Vandals smashed nearly a dozen windows and spray-painted messages on the side of the building housing the Lennon Pregnancy Center in Dearborn Heights, Michigan on June 20, 2022. (CNS/Facebook screenshot, Lennon Pregnancy Center)
The American culture war has turned violent. The violence has always been there, of course, just below the surface, but lately it has erupted into frightening full view.
I am not speaking earlier of massacres like the massacres of Uvalde and Buffalo. These atrocities are not outbursts of culture war, but monstrous acts of premeditated evil committed by seemingly deranged individuals on a scale that places them in a category best described as demonic.
What I mean here, however, are relatively mundane acts of semi-rational, hateful malice springing from ideological roots – things like the firebombing of pregnancy centers and pro-life offices and the desecration of churches, led, it seems, by left-wing culture warriors furious at not being as dominant as they once considered themselves.
A bizarre manifesto released by a group calling itself Jane’s Revenge expresses this mentality. Threatening to destroy “the infrastructure of slavers” and declaring it “easy and fun…to attack”, this strange screed announces: “We only answer to ourselves”. Maybe Jane’s Revenge doesn’t. But it is easy to see here a worldview that transcends institutional issues and lines and infects a number of groups and individuals at both ends of the ideological spectrum.
Reinforced by repetitive indoctrination via ultra-violent movies, ultra-violent television shows, and ultra-violent video games, this way of thinking leads to a chilling conclusion: when things go wrong, violence is the predominant path – in fact, the preferred way – to resolve conflicts. And powerfully underpinning this predisposition to violence is “gun idolatry” which conservative commentator David French calls “a form of gun fetishism that is fundamentally aggressive, grotesquely irresponsible, and potentially destabilizing to American democracy.”
It is no coincidence that the new upsurge in Culture War violence began amid speculation that the Supreme Court would overturn Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision in which the court imposed abortion at the request of the nation. After all, the most powerful influence in decades to foment violence as a solution to problems has been the ease of access to abortion which deer to make possible. Now that the court has finally cleared us of this appalling decision, there is reason to fear even more violence – encouraged this time by howls of pro-abortion politicians and media.
In 2020, the number of abortions in the United States stood at 930,000. During that year, more than one in five pregnancies were terminated by an abortion. These are frightening numbers in a nation whose founders said America was founded above all else on the God-given right to life as a necessary prerequisite for freedom and the pursuit of happiness.
A group of religious and pro-life leaders, noting the Biden administration’s “relative silence” in the face of attacks on churches, pregnancy resource centers and pro-life organizations, called on the Justice Department to intensify investigation, prosecution and prevention. of these offences. In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, they condemned the wave of violence as “a manifest injustice that requires a swift, comprehensive and public response.”
Strong law enforcement is badly needed, and the Biden administration’s penchant for abortion is no excuse for dragging its feet in protecting the rights — and lives — of people who seek to protect. the unborn child. But ultimately, the upsurge in culture war violence has a solution that lies beyond the reach of the FBI and federal courts. Here, the words of Jesus are probably applicable: “This species cannot come out except by prayer” (Mk 9, 29).
Russell Shaw is editor of Our Sunday Visitor.