NRL News

RFI: ‘Religious Pro-Life Americans Under Attack’ 

by | Sep 8, 2022

By Wesley J. Smith

Joe Biden missed an opportunity in his manic “red speech” the other day to exhibit equal concern against violence from the Left as he did from the Right. While properly decrying 1/6, he said not a word about attacks against pro-life and religious institutions that are happening with disturbing frequency, apparently in the name of protecting abortion rights.

How frequently? The Religious Freedom Institute conducted a study and has some disturbing results. From “Religious Pro-Life Americans Under Attack“:

As of late August 2022, perpetrators have attacked at least 63 pro-life organizations, across 26 states and the District of Columbia, since the Dobbs leak. Twenty-eight of the 63 pro-life organizations are religious. In the majority of organizations attacked, most of the staff and volunteers are motivated by religious convictions to do this work. While Christians have been at the forefront of the pro-life movement in the United States for decades, Jews, Muslims, and those of other religious traditions, as well as some atheists and agnostics, have made important contributions to the effort.

Catholic churches have also been attacked:

Criminal attacks on Catholic sites across America over the past two years — mostly targeting churches and the negligible public response from federal law enforcement agencies and the media, provide essential context for assessing recent crimes against pro-life institutions. Perpetrators have attacked 32 Catholic churches since the Dobbs leak, including 17 churches where the criminals demonstrated their pro-abortion motive through graffiti or by damaging pro-life memorials or symbols.

As have other Catholic sites:

From the arson in Minneapolis to the present, offenders have attacked at least 174 Catholic sites across 38 states and the District of Columbia.

This is disturbing, but the media and the president would seem to not care less.

The report makes a threat assessment:

  • The social environment for committing criminal attacks on pro-life congregations and organizations is “permissive.” It is likely that perpetrators have sufficient numbers, commitment, and capability to continue these attacks; law enforcement’s posture in preventing or investigating attacks is often passive, especially at the federal level…
  • Pro-life congregations and organizations will be at elevated risk of ongoing targeted violence for the remainder of 2022 and into 2023.
  • There is an ideological overlap between some of the groups that engaged in large-scale violence in cities following the murder of George Floyd, and those who have attacked or would likely attack pro-life targets, particularly actors whose ideologies are Marxist or anarchist, and that envision the elimination of religion and the family…
  • Cyber-attacks on pro-life entities, including states with laws protecting the unborn, are also likely.

There’s more, but I will let those interested in further details dig into the report themselves.

The other night, President Biden said, “This is a nation that rejects violence as a political tool. We do not encourage violence. We are still Americans who believe in honesty and decency and respect for others. Patriotism. Liberty. Justice for all. Hope. And possibility.”

True. But there is such a thing as encouraging violence with faint damnation — as Biden has done with the above referenced attacks and the assassination attempt against Justice Kavanaugh.

One of the most divisive causes of our current disunity is the abiding sense among conservatives that there is a dual standard of justice and law enforcement afoot — vigorous protection for progressives and establishment institutions and a shrugging attitude toward real and growing threats aimed at conservatives, pro-life adherents, and traditional institutions.

That’s a dangerous strategy. If we can’t unite around a common commitment to peaceful democratic engagement and protecting those with whom we disagree from threats and illegal attacks, we truly are in danger of an irrepressible breach.

Editor’s note. Wesley’s fine essays appear at National Review Online and are reposted with permission.

Categories: Pro-Lifers