It’s normally beautiful sight to see someone who is living the consecrated life to be out and about in public with their habit. But, recently, on the campus of the University of Indiana, it was a cause for serious panic.
On April 4th, 2016, a frightened student posted on Twitter that he had spotted member of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) walking around campus with some sort of weapon in his hands.
Here’s a photo that was passed around as proof:
An email was even sent out to students by a resident assistant warning them of the threat, but saying that nothing could be done since wearing a KKK uniform is protected by the First Amendment.
Notice he believed that the person was carrying a whip.
Of course, this was just one big misunderstanding: The person wasn’t a member of the KKK but a Dominican priest; and he wasn’t carrying a whip but a rosary.
Here’s one message a student wrote about the priest once he was identified:
How does something like this happen? Is all of this a result of poor education, the small number of habited members of religious orders – or both?