Saturday, September 13, 2008

Father Principe Rides Shotgun

Yesterday's New York Times carried a good City Room column by David Gonzalez on the morality of double-parking.

After being boxed in for an hour on an Upper Manhattan street, Gonzalez turned to his one-time high school theology teacher, Fr. Francis Principe, for an opinion on the "everybody is doing it" mentality:

From "Don't Box Me In, Double-Parker":

“‘Everybody does it’ is not exactly an argument clincher,” he said on Tuesday, when reached at his residence at Spellman. “That leads to the basic question, is it right or wrong? You can’t say ‘everybody does it’ because if that was the case, we’d still have slavery. People have to judge if something is fundamentally right or wrong. You know, the concept of majority rule can often be tyrannical, especially in moral and legal matters.”

Suddenly, I felt as if I was back at Hayes, marshmallow platforms, polyester suits and blow-dried hair.

“If everyone did it, you can see what happens,” he said. “But not everyone does it. First, you can’t actually prove everyone does it. Also, that kind of attitude leads to a disregard of the law. People suffer. Where do you draw the line? The question should be is it right or wrong, true or false, legal or illegal.”

Next time, Father Principe rides shotgun. Everybody, you’re on notice.

The NYT photo above is credited to Josh Haner.

1 comment:

HowiTown said...

Hmmmm, do people really double park there for long periods of time and not get fined out the you-know-what?

We'd be towed in a heartbeat.