The clash of two queens: a battlefield report on an unprecedented attack on Our Lady during a rosary rally to oppose an immoral Drag Queen Story Hour for children.
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It was unreal. One moment we were peacefully praying the rosary, the next we hear scuffles by the statue. We all turned and witnessed the sacrilege: A woman approached suddenly and grabbed the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. At first we didn’t know what her intention was. She had her arms wrapped around Our Lady almost like a mother lifting up a child.
But without warning and to our horror, she threw the statue down on the ground. One prayer warrior, Christopher Dunlap, realized what she was about to do and intervened. Only his timely intervention prevented the statue from being completely destroyed. As it was, the base of the statue broke off. The crown fell from her head from the force of the impact, and a piece of it broke off and was bent. There is now a hairline fracture along the right side of the statue and on the top of the head.
It could have been worse.
This attack happened in Indianapolis at noon on February 23, 2019. We were holding a rosary rally against a Drag Queen Story Hour event at Indy Reads Books bookstore. We only found out about the event six days before. But despite the short notice, the cold weather and rainy forecast, about 25 people joined us.
We were heckled by a few advocates of the homosexual movement right from the start. Ironically, the first counter protester kept accusing us of being intolerant and that we were "brainwashing" children to be intolerant as well. We told him about the testimony given by a DQSH performer at a Louisiana city council meeting of how this very DQSH program is designed to “groom the next generation.” In other words, it is designed to shape children’s sense of morality. But our facts did not matter to him. He refused to listen.
Another man kept blaspheming against God and the Catholic Faith. He told us to keep our Faith in church, that we did not have the right to be out there, and that we were not welcome. It is Pharisaical how the homosexual movement has complained for decades about their "rights" being suppressed in the closet, and, now that they enjoy special status, they want Catholics defending Christian morality to be forced into one. Why do they think that the sin of impurity has full citizenship in the public square? Why do they want to relegate Christian morality to the confines of the Church? They behave as if sin must be allowed complete freedom and virtue must be suppressed.
A woman kept telling us that we were being unchristian for judging and hating “queer” people. Ironically, she never realized that she herself was judging us. Danny, an 11-year-old prayer warrior, pointed out the obvious contradiction. “They are the ones hating,” Danny said. “They just threw the statue of Our Lady on the ground.”
The hatred was obvious. We did nothing but pray. We barely engaged them in discussion; indeed, only when they got in our faces. They kept claiming we were intolerant. Yet every time they approached us they showed nothing but aggression and provocation, frequently calling us names and even blaspheming God and the Church. They behaved like bullies.
It was fortuitous that someone had requested police presence. We were thankful for their presence. We told the police we had children and women praying in our group and we felt the counter protesters were invading our space. The police intervened and told the hecklers to respect our space.
However, nothing prepared us for what had happened. We stood in a semicircle facing the street with the statue in the center. We held a banner, reading: “Dear God: Let not the little children be perverted by Drag Queen Story Hours.”
Because, the counter protesters had behaved aggressively, we naturally kept an eye on them. There may have been five counter protesters who came and left sporadically. A woman across the street held a stars and stripes version of the rainbow flag. She was far away and seemed content keeping her distance. The one down the sidewalk from us carried a rainbow flag. He was aggressive from the start. He got in our face trying to intimidate us. Then he stood right behind one of the young men holding the banner. We didn’t think this was a “safe” distance. It would be easy enough for him to hit one of volunteers from behind or rip our banner down. The police thankfully agreed with us. They drew him away from us and told him to keep his distance. If trouble came, we assessed, it would come from him.
The woman who attacked Our Lady came from nowhere. The sidewalk we stood on was actually a nature walk. People passed by all morning long. The passersby seemed curious, but none had heckled us thus far. We had not seen the attacker earlier.
One girl was filming this part of the rosary rally with her iPod. In her video, you can see the attacker suddenly approach our group. She did not engage us in anyway. She goes straight to the statue of Our Lady, grabs her and without hesitation, dashes her to the ground. Then she walks away nonchalantly. The video captures a face of anger and defiance.
It was curious that she attacked Our Lady directly. Why her? It is just a statue, is it not? It was not as if the statue was holding a sign, praying out loud, or debating with the counter protesters. It’s simply a statue of Our Lady of Fatima standing in a position of calm prayer.
Then it dawned on us. Mary is a virgin and mother but also a queen. We were praying to the heavenly Queen against a drag queen event. The force of the symbolism came rushing to mind all at once.
Inside the bookstore, a drag queen was being honored surrounded by children. Outside, the Queen of Heaven and Earth was solemnly crowned also surrounded by children. Inside, the attendees applauded and complimented a drag queen in his ostentatious display of vanity and immodesty. Outside, the faithful sang praises to the Queen of Virgins.
Since the base broke, the statue was not able to stand on its own. It didn’t seem right to take her back to the car while we finished the last rosary, especially after the attack. Mary is the pure Virgin that crushes the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15). We were convinced that this may be one of Our Lady’s Lepanto moments and that she would want to be with her prayer warriors.
So we tried to find a way to keep her upright. We tried to prop her up against a table but it didn’t work. Mr. Dunlap had been holding her since the attack. He volunteered to continue holding her up.
As a result of the shocking attack, a beautiful scene emerged captured on camera. Mr. Dunlap held her in an embrace that was distantly reminiscent of the scene of the pieta. When Our Lord was taken down from the Cross and his body, lifeless, was not able to stand on its own, Our Lady cradled him in her arms. It seemed very symbolic that the statue was unable to stand on its own. So Mr. Dunlap cradled her in his arms while Mrs. Dunlap held the broken crown in her hands. We recovered quickly from the attack and continued to pray the rosary.
Our Lord told Sr. Lucia, the oldest Fatima seer, that one of the thorns that injures the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the hatred towards her statues. Clearly this was an event of extreme hatred that pierced the Immaculate Heart. It only seemed proper that we offered acts of reparation to her. The best way to repair the injuries caused by hatred are loving acts of more devotion to her.
[ Author’s note: The attacker was arrested by the police. She was in custody until the time we left. The statue she broke is a special custom-made statue. It is not something you can buy at the local Catholic gift shop. The attorney general’s office filed charges against her. Acts of hatred have consequences.]