I was in Boston on Saturday to protest Kyle Chapman . Here is what I saw.


I don’t have a long list of protest credentials attached to my name. I once protested a speech given at Harvard by the President of China, Jiang Zemin. It was 1998, and I was 19. I watched a friend rip a Chinese flag from a man and break it in front of him. Zemin would later say that throughout his entire American tour, Harvard was the only stop that he heard the protest.

I wear that badge.

Nearly twenty years later, I felt compelled to abandon the comforts of suburbia by dusting off the boots of complacency and reinvigorating dormant personal ideologies. I watched the build-up and the eventual carrying out of the domestic terrorism in Charlottesville through the lens of a good friend who was a central figure. She was amongst the group that was encircled by the tiki torch terrorists. She would later file a complaint that lead to the charges currently levied against Christopher Cantwell, who lost a bit of his tough guy persona when a video surfaced of him crying into a camera when learning about the issued warrants.

When I learned of the free speech rally in Boston that invited Kyle Chapman, known as the “Based Stickman” who rose to prominence by beating protesters with a lead stick, it  was clear to me and apparently 40,000 others that this was not a rally for free speech so much as it was a rally for hate speech. There are things that are simply intolerable. This is one.

I did, however, have to weigh the realization that I am a parent of three, and my ability to continue to provide for them is important and the fact that they also should see that rhetoric should also become tangible. As I hear stories of my friend from Charlottesville still being terrorized, I simply could not stay home.

My two hour ride was surrounded, not by fog, but an ominous mist, much akin to the Stephen King TV show of the same name that my wife has been watching recently. This setting offered long periods of solemn reflection of my decision and the potential harm I was putting myself into. I arrived in Boston and hopped onto the train to ride to the start of the march. Others with the same intentions filled the musty chambers of the T. I struck up a conversation with a B.C. professor who appeared similar in age. It was a nice start to the day. As we exited the train to the platform, we wished each other a safe day.

The concern was palpable.

I arrived probably twenty minutes after the start time of the march, but thankfully for me, liberals are a lot like my sister-in-law; late for everything.

We began our march in what gradually culminated into a sweltering heat (especially disadvantageous for fair skinned Irish folk such as myself) on Tremont St. We passed many landmarks, including the Boston Police Department’s headquarters, as the  Prudential Center looked on in the distance as we proceeded toward the Boston Commons. The helicopters that buzzed through the blue skies offered acute awareness of the gravity of the day, especially on the heels of the deaths of the two state troopers in Charlottesville the week before.

I mention the police headquarters for the simple reason to tell you that at every stopping point along the march, I made a point to talk to the officers stationed at every cross street. All but one were happy to engage in conversation. I learned that each officer on motorcycle duty is issued a personal bike. Another had a shamrock on his speedometer, so we chatted about being Irish, but split the difference when I told him I was a Yankees fan. It would later be suggested by the President that we were police agitators. The police I spoke with were not agitated, nor were they put off by our being there. They were normal guys who were tired because this was overtime for them, but also happy because it was overtime for them.

As we marched beyond the mile marker, the tense atmosphere began to give way. A truck that lead our group had four large PA’s to which they blasted music through. We listened to the Black Eyed Peas, “Where is the Love?”, Kendrick Lamar’s, “We Gonna be Alright”, and a host of Bob Marley songs, including, “Redemption Song”. It reminded a lot of us why we were there; to spread a message of peace. Before I made my journey to Boston that morning, I made a post on social media saying that the last thing the priest tells us to do at the conclusion of Mass, is to go in peace.

This was my goal, and this was the goal of everyone else that I walked with.

As we approached the Commons, people lined the streets as if it were the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Folks hung out windows all down Tremont St. to show their support. They either raised a fist of solidarity, cheered, or flew flags of their native lands. It was heartwarming. It was not long after that that we learned Kyle Chapman and company had cut their rally short and disappeared.

Our message had been delivered.

At this point, I chose to make my way back towards my car, and suburbia.

As I got home, I looked for news and settled on Twitter to see the reaction. While the predominance was positive, there were plenty of negative reactions. They varied from the uninformed “Look at the left protesting free speech” rants to the more reasoned, “Look, they’re throwing bottles of urine at the police officers”. I’ll ignore the former. The latter, however, is a shame; a disgrace. This had become the storyline. The counter- protesters were causing trouble. Thirty-three people were arrested. This was the narrative. This, however, was misleading, intentionally, of course.

There were 40,000 counter protesters. There were 33 arrests. This accounts for 6/10ths of 1% of the counter-protesters. 99.4% of the counter-protesters were doing what I was doing.

One day, my children will ask me about some of the things I did when I was younger, and maybe they’ll vaguely remember that I went to Boston that one day.

And now, I wear that badge, too.

Peace be with you.

On Twitter for your scolding @ryandavidprice





I was in Boston on Saturday to protest Kyle Chapman . Here is what I saw.

Let’s do more for migrants and immigrants, says Pope Francis


Pope Francis has issued a 20-point action plan to governments on refugees and migrants that it sees as a growing and systemic global problem. Amongst the Twenty Action Points, it says that the world is facing “the largest movement of displaced people in recent memory”. It says: “While massive numbers of people have been forced to leave their homes due to persecution, violence, natural disasters and the scourge of poverty, migration should nevertheless be recognised, not as a new phenomenon, but rather as a natural human response to crisis and a testament to the innate desire of every human being for happiness and a better life”.

“The UN estimates that 56 per cent of the world’s displaced people are in Africa and the Middle East – often in countries that lack the infrastructure and resources to cope with a growing population. Only 17 per cent of migrants and refugees are currently in Europe”.

This is a roadmap that will not be received well amongst the jingoistic, “America First” culture. It will be met with deep stares down long noses. It is, unfortunately, reality.

At church on Sunday, the first reading was from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah:

Thus say the Lord:

Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed. The foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, ministering to him, loving the name of the Lord, and becoming his servants – all who keep the Sabbath free from profanation and hold to my covenant, them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer, their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.

In Populorum Progrssio, the encyclical of Pope Paul VI on the development of peoples, he said;  “the earth belongs to everyone, not to the rich.”

In Matthew, we are reminded that;

The king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.

Just as through biblical teachings, social teaching also offer no ambiguity on migrants and immigrants.

From the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Because of the belief that newcomers compete for scarce resources, immigrants and refugees are at times driven away, resented, or despised. Nevertheless, the first principle of Catholic social teaching regarding immigrants is that people have the right to migrate to sustain their lives and the lives of their families. This is based on biblical and ancient Christian teaching that the goods of the earth belong to all people. While the right to private property is defended in Catholic social teaching, individuals do not have the right to use private property without regard for the common good.

Every person has an equal right to receive from the earth what is necessary for life—food, clothing, shelter. Moreover, every person has the right to education, medical care, religion, and the expression of one’s culture. In many places people live in fear, danger, or dehumanizing poverty. Clearly, it is not God’s will that some of his children live in luxury while others have nothing. In Luke’s Gospel, the rich man was condemned for living well while the poor man starved at his doorstep (Lk 16:19-31).

So, I say, without my tongue in cheek, if you hear the trumpets of nationalism or jingoism, rest assured they are blown by false converts, false Christians.

Peace be with you.

On Twitter for your scolding @ryandavidprice


Let’s do more for migrants and immigrants, says Pope Francis

The disparity in the Christian response to Charlottesville is telling. Trump voters are complicit, as is he.


I was in South Adams, MA on Saturday. I was there to see one of my favorite bands, My Morning Jacket. I was however, aware of the events of Charlottesville. I had been acutely aware of its coming long before Saturday.

A friend and former colleague lives in Charlottesville. She was one of the people surrounded in the picture above. This was real. It was palpable, and whether she knew it or not, I kept her in my thoughts. I also kept her in my prayers. Through social media, I was able to learn she survived. I also learned she was fifteen feet from the car that took the life of Heather Heyer. These are vivid and traumatic events. They will last a lifetime. This sobering realization bothers me for my friend, for her friends, for my children, and for the children of the world.

Anything short of a full throated condemnation of these groups and their terrorist behavior is an endorsement and makes you complicit. As I listened to talk radio on my way into work this morning, there had been a report stating that one of the leaders of the hate groups at Charlottesville was pleased with the response from President Trump. He was pleased that they were not condemned in name.

Donald Trump’s response was not a proportional one, and it exposed his complicity in the events of Saturday. He refused to condemn in name these misfit toys and cast equal blame on the counter-protestors.

The shame of a nation.

I looked, as I do, for the religious response. It came. It came with varying levels of disparity, also.

Last week we centered around the Vatican approved article that sparked the ire of conservative evangelicals. The Catholic conservative’s were also not spared.

By their fruits you shall know them.

What did the Catholic Bishops have to say? Exactly what you would that

“The abhorrent acts of hatred on display in Charlottesville are an attack on the unity of our nation and therefore summon us all to fervent prayer and peaceful action.”

“On behalf of the bishops of the United States, I join leaders from around the nation in condemning the violence and hatred that have now led to one death and multiple injuries in Charlottesville, Virginia,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“We offer our prayers for the family and loved ones of the person who was killed and for all those who have been injured,” DiNardo said. “We join our voices to all those calling for calm.”

Franklin Graham, however, had a different take. He suggested it to be shameful for people to blame Trump. He is wrong.

When David Duke openly championed then candidate Trump, he did nothing to distance himself.

There’s a scene in an episode of the West Wing where Toby believes Bartlet is being far too passé with his influence and power.

We are going to go out there and implore these people to step up to the plate and not
be quite so casual with the awesome influence that they have. That’s fantastic. But,
sir, every time someone makes headlines by blowing thunder at this ridiculous target,
it only serves as a criminal distraction in the pursuit of actual solutions. Now, let
me just say one other thing. If I were an actor, a writer, or a director, or a producer
in Hollywood and someone would start coming at me with a list of things that were
American and un-American, I’d start to think that this was sounding eerily familiar.

[stares at Toby] Do I look like Joe McCarthy to you, Toby?

No sir. Nobody ever looks like Joe McCarthy. That’s how they get in the door in the
first place.

This is an imperfect metaphor because Trump did not hide his intentions on the campaign trail. This is exactly what he promised through words and actions. So yes, he is complicit. His refusal to condemn these groups makes him complicit. If you were in the camp of having voted for Trump because he was the lesser of two, you were wrong, and you are also complicit.

After a two hour rain & lightning delay, My Morning Jacket opened with John Lennon’s, “Give Peace a Chance”. They also walked off the stage singing it an hour later. It was the antithesis of Charlottesville. It was a community of peace. Of love. There should be more of it.

Peace be with you.

On Twitter for your pleasure and scoldings @ryandavidprice






The disparity in the Christian response to Charlottesville is telling. Trump voters are complicit, as is he.

Fox News disapproval a healthy barometer of success


If we’ve learned anything by now, it’s that disapproval from Fox News is a healthy barometer for being on course. Today’s contribution comes from Executive Vice President, Executive Editor for Fox News, John Moody.

We here at Popeular News have covered this story for the past few days, so in the spirit of reducing redundancy, we’ll just say that an article was released in the influential Rome-based Jesuit publication La Civilta Cattolica. It essentially called Trump and Co. frauds of faith. A deeper dive revealed their belief that Steve Bannon was “a supporter of an apocalyptic geopolitics”. Incendiary? yes. Wrong? No.

If you want more in depth analysis on the story, refer to our most recent archives.

Poring over John Moody’s piece that was released yesterday, it seems to be little more than perpetuating a story that can ultimately only cast shade on him and his Fox News compadres.

From the opening paragraph in an opinion piece that is plagued with cliché language about the pope pushing an ultra liberal agenda, it is clear that Moody is the solemn guy I see every week at my parish, the guy who can never work up anything beyond a scowl when offering peace.

Here’s what he had to say:

“Someone brought a dog to mass at my parish this weekend. It lay smack in the middle of the main aisle, forcing parishioners to edge around it. No one said anything, but the symbolism was not lost on some in attendance: dogs may be going to church, but the universal Roman Catholic Church is going to the dogs”.

Ignoring the tiresome wordplay that has become commonplace in pieces that are written by seemingly self-identified conservative Catholics, it is important to remind everyone that this pope as every pope that came before, is resigned to doctrine. For those that are forever concerned the Catholic Church is steering headlong towards a Unitarian model, this is somehow lost. These same people also seemingly are confused on papal infallibility. Contrary to minority belief, just like you and I, the pope is not infallible.

He follows up this opening paragraph with another fun tired assertion:

“Under Pope Francis, the church has abandoned many of its bedrock positions on issues like divorce and homosexuality in favor of a “why not?” attitude. Francis has scolded people for being rich, sided with illegal immigrants, and suggested the church should be a refuge for the poor”.

Inconveniently for Moody, the teachings of the bible support what Francis has said about the rich. It’s also worth noting that Francis has scolded the greedy, not the rich, just as in the book of James:

Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten,your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days. Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.

On the claim of catering to immigrants and the poor, Moody should read an article or two on Francis’ namesake, a man who slept on dirt floors and in squalor with the least of man. Moody’s disbelief is either disingenuous, or patently naïve.

Getting back to the negligence of writing a story that, in the end, can only make you look like a poor sport, I am reminded of one of my favorite West Wing episodes, “The U.S. Poet Laureate”.  The episode opens with President Bartlet doing an endless barrage of TV interviews, culminating with him not so inadvertently calling presumptive Republican nominee, Robert Ritchie, dumb. When asked what he thought of him, he replied to the reporter,  “I don’t know, Leslie. I think we might be talking about a .22 caliber mind in a .357 magnum world”.

After an awkward amount of time, the Republican continue to keep the story alive, leading to the following exchange between Sam and CJ:

Is it me, or is Ritchie’s people handling this wrong?

It’s not you.

Why keep it alive? There’s no way for them to look good. The President was
to mean? Let it go.

Later in the episode, the storyline comes to a head when the Republican leadership takes to the house floor to take the president to task. This is when Bartlet’s chief of staff offers as a solution to rebut:

Know what we’d do if we were smart? We wouldn’t send anybody. We’d look so
good by not showing up. Let them whine by themselves.

You have to ask John Moody, why are keeping this story alive? The pope was mean to you? Let it go.


Peace be with you:

On Twitter for your amusement and scolding @ryandavidprice










Fox News disapproval a healthy barometer of success

Fraudulent Christians are mad at the pope.


So, the Washington Post is expounding on a story that we here brought you the other day. We told you about how a nice Vatican approved article has sparked the ire of evangelical America. It took to task a group of demagogues who share ‘an ideology of conquest’.  The article criticized Steve Bannon specifically, calling him a promotor of apocalyptic geopolitics.

Well, Trump and his band of snowflakes are angry now, and they want an apology.

“President Trump’s evangelical advisory board is asking Pope Francis for meetings with him and other high-level Vatican officials to discuss “efforts to divide evangelicals and Catholics.”

The thing is, we all know that size matters to Trump and this jealousy that Trump has for Francis can probably be boiled down to that. After all, Francis oversees a flock of 1.2B while Trump a measly 320M. Pathetic; sad. If we want to dissect this in earnest, though, we have to consider the crux of the story. Is Steve Bannon, a denier of climate change and a key voice in the thrusting forward of deregulation legislation, is it truly out of bounds to question his religious credentials? Is it a fair critique of America to assert that it has become globally negligent and promoted a nationalistic agenda?

As I’ve outlined before, it is important to segregate the fraudulent Christian from the honest-to-goodness Christian who has a legitimate gripe with the article.

Trump and the band of Muppets are religious frauds. He attended mass on January 20th and by all accounts, has not returned. When questioned on his favorite biblical passage, he fumbled and bumbled and came up dry. Unfortunately, they have been given the grandest of stages to disseminate their brand; a brand that caters to the lowest common denominator, to those who are living through their rose colored Fox News religion awareness programs.

The pope is not concerned that he has offended these people; that was the intent. The article was released by a publication that required Vatican approval, so you don’t have to have an advanced degree in the detective sciences to arrive at the conclusion that the pope will not take a meeting with these fraudulent Christians  – he is calling them out to stop promoting an anti-Christian agenda under the guise of Christian values. It’s disingenuous, it’s not done through the image of God. Not to be too Catholic-y, but what do we recite each Sunday?

I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church’.

So, it bears repeating; the pope will not and should not take a meeting with these people. He should, however, continue to reach out to conservative Catholic’s. Also, he should consider adding my softball team to his prayers and intentions.

Peace be with you.

On Twitter for your amusement and scolding @ryandavidprice



















Fraudulent Christians are mad at the pope.

Bannon; supporter of apocalyptic geopolitics


It’s not everyday that the foreign press posters the American religious right with a Jordan-esque foul line dunk, but when they do, it’s worth noting.

In the Catholic Journal La Civiltà Cattolica, that is exactly what happened. This publication originates out of Rome and would receive Vatican approval before being warmed on the press. Now, it is not the world’s most cherished secret that right-leaning Catholic’s are not inviting Francis to their child’s birthday parties to play in the bounce house. This is decidedly the case in America.

It should be noted that we are not talking about SSPX Catholics when we say, ‘right-leaning’. We’ll leave those liturgical scrooges out of this discussion.

For this purpose, it’s also important to segregate two groups that bear the ire of the article. It takes to the carpet, the artificially pious demagogue, and the genuine, honest-to-goodness conservative Catholic. This is an important distinction. Trump and his absent of faith gang of Decepticons parade their religious accolades to anyone who will listen. Well, except for his favorite biblical passage; that’s too personal to disclose.

The article refers to Steve Bannon as, “a supporter of apocalyptic geopolitics”. If you deconstruct the assertion, you can arrive at the conclusion that this is fairly accurate. Bannon has long been the architect of the nationalistic agenda being pushed in America. He is anti-immigrant and a lover of greenhouse gases. He is the anti-pope. Well, to clarify, he is the anti-Pope Francis. Francis, who lives through his namesake and appeals to those that the Bannon’s look down their nose at, is a social progressive, not only on immigration and homosexuality, but he shook the fabric of the world when he penned his second encyclical, Laudato Si, which centered around our responsibility to the environment. Ok, maybe shaking the fabric of the world is an overstatement, but certainly the heads of many were spinning with rage. These, coupled with a consideration of allowing priests to marry, is just about as much as a conservative Catholic can shoulder.

Now, while I say this somewhat tongue in cheek, it is important to accept the grievances of conservative Catholic’s. They are, after all, genuine in their faith. They are not frauds as Bannon and co. are. They go to the pews and rely on scripture alone for guidance. They are the Catholic equivalent of Sola Scriptura Protestants. They do not believe in the bible as a living document. They do, however, believe in the Holy Trinity, so it’s worth hearing them out.

Unfortunately, a lot of conservative Catholic’s are driven by the single issue of abortion. They are immovable, their position impregnable. This is ingrained in their being and it transfers easily into to the voting booth. This is the only explanation for why a deeply economically depressed southern United States pulls the R lever year over year. Flawed as you may believe this to be, their position is driven by virtue rather than the placation you get from the Muppets in the White House.

Not surprisingly, the article has not pleased everyone, Catholic leaders included:

Antonio Spadaro SJ has a Facebook account. You might want to express your opinion of his anti-American screed. Please be respectful.

— Father Peter West (@fr_pwest) July 19, 2017

But co-author Rev. Spadaro took to Twitter as well, saying his observations had been badly needed in the U.S.

Considering the allergic reactions, it’s clear that the debate opened by @civcatt was long overdue: https://t.co/KfhWUHNDTi

— Antonio Spadaro (@antoniospadaro) August 2, 2017

Peace be with you.

On Twitter for your amusement @ryandavidprice

Bannon; supporter of apocalyptic geopolitics

The NFL continues to follow the blueprint of the Catholic Church


Quite contradictory to the Field of Dreams moment of, “If we build it, they will come”, the NFL has strategically adopted the “If we ignore it, it will go away” approach to bungle the Colin Kaepernick saga. They have boosted this directly from the playbook of the Catholic Church. Specifically, their management of Cardinal George Pell, who is finally facing charges of sexual abuse in Australia.

I, like many, returned to the pews when Francis was elected pope in 2013. For me, the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI marked the departure of the staunch old guard whereas Pope Francis represented the ushering in of a new church. This, of course, was naïve.

Francis came out of the gate strong, first with assuming the name, Francis, from Francis of Assisi. Assisi lived a humble life; slept on dirt floors, using rocks as pillows, dined with lepers and put the least of man atop him. A humble servant – certainly born in the image of God. After all, in Matthew 25:40, we are reminded, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me’. Pope Francis assumed the behavior of Assisi by living modestly, outside of the luxurious papal accommodations. He removed ‘The Bishop of Bling’ and he expanded his inclusionary roadmap for the church to include homosexuals, by salaciously stating, “Who am I to judge?”

If that wasn’t enough, Pope Francis took on a zero tolerance approach towards abuse. After years of ignoring and hoping it would go away, it seemed as though now, finally, we would see tangible change. It was the most important issue facing the Catholic Church.

Francis, however, proved to be more bluster than substance on this issue. Cardinal George Pell, of Australia, knowingly protected countless sexual abusers in the cloth to shield the church and his own standing in it. Pell represented the lowest of the hanging fruit for Francis. He was to be made an example of, if for no other reason that it was the proportional response. What did Francis do? He did as his predecessors did; he did nothing. Well, not exactly nothing – he did offer Pell a safe haven and lofty position within the Vatican. I went to my Priest, discouraged and deflated. He reminded me to be steadfast in my faith. This has been difficult.

It is just as discouraging to watch the NFL bungle the Colin Kaepernick saga. Team after team have released statements assigning play on the field as their cause for passing Kaepernick over. Well, Baltimore, a city embroiled beyond the precipice of racial inequality after the death of Freddie Gray, has stuck their foot in the quicksand. After Joe Flacco fell injured, the Baltimore Ravens signed a quarterback. His name is Coli… uh, David Olsen. David Olson came from juggernaut Indoor Football League. If you look up his stats, you find a page without a picture and a disclaimer that reads, “This player has no stats”. None! Zippo! The old goose egg!

If that wasn’t enough, they then thought it would be a good PR move to get Ray Lewis front and center to settle the waters. Instead, Lewis came out and suggested that Colin Kaepernick should keep his activism private. I won’t assail Lewis for his personal proclivities that include murder and assault, to say nothing about his son’s arrest for sexual assault. Nope, I won’t talk about it; I’m better than that, right? I will point out the obvious, though; Kaepernick violated no law. Lewis has no such rung to place his hat upon.

I really can’t wrap my brain around how one engages in social activism privately. I mean, maybe my wife puts cauliflower on my plate. Maybe if you’re an international hacker like Anonymous. Private social activism is little more than an Orwellian concept; peace is war – slavery is freedom, et al. It’s a good thing Ray Lewis wasn’t around to consult with Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King or Gandhi. Let’s just steer him from the Dalai Lama.

Here’s what I can assure you of : At some point this season, more than a handful of teams will have to face the realization that they lost a couple of games because they were followers that will, in the end, be on the wrong end of history, and more importantly, long after this ignorance fades, Kap can talk with his children and grandchildren earnestly about conviction. Ray Lewis can talk to his grandkids about convictions of another sort, and for Kaepernick, that’s worth far more than a seven figure contract.

Peace be with you.

On Twitter @ryandavidprice








The NFL continues to follow the blueprint of the Catholic Church