The news of the violent Berkeley riots that canceled the promotion of alt-right bête noire Milo Yiannopoulos’ forthcoming book Dangerous is probably trickling down to you.
Amid an apparently organized violent attack and destruction of property at UC Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, the UC Police Department (UCPD) determined it was necessary to evacuate controversial speaker Milo Yiannopoulos from campus and to cancel his scheduled 8 p.m. event. The Breitbart News editor had been invited by the Berkeley College Republicans.
At about 10 p.m., campus officials lifted the “shelter in place” order issued earlier in the evening and said Berkeley would be back to business as usual on Thursday. However, UCPD asked the community to be aware that protest activity was still occurring in the city of Berkeley and to avoid streets surrounding the campus.
The violence was instigated by a group of about 150 masked agitators who came onto campus and interrupted an otherwise non-violent protest.
As I noted in my post about the left rediscovering religious liberty, armed left violence in the States is nothing new. If we are to believe the BBC reports, then the left is having an arms race with the right. In some ways, as you might learn from the book, Decade of Nightmares, the right’s obsession with gun ownership was a response to the left’s use of violence in the late 60’s and 70’s. What’s interesting in the BBC report is that it also points out that the right does not have a monopoly on shallow apocalypticism:
Gun sales in America hit record levels in October amid fears a Hillary Clinton election victory would lead to increased controls.
Many expected the election of Donald Trump, whose candidacy was backed by the National Rifle Association, to bring an end to the panic buying. Shares in gun manufacturers dropped by as much as 18% following his victory.
But instead FBI background checks for gun transactions soared to a new record for a single day – 185,713 – during the Black Friday sales on 25 November, according to gun control news site The Trace.
Some of this has been put down to gun retailers selling off stock at reduced prices, but there have also been reports of more “non-traditional” buyers, such as African Americans and other minorities, turning up at gun shops and shooting ranges.
Lara Smith, national spokesperson for the Liberal Gun Club, says her organisation has seen a “huge” rise in enquiries since November’s election and a 10% increase in paid members.
Some of the new members are reluctant first-time gun owners, says Smith, concerned that isolated acts of aggression against minorities could escalate into something more violent and that a Trump administration will dismantle key constitutional rights, leading to a “more fascist rule than the US has ever had”.
Now back to Milo Yiannopoulos. He is one of the people scaring the left into buying the guns. Part of his shtick is highlighting his homosexuality as a clear foil for his hard right views and opposition to gay marriage and trans-advocacy. The more shocking fact, perhaps too shocking to widely report, is that he is a practicing Catholic. Here’s a transcription (by a Patheos blogger from another channel) of what he said about being Catholic at University of California, Santa Barbara (see: video attached to this post):
If you think I’m a bad Catholic, imagine how bad I’d be without God. To ask this question — and I don’t mean to attack you in the least bit, I’m just trying to be completely honest with you — I think to ask that question requires a level of…I won’t say ignorance, I’ll just say a lack of understanding about the Catholic Church and about homosexuality; both of those things. The fact is that, pragmatically speaking, the Catholic Church has protected and harbored more gay people in history than any other institution. It welcomed them into the priesthood when they were being murdered by the state, and this happened for, in some cases, centuries in places like Ireland. The Catholic Church has always been somewhere that protected gays, even if it didn’t always approve of what they were up to at night.
But also, the Catholic Church is different from the Anglican strain of Christianity, not just because the Anglican strain is wrong, but also because Catholicism is — I can’t remember who said this, but people are Anglicans, they’re Baptists, or Methodists, or whatever because they believe they’re good people. Well, Catholics are Catholic because they know they’re not. We have this thing called Original Sin. We go to church because we know we’re not good. And I think that, for me at least, certainly living the lifestyle I do, that’s a more honest approach to theology than other sorts of Christianity have to offer.
So here’s the thing. Progressives will sometimes demand all manner of complex and weird acknowledgments themselves. They want to be a gender-queer bleh, bleh, bleh. Whatever. But what they can’t understand is other people asking for the same acknowledgement that life is messy and complicated, and that some things aren’t fully recognized or realized or, um, put together in your own mind. Sometimes it takes a lifetime of study, of prayer, [intelligible, video skips] myself, and I don’t see why anybody else should, either.
What’s interesting to me is . . .