2022 Brings Clarity: There’s No Mistaking the Attacks on Family

COMMENTARY: The picture of the opponents of life and family became unmistakably clear.

One or more vandals desecrated a Catholic cemetery in Rochester, Minnesota, on Oct. 31, Halloween night.
One or more vandals desecrated a Catholic cemetery in Rochester, Minnesota, on Oct. 31, Halloween night. (photo: Courtesy of Calvary Cemetery / via CNA)

For those of us dedicated to life and family, the contradictory events of the year 2022 might seem like a “wash” or worse.

On the plus side, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the heinous Roe v. Wade decision. On the minus side, Roe’s defenders ratcheted up their venom against us and renewed their commitment to death on demand for the unborn.

However, naïve though faithful soul that I am, I believe the year is a net benefit to us. Why? We now know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, what manner of people we are dealing with.

Before I explain, let’s do a quick recap of the highlights of 2022.

The mountain peak is, of course, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. As everyone knows, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Leading up to the release of the decision on June 24, a draft of the decision was leaked on May 2. As of this writing, neither the identity nor the motives of the leaker are known.

However, the reaction of abortion advocates is not in doubt. They harassed Supreme Court justices, including a murder threat against Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Beginning with the leak of the opinion, abortion activists began attacking and vandalizing pregnancy care centers and Catholic churches across the country. By August, Catholic News Agency had confirmed at least 93 acts of violence against Catholic churches and pregnancy care centers in the United States. Few arrests were made. Investigations of these attacks seemed half-hearted.

Speaking of arrests, the pro-life world was shocked by the early dawn raid on the home of Mark Houck, a pro-life activist and father of seven. Meanwhile, the pro-abortion terrorist group Jane’s Revenge continues to operate unmolested, including making specific threats against the Newman Center at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

In the aftermath of Dobbs, the sexual revolutionaries also used legislation to further their cause. In his concurrence in the Dobbs opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested that the concept of substantive due process should be revisited. The sexual revolutionaries have been using this concept for decades to promote court cases on social issues. Citing Thomas’ opinion, the revolutionaries claimed to fear that “gay marriage” (Obergefell v. Hodges), sodomy (Lawrence v. Texas) and contraception (Griswold v. Connecticut) might next be on the chopping block. Despite the extremely low probability of this happening, the revolutionaries mounted legislation and ballot measures to codify their desires into law.

Congress passed the ironically misnamed “Respect for Marriage Act,” which supports “gay marriage” beyond the bounds of Obergefell. The state of Michigan put Proposal 3 on the November ballot, claiming that it would “simply restore the rights protected by Roe v. Wade concerning abortion care for adults.” In fact, this proposal threatens the state’s long-standing pro-life measures, such as 24-hour waiting periods and parental-consent laws. Proposal 3 also opens the door to transgender medicine for minors. The voters of Michigan passed Proposal 3.

Michigan pro-lifers were outspent by $20 million, much of which came from outside the state. George Soros’ Open Society Policy Center donated $4.5 million. Michael Bloomberg, a former New York City mayor, donated $2 million. The Sixteen Thirty Fund, a dark-money group, donated $5.2 million. Former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie, donated $2 million. Nishad Singh, an executive at the Bahamas-based, recently disgraced cryptocurrency company FTX, donated $4 million.

So why in the world do I think we have a net gain?

We have gained an unmistakably clear picture of our opponents.

Our opponents are committed to creating a new social-sexual regime. Think of it as a new social-sexual constitution, with its own objectives and rules. All the old taboos are outdated and must be swept away to make room for this Brave New World.

The sexual revolutionary regime is a world where everyone can have all the sex they want and nothing bad ever happens. Sex does not result in unwanted babies. The bodily differences between men and women are insubstantial and can be overwritten with some combination of social engineering and medical interventions. Children do not really need the consistent love, attention and protection of their parents. Children are sexual beings from birth. Children need to be protected from their parents, who might interfere with their natural desires for sexual autonomy.

Needless to say, this new social-sexual regime is completely irrational and needs to be continually propped up. It needs the power of the state and tons of billionaire-bought propaganda. Children do need their parents. This fact places legitimate demands on adult society and individual adults. A society built around Catholic teaching on marriage, family and human sexuality protects these interests of children better than any alternative and certainly better than the sexual revolutionary alternative.

Nonetheless, the revolutionaries are deeply committed to their impossible dream. They cannot win on the evidence and the truth of things. So they feel they are entitled to suppress evidence, tell half-truths and weaponize the FBI.

Every woman who chooses life for her child is a rebuke to them. Women who choose life for their children, even in difficult circumstances, contradict the lie that women “need” abortion. Every “ex-gay” is a rebuke to them. Men and women who reject the gay life they once lived contradict the lie that people are “born that way” and can never change. Every couple who stays married in spite of challenging circumstances is a rebuke to them. Every chaste teenager is a rebuke to them.

Let’s face it: Christians are a rebuke to them, even when we are sitting quietly minding our own business. We Christians, especially faithful Catholic Christians, must not allow ourselves to be discouraged. We must never apologize for our Church’s doctrine. The ancient Christian teachings are correct.

Evidence pours in on a daily basis that kids need their parents and that grown-ups need to behave. One day, the sexual revolution will collapse. That doesn’t mean things will automatically improve. People will not understand what to conclude from the collapse of the revolution unless we explain it to them.

This is why I’m not discouraged. The events of 2022 have been clarifying. We benefit from clarity. Our opponents benefit from fog.

Remain steadfast. Tell the truth. Do our part. God will take it from there.

‘Aerial View of Vatican City at Twilight’

2023: The Year in Review (Jan. 6)

This week on Register Radio, we look back at the top stories of 2023 with Register Editor in Chief Shannon Mullen. Then Senior Editor Jonathan Leidl joins host Jeanette DeMelo from Rome to discuss ‘Fiducia Supplicans’ and the impact it will have on Pope Francis’ legacy.