Institutionalized Violence and the Unsupreme Court

We have demonstrated in a recent DM, that behind the drive, urge, panic and “torque” to rip away 49 years of women’s rights to make their own decisions about their bodies, there lies Opus Dei.  That an Opus Dei operative, Mr. Leonardo Leo by name, has headed the Federalist Society that fed the Republican Party five of the six right wing Catholics on the Supreme Court.  

Let us recall that 68% of Roman Catholics today oppose killing Roe v Wade, thus these people do not even represent 2/3 of Catholics—saying nothing of other Americans who are in no way Roman Catholic.  They do represent, however, a high percentage of evangelicals who are also set on dismantling Roe v Wade.

What the dismantling of Roe v Wade means is Violence to women who for whatever reason choose not to bring their pregnancy to term.  This may be due to rape or incest or other reasons—reasons which it is not in Mr. Alito’s purview to decide (or Thomas or Kavanaugh or Gorsuch or Ms. Amy Barrett).

Do some people have the right to make decisions about your body?  Is that itself not an act of violence?  An invasion of privacy?  A power trip? The number of maternity deaths will increase if Roe v Wade is gone.  That is violence also. A very high percentage of those deaths will be among the poor and the black and brown women.  That is classism and that is racism.

So too is dismantling a 49 year old law and precedent—that is doing violence to a country that seeks to be built on laws and precedence. 

CBS News‘ chief election and campaign correspondent Robert Costa speaks with Lilia Luciano about the implications of Ginni Thomas’ text messages urging former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to challenge the 2020 election results.

The radical right Catholics on the unsupreme court and their evangelical brethren are spurred on by religious ideologies and fervent republican politics.  Such a politics calls the insurrection that killed seven people and injured over 150 police officers on January 6 valid “political discourse.”  More violence.  Institutionalized violence.  And the wife of Supreme Court justice Thomas was actively involved in petitions to the president’s chief of staff that included the January 6 riot.

Let us not forget that the head of the Catholic bishops conference in the US, who was elected by a majority of his fellow bishops, is an archbishop who is Opus Dei.  Opus Dei, as I spelled out in my book, The Pope’s War, is the fascist organization founded by a fascist Spanish priest who worked closely with Franco’s fascist dictatorship for decades.  The far right wing of the Roman Catholic church is very well financed, and very well ensconced where the power lies, whether it be in finance, the media, the courts, or church institutions of Europe and America.

Constitutional scholar Rep. Jamie Raskin talks with Rachel Maddow about the privacy principles behind the Roe v. Wade ruling and why overturning abortion rights would likely topple a series of privacy rights decisions. MSNBC.

And what is fascism?  Susan Sontag defines it as: “Institutional Violence.” 

Expect more violence from this institution called SCOTUS.  Roe v Wade is just the first step—unless caring citizens rise up and stand up and organize to vote for a party that actually believes in democracy. 

“Democracy be damned” is the mantra of the very unsupreme court of our day.  Even though only 28% of all Americans support overturning Roe v Wade, SCOTUS is charging ahead.

See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul & Society, pp. 106-124.

Also see Matthew Fox, The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved, pp. 120-122

Also see Matthew Fox, A New Reformation: Creation Spirituality & The Transformation of Christianity.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: “Handmaid: Filming of The Handmaid’s Tale at the Lincoln Memorial.” Photo by Miki Jourdan on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you see “institutional violence” on the rise?  How do you see us turning that a different direction?

Recommended Reading

The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved

The Pope’s War offers a provocative look at three decades of corruption in the Catholic Church, focusing on Josef Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. The final section in the book focuses on birthing a truly catholic Christianity.
“This book should be read by everybody, not only for its ferocious courage, but also for its vision for what needs to be saved from the destructive forces that threaten authentic Christianity.” ~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope.
“In the gripping The Pope’s War, Matthew Fox takes an unwavering look at the layers of corruption in the Catholic Church, holding moral truth against power.”   — Jason Berry, author of Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II

A New Reformation: Creation Spirituality & The Transformation of Christianity

A modern-day theologian’s call for the radical transformation of Christianity that will allow us to move once again from the hollow trappings of organized religion to genuine spirituality. A New Reformation echoes the Reformation initiated by Martin Luther in 1517 and offers a new vision of Christianity that values the Earth, honors the feminine, and respects science and deep ecumenism.
“This is a deep and forceful book….With prophetic insight, Matthew Fox reveals what has corrupted religion in the West and the therapy for its healing.” ~Bruce Chilton, author of Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography

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12 thoughts on “Institutionalized Violence and the Unsupreme Court”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Matthew, Today our Queries for Contemplation ask us: “Do you see “institutional violence” on the rise?” What the dismantling of Roe v Wade means is Violence to women who for whatever reason choose not to bring their pregnancy to term. You ask, “Do some people have the right to make decisions about your body? Is that itself not an act of violence? An invasion of privacy?” The answer is yes! And truth be told, “The number of maternity deaths will increase if Roe v Wade is gone. That is violence also. A very high percentage of those deaths will be among the poor and the black and brown women. This is classism, racism and fascism, which Susan Sontag defines as: “Institutional Violence.” Interestingly enough while 68% of Roman Catholics today oppose killing Roe v Wade, only 28% of all Americans support overturning Roe v Wade. These facts seem to tell me that if this was up to the people Roe v. Wade would be overturned. Remember, a government for the people and by the people…
    “How do you see us turning that a different direction?” We need an uprising of the people! More demonstrations, more protest! The numbers are on our side, the question is, will the Supreme Court ignore the will of the people…

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    Dark money fuels the military industrial complex, and as Matthew points out, dark money also fuels Opus Dei. Church and State are aligning in dark corridors of the commons. Recent statistics show that the USA seeds the world with more weapons than all of the other nations combined, although other nations are also complicit. There are more citizen induced gun deaths in the USA than in other countries. It has proven very difficult to generate effective legislation to control guns sales that threaten the lives of our families and communities. War and guns are the golden calf of our time.

    But it is the seeding of the planet with weapons of mass destruction that has the potential to abort Mother Earth herself. The abortion issue being contemplated by SCOTUS is a red herring in the face of the collective abortion of all that lives.

    Yes Richard, we should continue to protest even while knowing that protests of the past have not made great progress against threats posed by misogynist militarism in all of its forms, local and global. The threats to women are front and center now, but we know that there are also some women who collude in generating those threats.

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      I think that is the saddest aspect of this, that women who have achieved places of power and influence have also turned to the dark side and fully support institutional violence against their sisters, for whom they hold only contempt.

    2. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Gwen, You write that, “the USA seeds the world with more weapons than all of the other nations combined”–this is true and to me it is purely evil. We arm those to fight our enemies, and then our allies change and then we sell weapons to attack them. I have a friend whose brother is an arms dealer and I can’t think of a more immoral business to be in. It seems that one would have to have no conscience to do it…

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    Damian Maureira

    All three books by Matthew Fox recommended at the bottom of today’s DM should be read by all Christians to sensitize them to the long history of destructive masculine toxicity in our patriarchal societies and institutions, including our christian churches. The genuine spirituality of our mystical traditions and Indigenous cultures of valuing the feminine and Mother Earth has been neglected throughout our human history in our spiritual lives/journeys up to the present day, and this has contributed greatly to the catastrophic personal, interpersonal, societal, and earth crisis we are all experiencing. The responsibility of each person developing their faith and compassionate True Self/Being/Becoming with-in the grace of God’s Living~Loving~Wisdom~Creative Presence within and among us, in nature, and in All of God’s ongoing Creation~Evolution is vital to our survival as a human species in this earthly life for our generation and the generations to come….

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    Jeanette Metler

    The institutional violence against women, rising, evolving and emerging within the United States and other countries as well, is absolutely horifying. Yes it makes me both fearful and more than angry, but rather enraged… due to the injustice of it all. What can I do. One thing I would like to encourage… to all women in the United States… whom are in need of an abortion, for whatever reason… is to go to the nearest Canadian Embassy and seek asylum… and the open arms of our country, Canada… will welcome you, offering you safe refuge… and the medical help that you need. There is a sisterhood, here, awaiting you… offering you shelter from the storm of violence… blowing fiercely within your judicial institutions, as well as your political institutions. There is a land of promise and provision… not perfection… just a step beyond the boarder… that leads to freedom from such violence. I encourage my fellow sisters, to access this resource. I also encourage the enlightened women of the United States to assist there fellow sisters, in accessing this safe passage… in any way that they can. We sisters know how to move underground, with courage, strength and wisdom… as we’ve been doing so for centuries!

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    Yes Matthew I do see institutional violence on the rise! Just as it was when you first wrote The Pope’s War in 2011!! Remembering how shocked I was reading it. My review said it read like the DeVinci Code but TRUE!!
    Today listening to you read from it I was reminded of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Both books warning humanity of what was to
    come. You ask How can we turn the tide? By heading the words of our prophets and scientists now! Not waiting decades to see their warnings play out.
    Thank you Matthew for your courage and tenacity to continue to speak truth to power! Sometimes at great personal cost. Just as Rachel Carson experienced.

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    Do you see “certain differences” between 1789 and 2022? Can you name some?

    Nuclear weapons, Ballistic Missiles, Tanks and other armored war machines, Automatic machine guns, Women’s suffrage, Unions, Slavery moved underground into the prison systems, social media, birth control, cars, highway system, public schools, railways, air craft, the Air Force, digital technology, Genetic research, Human Genome Project, Heart/ organ transplants, international corporate conglomerates, Citizens United, the Communist experiment, European Socialism. Evolution is a reality. We cannot go back. Our government must evolve with reality. Some people want to live in the past, but that can only be a fantasy.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Dana, And so as you point out there is a difference–“Evolution is a reality”–things change with time. The question is will the change be for the better of for the worse…

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    Institutional violence plays out in every way, as you have taught. Right now, the most vulnerable girls and women are the target. There is really no difference between the Taliban and those in power here both at the Court, Congress and in too many states. I think that continued protests, if nothing else, promote solidarity and possibly creative ways of dealing with these infuriating and terrifying moves. The local level is where it starts, and, despite all the efforts in some states to stifle the right to vote, this is still the best way to go—to prevent more bloody violence.

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