ELEISON COMMENTS DCCXCIII (September 24, 2022)
On the eve of the Feast of the Assumption appeared in “Atlantic” magazine in the USA an article which caused a little stir by associating the Rosary with right-wing violence and terrorism. Written by a certain Daniel Palleton based in Toronto, Canada, it was entitled “How Extremist Gun Culture Is Trying to Co-opt the Rosary”, and it was sub-titled “Why are sacramental beads suddenly showing up next to AR-15s online?” (The AR–15–style rifle is a popular lightweight semi-automatic rifle.) Here is a summary of the 13 paragraphs of Panneton’s article :–
1 Rad-Trad (i.e. radical-Traditional) Catholics are turning the Rosary into a weapon of violence. 2 It shows on the Internet in their social-media pages, where they have thousands of followers. 3 Thus associated with extreme right-wingers’ violence and racism, the Rosary prepares for real-world terrorism. 4 Indeed the Rosary has long been associated with the fight of the Church Militant against its enemies. 5 In mainstream Catholicism the Rosary is no threat, but rad-trad Catholics are not mainstream. 6 They are militia-minded masculinists, playing at war-games, 7 with their own cottage industry of services and goods for sale, including “combat rosaries”. 8 They have masculine fantasies of resorting to violence in defence of their families or churches. 9 Formerly distrusted by Christian nationalists, they are now increasingly accepted among them. 10 Indeed Rad-trads and Christian nationalists are coming to share an ideal of “righteous violence.” 11 These two sides may still be divided in matters of doctrine and religion, 12 but they can and do make common cause, for instance in their homophobia and hostility towards abortion. 13 Rad-Trads are meant to love and forgive, but today they are turning the Holy Rosary into a weapon of violence and physical war.
Where Panneton is right is that there is a huge war going on between “left” and “right” warriors all over the world. It is a huge war because for both sides it is a sacred crusade. This is because it is in fact a war for or against God. Because Almighty God is today so widely discounted and discredited, normal “lefties” may not understand why their own fight is such a crusade to destroy the last remains of Christendom, but crusade it is for them. As for “right-wingers”, they cripple their own crusade to defend or conserve post-Christian decency if they do not base it on God, who is their basic strength. A notable example is their fight against abortion. If these right-wingers go on preferring to do without God, their reversal of “Roe v. Wade” will be reversed once more. Sharing the “lefties’” unconcern for God makes many “right-wingers” hardly any better.
Therefore if the Rosary has always truly been a great means of defending Christendom as in 1571 at Lepanto, in 1683 at Vienna, in 1955 in Austria, that is because it is so centred on God, on Our Lord and Our Lady. Only if today’s Rosary warriors are truly turning away from God to fight left-wingers with the weapons used by left-wingers to fight God, is Panneton right. But if those praying the Rosary forget all about right- or left-wingers when they use it to fill themselves with the interests of God, then certainly, once more, the Rosary can save Christendom.
God is not served by merely human fights, But only by the drive to serve His rights.