Pro-Abortion Activists Attack Another Church
Radical leftists are attacking more churches across the United States. The Second Baptist Church in Palermo, Maine was vandalized Saturday night with pro-abortion and pro-LGBT slogans. Graffitied phrases read, “Abortion is our human right” and “Queer love 4 eva.” The church also had a sign stating, “Abortion is murder,” which vandals covered with red paint. State Rep. Katrina Smith (R-Palermo) classified the vandalism as a “hate crime,” saying, “This is an escalation of violence against the church.”
Arielle Del Turco, assistant director of Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty, told The Washington Stand, “This is a horrific attack, and you can see the nastiness and vitriol of people who love abortion and sexual immorality so much that they would vandalize a church simply because it represents an opposing view.” She further noted, “Often the rage we see in these attacks on churches is irrational and inexplicable, and that’s because this is a spiritual issue. Policy prescriptions can help, but Christians also need to be engaged with spiritual weapons, primarily by praying for our culture.”
This is simply the latest in a long string of attacks on churches over the past three years — including vandalism, arson, and destruction of property. Family Research Council tracked almost 200 attacks against churches and religious institutions over 2022 alone and 69 in the first quarter of 2023. Del Turco wrote at the time:
“Criminal acts of vandalism and destruction of church property are symptomatic of a collapse in societal reverence and respect for houses of worship and religion. … This increase in religious hostility should not be taken lightly. Such acts are destructive and have the potential to intimidate a religious community. Therefore, they deserve to be condemned.”
“As antipathy toward Christian teachings on human dignity and sexuality grows, it spills over into actual physical attacks on churches,” Del Turco explained in comments to TWS. “This was especially true after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling, when furious pro-abortion protestors targeted churches for vandalism, property destruction, protests, and interruption of worship services. This represented a significant spike in crimes against churches.”
According to CatholicVote, at least 355 Catholic churches have been attacked since May 2020, when the Black Lives Matter riots began; nearly 200 have been attacked since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision was leaked in May of last year, including over 70 attacks in 2023. The majority of those attacks involved desecration of statues of saints and of Christ, as well as pro-abortion slogans and even threats. CatholicVote estimates that arrests have been made in only about a quarter of these attacks.
Pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) have also been targeted by pro-abortion vandals. PRCs have been vandalized and graffitied, windows and doors have been smashed, and some centers have even been firebombed. Spray-painted slogans include the phrases, “Abortion is liberation” and variations of “If abortions aren’t safe, then neither are you.” The pro-abortion domestic terrorist group Jane’s Revenge has claimed responsibility for multiple PRC and church attacks, including acts of arson. After firebombing a PRC in Wisconsin last year, the group issued a statement reading, “This was only a warning. We will not stop, we will not back down, nor will we hesitate to strike until the inalienable right to manage our own health is returned to us.”
Thus far, only four members of Jane’s Revenge have been charged with crimes. The charges were issued in January and March of this year, while the crimes were committed in May of 2022, when Caleb Freeman, Amber Smith-Stewart, Annarella Rivera, and Gabriella Oropesa vandalized multiple PRCs in Florida. Florida’s attorney general Ashley Moody sued the Jane’s Revenge terrorists on behalf of the state, writing, “In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s leaked decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization … pro-abortion extremists from criminal organizations like Antifa and Jane’s Revenge have sought to silence pro-life individuals through violence and intimidation.” According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s website, this is the only instance in which the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act has been used to prosecute pro-abortion extremists for attacking PRCs.
Earlier this year, the Heritage Foundation and other conservative organizations and figures filed a Freedom of Information Act suit against the DOJ for its failure to report on investigating or criminally charging those who attack churches and PRCs. The suit reads, in part:
“In the past several years, this Country has seen a dramatic increase in violence against religious and pro-life organizations. But while the Department of Justice has aggressively enforced federal criminal laws to protect “pro-choice” and other organizations espousing the Administration’s favored political or policy views, all publicly available evidence indicates that the Department’s response to this increased violence against religious and pro-life organizations has been anemic at best.”
Del Turco explained that abortion activism has become a sort of religion for pro-abortionists, telling The Washington Stand, “The fact that pro-abortion protestors targeted churches which were obviously not directly responsible for the Dobbs decision also shows the religious fervor that some people have for progressive social agenda items like abortion and gender ideology.”
Those responsible for vandalizing Palermo’s Second Baptist Church reportedly dodged security cameras and worked in the dark to avoid detection or identification. No suspects have been identified yet.
S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.