The Long Road of Peace Goes Through Covington

"Peace, man."

The existential cry of the hippy lives on in the Catholic Church. While prolife, male, white, Catholic teenagers from Covington are subject to virulent unicorn-esque condemnations from the liberals of America, a large portion of Catholics are guilty of having joined in on the mob attack. Some Catholics have since retreated, perhaps grasping at some natural reality that black is not white, up not down, and receiving death threats because of one's prolife, male, white Catholicity is not actually criminal, at least not this time. Yet rather than take the next logical step of actually defending the Covington teens, many Catholics are simply content to offer a "peace, man", and let those prolifers fend for themselves.

For instance, at Bishop Barron's ingratiating website we encounter the typical hippy Catholic mantra. Writer Elizabeth Scalia opines that we must do better at being peaceful, and that we should just appreciate the anthem: "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me"? I am not making this up. In other words: "Peace, man", unless of course you are a prolife, male, white Catholic.

This is not what peace is. Peace is not simply an absence of war, all the while possessing inner serenity. Peace requires justice. Justice requires order. Order requires action. When seventeen year old pro-life, male, white Catholics are attacked by racist and hateful bigots, it is not peaceful to retreat in order to find one's inner strength and harmony. Life happens in real time. Virtue must be habitual and readily applicable. Evil must be immediately fought when presented. How long must people retreat before they decide they are personally peaceful enough to defend an innocent person? One day? One week? One year? Justice at times demands immediate action. Inner peace is not achievable while omitting one's Christian duty.

The Mirror of Galadriel by Alan Lee
Consider Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings. He is presented with a glimpse into the future by the Marian-like Queen Galadriel. Sam observes that the Shire is not what it should be, and he even shouts out: "There's that Ted Sandyman a-cutting down trees as he shouldn't. […] I wish I could get at Ted, and I'd fell him!"
Sam demands to return to the Shire. His aiding Frodo in conquering the powers of evil is lost on him; he would rather save some pleasant trees near his home. Sam's demand is ultimately for personal wants, and not for true peace and order.

Galadriel gently reminds Sam that he is pressed into service for a greater deed, and that if he chooses to reject his duty he will never encounter true peace in his own land of the Shire. In other words, peace in our own lives is fettered to fighting evil.

The story continues with Sam sitting on the ground in deep thought. Shaken by his vision, he becomes at war with himself. Finally, he offers: "I wish I had never come here, and I don't want to see no more magic,' […] and fell silent. After a moment he spoke again thickly, as if struggling with tears. 'No, I'll go home by the long road with Mr. Frodo, or not at all.'"

Inner peace is needed; however, inner peace requires we fight the injustice presented to us. Peace is not simply retreating to one's pseudo-harmonious life, but rather it is, as Sam discovers, a long and difficult road of fighting for what is right. Indeed, in some cases the long road of peace goes through Covington.


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