Pro-life groups are challenging the Biden administration to stop the spiraling violence against churches. The largest effort is a $1 million ad campaign with the aim of pressuring President Joe Biden into taking action against violence and attacks on churches since 2021.
The 30-second ad compares Biden to America’s first Catholic President, John F. Kennedy, and how the two leaders have reacted differently to “Churches Burning,” which is the title of the advertisement. The ad campaign was launched last week by Wisconsin-based CatholicVote, which expressed hope that “political figures and the Justice Department” would see their message and take action.
“The American people are disgusted by the inaction of our Justice Department,” said CatholicVote spokesperson Joshua Mercer. “This ad sends an important message, calling on our lawmakers to demand action against this vicious campaign of targeted violence against Catholics.”
The clip begins with the following narration: “In the 1960s, when churches were burned, President Kennedy stepped up, condemned it.” Then Kennedy’s voice can be heard saying, “To burn churches I consider both cowardly as well as outrageous.”
The narration continues, pointing out that Kennedy “pledged justice” after the attacks on churches.
“As soon as we are able to find out who did it, we’ll arrest them,” Kennedy says in the ad.
The ad then points out churches are being targeted now for a different reason, saying “Now churches are being burned again, because they protect unborn babies and women in need.”
“Our second Catholic president,” the ad continues, when Biden wearing a bicycle helmet appears, saying, “Keep protesting, because—keep making your point.”
That line from Biden happened on July 10, when the president was on a bike ride in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. He made the comment a day after protesters marched to the White House demanding abortion rights.
According to CatholicVote, the ad is being aired in Wisconsin and Arizona, some “key districts” in other states, as well as Washington, D.C.
Brian Burch, CatholicVote’s president, criticized Biden for “not willing to pursue justice,” in a recent interview with Fox News.
“It is horrifying that our president and attorney general are not willing to pursue justice, and their unwillingness to speak out about these crimes only encourages the ongoing attacks and puts people of faith and those volunteering to help pregnant women in need in harm’s way,” Burch said.
Burch added, “They are politicizing law enforcement, seeming to determine which crimes they will prosecute based on the beliefs of the victims.”
According to lists maintained by CatholicVote, there have been 70 attacks on U.S. Catholic churches since May 2, when the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling was leaked. During the same time period, at least 65 pregnancy source centers and offices of pro-life groups have been attacked and vandalized as of Aug. 21.
One of the most recent attacks happened in Easthampton, Massachusetts, on either Aug. 17 evening or Aug. 18 morning, when vandals painted “if abortions aren’t safe, neither are you!” on the ground outside of a pro-life pregnancy center, according to The Daily Signal. Two benches outside of the center were painted with the words “Janes Revenge.”
Jane’s Revenge, a violent pro-abortion extremist group, began carrying out attacks on May 10, when it claimed responsibility for carrying out an arson attack against the headquarters of pro-life group Wisconsin Family Action.
And on Aug. 9, a pregnancy center in Pocatello, Idaho was vandalized with painted words including “forced birth center,” according to Idaho State Journal.
CatholicVote and other pro-life organizations sent a joint letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland in June, demanding the Department of Justice take action.
“We call on you to publicly condemn these unlawful attacks; to commit to vigorous efforts to prevent them, and to investigate and prosecute them; and to proactively engage with the affected faith communities to ensure their concerns and security needs are being met,” the letter states.