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A man cleaned red paint sprayed across the entry of Ascension Catholic School in Overland Park, which is adjacent to Church of the Ascension, on Sunday. Photo: Kathryn White

Value Them Both, Catholic leadership respond to attack on Overland Park church

Kansans for Life and Catholic leaders are responding to the pro-abortion attack on a local church over the weekend.

The Catholic Church of the Ascension in Overland Park was vandalized early Sunday morning. The attack happened around 1 a.m. at the church located on 127th Street west of Antioch Road.

Pro-abortion activists wrote the words “my body, my choice” across the building in red spray paint. A vulgar statement was painted on the school doors, and a statue of Mary was splashed with red paint.

The vandalism joins a long list of similar incidents nationwide against churches, Christian schools and pro-life women’s health clinics. The attacks have included vandalism, intimidation and firebombings.

It is believed to be the first attack in the Kansas City-area relelated to the overturning of Roe v Wade. Kansas will also have a pro-life referendum on the August ballot called Value Them Both. The amendment corrects the overreach demonstrated by the Kansas Supreme Court which ruled that there is a right to abortion in the Kansas constitution. The 2019 ruling overturned thirty years worth of Kansas pro-life laws and has since made the state the late-term abortion capitol of the world, according to abortion statistics.

Church of the Ascension is a vocal supporter of the Value Them Both Amendment and it is not the first time a Kansas church has been attacked.

READ: Why we must pass the Value Them Both Amendment

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“The attacks on the Church of the Ascension in Overland Park are heartbreaking and inexcusable,” states Mackenzie Haddix, Deputy Communications Director for the Value Them Both Coalition.  “It has been well over 36 hours since these acts of anti-Catholic hatred took place, yet Kansans for Constitutional Freedom and other known anti-Value Them Both Amendment forces have not issued a statement condemning these hate-filled actions.

Archbishop Joseph E. Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan., also joined in condemning the attacks.

“An escalating pattern of theft, vandalism and intimidation targeting members of the Catholic Church and other supporters of the Value Them Both amendment reached a new level overnight when the Church of the Ascension in Overland Park fell victim to an overt act of hatred and incivility,” Naumann said. “Parish buildings, including a statue of the Blessed Mother, were extensively defaced with red spray paint. Authorities were notified, and we ask that every action be taken to identify and hold the perpetrators of this despicable act accountable.

The Value Them Both Coalition released a statement saying they stand by their “commitment to respect the first amendment by engaging in a peaceful, non-violent campaign and affirm that radical actions have no place in a civil society.”

We call upon Kansans for Constitutional Freedom and their allies in the anti-amendment coalition to condemn the hateful actions that took place at Ascension and the vandalism and theft that has taken place across Kansas.  The people of Kansas deserve an honest debate about this issue based on facts — not vandalism and misleading advertisements.”

Naumann says the attacks, like the asssassination attempt against Justice Brett Kavanaugh and and threats against other pro-life justices is out of step with democracy.

“This attack and others targeting Catholic churches in Kansas and across the country are not only vulgar but un-American,” Nauman says.  “The intention is clearly meant to intimidate and threaten the church’s pro-life beliefs and position of support for the Value Them Both amendment. We will not be deterred.

Haddix, with Value Them Both, says the churches and pro-life individuals will be unwavering in their support for life and the amendment.

“Value Them Both will secure protections from an unlimited and unrestricted abortion industry that is attempting to buy this election so it can further prey on women facing unplanned or challenging pregnancies. The Catholic Church remains firm in its support of mothers and preborn babies and our members are more firmly dedicated to our mission than ever before. We ask for prayers for the Church of the Ascension’s parish community, for a civility leading up to the Aug. 2 vote and for those committing these acts of vandalism.”  she stated.

The Value Them Both Coalition is a united effort of Kansas citizens and organizations committed to promoting passage of the Value Them Both Amendment on Aug. 2, which is the only means to defend our state’s existing pro-life laws. The coalition encourages Kansas voters to learn more at valuethemboth.com and to vote “YES” on August 2, 2022. The coalition is led by Kansans for Life, and the Kansas Catholic Conference.

–Dwight Widaman |  Metro Voice

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