms deaths are involved not in murders, but in suicides.

Anyway, there’s your shepherd, Dallas. Now you know what he thinks of you.

In conclusion, I have two words for you………..cowboy up!




1. Baseballmom - January 11, 2016

Would that the good Bishop post about suction machines.

2. skeinster - January 11, 2016

Irish, so not brought up with guns, like most of your readers.

A little primer for the Bishop:

Are the streets running with blood in those 45 other states? No? Fancy that…

Woody - January 12, 2016

What if he was a member of the IRA?! Or maybe the UVF!

skeinster - January 12, 2016

Thought about that after I posted- but decided, probably not.

3. skeinster - January 11, 2016

And while we’re on the subject, I think our New Year’s resooution shoudl be to stop caring what the Pope. or our bishops think about us. Because that just leads to the Tyranny of the Feels- a tremendous time and energy-waster.

A respectful, cheerful insouciance is the way to go.

My .02.

4. skeinster - January 11, 2016

resolution should.

Tantumblogo - January 11, 2016

I’m always doubtful giving people resolutions to perform. The point was the irony, just after this unprecedented (his term) fundraising campaign is about 90% done, NOW he’s been letting his inner progressive out. This is not the first time. And I think it does have some import.

H-town - January 11, 2016

Nothing is to stop Catholics supportive of the 2nd Amendment from reneging on their diocese pledges.

Tantumblogo - January 11, 2016

I haven’t made one in 5 or 6 years. And my support of the Church and my parish is done in ways that seek to minimize the ability of the Diocese to receive one red cent from me.

H-town - January 12, 2016

Similar strategy here, I give just enough to my parish and the rest goes to traditional orders and pro-life causes.

TE - January 13, 2016

I have been giving to the diocese in the last few years only because my pastor said from the pulpit, in so many words, that it causes him less headaches if he can fork over his assessment without dipping into parish funds. HOWEVER, 🙂 after His Excellency has just bitten the hands that feed him for no good spiritual reason, I have decided that the personalized pledge card I received from the diocese over the holidays will be returned with this note written on it, “$0, my usual pledge to the diocese will be donated this year to the NRA” with my signature.

Tantumblogo - January 13, 2016

You want me to leave this, or delete? Cuz I did a post.

5. David - January 11, 2016


Thanks for bringing this up. I happened to catch The World Over last night and Raymond Arroyo mentioned this item about Bishop Farrell. Raymond sounded upset that the bishop called his flock “cowboys” and I was embarrassed that the diocese received this kind of publicity. I was disappointed in the action of our bishop.

c matt - January 11, 2016

He’s in Dallas – Cowboys come with the territory.

H-town - January 11, 2016

It’s meant in a derogatory way, like Oslama accusing us of clinging to our religion and guns.

6. Dismas - January 11, 2016

I think you have some sort of rules about use of language on your site, so my response will be basically limited to: “Who cares about this guy and all the rest of these clowns parading around as Catholic bishops anyway?”

To heck with them and the BMWs they rode in on. The whole bunch of ’em ain’t worth a plug nickel.

I find myself agreeing with Skeinster.

If people are placing money in diocesan collection plates or contributing in any other way to these dioceses they are part of the problem.

Tantumblogo - January 11, 2016

Well that’s a good point. I have long advised Not. One. Dime. In fact I meant to put that at the end of the post, but then liked the cowboy joke better.

Judy - January 13, 2016

Hey, I got ripped apart at the National Schismatic Reporter for saying “Not one more penny from this Texan.”
As you can imagine, they are thrilled with Farrell.

7. David - January 11, 2016

I wonder if Bishop Neal Buckon wrote a response. Bishop Buckon was an artillery officer in the U.S. Army for several years before entering seminary for the Cleveland diocese, and being ordained at the age of 42. Buckon returned to the Army a few years after ordination, serving as a Chaplain, and retiring not long ago as a LTC. Buckon is now an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese for the Military Services.

8. SanJuanero - January 11, 2016

It is a good point…and a great slogan. “Not…One…Dime.” It has a Clint Eastwood ring to it.

Here in El Paso many adopted this position when the persecution of Father Michael Rodriguez ensued – and our current bishop, who you all know well, simply continues the travesty.


9. Xopher - January 11, 2016

I think the timing says a lot. The law concerning concealed carry hasn’t changed: People could already carry concealed in church if they weren’t “notified” per the penal code. But, now that Texas has passed open carry, the timing was ripe to ban all carrying in church.

10. Xopher - January 11, 2016

Also, I meant to point out that Bishop Olsen in Fort Worth has also banned weapons in Fort Worth parishes as of this year.


Amanda - January 17, 2016

Thank you for the link. I wondered about fleeing to Fort Worth but that doesn’t seem to be an answer.

11. docmx001 - January 11, 2016

The word I used when I commented on another blog when this first came out: “Astonishing.” In so many ways, as you cover here.

12. Frank - January 11, 2016

This was the final straw for me. I am done making contributions to the annual Diocesan appeal as long as this man is the bishop.

13. Gary - January 11, 2016

Ditto Frank, and not only the Bishops Fund, but sadly my parish will not receive any more of my $$, because the diocese collects (taxes) from each parish annually. I work part time at a Dallas parish; sadly if this doesn’t roll back on the conceal carry, I’m going to quit just out of principle.

Tantumblogo - January 11, 2016

Well dude let me know if you go that route. You have my prayers, that would be a heckuva demonstration of principle and I’d like to know about it, if you don’t mind. God be with you.

camper - January 12, 2016

We still have to support the Church somehow. It is one of the precepts of the Church. I have written on the horrible bishop’s website before calling him some good names (only to be banned).

The real tragedy is that bishops like these, who have been legion in the Church since the 60s, are driving away huge numbers of Republicans/right wingers.

14. Dallas March for Life Jan 16, and a cheeky suggestion | A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - January 11, 2016

[…] But given Bishop Farrell’s recent diatribe, and the new and rather aggressive diocesan policy regarding guns, I had an idea:  the March itself does not take place in any locale governed by the new policy as written.  It takes place on public streets, where, under normal conditions, both open and concealed carry are perfectly legal. […]

15. Patt - January 12, 2016

Makes me so glad the NRA FIGHTS while our Constitution PROTECTS us from such IDIOCY!

16. Patt - January 12, 2016

We’ll send the Bishop to collect the firearms from those criminals that have come by them illegally, I am sure they will be happy to turn them over without a protest.

17. David - January 12, 2016

I wonder if Bishop Neal Buckon had a response. Buckon was an artillery officer in the U.S. Army for several years prior to answering a call to the priesthood. After being ordained a priest at the age of 42 for the Diocese of Cleveland, then-Father Buckon became an Army Reserve Chaplain, and served most of his time on active duty, retiring as an LTC (O-5). Today, Father Buckon is now Bishop Buckon, and is an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese for the Military Services.

18. Sir Louis - January 12, 2016

I don’t have a problem about carrying in church where I live, but now when I visit Fort Worth or Dallas I am going to have to consider whether my obligation to hear Mass on Sunday is suspended because it is no longer safe. Yes, I know it is a grave obligation and requires a commensurately grave reason to prescind from it. But I do not carry a gun for trivial reasons. Many years ago I was the victim of an armed burglary. I got away unharmed because I successfully feigned sleep. The other person burglarized that same night wasn’t so lucky and was left for dead. The next morning, I bought my first pistol and I have never since been without a gun anywhere the law allows. Having the capacity to protect myself and my family from deadly assault is a grave matter.

19. Gary - January 12, 2016

God bless our military chaplains, they are under fire by Liberals (Heathens) God bless 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

20. Margaret Costello - January 12, 2016

The mass shootings have nothing to do with guns. We’ve had guns for hundreds of years. The mass shootings are due to the newest generation of psychotropic drugs having murder ideation as a side effect. Virtually ALL the mass shooters were on them or had just come off them and were in withdrawal. This poor bishop has no idea what he is talking about. God bless~

21. Conservative Catholics taking offense at Dallas Bishop’s church gun ban, support of Obama gun rules | | Dallas Morning News - January 13, 2016

[…] traditionalist Dallas Catholic blogger – who posts with a pseudonym at veneremurcernui.wordpress.com – described Farrell’s words as […]

22. DFW Catholic (female) - January 13, 2016

from Pamela Geller’s website —

“Pretend to be Christian”: ISIS handbook tells Muslims to lose beard, shun mosque and wear cross before killing


It also explains how nightclubs, full of loud music and drunk people, are the perfect place to discuss terror plans without being recorded or snooped on.

It has even been translated into English for those in the West who don’t speak Arabic.

“But don’t wear a cross necklace if you have a Muslim name on your passport, as that may look strange.

The booklet is being widely shared on social media

23. Awesomeness: Not. One. Dime. In Action | A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - January 13, 2016

[…] for the Bishop’s Annual Appeal.  I think you can sense he’s rather nonplussed over Bishop Farrell’s diatribe against a great portion of the faithful in his very strong pro-gun control rant from last […]

24. You guys are smart…….anyone recommend a new AK in the $7-800 range? | A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - January 15, 2016

[…] also a way to respond positively to my bishop’s very negative rant.  See, I’m helping keep some Serbian or Bulgarian in a […]

25. Jack Burton - January 17, 2016

“close the loopholes”

When the first paragraph contains such a fundamental misunderstanding of what Obama was able to accomplish it is no wonder than the rest of the screed is equally execrable. There is nothing, nada, zippo, in what Obama said or was able to accomplish that changed one single iota of what that LAW actually reads.

But… for the Bishop… it was just too good to check.

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