US Catholic Faith in Real Life

The rosary fight

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Easter and Christmas always bring token feature stories about Christianity to the news. This year, in addition to the in depth coverage of the sex abuse scandal, I was surprised to see the rosary being featured in the Wall Street Journal

What I find interesting about the article is the three groups highlighted in it. They do not include my grandma, who prayed the rosary as she traveled around Chicago by bus until she was 80 years old. It's not Sharyn Gildea making rosaries out of flower petals with schoolchildren. No, we're talking about the Rosary Army, Prayer Warriors, and Real men pray the rosary, with a symbol of a clenched fist holding a rosary.

I am sure these are all great groups, and I get the desire to make this practice more appealing to men. What I don't understand, however, is the need to use violent imagery to appeal to men. 

Isn't this the same perversion that has confused so many--both extremists and Westerners--about the word jihad, which can refer to both the inner struggle and holy war?

It may be harmless for a rosary group to call itself warriors or an army, but we do have "Christian militias" in this country that are a real threat to public safety. In this age of religious violence, can we resist the urge to choose the easy and appealing violent image to promote our peace-loving faith?