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December 6, 2023

Congress Considers Anti-Semitism, Anti-Catholicism

Testimony from FBI Director Chris Wray and three university presidents illuminated some real problems.

The world’s three major monotheistic religions — Christianity, Judaism, and Islam — were all in some respect in the congressional spotlight yesterday. While college presidents tried to explain why students using genocidal chants against Jews is protected free speech, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned again about increased pro-Hamas terrorism in the U.S. Unfortunately, his FBI is often busy chasing phantom Catholic “extremists.”

We’ll start in reverse order. The FBI earlier this year issued a warning about “radical-traditionalist Catholic ideology” based on the spurious work of the hate-baiting Southern Poverty Law Center, claiming this supposed extremism “certainly presents new mitigation opportunities.” A new report from the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government says that the FBI did not define its terms on the way to unfairly and over-broadly targeting Catholics, even for the “sin” of being pro-life. Wray admitted as much back in July.

The fireworks in yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing came when Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) blasted Wray. “You haven’t fired anybody” for that targeting, he thundered, marveling that Wray instead had only “admonished them.”

“Good heavens, director! This is one of the most outrageous targetings,” Hawley went on. “You have mobilized your division, the most powerful law enforcement division in the world, against traditionalist Catholics — whatever the heck that means — and you have just told us you have not fired a single person.” He eventually demanded: “What are you going to do about this? Are you going to fire these people or not?”

Wray merely reiterated that they “have all been admonished.”

The problem is twofold: First, to borrow an idea from “A Few Good Men,” who ordered the code red? In other words, tracking down the exact FBI personnel responsible may be easier said than done. The House report says it originated with a Richmond Field Office investigation, but it’s still unclear how that came to be or why that became a template for “an FBI-wide memorandum.”

Even if the “who done it” is answered, the second problem is how difficult it is to fire federal employees of any type.

As for Catholics, the FBI seems to think that anti-Semitism runs amok among the people it claims are radicals. Anti-Semitism is certainly not unheard of among Christians. We can’t sort that out in this case other than to say Christians are not the ones committing hate crimes or other acts of violence in the U.S.

What we can say is that it brings us to Wray’s warning about anti-Semitism coming in the form of pro-Hamas terrorism. “I see blinking lights everywhere I turn,” Wray said. “I’ve never seen a time where all the threats — or so many of the threats — are all elevated all at exactly the same time.” Specifically, he stated, “You’ve seen a veritable rogues’ gallery of foreign terrorist organizations calling for attacks against us,” all “inspired by Hamas’s horrific terrorist attacks in Israel.” Translation: These are generally Islamofascists, not Catholics or anyone else.

That, in turn, brings us back to the college problem.

The respective presidents of such elite institutions as Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania — all women, we might add — testified before the House Education Committee about the alarming rise of anti-Semitism on their campuses and others. They were presented with videos of students chanting slogans like “Globalize the intifada” and “Long live the intifada.” Another popular genocidal slogan, promoted even by Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), is “from the river to the sea.”

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), an alumna of Harvard, repeatedly asked a simple question of the three university presidents, growing more alarmed with each evasive answer: “Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate [the school’s] code of conduct?”

Astounding, all three presidents engaged in verbal gymnastics to avoid a simple answer. “If targeted at individuals, not making public statements,” said Sally Kornbluth of MIT. “It’s a context-dependent decision,” said Liz Magill of Penn. “It can be, depending on the context,” replied Harvard’s Claudine Gay.

Gay did later say the aforementioned slogans are “hateful, reckless, offensive speech,” but they are protected speech nonetheless.

Try “misgendering” someone at Harvard and see if Gay is so tolerant (and that’s not even a joke about her surname).

The House committee also received testimony from Jewish students at these elite universities. One asserted “I do not feel safe” on campus. The others agreed.

Stick with us here; this is important. Perhaps the FBI should be less worried about pro-life Catholics than it is about hateful and potentially violent Hamas-sympathizing atheists and Muslims who want to harm or kill Jews. Perhaps university presidents should get back to educating students instead of indoctrinating them in hateful and potentially violent Marxist ideology. And perhaps adherents of the Religion of Peace™ could stop threatening, attacking, and killing members of other religions.

A day after testifying poorly, Penn’s president made this video to make things right:

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