It was recently revealed that the FBI targeted traditional Catholics attending Latin Mass. A New York Post article reported:
“An eight-page dossier leaked by former FBI agent Kyle Seraphin earlier this month indicated that the FBI’s Richmond, Va., office, at the behest of the Department of Justice, was going after ‘radical traditionalist’ Catholics and their possible ties to ‘the far-right white nationalist movement.’
‘The FBI’s Richmond Division would like to protect Virginians from the threat of “white supremacy,” which it believes has found a home within Catholics who prefer the Latin Mass,’ Seraphin wrote on Uncoverdc.com, where he leaked the memo.”
A minority of Catholics attend Latin Mass, making this group a small group within a subset of the population. But this is one reason why they make an easy target. The left would like us to only think in terms of identity politics and group identity, rather than the foundational principles of America. Rather than analyzing a situation rationally, the left wants us to ignore the freedoms and rights recognized in America’s founding documents and instead consider the affected group, particularly whether the group is a purported “opposed minority.” And among other tactics, getting people to adopt this line of thinking will help the left destroy America, its principles, and its culture.
The prominent German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller eloquently addressed this exact issue when explaining his own silence and the silence of millions of Germans when the Nazi Party began purging the outliers of German society in the 1930s. He wrote:
“Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.”
When the government targets one group, then another, and another, the intent is to condition us into apathy. The strategy is to single out one target, separate them from the herd, then run them down to persecute. And as Niemöller points out, it’s a strategy that works as long as people remain apathetic.
In these situations, automatically thinking only in terms of threats of the moment, not individual rights or basic principles, leads down a dangerous road. Saying, “Not my group, not my problem,” instead of “Is that one of my constitutional rights as an individual citizen?” makes it easy to ignore or forget these events. It makes one susceptible to overlooking or forgetting what is happening when the FBI targets Catholics who attend Latin Mass: The government is targeting law-abiding citizens for their Christian beliefs and associated opinions.
When we speak out for the constitutional rights of others, we are the first line of defense for our own constitutional rights. We speak for the rights of all human beings, as the English poet John Donne reminds us:
“I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
To paraphrase Donne, when the FBI tolls their “search and destroy” bell for traditional Catholics, it tolls for thee. Let that tolling be a reminder for all of us to speak out.
Image credit: Flickr-Catholic Church England and Wales, CC BY-NC-ND 2.01 comment