The US went from the land of religious freedom to the FBI labeling Orthodox Catholic groups as extremist threats

By Grzegorz Adamczyk
4 Min Read

In the 1995 blockbuster movie “Seven,” directed by David Fincher, it featured a scene that critics considered to be both amusing and improbable. It showed two detectives — played by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt — having a conversation about how the FBI has access to the American library system and actively monitors reading habits of people who check out “flagged books” that include: “Mein Kampf” by Adolf Hitler, Dante’s “Divine Comedy” or “Paradise Lost” by John Milton. Under such a scenario, it implied that Christians who care about their tradition are treated equally with neo-Nazis as dangerous extremists.

Less than three decades have passed, and what then seemed to be an amusing Hollywood fiction now turns out to be a terrifying reality.  Thanks to America’s UncoverDC website, which published a confidential FBI document from Jan. 23 of this year, it revealed the FBI classified Catholics working in pro-life organizations as extremist threats. In addition, acts such as praying the rosary or attending sermons in the Latin language are radical activities, with the FBI referring to these practices with the acronym RTC (Radically Traditional Catholic).

The document’s content was leaked by a former FBI agent and quickly reached the attention of 20 U.S. Attorneys who sent a joint letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding that he starts an investigation on the matter and prohibits infiltration of Christian groups by federal agents due to religious practices. Virginia U.S. Attorney Jason Miyares stated that the confidential document would be more expected in a Cuba’s authoritarian regime than in a country that is regarded as the fatherland of religious freedom.

The history of 48-year-old Mark Houck from Kintnersville, Pennsylvania, shows that it is not just a theoretical issue. On Sept. 23, 2022, at 6:45 a.m., the police approached his home in 15 vehicles, including members of a SWAT unit, who breached his home and dragged the man outside aiming guns at his head, while his wife and seven weeping children watched. Houck’s neighbors were certain he was a serial killer, or at least a pedophile.

However, it turned out that the only reason SWAT showed up at his door was that 13 months earlier, he attempted to dissuade a pregnant woman from killing her unborn child. This was enough for him to be treated as a criminal by the law enforcement. Ultimately, on Jan. 30, 2023, he was unanimously acquitted by a jury in Philadelphia.

It is worth noting Houck’s words after he was brought back home by the police.

“You would not be here, if Trump was in the White House,” he told the policemen.

Indeed, it is true: since Biden became president, state aggression against the defenders of life has grown in the U.S., with federal law enforcement agencies being utilized for this task. Previously, only leftist organizations targeted support centers for single mothers or pregnant women, for example.

Republicans, who currently control the majority in the House of Representatives, announced that they will not leave this matter without explanation. Let us hope they have enough power to take some sort of action.

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