On the TV news just now, the lawyer of the family of the Sacramento jihadists compared his clients’ relatives to “Catholics who have bombed abortion clinics.” I think he was making a point that Muslims shouldn’t be singled out, but offhand, I can’t think of any Catholics who have bombed/shot up any abortion clinics in the US. Eric Rudolph, the rock star of women’s clinic bombers, was part of “Christian Identity” but I can’t find his precise religious affiliation.
I know we Catholics are as capable of depraved idiocy as anybody else, but can someone with better Google-Fu shed some light on this? What’s the straight dope on Catholics bombing abortion clinics? I’d ask my crazy aunt from Operation Rescue, but some topics with her are best left undiscussed.
When I think of abortion clinic bombers, although I think of Christians, it never occurs to me to consider that any of them could be Catholic. I don’t think I have heard or read of a Catholic abortion clinic bomber in the US.
Not to say a Catholic person could not commit the crime, but I would find it a little surprising. I guess I place Catholics in a different category than the evangelical / fundamentalist Christian strains.
Most of the violence seems to come from a Christian fringe, but there have been some Catholics involved.
James Charles Kopp was a Roman Catholic. He didn’t bomb a clinic, but he was convicted of murdering an abortion provider, and implicated in several other crimes.
Edward Markley. a Benedictine monk, broke into and damaged two clinics, injuring three people in the process, (he didn’t seem to be actually trying to injure anyone) back in 1984. But no bombing and no deaths.
John Earl, another Catholic priest, rammed his car into an Illinois clinic.
There may be some others, but a lot of times the religion of the assaulters isn’t actually noted.
The IRA, and other paramilitary groups comprising mostly of Irish Catholics (INLA et al.), were mostly leftists. This does not preclude anti-abortion activism, but many members were probably fine with abortion.
Christian Identity almost certainly involves 99.9% Protestant Christians.
The IRA were active in Britain as well as in Northern Ireland, and they conducted bombings and other attacks in Britain. And there are plenty of abortion providers in Britain.
But bombing them was never on the cards. It had absolutely nothing to do with what the IRA were about. It may be that IRA members are mostly Catholic, or are drawn from the Catholic community, but their political campaign is not in the least motivated by religion. They are leftist nationalist republicans.