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Why The FBI’s Assault On Catholics Threatens All Christians

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In light of the FBI’s anti-Catholic ‘Richmond memo,’ the true new resistance is everyday churchgoing folks with families.

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Betrayal. If I could sum it all up in one word, it would have to be “betrayal.” 

“This is what being stabbed in the back feels like,” I thought to myself on that winter day when I first laid eyes on the FBI’s anti-Catholic “Richmond memo.”

My reaction was predictable. I am Catholic, and I thought it was appalling, plain and simple. 

Of all the groups our top federal law enforcement agency would write an 11-page document targeting, they picked us. With all of the crime going on in the country, especially in the last few years, the FBI decided we Catholics were the problem.   

“Radical-traditionalist,” I thought, trying to make sense of the term the FBI used more than 40 times throughout the memo. It was certainly not a term I had ever heard before in the counterterrorism space. 

Who is a “radical-traditionalist Catholic?” (Let’s call them “RTC” for short.) 

I’m friends with people who love the Latin Mass. I attended a traditional school where I learned Latin from fifth grade through high school. 

Are they RTCs? Am I?  

As these questions raced through my head, I thought back to another watershed moment in my life — the day I decided as a 27-year-old to put my “professional career” path behind me and enlist in the U.S. Air Force. I also remembered the day I applied to the FBI, several years later, eventually becoming an agent.  

The memo was a punch right in the gut. The American ideals I had signed up for as a young man were betrayed. In some ways, even as a fortysomething who has worked in government, I still have some naive American idealism. So this was personal. 

Two Americas 

As I sat down to read the Richmond memo, I could not help but notice that the entire thing is written from the perspective of someone who holds views antithetical to what we believe as Catholics. I later learned it was an analyst who was the product of Georgetown University, a nominally Catholic school directly inside the swamp. 

The group of people who composed the memo believe abortion “rights” need to be defended. They also believe the LGBT agenda needs to be pushed down the American people’s throats. 

However, it’s not just us Catholics who reject these leftist beliefs but most Christians and people of faith in general. Targeting RTCs in one memo out of Richmond opens a door for the FBI to look into all traditionally religious people — which, statistically, is almost half the country.

My Source and Disclosures

The whistleblower who brought me the memo (and told me it was a problem) is not a Catholic. Being intentionally vague to protect the identity of my source, he/she is, however, a practicing Christian and realized that if the FBI can target so-called RTCs, then anyone who espouses a traditional faith could be next.  

On Oct. 27, 2021, I met with the representatives of my congresswoman, Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-New Mexico. In speaking with them, I made several disclosures.  

In whistleblowing, a “disclosure” happens when information that was once concealed from the public is made known. It has to be very specific, and it is laid out in the FBI Whistleblower Protection Act of 2016. An employee must make a reasonable allegation of fraud, waste, or abuse or that the agency or management is involved in a violation of rule, law, or policy. This is exactly what I disclosed on that fateful day. 

One of the things I spoke to Herrell’s staff about was the FBI’s politicized prioritization of their counterterrorism targets.  

My FBI office was targeting pro-life activists. The closest abortion facility to where I lived was in a small city called Anthony, New Mexico, right on the Texas border. At the time, it was a small operation. Women would come in, get their abortion pills, and that was it. As expected, the protesting we saw outside of it was fairly minimal. 

But there were a few Catholic women with an ultrasound machine in a trailer. They set up shop somewhere in the vicinity of the facility. They were your typical harmless pro-life Catholics who prayed and sang hymns. When a young woman came to pick up abortion-inducing drugs, the Catholic women would try to convince her to get an ultrasound to see her baby.  

None of this violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act or any federal law. But this didn’t stop FBI agents with my office from interviewing them. I found this very troubling, so I told Harrell’s office. 

The New Mexican pro-lifers were just the tip of the iceberg of what I had witnessed at the FBI.

 What is also clear from the contents of the memo is that the FBI’s targeting will not stop at “RTCs.” 

Targeting All Christians

The FBI is establishing a gateway in what they think is “fringe Catholicism,” as a means to go after Christians in general and declare them to be the real “threats” and “potential terrorists” in the country.

Slowly but surely, the FBI is probing its way into all religious communities. All Christians are in the crosshairs. They may be gung-ho on RTCs now, but the idea of them targeting a so-called “radical Baptist” or “radical Lutheran” in the near future is certainly on the table.  

Just look at the people the FBI has recently gone after — pro-lifers, parents opposed to the radical indoctrination of their children, mainstream conservatives — people who are objectively not “fringe.” 

Power plays like the Richmond memo — if left unchecked — never fizzle out. One always leads to another.  

Don’t Just Go Along

What if too many Catholics remain silent and decide to “go along to get along”? As Catholics, and as Americans, we have a responsibility to speak out about this rampant injustice. Become involved with your local parish community. Remain involved and continue to follow the news. When you see something, say something — to your congressional representatives, to the media. Self-censorship is the worst form of censorship because you have internalized the goals of the regime and decided to enact it on their behalf. This is what Martin Niemöller was warning about in his “They came for the…” verse. Eventually, they will come for you. 

If you work in the federal government, you can also help by calling out wrongdoing when you see it.

Over the last few years, we heard a lot from people calling themselves “the resistance.” I have concluded that with everything going on, the true new resistance is actually everyday churchgoing folks with families. 

My advice to anyone who wants to “rebel against the status quo” is as follows: Go to church, get married, start a garden, and have children. This is the most countercultural thing we can do.

This article is an adapted excerpt from For God, Country, & Sanity: How Catholics Can Save America.


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