Ignoramus Claims Rosary a Symbol of Far-Right Violent Extremism: Hate-Crime Police… Helloooo!

Ignoramus Claims Rosary a Symbol of Far-Right Violent Extremism: Hate-Crime Police… Helloooo!

American blogger Marinaio emailed an article from The Atlantic which he describes as “despicable”, saying “It’s Open Season on Catholics!” – extracts follow…

How Extremist Gun Culture Is Trying to Co-Opt the Rosary

Just as the AR-15 rifle has become a sacred object for Christian nationalists in general, the rosary has acquired a militaristic meaning for radical-traditional (or “rad trad”) Catholics. On this extremist fringe, rosary beads have been woven into a conspiratorial politics and absolutist gun culture. These armed radical traditionalists have taken up a spiritual notion that the rosary can be a weapon in the fight against evil and turned it into something dangerously literal.

Their social-media pages are saturated with images of rosaries draped over firearms, warriors in prayer, Deus Vult (“God wills it”) crusader memes, and exhortations for men to rise up and become Church Militants. Influencers on platforms such as Instagram share posts referencing “everyday carry” and “gat check” (gat is slang for “firearm”) that include soldiers’ “battle beads,” handguns, and assault rifles. One artist posts illustrations of his favorite Catholic saints, clergy, and influencers toting AR-15-style rifles labeled SANCTUM ROSARIUM alongside violently homophobic screeds that are celebrated by social-media accounts with thousands of followers.

The theologian and historian Massimo Faggioli has described a network of conservative Catholic bloggers and commentary organizations as a “Catholic cyber-militia” that actively campaigns against LGBTQ acceptance in the Church. These rad-trad rosary-as-weapon memes represent a social-media diffusion of such messaging, and they work to integrate ultraconservative Catholicism with other aspects of online far-right culture. The phenomenon might be tempting to dismiss as mere trolling or merchandising, and ironical provocations based on traditionalist Catholic symbols do exist, but the far right’s constellations of violent, racist, and homophobic online milieus are well documented for providing a pathway to radicalization and real-world terrorist attacks.

The rosary—in these hands—is anything but holy. But for millions of believers, the beads, which provide an aide-mémoire for a sequence of devotional prayers, are a widely recognized symbol of Catholicism and a source of strength. And many take genuine sustenance from Catholic theology’s concept of the Church Militant and the tradition of regarding the rosary as a weapon against Satan. As Pope Francis said in a 2020 address, “There is no path to holiness … without spiritual combat,” and Francis is only one of many Church officials who have endorsed the idea of the rosary as an armament in that fight.

In mainstream Catholicism, the rosary-as-weapon is not an intrinsically harmful interpretation of the sacramental, and this symbolism has a long history. In the 1930s and ’40s, the ultramontane Catholic student publication Jeunesse Étudiante Catholique regularly used the concept to rally the faithful. But the modern radical-traditionalist Catholic movement—which generally rejects the Second Vatican Council’s reforms—is far outside the majority opinion in the Catholic Church in America. Many prominent American Catholic bishops advocate for gun control, and after the Uvalde school shooting, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, lamented the way some Americans “sacralize death’s instruments.”…

Some doctrinal differences and divisions remain. Many radical-traditional Catholic men maintain the hard-line position that other forms of Christianity are heretical, and hold that Catholics alone adhere to the one true Church. Christian nationalism’s nativism and its predilection for “Great Replacement” theory alienate some radical-traditional Catholics who are not white or who were not born in the United States, and deep veins of anti-Catholicism persist among far-right Protestants.

Yet the convergence within Christian nationalism is cemented in common causes such as hostility toward abortion-rights advocates. The pro-choice protests that followed the leaked early draft of the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade, led to a profusion of social-media posts on the far right fantasizing about killing activists, and such forums responded to Pride month this year with extremist homophobic and transphobic “groomer” discourse. Rad-trad networks are also involved in organizing rosary-branded events that involve weapons training.

Catholics are taught to love and forgive their enemies, that to do otherwise is a sin. But the extremist understanding of spiritual warfare overrides that command. To do battle with Satan—whose influence in the world is, according to Catholic demonology, real and menacing—is to deploy violence for deliverance and redemption. The “battle beads” culture of spiritual warfare permits radical-traditional Catholics literally to demonize their political opponents and regard the use of armed force against them as sanctified. The sacramental rosary isn’t just a spiritual weapon but one that comes with physical ammunition.  End of Extracts – Source: The Atlantic…

Editor writes…

But wait – before you get too mad, let One Mad Mom say a few words:   I’m super busy but this one was so incredibly over-the-top I just couldn’t pass it up. I’m sure all of you carrying your assault rosaries will also get a good chuckle. Watch where you point those things, OK?   Read the rest of her priceless commentary here

It seems to me that this hapless journalist has done more to advertise the Holy Rosary with his daft article than any of us could have done in the proverbial month of Sundays.  Yes, it’s a weapon, all right, and more powerful than any gun, spiritually speaking.  Let’s  hope he comes to understand that sooner rather than later…

Your thoughts…  

Comments (17)

  • Leitourgos Reply

    Another reminder, if one were needed, that there is a fight to the death going on for the soul of the Catholic Church between those who seek her conversion to the world, i.e. her dissolution, and those who seek to convert the world to Christ. The latter pray the Rosary and will be victorious. End of story.

    August 16, 2022 at 4:26 am
  • Jeffrey Job Reply

    Isn’t it just like Jesus to use His enemies’ own weapons against them? Assault the Rosary on the Feast of Mary’s Assumption! That’s a master stroke of ignorance at the very least. Of course I’m allowing for the slight chance that a leftist is not being either malicious or stupid.

    The Feast or the Holy Rosary was instituted to be celebrated on Oct 7 because of Mary’s critical role in three battles: Malta 1565, Lepanto 1571 and Venice in 1683. All were defensive battles against a marauding horde of proponents of a certain religion of peace.

    So as much as the effeminate xy’s are made uncomfortable by men acting like men and exercising their God given roles as protectors there will be no apologies. Standing against evil is a moral requirement for Catholic men. Here we have no leadership from our males in miters who much prefer manicures to battle lines.

    Rosaries are indeed fearsome weapons because God promised no human except Mary victory over His enemies. It sure sounds like the demonic puppet masters know this regardless of their human disciples’ ignorance in this matter.

    August 16, 2022 at 4:30 am
  • Marinaio Reply

    When I first read this screed by Mr. Panneton yesterday, I was immediately reminded of a description coined by former Vice President Spiro Agnew, as he frequently railed against academic and journalistic arrogance. He called such people “effete snobs”. My dictionary defines “effete” as “marked by excessive self-indulgence and moral decay”. One online definition includes the traits of “a decadent life of excessive money and no sense of responsibility”. That pretty much sums up both Dan Panneton and his audience of sophomores. Although this author lives in Canada, he clearly panders to the Old Liberal Guard in the Northeast and California (which, of course, epitomizes the demographic of readers of the Atlantic and New Yorker magazines).
    It seems to me that in order to discharge his duties as a sycophant to these self-professed intellectuals, he has absolutely no qualms about besmirching cultural/religious practices and beliefs that are held dear to countless Catholics world-wide. He claims in his profile that he specializes in uncovering “hate,” calling himself an “anti-hate journalist”. Yet there are apparently limits to the inclusivity, diversity and equality he says he champions. Like so many I have met of his ilk, he is a selective liberal whose puffed-up opinion of himself will lead to his downfall.
    Regarding the actual content of his article, I will defer to One Mad Mom on this one. Her thorough analysis hits the nail squarely on the head.

    August 16, 2022 at 4:34 am
    • Margaret Mary Reply


      I, too, loved the One Mad Mom hit-back on that ridiculous article, but I was a bit disappointed in her attitude to the TLM. First-up, she calls it the “EF” which I always think is a give-away, because it isn’t actually the “extraordinary form” – for centuries it has been THE form! Also, she said it’s her back-up when she can’t get to her “normal” Mass, which I take it is the novus ordo. So, it’s a bit disappointing to find such a defence of the novus ordo at this stage, on what is a very good blog.

      Mr. Panneton is a muppet! I agree with your comments about him, 100%.

      August 16, 2022 at 1:54 pm
  • westminsterfly Reply

    Of course anyone who misuses or attacks the rosary (or the traditional Latin Mass) or anything authentically Catholic is under the influence of the Father of Lies. “Woe to those who call good evil, and evil good”.

    August 16, 2022 at 7:53 am
  • Laura Reply

    This article in Catholic World Report shows how The Atlantic changed the original headline for this article. The original headline was How the Rosary Became an Extremist Symbol.

    Marinaio is right about “open season” on Catholics, but it always is, really. There’s never any hate crimes pursued against those who insult the Catholic Church – or even Christianity more widely. Anything goes when it’s about Christ and his followers.

    August 16, 2022 at 11:13 am
  • Faith of Our Fathers Reply

    The writer going over the score always make mistakes IE Catholics think that Catholicism is the only True Christian Religion and all the rest are Heretics . Well at least they got something correct.

    August 16, 2022 at 1:20 pm
  • Margaret Mary Reply

    Where are the hate police, is the right question. Were, indeed. If it was Moslem beads he was mocking, can you just imagine the ruckus?

    August 16, 2022 at 1:47 pm
  • editor Reply

    That The Atlantic rant was published on the eve of the Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption, speaks volumes about the total lack of sensitivity and, dare I say it, “tolerance”; Dan Whatsisname needs to book himself into an Equality & Diversity Training Course, asap.

    Be impressed, I’ve created my own version of “the impossible we can do at once, miracles may take a little longer” – see below and sign in amazement…

    Bigotry we can deal with reasonably quickly, ignorance may take a little longer… 😀

    August 16, 2022 at 4:30 pm
    • Jeffrey Job Reply

      It is my considered opinion that there are Truth seekers and Truth avoiders. Of the second group there are the lazy and the willful avoiders.
      Lazy avoiders because thinking is work and it interferes with bread and circuses. Willful avoiders are those of corrupt souls who simply have no interest in conformity with anything but their disordered passion. They still want to claim “I’m a good person” all evidence to the contrary.

      Of this group Thomas Paine said arguing with a person who has abandoned reason is like administering medicine to a dead person.

      Since people on the left are less unaware as they are corrupt this explains why they are typically immune from facts, reality and logic.

      August 16, 2022 at 5:36 pm
  • Faith of Our Fathers Reply

    This is the same Lot who actually wrote that Janes Revenge on Catholic Churches was Justified or worse. It was actually done by us to make Janes Revenge look bad. Question ? Do the actual Left think that we actually believe their Garbage . Or was Killary half correct when She called the Public Deplorables .

    August 16, 2022 at 5:33 pm
  • Michael Reply

    Dear friends

    I think the title itself adequately expresses the heart of the matter ie.

    Ignoramus Claims Rosary a Symbol of Far-Right Violent Extremism: Hate-Crime Police…

    In the words of my late wonderful Irish grandfather Michael who worked as a labourer all his days in response to the individual making the claim he would have said:

    “ that person is to stupid to realise how stupid they are “

    How’s that for home grown Socratic wisdom.

    Ave Maria!

    Every blessing

    Michael 🙏

    August 16, 2022 at 10:53 pm
    • Laura Reply


      I love that home-grown Socratic wisdom, LOL!

      August 17, 2022 at 12:40 am
  • Leitourgos Reply

    The following is well worth reading:


    August 17, 2022 at 1:44 am
  • Fidelis Reply

    That’s a joke, really. Nobody could seriously believe that rosaries are a symbol of fighting in the sense of killing people. That author has to be ignorant, nobody’s that stupid, LOL!

    August 18, 2022 at 8:56 pm
  • Jeffrey Job Reply

    He should be concerned about far left actual violence. Antifa, BLM etcetera.

    August 18, 2022 at 10:24 pm
    • editor Reply

      Jeffrey Job,

      Agreed. It amazed me, following the riots on the streets in the USA back in 2020, how accepting were the mainstream media of the violence caused by those Antifa, BLM etc thugs. The TV reporter in one report from the scene, with blazing buildings in the background, rioters throwing missiles across the street, cars on fire… described the “protest” as “mainly peaceful”! I couldn’t believe it. Suddenly, Glasgow seemed to be a haven of peace and quiet, the weekend drunks suddenly looking more like members of the Salvation Army! Laugh? I thought I’d never start!

      August 18, 2022 at 10:32 pm

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