Not that long ago, the military sent me to Bahrain to work a particular mission. While I was there, I learned about the political differences between the King of Bahrain (a Sunni) and the majority Shia population on the small island nation. Protests against the King were somewhat common, and I would get text notifications if one flared up. The protests weren’t aimed at America (a nice change), but we were always advised to stay away from them because the mob mentality might make us a target of convenience.
Mobs make people stupid by allowing people to offload their decision making, and thus responsibility, onto the mob. The danger is that someone with a strong personality will use the mob’s power towards their own end. What starts as a peaceful demonstration can end in violence. That’s what happened in Bahrain, climaxing in 2011 with the demonstration near the Pearl Monument and its subsequent destruction by the government.
The scary part about mobs is that the people pulling the strings typically don’t have a peaceful end state. President Trump understands this and pointed it out in 2017 that tearing down statues to appease the mob isn’t going to work. Plenty of people ridiculed him, including Slate:
“So Trump’s comparison there is dumb. It doesn’t really even make any sense. And the notion that there’s some slippery slope is dumb.”-Slate article, 2017
Doesn’t look so dumb now. It’s one thing for a city government to remove a Confederate statue or the federal government to rename a base. I’d be happy renaming Fort Gordon to something else, since General John Gordon seemed more capable of getting shot than being an effective general, and was probably a KKK member. There’s a system for doing that, so we should use that. We don’t need a mob for these things.
Worse, this mob mentality isn’t going to end anytime soon. We’re now seeing Catholic churches targeted in California. My wife alerted me to an FSSP parish in San Diego, where the address was being posted in order to mobilize a protest. The right to peacefully protest is a good thing. It allows things like praying outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. But it should be fairly obvious from the above Instagram picture, which makes plenty of assumptions on the church members, that the point isn’t to be peaceful, but rather intimidate people from attending church. Think about it, would YOU walk through a throng of angry protestors to attend Mass?
Mob leaders want people to submit to mob control. Worse still, when mob leadership adheres to Antifa ideaology, it will violently attack any authority that opposes it. This includes Church authority, especially Catholic teachings.
Prediction: we’re going to see attempts by the mob to link Catholicism to slavery, Trump, COVID-19, and whatever else comes to mind in order to justify defacing and tearing buildings down. This, despite a decent Church history of opposing slavery, even having a Pope that was a former slave. Remember that actual history doesn’t matter to the mob.
The question we have to start asking Catholics now is: are you prepared to wade through a mob to attend Mass? Will you tolerate a mob defacing or tearing down your Church? Because the mob is coming for Jesus. Which side will you be on when it arrives?
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.