“The peace of Christ is not, therefore, any peace whatever, peace at any cost. It is peace founded on justice; therefore when justice is violated and there is no other means of redressing it, it is lawful to have recourse to force, which is entirely different from violence, since it is not summoned to the service of caprice or of passions, (like violence), but of law and order.” ~ Msgr. Luigi Civardi of Catholic Action
April 2012 – “This is domestic terrorism. Period. It is designed to silence women, and it is perpetrated by religious nutjobs who believe that taking a life to save a life makes sense.” ~ ABL (Bombs Over Planned Parenthood)
WLUK FOX 11 NEWS VIDEO – Device causes explosion, fire at Planned Parenthood
What’s wrong with the statement: “religious nutjobs
who believe that taking a life to save a life makes sense”?
Who doesn’t believe taking a life in order to save a life, in certain situations, makes sense? Unless one is a pacifist, no one has a problem with someone, especially the police, taking the life of a violent person in order to rescue an innocent person whose life is in jeopardy, which makes the statement above absurd and ridiculous, which is what the pro-abortion position is, and, too, for one to be pro-abortion is for one to be on the wrong side of history, justice, and love. The unborn child is utterly defenseless, unable to fend-off the assault of the abortionist, and it’s a Catholic’s duty to defend innocents.
Force is the empowerment of law and order: force: power to influence, affect, or control; efficacious power: the force of circumstances; a force for law and order. Latin: fortia; derivative of Latin: fortis; strong.
Violence is to act against someone out of passion and anger rather than from a desire to see law, order, and justice upheld: violence: an unjust, unwarranted, or unlawful display of force, esp. such as tends to overawe or intimidate. damage,” from Anglo-Fr. and O.Fr. violence, from Latin: violentia “vehemence, impetuosity,” from violentus “vehement, forcible,” probably related to violare (see: violate).
Justice is to render to each that which is their due: justice, the moral principle determining just conduct; conformity to this principle, as manifested in conduct; just conduct, dealing, or treatment; to act or treat justly or fairly the administering of deserved punishment or reward. Latin jūstitia, equivalent to jūst ( us ) just1 + -itia -ice
Passion is emotional as opposed to being rational: passion any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate. Latin passiōn- (stem of passiō ) Christ’s sufferings on the cross, any of the Biblical accounts of these (passiōn), special use of Late Latin passiō suffering, submission, derivative of Latin passus, past participle of patī to suffer, submit.
A case study of violence and force:
Violence: a man who has just attempted to rob a Capital One Bank branch at Takoma Park Md., attempted escape by taking a hostage at gunpoint.
Force: as the robber was escaping, he slips on ice. Police, with their weapons drawn seized the chance, shooting the robber as his hostage made it to safety. The hostage-taking robber later died of his wounds.
Peace founded on justice. Jesus came upon earth not only to preach peace, but to bring justice, which is the foundation and the safeguard of peace, as we have seen. The prophet Isaiah, speaking of the future Redeemer, says: “And justice shall be the girdle of his loins.” (Is. 6:5). And the Psalmist, describing the work of the Messiah, exclaimed: “Justice and peace have kissed.” (Ps. 84:11). How Christ inculcated justice, the basic virtue of individual and social life, we have already seen. His disciples must not only “hunger and thirst after justice” (Matt. 5:6), but they must be ready to suffer every kind of persecution rather than default in their duties toward justice. In fact, the last beatitude runs thus: “Blessed are they that suffer persecution for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:10).
The peace of Christ is not, therefore, any peace whatever, peace at any cost. It is peace founded on justice; therefore when justice is violated and there is no other means of redressing it, it is lawful to have recourse to force, which is entirely different from violence, since it is not summoned to the service of caprice or of passions, (like violence), but of law and order. Hence, the lawfulness of war under certain circumstances. According to Catholic moral theology, war is lawful when:
It is declared by legitimate authority;
It is just; that is, is waged for a just motive, such as re-establishing justice when offended, repairing an injury or defending oneself against aggression;
It is inevitable; that is, when all other peaceful means of obtaining justice and of obtaining redress have failed;
It is useful; insofar as it is likely that the advantages obtained will outweigh the damages suffered.
Some pacifists accuse the religion of Christ with legalizing war which, according to them, is never lawful. It should be pointed out to these people that justice is a higher good than peace itself, because without justice, as already observed, there can be no human society. That accounts for the coining of the aphorism: “fiat justitia, pereat mundas” – let justice be done, though the world perish!
Christian peace, besides being founded on justice, is inspired by charity. As a matter of fact, it is difficult to observe the rules of justice if there is no fire of charity burning in the heart. Indeed, charity is the inspirer, the nourisher, the guardian of peace. If men love themselves like brothers, they cannot offend or kill one another as enemiesThe peace of Christ was promised by the heavenly messengers to “men of good will”; and the will is good precisely when it is guided by justice and inspired by love. The prophet Isaiah saw and described this wonderful scene in the future reign of Christ: “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion and ox shall eat straw.” (Is. 65:25).
What will ever be able to achieve this prodigy, that those who are wont to tear each other to pieces should become friends? The love of Christ. Take away this love and that which a cynical philosopher fancied concerning the origins of society will readily come true: : “homo homini lupas” – “Man is a wolf to man.”
The representatives of all nations have been seeking and are still seeking a way to general disarmament, or at least to substantial reduction of arms. Physical disarmament is an excellent thing, but either it will never come to pass, or it will not last, unless it is preceded and accompanied by moral disarmament: that of vengeance, of individual and collective selfishness. Peace is sometimes represented by a dove bearing an olive branch in its beak. This dove of peace soars aloft on two wings, the names of which are justice and love.
“We are living in an era whose atmosphere is saturated with the flames of hatred,” ~ Fr. Miceli (see: The Roots of Violence)
The Roots of Violence (1989). It was twelve years before 9-11 but anyone reading his prophetic work could have seen what lay ahead and is unfolding today for he wrote back then, “we are living in an era whose atmosphere is saturated with the flames of hatred.”
One reviewer of Fr. Miceli’s book remarked, that at the time, violence remained (maybe) a distant threat for most Americans: guerilla wars, terrorist hijackings, crime in the inner city. Now it’s moved closer to home — to upscale suburban schools, for instance, and to the Internet. Hollywood’s sludge is sicker than ever. And then there’s the child-porn-addicted molester in the town next to yours. How has a dire situation become so much worse? Because efforts to address the “root causes” of violence keep missing the mark. It’s not poverty, or handguns, or even low taxes that’s causing the explosion of savagery in our society. The real root, as Fr. Miceli revealed, is the soul of post-modern man: “a demonic reality similar to a hydra-headed serpent … a persistent, ever-increasing plague with many sources and causes: Behind the ‘metaphysic of murder': hatred of God’s created order, and a refusal to serve Him.”
Today this hatred, violence and non serviam mentality has reached epic proportions. It is alarming not just what is happening, but that more did not take Fr. Vincent seriously when he was alive. Father clearly in his book showed how Sacred Scripture testifies to the connection between the hatred for truth and the violent actions that flow from it. Why the lie is “the father of violence” — and atheism is the lie that leads to the most terrifying violence of all, and why ours is more than ever the “Age of the Persistent Lie,” with lies the common currency of politics, the media, commerce, education, and as we have seen over the past decade, common among the hierarchy of the Church where scandal is increased ten-fold. Father illustrated the two kinds of atheism. One that leads to totalitarianism, the other to the worst features of our own degenerate society as we sink lower than Sodom and Gomorrah. These are all aspects of modern violence that make it more barbarous than that of earlier civilizations.
Fr. Miceli laid out clearly how “violence” differs from “power” and “force” and how the loss of that distinction has crippled society’s self-defenses against crime and terrorism. As another reviewer wrote, “Violent delights have violent ends,” wrote William Shakespeare. Fr. Miceli proves that literally true, in his hair-raising chapter on “The Violence of Lust” which the reviewer warned was not for the easily traumatized for Father held little black in proving that sodomy is always a form of violent exploitation of another, regardless of whether the participants are “consenting” and that there is no such thing as “private life” for private lust always flows over into public mores whether in political or ecclesial circles or the common day citizen. We can see today in 2004, especially after the abominations in Massachusetts, San Francisco and elsewhere that sodomy is a runaway monster threatening to violently intimidate and engulf all in its path. Father hit at how violence was part and parcel of pornography and due to the internet and other high-tech advancements such as video cams, everyone is inundated with violence. He exposed the psychobabble that every bishop should have realized. He wrote, “the modern world is drowning in violence because it has thought it possible to substitute Mammon for God, Libido for Liberty, the cacaphony of the media — television, the secular press, exploding radios — and narco-mysticism for the voices of reason and revelation as the ideological guarantee of the happy life.” In surveying the casualties today, we can see the terrible carnage which only reaffirms Fr. Miceli’s words and shows how stupid most of the world has been for dismissing Fr. Miceli as an alarmist. Well he should be and he was for he could see so many losing their salvation.
“The peace of Christ is not, therefore, any peace whatever, peace at any cost. It is peace founded on justice; therefore when justice is violated and there is no other means of redressing it, it is lawful to have recourse to force, which is entirely different from violence, since it is not summoned to the service of caprice or of passions, (like violence), but of law and order.” ~ Msgr. Luigi Civardi of Catholic Action
The Fascination of Violence
by Fr. Vincent P. Miceli, S.J.
The violence-explosion is at present horrifying and stupefying the minds of men all over the world. Future historians will be sorely taxed to explain the unparalleled international crescendo of savage assaults in all forms of intimidation, vandalism, kidnapping, bodily brutality and guerilla warfare against persons and institutions. For the escalation of violence represents a spiritual reality similar to a Hydra-headed serpent; it is a persistent, ever increasing evil with many sources and causes, Indeed the apologists for the wave of the new barbarism are not merely, nor even primarily, demonically sick individuals, but rather organized groups who have raised nihilistic anarchism to the status of a religion whose fundamental dogma seems to be: I kill, therefore I am. Inspired and sustained by this metaphysic of murder, centres of organized revolution have mushroomed in every nation. They seem bent on demonstrating the truth of Oscar Wilde’s aphorism: Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess. Moreover, they enthusiastically strive to experience both the subject and the object of Shakespeare’s truism: Violent delights have violent ends.
Champion of extremes
Nietzsche is the prophet who foresaw and foretold the coming of the modern age of violence. Indeed, he proclaimed its greatest commandment whose faithful practice would create a society of savages. The time has come, he wrote, to oppose morality with immorality, to call what priests call good, evil and what they call evil, good. The time has come for the transvaluation of all values. This prophet of modernity, of revolutionary society and radical thought was a champion of extremes. We immoralists do not even need to lie… We would come into power even without the truth. . . The magic that fights for us is the magic of extremism. Nietzsche, who accepted with pride the description of himself as an aristocratic radical. was used by Marx and his followers to create citadels (Russia, Red China, Cuba) for armies of proletarian radicals. These centres of organized revolution radiate out to the whole world the call for violence and rebellion. This call is beamed everywhere twenty-four hours a day for these centres work as effectively, ceaselessly and secretly as the law of gravity, pulling down to destruction every civil or religious community striving for social justice and peace. Now both Nietzsche and Marx foresaw the public victory of the extreme side of their thinking; this gave them both the experience of triumphant power. There is a hypnotizing fascination in their fanaticisms. Their chaotic excesses, their iron wills, their high voltage writings have attracted millions, like moths, to fly into their incandescent madness. Nietzsche was forever knocking down things and taking delight in their destruction:
O my brothers, am I cruel? But I say: what is falling, we should still push. Everything today falls and decays: who would check it? But I-I even want to push it. Do you know the voluptuous delight which rolls stones into steep depths? These human beings of today-look at them, how they roll into my depth! I am a prelude of better players O my brothers! A precedent! Follow my precedent! And he whom you cannot teach to fly, teach to fall, faster!… To this mankind of today I will not be a light, nor be called a light. Those I will blind! Put out their eyes, O flash of my wisdom!.
Architects of anarchy
We are living in the age of Nietzsche’s better players who, ecstatic with the voluptuous delight which rolls humans into steep depths, keep pushing society to the brink of social chaos and suicide. It suffices to look at some of the ruins. Many universities, once centres for Christian wisdom, are now training camps for architects of anarchy. In the cities mass confrontation has degenerated into guerilla warfare. In the churches clergymen, seeking notoriety proclaim the new morality of hedonism and engage in the burning of public property. In the press, under the rubric of liberty and reform, the role of violent protesters is romanticized. Thus, factories, schools, theatres, civic halls and chapels have become launching pads for the projection of violence into surrounding communities. In politics ideological sloganizing develops the proclivity for violence in the intellectually rootless and spiritually depersonalized masses, turning them into willing storm-troopers bent on destroying legal and peace-keeping structures of society with neither thought nor care about what to put in their place.
We would identify and expose the root reason for the delirium of violence which is rampant today. It is the attack against God. Behind the metaphysic of murder lies the metaphysic of hate. I refuse therefore I am Refusal to serve God was the cry under which Satan brought violent rebellion among the angels. He seduced men into aping his fanatical refusal and thus brought violence and death upon the earth. Christ testifies that this father of lies was a murderer from the beginning and he warns the Pharisees that men who reject God will freely choose to become the children of Satan, and will follow in their lives Satan’s desires and deeds. We live in an age of violence because we live in an age of organized and spreading atheism. In the West a generation that has rejected absolute Christian truths and values, that has dissolved God into a series of harmless abstractions, that disestablished and secularized religion, that has praised permissiveness and tolerance of heresy and immorality, is living a life pleasing to that murderer from the beginning. Such a Judaeo-Christian civilization is trying to live not off the substance but off the vanishing perfume of Christianity. In coming to terms with lying, fornication, adultery, sexual perversion, divorce and mass abortion this civilization has opted for a life of sin-the source of every violent way of life. Such a civilization cannot any longer attract men to ideals and virtues it has long rejected. On the contrary it inflames men to violent rebellion because of its betrayal of these values and of its hypocrisy in still posing as Christian. Our modern godless civilization with its amazing advancement in technical progress has, nevertheless, turned men into machines, destroying their sense of personal dignity and responsibility. True, it has afforded man much upper middle class affluence. But even this, because it lacks religious roots has only excited the passions of greed and pleasure, has riveted man to an earthly, ruthless competition for more wealth and power and suffocated his spiritual aspirations. The rebels of today are striking in blind hatred against this system of post-Christian hedonism. For a society that has nothing to peddle but facts and things, that can no longer throw light on the spiritual dimension and destiny of man, is being violently vomited out of the mouth of mankind.
Failure of authority
An allied reason for the growth of violence is the failure of authority to exercise itself as a bulwark against crime. This failure is also due to the weakened faith of both civil and religious authorities. As the poet Yeats so well expressed this problem: The best in society seem to lack all conviction, the worst are full of passionate intensity. For violence proliferates with the breakdown of authority. And authority breaks down when Christian convictions are denied in theory or cowardly betrayed in conduct. When governors, superiors, lawmakers, administrators and teachers cease to believe they have a body of truth to teach and a code of Christian goodness to live, inculcate into others and die for, both of which come from and bind men to the God of Goodness and Love, then the community is abandoned by its leaders and left a prey to professional inciters of murder and rapine. For once bereft of effective Christian leadership, the masses are pathetically prone to heed the siren call to revolution. When authority is confused, apathetic, fearful of performing its duty, then society falls into the hands of the most cunning and powerful who are usually organized and proceed ruthlessly to amalgate communities into communes. When authority is weak it often succumbs to blackmail thus becoming a catalyst to fiercer attacks of the revolutionaries. For successful violence inevitably calls forth greater, bolder violence. What civil, and especially religious authorities must realize is that the apologists for organized violence know no loyalty, reverence no reality. They are neo-nihilists, spiritually famished, deprived of God by self-denial, deprived of mature personhood by self-destruction. They are waifs of a materialist, godless civilization. What they need is not coddling but discipline. What they admire and respond to is not cowardly captitulation, but firm convictions and adamant enforcement of moral and civil laws. When authorities, civil and religious show a courage that is the fruit of deep Christian convictions and conduct, then the rising tide of violence, fruit of a disintegrating Christian civilization, will begin to fall to a low ebb. Then the spiritual starvelings who are fascinated with the violence of gangsters may be won instead to the violence of saints which conquers the kingdom of heaven and leads to a life of love with God and man.
The Taproot of Violence
by Fr. Vincent P. Miceli, S.J.
He (Satan) is your father, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and was never grounded in the truth . . . for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
We are living in an era whose atmosphere is saturated with the flames of hatred. It is an age of violence whose tempo of disruption is so rapidly escalating that there is scarcely a city anywhere in the world where humans can be assured of normal, physical security. In an age of irrational aggressivity Pope John Paul II, a spiritual leader dedicated to peace, was gunned down in Rome and nearly killed; in Washington, D. C., the newly-elected president of the United States of America was felled by gun fire; in Cairo, a presidential statesman, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his successful efforts in attaining peace between Egypt and Israel in the inflamed Middle East, was assassinated. Within the totalitarian nations the litany of the liquidated has risen to such astronomical figures that only God knows the exact number. Within the so-called “Christian” nations of the West the myriad millions of helpless, innocent children murdered in their mothers’ wombs boggles the imagination. The violence-explosion at present is so horrifying that it is stupefying the minds of men all over the world. Indeed hundreds of thousands have already constructed underground survival hideaways to escape what they see will arrive in the near future, the Age of Violence Unlimited.
Future historians will be sorely taxed to explain the unparalleled international crescendo of savage assaults in all forms of intimidation, vandalism, kidnapping, bodily brutality and guerrilla massacres against persons and institutions. For the explosion of violence represents a demonic reality similar to a Hydra-headed serpent. It is a persistent, ever-increasing plague with many sources and causes. Indeed the apologists for the new barbarism are not merely, nor even primarily, demonically sick individuals, but rather organized groups who have raised nihilistic anarchism to the status of a religion whose fundamental dogma seems to be: “I kill, therefore I am.”
Inspired and sustained by this metaphysic of murder, centers of organized revolution have mushroomed in every nation. They seem bent on demonstrating the truth of Oscar Wilde’s aphorism: “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.”1 Moreover, they enthusiastically strive to experience both the subject and the object of Shakespeare’s truism: “Violent delights have violent ends. “2
“New” Immorality Proclaimed
Nietzsche is the prophet who foresaw and foretold the coming of the beast of violence. Indeed, he proclaimed its greatest commandment whose faithful practice would create a society of savages. “The time has come,” he wrote, “to oppose morality with immorality, to call what priests call good, evil and what they call evil, good. The time has come for the transvaluation of all values.”3 This prophet of modernity, of revolutionary society and radical thought was a champion of extremes. He also wrote: “We moralists do not even need to lie… We would come into power without the truth… The magic that fights for us is the magic of extremism.”4 Nietzsche, who accepted with pride the description of himself as an “aristocratic radical,” was used by Marx and his followers to create citadels (Russia, Red China, Cuba, Nicaragua, the Eastern Satellites) as camps for the training of armies of proletarian radicals. These centers of organized revolution radiate out to the whole world the call for violence and rebellion. This call is beamed everywhere twenty-four hours a day, for these centers, and their apostles of hatred everywhere in the world, effectively, ceaselessly and secretly work, like the law of gravity, to pull down to destruction every civil and religious community striving for social justice and peace. Now both Nietzsche and Marx foresaw the public victory of the extreme side of their thinking. This gave them both the experience of triumphant power. There is a hypnotizing fascination in their fanaticisms. Their chaotic excesses, their iron wills, their high voltage writings have attracted millions over the last hundred years to fly with suicidal enthusiasm and madness into their incandescent ideologies. Nietzsche was forever knocking down things and taking wild delight in their destruction:
O My Brothers, am I cruel? But I say: What is falling we should still push. Everything today falls and decays: Who would check it? But I—I even want to push it. Do you know the voluptuous delight, which rolls stones into deep depths? These human beings of today— Look at them! How they roll into my depth! I am a prelude of better players. O My Brothers! A precedent! Follow my precedent! And he whom you cannot teach to fly, teach to fall, faster! …To this mankind of today I will not be a light, nor be called a light. Those I will blind! Put out their eyes, O Flash of my Wisdom!5
We are living in the days of Nietzsche’s better players who, ecstatic with “the voluptuous delight, which rolls humans into deep depths,” keep pushing society to the brink of social chaos and suicide. Yeats in his poem “The Second Spring,” reveals the murderous zeal of Nietzsche’s modern ideological offspring:
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold
the blood-dimmed tide is loosed and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned.
The best lack all conviction, while the worst are
Full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.6
The word violence is derived from the Latin verb violare, which means to use force so as to injure an innocent person in his physical and spiritual welfare. To be more specific, this force is often used to subdue, dominate, rob, rape or kill, the innocent, perhaps too even his family, friends and properties. When such attacks of force were made against institutions, then the violence engendered took on more heinous proportions because of its social and religious aspect. For the Greeks and Romans, and for us their cultural heirs, violence against sacred persons was a sacrilege, against temples a profanation, against the state treason, against oaths perjury. Such violent acts were seen as acts of irreligious contempt for law, a dishonoring of the gods, barbarian attempts to overthrow religion, the holy empire and its emperor gods. Though used today more often in its first, predominantly secular meaning given above, violence still retains its profane, sacrilegious dimension especially when sacred persons, places and things are the victims of its onslaughts. And this onslaught on sacred beings is occurring more frequently today as violence becomes a worldwide, universal phenomenon. Popes, ministers, rabbis, nuns, priests, temples, mosques, synagogues and churches have been frequently and flagrantly assaulted within the last fifteen years. And there is no end in sight for today’s violent offspring of Nietzsche, Marx and the atheist humanists are determined to destroy not merely the secular but, above all, the sacred.
It suffices to look at some of the ruins. The universities, once centers of Christian wisdom, are now very often training grounds for post-Christian pagans. In the cities mass confrontation has degenerated into guerrilla warfare. In the Churches clergymen and clergywomen, seeking notoriety, proclaim the “new morality” of hedonism and engage in the burning of property, the supplying of rebels with lethal weapons. In the media, under the rubric of liberty and reform, the role of traitors and violent protesters is romanticized. Thus, factories, schools, theatres, civic halls and chapels have become launching pads for the projection of violence into the surrounding peaceful communities.
Our Laws Are Under Siege
Concerning television as an agent in the spread of violence we now have a scientific report that proves this to be true. On May 6, 1982, the National Institute of Mental Health published a Federal Report, the result of 10 years of careful research, on the relationship between violence in everyday human behavior and violence on the television screen.7 The report concluded that there is now “overwhelming” scientific evidence that “excessive” violence on television leads directly to growing aggression and violent behavior among children and teenagers. The report states: “In magnitude, television violence is as strongly correlated with aggressive behavior as any other behavioral variable that has been measured.” Children, teenagers and even adults who heavily viewed violent programs were found to be often in conflict at home, fighting on the streets and in aggressive delinquency at play. “Television has become a violent form of entertainment.” Why? There are at least four reasons. 1) Frequent visual violent behavior rubs off on youngsters the way language, cultural and social skills are learned and imitated from parents and friends. 2) Violent attitude postures and changes are induced by the heavy violence witnessed on the screen. Viewers become distrustful, suspicious, unruly, and antisocial after the characters they are constantly viewing. 3) Violent episodes often arouse physiological reactions leading to violent deeds. 4) The too frequent viewing of violent scenes is often used by viewers to justify their own aggressive conduct, especially when these viewers eagerly identify with their favorite television stars on violent programs.8 Because violence has been idolized, romanticized, fantasized, viewers want to participate in it. Thus television has become an occasion of violent sins for the unwary, untrained, easily seduced youth of the nation, while the channels, the producers and actors of the programs rake in millions from the unconcerned advertisers who could care less what happens to the nation’s youth as long as they rake in their multimillions too.
In politics, ideological sloganizing develops the proclivity for violence in the intellectually rootless and spiritually depersonalized masses, fashioning them into willing storm-troopers bent on overturning legal and peace-keeping institutions with neither thought nor care about what to put in their places. And the courts, having usurped legislative power and become sociological agents bent on advancing the general will for corruption disguised as progress, deliver the worst blows against man’s civil and religious liberties. For the Justices seem to consider themselves as movers and shapers of the country’s destiny rather than as impersonal spokesmen for the law. The decision in Roe v. Wade converted the crime of murder against innocent, helpless humans in the womb into the folly and madness of a permanent law. British historian Edward Gibbon wrote in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that, “the discretion of the judge is the first engine of tyranny.”9 This is especially true today when judges see themselves not as faithful interpreters of the law but as social reformers who make the law mean what their own sociological prepossessions want it to mean. Is it any wonder that today the courts are coddling criminals while betraying the fundamental rights of innocent victims? For they who do violence to the law perpetrate violence against the citizenry that must be judged by the law. The Justices, the judges and the courts may be today the greatest agents of violence against the greatest number of helpless, innocent American children who should be the greatest resource that the nation has for its future. A nation under judgment by Justices, judges and courts that have slipped their legal moorings in order to usurp legislative power is headed for shipwreck on the shoals of legalistic imperialism. Such is the violent, tragic state of affairs in the United States at the present moment.
The West Has Opted For Sin
What is the taproot, which is causing such growth in the delirium for violence, which is rampant today? It is the attack against God. It is hatred of the truth. Behind the metaphysic of murder lies the metaphysic of hatred of the created order. “I refuse to accept this order of things. I will not serve, therefore I am.” Refusal to serve God was the cry under which Satan brought violence and rebellion among the angels as they stood trial in the vestibule of heaven. Christ told his apostles: “I saw Satan like lightning falling from heaven.”10 Elsewhere, we read: “Satan and his wicked demons were drawn down by infernal ropes into the depths of hell.”11 Christ himself testified that this “father of lies was a murderer from the beginning,” thus making the connection between hatred of the truth and the lust for violence. He warned the Pharisees that men who reject God’s plan for their salvation will imitate Satan’s deeds.
As a matter of history, the religious leaders of the Jews were looking for a Messiah who would be a conquering hero, a military Savior who would subject the Gentiles to the service of the Chosen People and thus usher in that worldly, materialistic Utopia which the leaders had falsely fabricated from their misinterpretations of the Scriptures. When king Herod heard of the birth of the king of the Jews in Bethlehem, he sent soldiers to seek him out and kill him as a threatening rival in political power. So secularized had the notion of the Messiah become among the Jews. But God, ever faithful to the revelations he gave his prophets, sent his Son as the Suffering Servant to save all nations through his humiliation and death on the cross. Instead of a terrestrial kingdom of pleasure and power, the Son of God established a supernatural kingdom of sacrifice and sanctity. This plan of God, this humble Messiah scandalized the Pharisees. They rejected Christ, fought against his kingdom, and plotted his death. If they could not have their own type of Messiah, neither would they accept God’s. To make sure the Jewish people would not be seduced by Christ, they plotted the death of Christ and trapped the Romans into doing their dirty work for them. And then, as if this hatred of God’s truth were not bad enough, in the presence of their Roman masters, whom they despised, they justified their violence against Christ by shouting out, in a frenzy of mob madness, this sacrilegious lie: “We have no king but Caesar!”
We live in an age of violence because we live in an age of organized and spreading atheism. In the West, nations that have rejected absolute Christian values and truths, that have dissolved God into a series of harmless abstractions, that have disestablished and secularized religion, that have fostered permissiveness and favored heresy, are living lives pleasing to that “murderer from the beginning.” Such a pseudo-Christian civilization is trying to live off the vanishing perfume of Christianity, having abandoned its substance long ago. In coming to terms with lying, fornication, adultery, divorce, sexual perversion and mass abortion, the West has opted for a life of sin—the source of every violent way of life. Such a decadent civilization cannot any longer attract its citizens to work for the ideals and virtues it has long betrayed. On the contrary, corrupt nations inflame men to violent rebellion because of their betrayal of these values and of their hypocrisy in still posing as champions of Christianity.
Betrayal Arises In Man’s Heart
Our modern atheistic Leviathans with their amazing advancement in technical progress have, nevertheless, turned men into machines, destroying their sense of personal dignity and responsibility. True, they have afforded man much upper middle class affluence. But even this, because it lacks religious roots, has only excited the passions of greed and pleasure, has riveted man to an earthly, ruthless competition for more wealth and power and has suffocated his spiritual, humane aspirations. The revolutionaries of today are striking in blind hatred against this system of post-Christian hedonism. For nations that have nothing to peddle but facts and things, that attempt to solve social problems with an anti-life policy of legalizing and financing contraception and abortion, that can no longer throw light on the spiritual dimension and destiny of man, are being violently vomited out of the stomach of an enraged mankind.
Falsity is the heart of immorality, and hatred of truth is the taproot of criminal violence. Unfortunately, men take violence for granted as an ugly fact of life and seldom attempt to plumb the metaphysical and theological roots of its nature and existence. We are all aware of the tremendous role of violence in the unfolding history of human events. But what is not realized is that the apparent arbitrariness and haphazardness of violence can be and ought to be seriously and precisely analyzed from the philosophical and theological point of view. The need for a thorough-going treatise on criminal aggressivity is testified to by the rising flood of objective evils perpetrated by individual and organized agents of violence.
Many Are Tempted To Be Untrue
As we saw earlier, violence entered creation from the rebellion of Lucifer. This rebellion arose from the heart of pride. But the sin of pride is the offspring of the vice known as hatred of truth. Hatred of truth is the result of the creature’s attempt to rearrange God’s hierarchy of beings and values into an order, which the creature prefers to the plan of God. This attempt immediately produces the violence of disorder, the chaos of falsity and immorality. For hatred of truth is really hatred of God who creates all things wisely and governs them lovingly. Lucifer, the Morning Star, was instantly deformed into the Prince of Darkness because he attempted to live a lie. He wanted to dethrone God and become God himself. Here is Scripture’s account of the event:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, who did rise in the morning? How are you fallen to the earth, that did wound the nations? And you said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit in the mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the height of the clouds. I will be like the Most High. But yet you shall be brought down into hell, into the depths of the pit.12
And St. Peter relates the divine vengeance that hatred of truth drew down upon demons and evil men alike:
For God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but dragged them down by infernal ropes to Tartarus, and delivered them to be tortured and kept in custody for judgment. Nor did he spare the ancient world, but preserved (with seven others) Noe a herald of justice, when he brought a flood upon the world of the impious. And he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction, reducing them to ashes, thus making them an example to those who in the future should live impiously.13
St. John the Evangelist in his Apocalypse sees in a flashback vision the violence that broke out between the demons and the holy angels:
And there was a battle in heaven; Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon fought with his angels. And they did not prevail, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast down, the ancient serpent, he who is called the devil and Satan, who leads astray the whole world: and he was cast down to the earth and with him his angels were cast down . . . Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil has gone down to you in great wrath, knowing that he has but a short time.14
St. Thomas starts with the truth taught by Christ to his apostles that all evil issues forth from an evil heart and bad will. “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and it is they that defile a man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, immorality, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man …” In his discussion of violence St. Thomas lists five elements that constitute the nature of violence and describe its context. 1) Violence is that which causes any being to act contrary to its nature or natural inclination. 2) The agent of violence is always extrinsic to that which is violated. 3) The natural inclination of a being is always prior to the violence and is presupposed by an act of violence. This constituent of violence recognizes the fact that man as an agent or efficient cause cannot strictly speaking create anything, but always presupposes the existence of that with which he works. Man, at best, is the cause of becoming, never the cause of being. In fact it is precisely the existence of natures with their intrinsic inclinations that renders the violent act possible by the extrinsic cause. 4) The intensity of the violence is in proportion to the severity in which a being’s natural inclination is removed from attaining its natural end. 5) Evil is always related to violence and vice versa.15 In this connection power must not be confused with violence, for power —physical or spiritual—is morally neutral, not evil in itself and becomes evil only when used for evil purposes or under evil circumstances, e.g., in acts of aggression.
In summary then, violence is an attempt by an external agent to force natures to perform actions contrary to their intrinsic, essential inclinations. Although these essences with their inclinations are conditions without which violence itself would be impossible, the intensity of the violence and of the evil effects produced by it are in proportion to the severity in which the natures are rendered incapable of attaining their ends. Thus violence can be understood as a creature’s attempt to rearrange, redefine, indeed, almost recreate, a being and direct it away from its divinely appointed end towards an arbitrarily selected end that leads to the convenience, the pleasure and even self-glorification of the violent agent.
Firm Convictions Needed
We can imagine the tremendous violence that must have burst forth in the war between the faithful angels and the demons. Being pure spirits, far more intelligent and powerful than men, that war in heaven must certainly have dwarfed all the most violent wars in human history taken together. Scripture relates that just one angel, passing over the sleeping army of the Assyrians who were besieging Jerusalem, killed in one night one hundred and eighty thousand soldiers. Moreover, an indication of the power of the angels is suspected when one realizes the enormity of the act of violence, which Satan and his demons planned to perpetrate in heaven. They were to dethrone God and become God with their own power and on their own terms. They were to demote God from Creator to creature and advance themselves to Almighty power and honors. Such was their hatred of God and the order of creation that Satan and his demons would have destroyed both if they could. Indeed in their attempted violence Satan and his demons even violated their own natures, chose for themselves a goal contrary to their natures and a destiny that has made them eternal failures hardened in iniquity. And when Satan and his devils were “cast down to the earth,” Scripture tells us that they continued their violence by being the agents “who lead astray the whole world.” “Woe to the earth and the sea,” a voice from heaven cries out in the vision seen by St. John in the Apocalypse, “because the devil has gone down to you in great wrath, knowing he has but a short time.”16 That “short time” is the last days, or the time between the Ascension of Christ into glory and his Second Coming. St. Peter tells mankind how these demons are using this short time. “For your adversary the devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.”17
From the above study we must conclude that violence involves one in a special metaphysics whose first principle is this: To be is to be willed or to be is the effect of a creature’s free decision. The real is what a creature wants it to be. Truth is what men want truth to be. We have here the philosophical attitude of violence known as subjectivism, i.e., a personal hatred of existing truth posing as the creator of new truth, a world of lies fabricated in the fantasies of aggressively rebellious creatures. Because this voluntaristic, irrational intentionality nurtures irrational violence it is intrinsically evil even before the external act of violence is committed. Eve sinned before she took a bite out of the apple; she sinned when she took the word of the serpent over the word of God and decided the serpent’s version of reality was the version she wanted to experience—to become godlike on her own terms not on God’s terms. And so she chose death instead of life. “In the day you shall eat of that fruit you shall die.” Thus arrogant voluntarism is the mother of criminal violence, for it proclaims the lie that the creature’s whims take precedence over the divine natural law, which is incarnated in creation and stamped on the conscience by the God of creation.
Shakespeare, with a poet’s profound, prophetic vision, demonstrates in the tragic destiny of Macbeth that, when hatred of the existing order of truth is incarnated in voluntaristic attempts to change that truth, such hatred produce bloody deeds which create that murderous nothingness known as sin, that working of the mystery of iniquity which would destroy God, but succeeds only in destroying sinners, in this case Lady Macbeth through madness, Lord Macbeth by the sword. Macbeth himself, in a profound soliloquy, sensed the tragic finale of his violence as he nurtured the temptation to rearrange the order of kingship in the kingdom of Scotland to his own and his wife’s aggrandizement:
This supernatural soliciting
… cannot be good; …
If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair,
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,
Against the use of nature? Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings: My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Shakes so my single state of man, that function
Is smothered in surmise; and nothing is
But what is not.18
In our endeavor to disclose the intelligible features of violence we have restricted our scrutiny to the taproot of violence—hatred of truth. There are other roots of violence, which can be studied in relation to other relevant attitudes of the person, such as, pride, vanity, covetousness, distrust, suspicion, infidelity, envy, revenge, lust, anger, and greed. The study of these relationships to violence would help to sharpen and deepen our insights into the nature of the abyss of violence. An investigation of this sort would involve us in a discussion about the cure or treatment of this curse of criminal aggressivity, which constitutes a terrible plague in our times.
An allied, though external reason for the escalation of violence today is the failure of authority—that spiritual power—to exercise itself as a bulwark against criminal violence. This failure is due to the weakened adherence to truth and the loss of faith of both civil and religious authorities. The poet Yeats so well expressed this problem endemic in our days. “The best in society lack all conviction, the worst (the criminals) are full of passionate intensity.” For violence proliferates with the breakdown of authority. And authority breaks down when Christian convictions are denied in theory or betrayed in cowardly conduct. When governors, superiors, lawmakers, administrators and teachers cease to believe that they have a body of truth to teach and a code of Christian holiness to live up to, inculcate into others and, yes, even die for, then the community is abandoned by its leaders and left a prey to professional inciters of murder and rapine. For once bereft of effective Christian leadership, the masses are pathetically prone to heed the siren call to revolution. When authority is confused, apathetic, fearful of performing its duty, then society falls into the hands of the most cunning and powerful who are usually organized and proceed to amalgamate ruthlessly communities into communes. When authority is weak it often succumbs to blackmail, thus becoming a catalyst to fiercer attacks of the revolutionaries. For successful violence inevitably calls forth greater, bolder, more frequent violence. What civil and especially religious authorities must realize is that the apologists for organized violence know no loyalty, reverence, reality but their own selfish goals. They are neo-nihilists, spiritually famished, deprived of mature person-hood by self-idolization. They are the waifs of a materialist, godless civilization that seeks a Utopia here and now. What they need is not coddling but discipline. What they admire and respond to is not capitulation but firm convictions and adamant enforcement of doctrinal, moral and civil laws. When authorities, civil and religious, are eaten up with a zeal for truth and holiness, when they show a courage that is the fruit of deep Christian convictions and conduct, when they demonstrate a love for wandering souls that stops at no sacrifice to bring them back to the Good Shepherd of all souls, then the rising tide of criminal violence will begin to fall to a low ebb. Then the spiritual starvelings who are fascinated with the violence of gangsters and of hucksters of false ideologies may be won back to the violence known as intensity of love, that zeal which conquers the kingdom of heaven and leads to a life of truth, holiness, peace and joy with God and man. “The truth will make you free,” says Christ. And to be sure a society founded on adherence to truth and holiness will enjoy a peace and a freedom that are immune from the plague of criminal violence.
1 Oscar Wilde, quoted in Roget’s Thesaurus under violence.
2 Shakespeare, Romeo And Juliet, Act II, scene 6.
3 Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, p. 144.
4 Karl Jaspers, quotes Nietzsche thus in his Nietzsche and Christianity.
5 Nietzsche, ibid., p. 321.
6 Yeats, The Second Spring.
7 New York Times, May 6, 1982, “An Overwhelming Violence-TV Tie.”
9 Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
10 Luke, 10:18.
11 2 Peter, 2:4.
12 Isaiah, 14:12-20.
13 2 Peter, 2:4-7.
14 John, Apocalypse, 12:7-9.
15 St. Thomas, Summa Theologica, Par. II, Q. 6, a.5; Contra Gen. 1, 13, 19, 39. Cf. article by J. J. Califano in Divus Thomas, 1975, a. 78, “Technology and Violence.”
16 John, Apocalypse, 12:7-12.
17 1 Peter, 5:8.
18 Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act I, Scene 3.
A practical example of how to distinguish between force and violence:
These templates of the Standing Rules for the Use of Force were developed by Army North (ARNORTH) and approved by Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) School for commands to follow. The first two templates apply to forces under federal control. The third template is an example State RUF card for National Guard personnel in a State Active Duty (SAD) or Title 32 status. These templates are taken from the “DoD Defense Support to Civil Authorities Handbook” which includes other information relating to military support operations related to civil disturbances.
SRUF Card Template (Title 10 Forces)
RULE 1: UNIT SELF-DEFENSE – A COMMANDER always has the inherent right and obligation to exercise unit self-defense in response to a hostile act or demonstrated hostile intent.
RULE 2: INDIVIDUAL SELF-DEFENSE – A SERVICE MEMBER may exercise individual self-defense in response to a hostile act or demonstrated hostile intent.
Rule 2.1: LIMIT ON SELF-DEFENSE – A COMMANDER may limit individual self-defense by members of his unit.
RULE 3: DE-ESCALATION – When time and circumstances permit, a SERVICE MEMBER will give a threatening force warning and an opportunity to withdraw or stop the threatening actions before using force.
Rule 3.1: AVOID CONFRONTATION – Avoid confrontation with individuals who pose no threat to the unit, to non-DoD persons in the vicinity, or property secured by DoD forces.
Rule 3.2: NOTIFY CLEA – Increase self-defense posture and notify civilian law enforcement authorities (CLEA) or security agency personnel as soon as practical, if confrontation appears likely, civilians are acting in a suspicious manner, or immediately after a confrontation.
RULE 4: LIMITATIONS ON THE USE OF FORCE – A SERVICE MEMBER will use force of any kind only as a last resort and, if used, the force should be the minimum necessary to accomplish the mission.
Rule 4.1: REASONABLE – Any use of force must be reasonable in intensity, duration, and magnitude to counter the threat based on all the circumstances.
Rule 4.2: SAFETY – Exercise due regard for the safety of innocent bystanders when using any type of force.
Rule 4.3: WARNING SHOTS – Warning shots are NOT authorized.
RULE 5: USE OF NON-DEADLY FORCE – A SERVICE MEMBER may use non-deadly force to stop a threat when it is reasonable:
to control a situation and accomplish the mission,
to provide protection for himself and other DoD personnel,
to defend non-DoD persons in the vicinity, but only IF directly related to the assigned mission, or
to defend designated protected property.
RULE 6: USE OF DEADLY FORCE IN SELF-DEFENSE, DEFENSE OF OTHERS, AND DEFENSE OF PROPERTY – A SERVICE MEMBER may use deadly force to stop a threat only when all lesser means have failed or cannot reasonably be employed and it reasonably appears necessary:
to protect DoD forces when a commander reasonably believes a person poses an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm,
to protect yourself and other DoD forces from the imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm, to protect non-DoD persons in the vicinity from the imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm, but only IF directly related to the assigned mission,
to prevent the actual theft or sabotage of assets vital to national security or inherently dangerous property, and to prevent the sabotage of a national critical infrastructure.
Rule 6.1: USE OF DEADLY FORCE NOT AUTHORIZED – Deadly force is not authorized to disperse a crowd, stop looting, enforce a curfew, or protect non-designated property.
RULE 7: USE OF DEADLY FORCE AGAINST A SERIOUS OFFENSE – A SERVICE MEMBER may use deadly force, but only IF it is directly related to the assigned mission AND it reasonably appears necessary:
to prevent a serious crime against any person that involves imminent threat of death of serious bodily harm,
to prevent the escape of a prisoner where probable cause indicates he has committed or attempted to commit a serious offense and would pose an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm to DoD forces or others in the vicinity,
to arrest or apprehend a person who, there is probable cause to believe, has committed a serious offense that involved imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm or sabotage of designated protected property.
RULE 8: USE OF DEADLY FORCE AGAINST A VEHICULAR THREAT – A SERVICE MEMBER may fire his weapon at a moving land or water vehicle when he reasonably believes the vehicle poses an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm to DoD forces or to non-DoD persons in the vicinity, but only IF doing so is directly related to the assigned mission.
RULE 9 INSPECTION OF PERSONNEL ENTERING AND EXITING AREA – A SERVICE MEMBER may inspect individuals and property, per command security guidance, prior to granting persons or property entry inside a DoD perimeter or secured area and upon leaving such an area.
Rule 9.1 DENIED ACCESS – An individual or property that does not meet the command security requirements for entry may be denied access inside a DoD perimeter or secured area.
RULE 10: TEMPORARY DETENTION OF THREATENING PERSONNEL – A SERVICE MEMBER may temporarily detain an individual:
who has gained unauthorized access inside perimeters or other secured areas, who refuses to depart such an area after being denied access,
who otherwise threatens the safety and security of DoD forces, property secured by DoD forces, or non-DoD persons in the vicinity but only IF their defense is directly related to the assigned mission.
Rule 10.1: SEARCH – Detained individuals, vehicles, and property may be searched as a force protection measure.
Rule 10.2: RELEASED TO CLEA – Detained individuals and any secured property will be released to CLEA at the earliest opportunity consistent with mission accomplishment.
RULE 11: PURSUIT AND RECOVERY OF STOLEN PROPERTY – A SERVICE MEMBER may pursue and recover stolen assets vital to national security or inherently dangerous property if:
CLEA or security forces are not reasonably available to recover them, and
Commander, USNORTHCOM, has pre-authorized the pursue and recovery mission, and the pursuit is immediate, continuous, and uninterrupted.
Rule 11.1: CONTACT CLEA – DoD forces will notify CLEA as soon as practicable to inform them of the theft/pursuit.
RULE 12: REPORT VIOLATIONS OF THE SRUF – A SERVICE MEMBER will IMMEDIATELY report any violation of or non-compliance with the SRUF to the chain-of-command, Inspector General, Judge Advocate, Chaplain, or any commissioned officer with information concerning who, what, when, where, and why.
Commander’s SRUF Responsibilities (Title 10 Forces)
RULE 1: TEACH AND TRAIN – A commander must teach, train and implement the SRUF to his soldiers.
RULE 2: UNIT SELF-DEFENSE – A commander retains the inherent right and obligation of unit self-defense and defense of other DoD forces in the vicinity in response to a hostile act or demonstrated hostile intent.
RULE 3: INDIVIDUAL SELF-DEFENSE – A commander may limit the right of individual self-defense.
RULE 4: COORDINATE SRUF – A commander will coordinate the SRUF with civilian law enforcement authorities (CLEA) or security forces when operating in conjunction with them to ensure a common understanding. Any RUF issues that cannot be resolved will be forwarded to the SECDEF thru the chain-of-command and CJCS.
RULE 5: IMMINENT THREAT –A commander will determine if a threat of death or serious bodily harm by an individual or motor vehicle is imminent based on an assessment of all of the circumstances. If he determines such a threat is imminent, deadly force is authorized to stop the threat.
RULE 6: INHERENTLY DANGEROUS PROPERTY – A commander may designate DoD property or property having a DoD nexus as inherently dangerous. This includes weapons, ammunition, explosives, portable missiles, rockets, chemical agents, and special nuclear materials.
RULE 7: PURSUE AND RECOVER – A commander may not authorize forces to pursue and recover a stolen asset vital to national security or inherently dangerous property unless delegated this authority by the Commander USNORTHCOM. Any pursuit must be immediate, continuous, and uninterrupted.
RULE 8: MISSION-SPECIFIC RUF – A commander may request SECDEF-approval of mission-specific or supplemental RUF based on mission requirements thru the chain-of-command and CJCS. A commander of a unit detailed to another federal agency will ensure his unit is operating under a common mission-specific RUF approved by the SECDEF and the federal agency.
RULE 9: IMPOSED RESTRICTIONS – A commander may impose restrictions to the SECDEF-approved SRUF or mission-specific RUF, but must notify SECDEF thru the chain-of-command and CJCS of imposing the restrictions as soon as practicable.
RULE 10: INVESTIGATING VIOLATIONS – A commander will immediately report any suspected violation of or non-compliance with the SRUF thru the chain-of-command to CDRUSNORTHCOM, attn: SJA, investigate any suspected violation or non-compliance and preserve all evidence.
Title 32 and SAD National Guard RUF Card Template
RULE 1: MINIMUM FORCE: Military personnel will use only the minimum force required to accomplish the mission.
RULE 2: SELF-DEFENSE: Nothing in these Rules for Use of Force (RUF) shall limit a commander’s inherent duty to safeguard his/her force or an individual‘s inherent right of self-defense. An individual is always authorized and expected to use necessary force, proportional to the threat, in self-defense. An individual’s right of self defense may be limited by a commander.
RULE 3: DEADLY FORCE: Deadly force refers to physical force that could reasonably result in death, whether or not death is the intent. Discharge of a firearm is always considered deadly force. Before resorting to deadly force, all of the following conditions must be met:
a. All other means have been exhausted, are not appropriate, or are not reasonably available, including but not limited to restraining, detaining, and subduing.
b. The use of deadly force does not significantly increase the risk of death or serious bodily harm to innocent bystanders.