Hostility against practicing Christians is reaching “unprecedented” levels in our country, as government agencies, corporate actors, and cultural influencers in Joe Biden’s America continue to embolden attacks on churches and people of faith, according to several religious nonprofits.
Arielle Del Turco, assistant director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council (FRC), documented the rise of vandalism against U.S. churches in the report she authored titled, “Hostility Against Churches Is on the Rise in the United States.”
“Research conducted by Family Research Council (FRC) indicates that criminal acts against churches have been steadily on the rise for the past several years, and the first quarter of 2023 has continued the upward trend,” the report states. “The first three months of 2023 saw approximately three times the number of acts of hostility perpetrated against churches in the same timeframe last year.”
The acts against churches include “vandalism, arson, gun-related incidents, bomb threats, and more,” the report states.
“The fourth quarter of 2022 saw an additional 54 incidents, for a total of 191 in 2022,” it explains. “That number is nearly double the previous year’s total of 96.”
“In the first quarter of 2023, 69 incidents have already occurred,” it continues. “If this rate continues, 2023 will have the highest number of incidents of the six years FRC has tracked, continuing the upward trend.”
Del Turco chalks the disturbing trend up to a “rise in secularism.”
“I think it’s just a rise in secularism in the United States,” she told Fox News Digital (FND). “As secularism increases, people just understand religion less and less, they have less of the respect for religion that they might have had decades ago.”
Catholic churches have suffered 118 attacks since SCOTUS leak of Dobbs draft https://t.co/v3rv6EKMqa pic.twitter.com/rTTIWun7ys
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 24, 2023
Christianity, she explained, is in direct conflict with what she called “secular dogmas,” including abortion, same-sex marriage, and the onslaught of other LGBT issues in America.
“All of these are increasingly in conflict with core Christian teachings and core Christian beliefs,” Del Turco said. “So, the left is getting increasingly intolerant of Christianity for this reason, and I think we’re seeing that even being represented physically with these physical attacks on churches.”
Catholic churches, she noted, are most in danger of being attacked.
“I think that’s because they are just a beautiful outward representation of Christianity,” she said. “They have these beautiful buildings, they have statues outside, but also they are expressly pro-life. So, they do bear the brunt of most of these attacks.”
And President Biden, she stated, is emboldening those who would lash out at the places of worship.
“I think even the public discourse — the way that President Biden talks about Christians or people who might oppose some of these secular dogmas — creates a really dangerous environment where people feel increasingly comfortable lashing out against churches,” she said.
Bill Donohue has been president of the Catholic League, the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization, for three decades.
“When I first started out, most of the anti-Catholicism was coming from the media, the entertainment industry, the arts, education, primarily there,” he told FND. “It’s changed. It’s coming now more from the Corporate 500, from the United States government, as well as from some state and local governments.”
Donohue pointed to the Equality Act, which he says will result in Catholic hospitals that refuse to perform abortions or trans-affirming surgeries losing their funding, and to proposed legislation in multiple states that would force priests to break the seal of confession.
State legislation could strip Catholic churches’ right to protect members ‘sealed confessions’ https://t.co/SVjAie6laK pic.twitter.com/033fvxYyJA
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 27, 2023
And then there is pro-life father Mark Houck, to whose house the FBI sent a SWAT team, and the FBI’s alleged infiltration of Catholic churches to combat domestic terrorism — a move, he wrote in a Tuesday letter to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), that “is taking the FBI into new and dangerous territory.”
“When the government comes after you with their powers, it’s serious,” Donohue told FND.
“The church is not encroaching on the government, it’s the government encroaching on the churches, and it’s coming most viciously from the Biden administration,” he said. “I’ve never seen a more anti-Catholic administration in my life.”
Walter Reed sent a "cease and desist" letter to Catholic priests to stop providing care during Holy Week, violating the First Amendment rights of our service members. My colleagues and I are demanding answers from the Biden Defense Secretary on this attack on religious liberty. pic.twitter.com/lYQD5vgtdO
— Rep. Mary Miller (@RepMaryMiller) April 13, 2023
Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote.org, agrees.
“In many ways, what we’re seeing is unprecedented and poses serious threats to the ability of Catholics to freely practice their faith — free from threats of vandalism, violence or even coercion from governmental actors,” he told FND.
While his organization aims to “awaken Catholics to the threats that are now real and present,” Burch says many in the Catholic church, from leaders to parishioners, don’t realize how bad the hostility they now face has become.
The anti-Catholic sentiment surging across the country doesn’t just threaten Catholics, he said, it’s a threat to “all people of good will who still believe in and hold traditional moral beliefs about human sexuality, biological science on gender, the institution of marriage, the foundational unit of the family, the critical role of religion in society.”
Such beliefs, he stated, “are deemed out of bounds and antithetical to the kind of ‘woke idol’ that they all now worship.”
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