A man was arrested earlier today near the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in possession of multiple weapons, including a knife and a gun, and he told police that his intention was to assassinate Kavanaugh. The man, identified as Nicholas John Roske, said he found the justice’s home address on the internet. The man called police on himself and told them he was suicidal and had a gun. He was upset over the leaked draft of a Supreme Court decision that recommended overturning Roe v. Wade and also upset about the recent shooting in Uvalde, TX and Kavanaugh’s presumed support for the Second Amendment. Roske is being charged with attempted murder of a Supreme Court justice.
This takes the culture war to an entirely different level. Years ago, a series of erratic people who claimed the pro-life cause started killing doctors who performed abortions. The Atlanta Olympics bomber said one of his motives was his supposed pro-life views. According to the New York Times, there were ten fatal attacks on abortion clinics and/or abortionists in the 1990s and two such attacks since 2000, the last in 2015. Since 2000, there have been dozens of cases of pro-abortion persons or protesters harassing, threatening, assaulting or otherwise attacking pro-life persons, clinics, or displays, including one murder. Also, since 2000, there have been dozens of women murdered for refusing to obtain an abortion, and that’s not including the women killed during abortions as a result of poor doctoring. Since the leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft of an opinion on the Dodd
v. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization there have been several attacks on churches that included abortion-themed graffiti, damage to property, or invading churches to cause a disturbance. Pro-life clinics have been firebombed or otherwise attacked. While pro-life leaders were quick to condemn violence and murders of pro-abortion clinics and doctors, there hasn’t been much in the way of condemning the attacks on churches, the firebombing of pro-life centers, or even the protests and threats against Supreme Court justices. Hopefully, that will change with the revelation that someone actually intended to and was prepared to carry out the assassination of one of the justices.
Our country has been polarized politically, culturally, and socially for some time now. Ronald Reagan in the 1984 election was the last president to carry almost every state. Since then, it’s been almost a constant battle between “red” and “blue” states and politicians and citizens. Friendships have been destroyed, families have been torn asunder, and even lives lost because people value their political, cultural, or social priorities over the people in their lives, even those who ought to be their most beloved. We define ourselves out of relationships. What I mean by that is that we stretch the definition of racist or bigot or extremist or terrorist so thin that anyone who merely disagrees with us fits the definition. And because they fit the stretched-out definition of racist, bigot, extremist, or terrorist, we break off from them. After all, how can we possibly justify continuing to have a relationship with a racist, much less a terrorist? So, we write a letter to our mother informing her that we want nothing more to do with her until she changes her evil ways. Then we sit back and feel good about ourselves for sacrificing our relationship with the woman who gave us everything of herself, including our very lives, for the sake of the cause. Aren’t we brave! Aren’t we a true ally! Yes, it’s more important to me that others (who, let’s be honest, really don’t give a rat’s patooty) see me as the warrior I am than that I continue to have a deep and meaningful relationship with the woman who raised me.
How pathetic! How utterly grotesque! Five years from now, or maybe ten, I’m going to regret having pushed my mother away, and those warriors I attempted to impress will likely be out of my life and not care in the least, like they don’t care now. Five years from now, or maybe ten, I’m going to need my mother, her warmth and care and love and presence, while the warriors I attempted to impress will have moved on, not the least interested in me or my cares.
As I said, we have reached a new level when people are willing to threaten the lives of our civil leaders, especially those who represent those institutions we rely on to keep order and civility. There are a lot of people out there who now believe that shooting someone, and possibly killing them, is a legitimate way of resolving a conflict. Now, we have to deal with the prospect that there are people out there who believe assassinating a judge is a legitimate way of protesting his ruling in a case. “I don’t like the ruling this judge made, so I’m going to kill him.” Yes, it’s happened before, but not often, and never at the level of the Supreme Court. There has never been an assassination of a Supreme Court justice in the entire history of our nation. Now, we have to address the fact that there are people out there who are entertaining the idea. And still the protests at his home are allowed to continue!
How will our leaders respond to this new threat? They will continue to point fingers at each other in an effort to assign blame. They will talk in platitudes about safety and the integrity of our institutions. They will vow to do something to address the threat. And then they will do nothing.
The Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin warning of chances for higher levels of violence or terror attacks in the next six months. Reasons include the spreading of misinformation, conspiracy theories, and a number of high-profile Supreme Court cases, especially Dobbs and, finally, the mid-term elections. Potential targets include public gatherings, schools, racial and religious minorities, faith-based institutions, government facilities and personnel, the media, infrastructure sites, and perceived ideological opponents. This kind of violence has hit home recently. In December of last year, a Planned Parenthood clinic was set afire by an arsonist, and in January someone fired a gun through their front door. Almost exactly one month before that fire, an arsonist destroyed the offices of Catholic Charities in Knoxville.
We are supposed to be a civilized people. We are supposed to be a nation made up of individuals from a variety of ethnic, racial, religious, and national backgrounds. We are supposed to be e pluribus unum – one from many. But we have become balkanized. We have become torn apart. Worse, we have become set at each other’s throats, a genuine threat to each other. Regardless of what decisions are made by the Supreme Court, regardless of what laws are passed by Congress, regardless of who sits in the Oval Office at the White House, we need to remember that we remain one nation under God. Our differences can be solved by reasonable, respectful, diligent effort to work through the process of a republican people. We had better start re-evaluating our place in this world as a nation, or we’ll soon find ourselves replaced by a force stronger than all of us against each other.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.