As philosopher Sidney Hook cogently said, there can be no right to a revolution in a democracy. That is because the faith of everyone who believes in democracy rests on the assumption that “all morally legitimate demands can sooner or later be realized through democratic processes without recourse to revolutionary violence.” In light of recent events, this kernel of wisdom needs to be restated.
The Catholic League condemns the violence that occurred in the U.S. Capitol yesterday. We also condemn the violence that occurred throughout 2020 in many urban areas. The two are not unrelated: When the aggrieved on one side riot with impunity, it inspires the aggrieved on the other side to act accordingly.
Just as worthy of condemnation are those who refused to denounce last year’s rioters but are now exercised over this year’s rioters. Selective indignation is morally offensive.
Moreover, when Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters were on the loose, we were told to understand the root causes of their anger, yet no such empathy is shown to those who rioted yesterday. This kind of duplicity is intellectually dishonest.
Those who riot must be stopped and prosecuted, no matter what their grievances or objectives. We will not make progress in this nation until everyone can agree on this fundamental principle. Sadly, listening to our elites over the past year, we have a long way to go.