There is hope yet for the city of Boise. Even in this blue dot in the midst of a red state, the revolutionaries are not welcome, at least by the (well-armed) rank-and-file citizenry (as distinguished from Boise's new socialist mayor and some other city government luminaries). The Black Lives Matter people, who undermine black lives by making war on the nuclear family and the Catholic Church, have failed again to establish a reign of chaos in Boise. In response to their scheduled "Defund the Police" "protest” at City Hall on the 21st, several hundred of the above-mentioned well-armed rank-and-file citizenry organized a march to City Hall from one of the local parks. BLM decided to move their operation to the local university campus, although a few of them trickled back to City Hall. Events carried on largely without incident, barring a few arrests. In fact, the liberal local news media's conspicuous failure to trumpet the BLM "protest," plus the dearth of pictures of the BLM people in action, seems to suggest that the BLM event must have been pathetic and embarrassing.
Thus fizzled BLM's third attempt on Boise since the death of George Floyd. After weeks of watching vandals attack monuments and Catholic churches all over the country, and after all the local media buildup of the upcoming BLM agitation, a few local Catholics, organizing under the banner of "Catholic Defense Idaho," decided to gather in front of St. John's Cathedral to pray the Rosary. The purpose was to defend the Cathedral with prayer in this spiritual war against the Church, and to be visible and take up the public space that too many of our public officials are ceding to the enemies of peace and right order. We also hoped our presence there would deter anyone who might want to attack the cathedral.
There appears to be hope yet, as I say, for the blue city of Boise. But what about the Church in Boise? A response to our itty-bitty prayer rally for the defense of the Cathedral appeared on the Cathedral's Facebook page (emphases in original):
Dear Parishioners,We are well aware that there are protests planned for this evening in Downtown Boise. We are taking the necessary precautions to protect the Cathedral. WE WILL HAVE PROFESSIONAL SECURITY ON SITE. We are discouraging anyone from coming to the Cathedral as the safety of our parishioners is paramount. We also have no connection to "Catholic Defense Idaho." Please know that all official communication will come from here and no other sites or emails. Please STAY HOME and PRAY for our Church and city.Please contact the office with any questions.
Since secular laymen don't need anyone's permission to pray on a public sidewalk, and since there was no evidence that the professional security were going to be using the Rosary as one of their weapons, 15 of us showed up anyway. There were a couple of guys in T-shirts behind the chain-link fences that had been placed around the front entrance to the Cathedral. About the time the protests were starting in another part of downtown, we gathered on the sidewalk, sprinkled exorcised salt in front of the cathedral and around our group, and prayed the Rosary and Litany of the Saints. While we prayed, one lone passer-by shouted an F-bomb at us, then beat a hasty retreat. Other than that, nothing happened.
Why is all this such a big deal? Ever since she emerged from the Catacombs, the Catholic Church has had a very long tradition of making her presence known and felt in public spaces. She does this by means of prominent churches with tall steeples and towers (at one time, the tallest buildings in any town); statues and monuments; icons; bells; the distinctive dress of her clergy and religious. In times of both celebration and crisis, she holds processions and public gatherings of prayer. What is the point of keeping a high profile? Obviously, it is to comfort her children and men of good will, and also to strike fear in the hearts of her enemies. There can be no doubt that the overt, visible presence of the Church in the public square is a deterrent to her enemies, and thus her first line of defense. This is why it is a primary tactic of her enemies to destroy her monuments, efface her symbols and try to make her withdraw and disappear from public life. What makes this current time so depressing is the capitulation of so many men in the Church to this offensive, when they should be leading the troops against it.
There is no excuse for this capitulation. Why have BLM's efforts in Boise bombed? I submit the reason is twofold. One, these agitators are basically cowards. Two, and more importantly, BLM has failed here because ordinary citizens who oppose revolution are nipping it in the bud by taking up public space, making themselves (and their firearms) visible, and telling the agitators to their face that their revolution will not be tolerated here. I would also like to think that public prayer for their defeat had its effect, not due to the merits of those praying but because God is faithful to His promises. On the other hand, it appears the revolutionaries generally have their greatest successes in places where they are allowed free reign without any pushback. This should tell us that, if we are unwilling to use a little effort at the outset to deal with these problems, we will end up being compelled to use a much greater effort to dislodge them later, and the odds of violence skyrocket.
There is no doubt we are living in a time when the enemies of God and His Church are running amok and having an influence out of all proportion to their numbers. I feel the fear just as keenly as anyone else. But there are two things we Catholics need to remember. Firstly, these poor people who have arrayed themselves against God and against His Church are the slaves of satan. What they are doing objectively constitutes mortal sin, and so, besides being on the losing side, they are most likely bereft of sanctifying grace and are thus gravely weakened spiritually and intellectually. As soon as satan can get no more use out of them, he will discard them.
The second thing we have to remember is that God has already won the war. He also infused us with faith, hope and charity at Baptism, and at Confirmation with the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, piety, fear of the Lord and fortitude. We also have the Rosary, with all of God's promises through our Lady that come with it, and the intercession of all the angels and the saints. Above all, we have the August Sacrifice of the Mass and the forgiveness of our sins in the Sacrament of Penance. For churchmen to surrender to a bunch of basement-dwelling, protein-deficient, vice-ensnared Marxist agitators is on the order of a tank commander surrendering to a guy with a bow and arrow. There is absolutely no reason for Catholics in the state of grace and fortified by the Sacraments to crawl before the devil's slaves.
Not everybody is meant to go out and personally participate in the high-profile task of taking back our public spaces. Some people are meant to labor for peace in secret. But not everybody. Making the Church's presence known and felt in public is an essential part of pushing back against the diabolical disorientation that swirls around us. (The men, by the way, should lead this effort and not leave it all up to the women; and the women should let the men lead.) Our failure to do this gives hope to our enemies and discourages our friends. We are not meant to prize our hides more than our souls, or to value safety above all else. If we get used to telling ourselves that now is not the time to fight, it will become such a habit that there will never come a time to fight. Then, one day, we will wonder how everything we hold dear has been destroyed. We will never win souls for Christ -- or even save our own -- by playing it safe all the time.