June 24, 2022
Attorney General Merrick Garland
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
Dear Attorney General Garland and Assistant Attorney General Clarke:
As presidents of three Lutheran Christian church bodies that vigorously support the rule of law, justice and legal protection for all people—especially the least, the weakest, the unborn—we are writing about the increased violence that has occurred following the leaked draft of the Supreme Court opinion concerning Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. These acts of violence against churches, pro-life organizations and pregnancy centers are clearly terrorist attacks: they use violence designed to intimidate in order to achieve political ends.
Such attacks are sadly well documented: Pro-life organizations in Wisconsin and Oregon were attacked. A pregnancy care center in New York was also attacked. Vandals defaced 17 churches or pro-life organizations with pro-abortion or anti-religious slogans, including the phrase “abort the church.” These terrorist attacks aim to intimidate through the slogan “If abortions aren’t safe, then neither are you.”
One extremist group is advocating violence in response to the final Supreme Court decision on Dobbs, while another group published the home addresses of the Supreme Court Justices and encouraged people to show up at their homes, churches, and their children’s schools in an attempt to coerce the Justices and influence their final decision. A couple of weeks ago, there was an alleged attempted assassination of a sitting Supreme Court Justice at his home.
These continued terrorist assaults on religious and pro-life groups, because of their beliefs, are manifest crimes against citizens of the United States. These attacks call for a prompt, comprehensive, governmental response. Please publicly condemn these unlawful attacks, investigate them, fully prosecute those responsible, commit to providing security for the victims and other community service organizations, and employ vigorous efforts to prevent similar future attacks.
We continue to pray for you and all those whom God has placed in authority over us. May God bless you in your tasks and guide you to govern according to His will.
Rev. Glenn R. Obenberger
President of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod
Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
President of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
St. Louis, Mo.
Rev. Mark G. Schroeder
President of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
For more information on the Synod’s response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson, read:
• A statement from LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison; and
• A statement from LCMS Life Ministry.
Also, LCMS Worship provides prayer petitions for congregations to use following the ruling.