Pro-Life Memorial Attacked

On Wednesday, Sep. 30, a pro-life memorial at the University of North Texas (UNT) was attacked. The memorial, composed of 1,000 pink flags and a few informational signs, was set up earlier that day by the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) to commemorate the victims of abortion. Each flag represented 60,000 lives lost to abortion since the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade.

The memorial after vandals took down the flags (photo taken by Madison Mills)

“The memorial was intended to help students understand the impact of abortion in a meaningful way,” says Kelly Neidert, chairwoman of YCT at UNT. “We were wanting to draw attention to overturning Roe v. Wade because that’s being talked about a lot in the political sphere with Amy Coney Barrett being the SCOTUS nomination.”

UNT student tweeting about plans to vandalize the memorial

Before it was even placed, UNT students who were hostile to the idea of the memorial were already threatening on social media to take it down. Many tweeted their intentions to take down the memorial in response to YCT’s announcement of their memorial a week before it was placed. “Can’t wait to spend a Wednesday night ripping out a [sic] 1000 flags” said one twitter user, with many others expressing similar sentiments. “Looks like I’ll be tearing them up,” threatened another, who also sent a direct message to Neidert encouraging her to kill herself. 

Many of these students were angry about the memorial’s pro-life message. They were also concerned that YCT was able to conduct such an activity despite UNT’s restrictions on student organizations hosting events due to COVID. YCT had direct permission from the school to place the memorial.

Soon after the memorial was placed, vandals attacked it, removing and stealing 350 of the flags as well as the display signs meant to inform UNT students about the purpose of the memorial. They also refused discussion while lobbing profanities at the YCT members who were there to witness the vandalism.

“I was appalled when I saw students planning ‘capture the flag’ games on twitter, and I honestly didn’t think they would go through with it,” says Neidert, who is a constant target of threats from students who disagree with her and with YCT. “It was so disappointing to see the vandalism and theft that occurred over such a sensitive topic.”

UNT student tweeting about plans to vandalize the memorial

One individual has been apprehended and cited for vandalism and theft. 180 of the flags have since been recovered.

Cover image taken by Madison Mills

Assumption Seminary Attacked and Vandalized

Trespassers smashed doors and the image of Jesus Christ on the cross in an attack on Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, TX

Between 10 and 11pm on Thursday, Sep. 24, 2020, Assumption Seminary in San Antonio was attacked and vandalized. Although no one was injured in the attack, trespassers managed to crack the entrance doors to Lopez Hall, which is serving as the Discernment House for the San Antonio Archdiocese. This is a dormitory where men can live while discerning whether they are called to enter the seminary and the priesthood. Gilbert Valadez, one of the men living in the Discernment House, said that “I had just finished getting groceries and food and arrived at the seminary. Had I not made the stop to buy food, I am certain I would’ve run into the intruders.”

The doors to Lopez Hall, taken by Alexander Jacobs

In addition to merely smashing some doors and breaking some windows, the vandals smashed the feet of Jesus on the Crucifix outside of the main chapel in the seminary. They also put a black jersey over Jesus’ head. Alexander Jacobs, a Trinity University student (Class of 2020), who currently lives in Lopez Hall in Assumption Seminary said that “there has been a significant increase in the desecration of Catholic Churches and statues. Statues of Mary have had their heads chopped off, statues of Jesus have been destroyed, and the Lord Himself present in the Most Holy Eucharist has been desecrated. The next thing is for them to attack the clergy themselves.”

Feet of Jesus on the Crucifix at the main chapel, taken by Isaiah Ringen

In the last several months, several churches have been attacked and vandalized. Statues of Jesus Christ have been destroyed or beheaded, the Eucharist has been stolen or desecrated, and statues of the Virgin Mary have been beheaded and crushed as well. Jacobs also said that “The attack [last night] is the first of its kind that I’ve seen, where someone goes and directly attacks a seminary dorm at night when people are sleeping. While this is an outrage, it’s also very sad, because for the people who are doing this, they are unknowingly damning themselves to hell for all eternity. I pray for their conversion so they don’t have to face God in this miserable state.” 

Cover image taken by Isaiah Ringen