Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Father Geoff Farrow spoke on Sunday in Fresno, as he had been used to doing before being suspended by the Catholic Bishop for failure to appropriately promote hate and bigotry as per pastoral instruction letter.
Although he was back in the old hood, things were different. First, he wasn't in the sanctuary, he was on the steps of City Hall. It wasn't his usual parish, it was a No on 8 Rally. He shared the stage with Christina Chavez, the granddaughter of immigrant rights activist Cesar Chavez.
And there was one other difference- it was the first time that he had ever worn a Kevlar vest under his collars. I borrowed it from my ex, Michael, who works in law enforcement and was more than happy to help out. There had been a few concerning messages and just enough Yes of 8 supporters starting fights and getting arrested (and one church promising to let out early for counter demonstrations) that it seemed a wise precaution. Of course, a vest is only so much protection, it wouldn't keep a bullet from entering his brain. But it was a darn sight safer than nothing.
After the rally, one of the undercover police officers came over to him and tapped his chest. "Too bad you have to wear that, Father" he said. Too bad indeed.
But he wasn't wearing it because of anyone from the No on 8 side of the aisle.
Kudos to Father Geoff for going back to Fresno on behalf of No on 8. The Kevlar padre's got guts.