Location: Wisconsin, United States

I am a convert to the Catholic Church after serving in ordained ministry for more than nine years in another denomination. I hold a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in historical theology, and another in systematic theology, and am currently working (very slowly) on my doctorate. I work in Christian Education and Formation and teach at the University level. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and eight great kids! When I'm not studying, reading, or blogging, I enjoy eating and drinking! Like Bilbo Baggins, I have been specializing in food for many years, and my table has a high reputation!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


God bless you, Mayor Barrett!

Tom Barrett is the Mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has been a political fixture in Southeastern Wisconsin for many years, having served previously in the State Senate and in the United States House of Representatives. On many, if not most issues, he and I would most likely find ourselves on opposite sides of the political aisle, but he has long been recognized, even by his political opponents, as a good and decent human being, with whom one could dialogue, and reasonably disagree.

Last Saturday evening, Mayor Barrett was attending the Wisconsin State Fair -- a tremendously fun annual event which draws hundreds of thousands of participants over its 11 day run. He was attending, not in his role of Mayor, but rather as a citizen out for an evening of family fun. He was accompanied by his sister, his niece, and two daughters.

As the family was leaving the Fair, about 10:45 last Saturday evening, the Mayor's attention was attracted by a woman screaming and crying for help. He sent his daughters off with his sister, while his niece called 911. Mayor Barrett rushed to assist the individual crying for help. When he arrived on the scene, he saw a grandmother, trying to protect an infant, while both were being menaced by a man who turned out to be the infant's father, estranged from the mother's family. When the Mayor tried to calm the situation down, he was punched in the gut, knocked to the ground, and when he arose, was severely beaten with a weapons-grade collapsible police baton. He had teeth smashed out, his hand was shattered, and he was hit so hard in the face and head, that he required plastic surgery.

The grandmother and the infant were unharmed. The Mayor took the beating instead. Greater love, etc.

Fortunately, the Mayor will be okay. The perpetrator is in custody. Not surprisingly, the thug had a history with the local police.

Today, the Mayor made his first public statement after the incident and after being released from the hospital. His comment?

"I can't think of a situation like this when people would not have responded as I did,"

I'd like to think that the Mayor is right.

The late Science Fiction author Robert A. Heinlein used to note that a society in which the basic rule "Women and Children First" was lost, was a society doomed to fail. I think that Heinlein would have been proud of Mayor Barrett.

I know that I am.

God bless you, Mr. Mayor, and may you make a full and speedy recovery.

Papa Z

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Blogger Matt Steelblade said...

James T. Harris had the same story on his blog. God bless you Mayor for a job well done!

On a side note, the weapon was later discovered to be not a police baton, but a pipe.

4:30 PM  
Blogger MommaBlogger said...

I admit that I disagree with Barrett on most things, but I have to say that my respect for him as a man rose greatly in this instance.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Joni said...

I don't know the man's political leanings, but he definitely has a heart of compassion.


1:51 PM  

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