CV President Brian Burch issued the following statement in response to the violence today at the United States Capitol building following the rally with President Trump:
There is no excuse for the violence that took place Wednesday afternoon in the U.S. Capitol. Violence is both counterproductive and morally reprehensible. Every person responsible for trespassing, vandalism, theft, or violence should be prosecuted. Americans deserve to know who were the instigators behind this shameful stunt, and those responsible should be brought to justice.
Why did this happen? Any honest observer knows these events are the result of multiple causes, including the pent up frustrations of citizens stripped of their freedoms and livelihoods during the ongoing pandemic, the widespread excusing of violence committed across America by antifa mobs, ongoing concerns over election irregularities, and yes, at times, the public rhetoric of the President of the United States.
President Trump has every right to demand answers to the many unresolved electoral irregularities. We have joined him in these demands. He likewise has a responsibility to pursue justice in a way that does not lead to lawlessness.
The media, along with many of our political leaders, also bear responsibility for today’s events. Regrettably, the excusing of antifa mob violence over the past 8 months sent the unmistakable message that if you are unhappy with a specific political or social issue, the answer is violence and mayhem. Politicians have ignored widespread violence that included assaults on innocent people, vandalism, theft, looting and the burning and destruction of American cities. Even Joe Biden famously ducked questions about antifa, calling the anarchist movement “an idea.” The Capitol is indeed the “people’s house.” But of no less importance are the businesses, homes, and safety of innocent Americans.
Consider too the excusing of rioting in protest of allegations of police brutality by prominent left-wing media outlet Vox. One such article was titled “Riots are destructive, dangerous, and scary — but can lead to serious social reforms — To prevent more violent uprisings and protests, we need to take their causes seriously.” The article argues that “acknowledging the lingering rage and feelings of neglect that led to the riots as genuine political viewpoints is important…”
And who can forget CNN’s Chris Cuomo who famously chided critics of mob violence saying: “Too many see the protests as the problem. No, the problem is what forced your fellow citizens to take to the streets. Persistent and poisonous inequities and injustice. Please…show me where it says that protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful.”
It is also worth noting that violence and lawbreaking in pursuit of political causes has been on the rise. Recall the shooting of Republican Congressman Steve Scalise in 2017, or left-wing activists who stormed the Capitol and Senate office buildings in 2018 to oppose the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh, leading to hundreds of arrests, or the mobs that threatened the White House this summer forcing the Secret Service to rush the President to a security bunker, only to be mocked by the media the next day.
These examples in no way justify the violence that occurred inside the Capitol on Wednesday. But the shameful double standard has contributed in meaningful ways to what we witnessed Wednesday afternoon.
Finally, as expected, efforts are now underway to tar any person, organization, or cause that has been supportive of President Trump as somehow responsible for the violence. Catholic Vote is proud of our work over the past four years in support of President Trump’s policies, especially his defense of religious liberty, the sanctity of life, Catholic schools, judicial nominations, and his focus on prioritizing the American worker, our ideals, and values. We proudly backed his re-election, and in no way will apologize for this work or the causes that we shared. Reckless attempts to attach the shameful violence in the U.S. Capitol to the millions of patriotic Americans that supported his policies or candidacy only serve to inflame the divisions that must be healed.
We pray that peace and justice will prevail.