Sunday, July 10, 2016

Saint Peter ad Vincula - column

Mack Hall, HSG

Saint Peter ad Vincula

1st chess player, moving a pawn: “En passant.”
2nd chess player: “Just down the hallway, second door to your left.”

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Can a chess player have a checkered past?

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What is an ozone action day? What is ozone? Is it good? Bad? Decades ago the boys and girls with thick glasses and white lab coats were telling us that there was a hole in the ozone layer, said hole being a bad thing because ozone is a good thing. Now the hole in the ozone layer is closing up, and that’s a good thing because ozone is a good thing. But an ozone day is bad thing, and we are told we should not mow our yards or drive our cars lest there be more ozone.


I wish in either case that the roving peddlers of make-it-up-as-you-go-along ideologies and “paving materials left over from a job” who infest my driveway would carpool, not so much for the ozone but so that I could conveniently shoo them off as a discount package.

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In a week in which there has been little cause for optimism about the human character there was this good moment: in Weatherford, Texas, six prisoners broke out of a courthouse holding cell, not for personal freedom but for the good of their fellow man.

The jailer, who had been chatting amiably with his charges, suffered a heart attack and fell to the floor unconscious. There was no one around except the prisoners, all of them shackled, who then broke down the door to get to the man and do what they could. None of them knew how to give CPR but they knew how to make a racket, and did.

Deputies and bailiffs in the courtroom upstairs responded to what they thought was a fight, and took charge of the scene. The medics got the jailer’s heart jump-started, and apparently he will be okay. The county installed a better door to the holding cells.

For a few minutes the six prisoners were in control of everything in the courthouse basement. They were in control of the keys, and could have bolted. They were also in control of a seventh man’s life and of his firearm. They could have made several kinds of bad decisions, but apparently it never occurred to them to do so; they made only the right decision.

You probably couldn’t trust these lads with your car or unattended lawn equipment, but you can certainly trust them with your life, and what is more important than that?

Saint Peter in Chains, pray for them and for all prisoners, and for all of us.


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