The mind boggles.
On Tuesday morning, the far-right Catholic media outlet Church Militant published a video editorial suggesting that violence may be necessary, and justified, if the country’s divisions can’t be addressed through political means.
Describing Election Day as a “day of reckoning for the communists who have seized so much control of the country and wreaked so much havoc on America,” Church Militant founder Michael Voris warned that, in the “all-out war going on between the forces of darkness who have complete control of one political party and partial control over the other,” conservatives might have “no choice but to fight back violently if needs be.” That shouldn’t be the first resort, Voris went on to say, but it “must always be an option.”
Now we are in a pitched battle in the political arena — the last remaining line before all-out civil war. If you love peace and you don’t want to see violence, then you better get involved on the political front. And let’s be clear about this, for all the phony or delusional pacifists out there: violence in and of itself is not immoral. It depends on the circumstances and sometimes even, it’s necessary: self defense, the subduing of an aggressor threatening the life of your family, the Son of God in the temple violently whipping the money changers.
The idea that violence must always, at all times, always be avoided is not Catholic. Remember the Crusades? Sometimes violence must be unleashed to protect the innocent. But lethal violence — because of its drastic, you-can-never-come-back-from-it consequences — must never be the first resort. In fact it must always be the last resort, and then not be allowed to turn into an orgy of dominance over the foe. Nonetheless, violence does — must always be an option. Welcome to a fallen world.
There’s more, including some additional background. Read on.
The message here flies in the face of established Church teaching, including pronouncements from recent popes about the evil of violence.
Some words from the catechism might be helpful here:
2258 “Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.”
2260 The covenant between God and mankind is interwoven with reminders of God’s gift of human life and man’s murderous violence:
- For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning. . . . Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.
2262 In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord recalls the commandment, “You shall not kill,” and adds to it the proscription of anger, hatred, and vengeance. Going further, Christ asks his disciples to turn the other cheek, to love their enemies. He did not defend himself and told Peter to leave his sword in its sheath.
In 1994, the U.S. Catholic bishops cited Pope John Paul II when they wrote:
We must join with Pope John Paul II to “proclaim, with all the conviction of my faith in Christ and with an awareness of my mission, that violence is evil, that violence is unacceptable as a solution to problems, that violence is unworthy… Violence is a lie, for it goes against the truth of our faith, the truth of our humanity.”
And there’s this, from Pope Benedict:
“”The cruel consequences of religiously motivated violence are only too evident to us all. Violence does not build up the kingdom of God, the kingdom of humanity. On the contrary, it is a favorite instrument of the Antichrist, however idealistic its religious motivation may be,” Benedict wrote. “It serves, not humanity, but inhumanity.”
Pray for our country — and pray, during these troubled times, for the intercession of the Queen of Peace.
UPDATE: A reader writes:
Your comments on the Church Militant Vortex concerning political violence was wholly dishonest and you know it was. The Church does not oppose violence in defense of weak or in defense of the Church itself, think Lepanto or Tours. The fact that you linked an article form Leftist sewage pipe Salon about Church Militant really tells me all I need to know. The time is soon approaching where Catholics like you will either side with Christ and His Church or secular forces like Salon.com How is that “spirit of Vatican 2′ working for you nowadays, with its closing of parishes, schools and 70 percent of Catholic not believing in the Real Presence. Church Militant is not perfect by any means but tell me, what has the Establishment Church done in the past 50 years to defend the Faith. Impose Canon 912 on these false Catholic politicians ??? The Bishops are moral cowards.