For those unfamiliar with Chris Royse, he ran an unsuccessful campaign against Frank Principi for the vacated Woodbridge Supervisor seat during the 2007 election. (This video shows him addressing the BOCS on 7-10-07). In this letter to the editor he perhaps purposely misrepresents Principi’s pro-life stance. One needs to ask themselves Royse’s motivation for doing so. Presumably he wants to keep his name in the public domain because he anticipates another candidacy for public office. In short, a blatant attack on elected officials masked as a ‘christian’ holiday greeting is in extremely poor taste and should be remembered as such for a long time to come.

Here’s the letter:

This time of year is special to Christians as Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.

Birth and life are very important concepts to Christians, and in particular Catholics.

We are commanded by the Pope to love and protect the unborn since God sent his only son to be born, raised and crucified among us.

This year, shortly after Christmas, we will inaugurate President-elect Obama who has publicly referred to pregnancy as “punishment,” and we will see his local followers, Congressman-elect Gerry
Connolly and Woodbridge Supervisor Frank Principi — both Catholics who support pro-choice agendas in direct violation of the Church’s teachings — continue on their path of supporting the destruction of
human life.

This holiday season, a season which includes the celebration of birth, I request that leaders throughout the Arlington Diocese call on Connolly and Principi to stop their hypocrisy and to consider denying them communion until they realign themselves with the teachings of our church.

As Jesus taught us in Matthew 23:12 “and whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted,” Christmas is the perfect time for the humble unborn to be exalted and
those local “leaders” who exalt themselves by publicly defying their own faith to be humbled.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.


140 Thoughts to “Chris Royse’s Controversial Letter to the Editor re. Christmas, Abortion”

  1. I do have sympathy for Mr. Royse, not because I am a secularist who opposes abortion, but because I recognize the pain he must have suffered over this past year. Those who have never run for office cannot fully understand what it is like to lose an election for public office, and to have your hopes dashed in such a public manner.

    Clearly, he has not fully recovered from being rejected by voters in the Woodbridge district election last November.

    In addition, Mr. Royse saw the Immigration Resolution on which he staked his campaign, significantly curtailed as it was only a few months after its implementation, woefully fail our county. And last month, the repudiation of anti-immigrant candidates in the Republican primary, the defeat of the anti-immigrant legislators in the U.S. House, and the election of a pro-immigrant African American man as President must have pushed Mr. Royse over the edge.

    I do not condone the tactic Mr. Royse employed to lash out against Mr. Principi, the man who won the election that began Mr. Royse’s downward spiral. It was childlike, transparent, and insulting to both religious people and secularists who oppose abortion.

    During the past 8 years, I have learned that being personally against abortion does not necessarily mean setting all other challenges and issues aside, nor does it mean blindly throwing support to whichever candidate utters the strongest pro-life sound bytes.

    When it comes to the abortion issue, sound bytes during election season rarely translate to any real change in policymaking. After 8 years of Bush fiascoes, I am no longer willing to be manipulated by my personal aversion to abortion, because there is too much at stake when we make the wrong decision in selecting our nation’s leaders.

    What is most puzzling about Mr. Royse’s private breakdown … made public in his letter to the editor … is that he justified and contextualized it with the Christmas holiday. As ineffective and empty as pro-life sound bytes have proven during election season, they are even more ineffective and empty when there is no election in sight. Christmas tis NOT the season for petty, inaccurate, and childishly vengeful hatchet jobs in news print.

    Finally, I would never presume to define a “true Catholic,” a “true Republican,” a “true patriot,” or a “true American.” I’m not sure why we would listen to a defeated politician or a high school dilettante attempt to do the same.

  2. WHWN,

    I suppose the fact that the timing was completely bizarre is just one more indicator of how irrational Royse’s thought processes have become.

  3. Moon-howler

    Why are these men all of a sudden joining the old abortion wars 20-30 late? It is just real hard to take 40-50 year old men like Corey Stewart and Chris Royse seriously when they start bemoaning that abortion exists or make out of context remarks like ‘the scorge of abortion.’

    It is enraging for grown men to be using something that might just be the most gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, life-altering decision ever made in a woman’s life as a cheap political ploy.

    Talk to a woman– young, old, affluent, poor, educated, drop out–facing an abortion, for whatever reason. Spare me the platitudes. There are none.

    Spend the afternoon with a child–any child–whose mother might have not had the resources to make the decision for that child to be there, with you. Priceless.

  4. Lafayette

    I’ve read that letter again. I see very little in it to do with Christmas, and whole boat load of bashing one’s fellow Catholic.

    Why don’t these people understand “pro-choice” is just that, and I don’t believe anyone is “pro-abortion” as these right-wing right to life zealot types scream. I know many that personally oppose abortion, but they do not feel it’s their place to tell another person what they can and can’t do with their body in such a manner. Therefore they are “pro-choice” Especially, when they are men or should I say of the male gender.

  5. Alanna

    I’m having issues with these Republicans who seem to be talking the talk but not walking the walk. I’m getting the vibe that the pro-life, pro-family, anti-gay marriage issues were never anything more than a political ‘wedge’ issue to motivate the base. I didn’t notice it until the immigration issue came along but I see it now.

  6. Moon-howler

    Alanna, the sad thing is that many real people out there walk the walk instead of talking the talk…like the politicians do. We know who they are…the real people. Unfortunately, we are learning who the bs artists are also.

    lafayette, I simply do not know why people do not know that pro choice is not pro abortion. Too bad that political issues are driven by the abortion question. I don’t believe it should be a political issue. It should be governed by individual conscience not a bunch of politicians(usually men) who want to score votes by appealing to an extremely emotional issue. How disingenuous.

  7. ShellyB

    Perhaps abortion is the ultimate wedge issue to use against women.

  8. Lafayette

    You might be on to something. One day men will wake an see we don’t all want to be at home barefoot and pregnant.

    We must all remember it goes way beyond the abortion issue. Here’s a little something regarding the morning after pill. Grrr!!!**Chemical love canals and frat boys.

  9. Governor of Illinois arrested under allegations of massive corruption. If there’s one thing we can always rely on our government to produce, it’s corruption. But then again, who, in their right mind, expects honor among thieves.

  10. ShellyB

    Lafayette, the truth is that Republicans get 40 percent of women. I wonder if their pollsters have found that abortion “talk” is a good way to cut into a constituency that is otherwise practical and forward thinking enough to chose the better candidate in elections.

  11. NotGregLetiecq

    That “chemical love canal” quote is perverse and embarrassingly uptight for any grown man, let alone a public official. My opinion of Bob Marshall has been falling steadily the more I learn about him. Thanks Chris and others for making this blog open to dissent (unlike the Gospel Greg blog) and engaging enough to keep us coming back despite the fact we are learning stuff!

    I think perhaps the abortion wedge issue is directed at people who make judgments on issues based on moral or religious teachings that have very little to do with implementing the policies that would follow from from teachings. In that sense, it is not really a gender wedge issue. Like the gay rights and the immigration issues that Alanna sited, you will find that public opinion is divided among income and education levels more profoundly than gender or race. It is inaccurate, for instance, to say that people of color are more likely to support measures that block equal protection for gays and lesbians. Right wingers love to say that, but the truth is that people with lower income and lower levels of education support anti-gay measures (and people of color more often fall into those categories).

  12. madmomof5

    “It is enraging for grown men to be using something that might just be the most gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, life-altering decision ever made in a woman’s life as a cheap political ploy.”

    I completely agree with Moon Howler although I am probably what most would call a pro life feminist. Men should stay out of it for the most part unless they are running for an office in which they will make decisions that affect this issue. It is sexist when these guys spend time discussing a women’s issue especially when it isn’t even applicable at the local supervisor level. Principi is pro life, but it wouldn’t bother me if he were pro choice because I’ve never seen a supervisor vote on abortion one way or the other. This was a cheap political ploy that only made Royse look like a dolt.

    I don’t live in the Woodbridge district thankfully, because I don’t think I could have voted for Royse at all. He completely turns me off and this was just stupid.

  13. NotGregLetiecq

    I have a hard time feeling sorry for Mr. Royse, whether it’s Christmas or not.

    If he is man enough to run for public office, he should be man enough to accept the will of the voters without having public meltdowns that embarrass our county. We can ill-afford to add yet another right wing politician to the Hall of Fame of embarrassing and idiotic extremist views.

    If it were an isolated incident, that would be one thing. But when you combine the Chris Royse meltdown with the Robert “we are gonna repel this invasion” Duecaster, Corey “did you check the immigration status of the Spanish speakers you polled?” Stewart, Jeff “tell the voters Obama is a terrorist” Frederick, and Bob Marshall’s “chemical love canal” reference to young women’s genitalia on the floor of the Gen. Assembly, you begin to see a pattern that is not going to be easy to live down.

    The only consolation is that Virginia can also be pointed to as the home of Virgil “anchor baby” Goode, Joe “hello, 911, this is not an emergency I just called to say the traffic is bad and f*** you” McCain, and George “Welcome to America, Macaca” Allen, so it’s not just our county, it’s the VA Republican party.

    I wish that politicians who have a penchant for humiliating themselves would do so less often and less publicly.

  14. ShellyB

    Maybe in 2011, Corey Stewart and Chris Royse can run on a “Crackdown on Legal Abortion” ticket.

    MMof5, could you have voted for Royse prior to this incident?

  15. Witness Too

    You know, if it’s at all true that Chris Royse is a puppet of Greg Letiecq, it might be unfair to fully blame him for this. We all remember how Corey Stewart lost the support of mainstream voters when he used Letiecq’s blog and the Washington Post to call Chief Deane a traitor to this country. Well, in both cases, you have Letiecq’s blog at the center of it. Stewart later said the attack on Chief Deane was Letiecq’s idea.

    This attack on Principi/Connolly/Obama (all targets of Letiecq hatred) could have been Letiecq’s idea also. Letiecq may well have seduced Royse into making a fool of himself by exploiting Royse’s disappointment over losing to Principi. Someone suggested Royse come on the blog to explain himself earlier. Maybe he should.

  16. Moon-howler

    We have no proof anyone is acting for anyone else. Royse has commented on the reader comments. I see no remorse. It was sort of a middle schooler response.

    If Royse was seduced by Letiecq into doing something like this, it is his own fault and he and he alone is responsible. He is a little too old to be saying ‘Greg made me do it.’

  17. Witness Too

    What in general is Royse’s explanation in his Inside Nova comments? Are people over there as unhappy with his behavior as they are here? (Sorry one blog is enough for me).

  18. Juturna

    I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” –

    — Mahatma Gandhi

  19. NotGregLeteicq

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Royse got the idea from Letiecq. Just another reason why Royse is unqualified for public office.

  20. NotGregLeteicq

    Great quote Juturna.

  21. Juturna

    Thanks, well Ghandi gets the credit. It pretty much sums it up for me.

  22. Juturna

    It it just me or have we opened the door to hate in PWC? All hate? Are we the Capital of Hatred.

  23. Elena

    I sure have missed alot these past two days!

    Not much to say, I believe my sentiments have been covered here by most posters. Suffice to say, I do feel sorry for Mr. Royse, who clearly is so angry, that during at time of peace and joy, he himself is consumed with resentment.

    I believe is it was also the Pope that suggested compassion and kindness toward all immigrants, including those who were “illegal”.

  24. Moon-howler

    Great quote, Juturna. You unearthed it.

    Royse basically said that Connolly attacked Fimian over Catholicism. That was his excuse. I can’t remember the name of the organization he belonged to at the moment.
    Translation: The other guy did it first.

  25. ShellyB

    Yeah, Elena, good point. It is sad for Royse to be so resentful during Christmas.

    I imagine for Catholics the most poisonous and vindictive thing a person can do is to impose themself to stand between a fellow Catholic and his relationship with God. This really says “I hate you” like nothing else Royse could have come up with.

  26. ISO Decency

    It is sort of insulting to God. It says I don’t like what you did (in my own mind) so I am going to tattle on you to God.

    No decency here. Just vindictive ugliness. Too bad. I thought Chris Royce seemed like a pretty decent fellow at one time.

    What happened to the house-washed this weekend? Weren’t the red circles or the black velvets or a combination of the 2 going to wash grafitti over in Yorkshire? I haven’t seen those dish=pan hands black slapping and high-5-ing each other this week for a job well done.

  27. Lafayette

    Witness Too,
    I caught this comment by Mr. Royse himself, and I have a question for him after reading that. Here’s the comment…

    Posted by ( Chris Royse ) on December 09, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Thank you “Hold Elected Officials Accountable.“ Connolly applied a religious test to Keith Fimian. Though I cannot prove his culpability, I can prove his complacency with their release. Those adds were horrible and incorrect. Be reminded, Connolly’s the one that brought the test of Catholic faith into politics this year, not me.

    Well, Chris [Royse], since Connelly brought “the test of Catholic faith into politics this year, then WHY must you continue carrying on with the same type of low blows?

  28. Juturna

    imagine for Catholics the most poisonous and vindictive thing a person can do is to impose themself to stand between a fellow Catholic and his relationship with God. This really says “I hate you” like nothing else Royse could have come up with.

    I don’t this is exclusive to Catholics. Actually, the most poisonous and vindictive thing a person could do to me is make be justify my religious beliefs in the face of some wrongdoers in the church.

  29. Moon-howler

    48 hours later, this entire issue just seems sad. Mr. Principi will in all probability still receive communion and Mr. Royse’s credibility is just a little less valid.

    However, Mr. Royse has gained some name recognition which frankly, had been losing ground since the 2007 Supervisor election.

    I simply think that Mr. Royse gained recognition as a mean-spirited extremist rather than as a potential candidate with solutions for the Woodbridge district for the 2011 election.

  30. Witness Too

    That’s it? Why bother to make an excuse if it’s just another political attack? This Royse character is digging it deep. Obviously this isn’t a religious conviction for Mr. Royse, it’s all political attacks all the time. Robb Pearson said it best, if he really cared at all about the abortion issue, he would use it for mean-spirited political attacks.

    Also isn’t ironic, the fact that Catholic leaders oppose immigrant bashing as well as abortion, but Royse sees fit to immigrant bash when its immigrant bashing season, but then wants to deny someone Communion because of who they supported for President? What an immoral hypocrite.

  31. Layayette, thank you for relaying the message, but Chris Royse should really post excuses for himself. No doubt he is reading every word we say, but dares not respond less he unleash a fresh round of scrutiny.

    As we have discussed, Royse’s unfortunate lapse in judgment has exposed his lingering bitterness toward Supervisor Frank Principi stemming from the 2007 election. If indeed this quote is the only excuse Royse has rendered, he has only succeeded in underscoring this embarrassing revelation.

    The Congressman-Elect has done his share to provoke conservatives in Fairfax and in Prince William County. But Prince William County’s freshman Supervisor Frank Principi has proven to be a competent and well-studied advocate for this county’s long term interests, as well as a formidable counterweight to our conniving and incompetent Chairman who, without such a rival in 2007, all but destroyed this county beyond any hope of recovery.

    Though I am no fan of Connolly’s, I have to point out that any attempt to equate a political mailer with Royse’s shameful attack on Supervisor Principi is beyond ludicrous. Connolly’s mailers during the recent Congressional race made an issue of Fimian’s donors, which included organizations with strong pro-choice views (possibly bordering on sexism). In response, Fimian used Catholicism as both a sword and shield, accusing Connolly of attacking a faith they both share (?).

    Royse here is taking the same tact, but his excuse … essentially that he is attacking Principi using the same tactic with which Connolly attacked Fimian … fails the smell test for two, even more obvious reasons:

    1) This is not election season; it is the holiday season as Royse announces in the opening of his putrid letter. Frank Principi does not face reelection until 2011, and there is no guarantee that Royse will secure his party’s nomination to challenge him a second time. Frank Principi is Chris Royse’s District Supervisor; not his political opponent. Others have said that Royse’s attack was political in nature as opposed to religious. A more accurate characterization for Royse’s attack would be to call it personal in nature. This is truly, truly unfortunate.

    2) It may go without saying but I’ll say it anyway. Principi was not a strategist in the Connolly campaign. So, if “But Mom, he did it first” is Royse’s excuse, then his Christmas bitterness card should have been directed at the Congressman-Elect; not at Supervisor Principi. Even if we accept the specious claim that Royse’s personal issues with Principi and Connolly’s electioneering are morally equivalent, the upshot of this entire fiasco is that Principi comes out looking like the bigger man, while Royse paints himself as small, petty, unscrupulous and unhinged.

  32. Moon-howler

    whwn, wow. No argument here. You seem to have covered it.

    I don’t believe Lafayette was delivering a message. That message was posted on the insidenova space and she brought it here for our convenience. I know there has been a lot of trouble with that site today. I think it had too much traffic or else people complaining about Royse’s message got marked as inappropriate. Sometimes that freezes your comments. I am not sure how it works but that is a famous trick that some people employ to shut down mainstream speech.

  33. Lafayette

    I’m with Moon, you covered it.

    She was right about me just bringing the information over here. I can assure you, I was NOT making excuses for Mr. Royse.

    I’ve been thinking about those adds for the Congressional race between Connelly and Fimian. I wonder if those adds that Mr. Royse is calling out were actually paid for and approved by Connelly or was that the work of the VA Democrats. Any thoughts? I do think this is something worth considering. I too am no fan of Connelly because of comments and attitude towards my native PWC.

  34. Jake the Snake

    It appears that Gospel Greg is attempting to become Pope Gregory the 69th and Justice Greg all in one fell swoop. Couple others are attempting to turn this Royse problem into anti-catholic bashing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Christians and non-Christians alike are appalled that one person would bash a fellow parishoner like this. Talk about UN-Christian behavior.

    Looks like Pope/Justice Gregory is going to be real busy trying to sort out all of Catholicism and all of the Supreme Court to bail his friend Royse with Foot in Mouth out of this one.

    BTW, Pope Gregory’s interpretation of Catholicism is something to behold. This must just be universal knowledge. Hiiiiisssssssssssssssss!

  35. Moon-howler

    Mr Connolly has Fairfax ‘TUDE, Lafayette. Notice no one defending Frank Principi has shed one tear for Connolly. I should be a good person and stand up and say I defend him too. Ok. I defend Connolly too as far as communion goes. Done now.

    I didn’t understand the people in Prince William County in Frank Wolf’s district with their Fimian signs. I figured they had drunk so much kool aid they didn’t know where they were.

    The only people I saw with the signs were religious fanatics so perhaps Mr. Connolly was on to something. In fact, I know he was. Best expose before the election. Keith Fimian never had a chance. No radical Republican does now.

  36. Lafayette

    I would defend the communion part too, and nothing more. I’m not Catholic and don’t feel it’s my place to say who should and should not be given communion. I grew up in a church where we took communion weekly, and didn’t have to stop by a middle man’s confessional first.

    Yeah, I saw some of those Fimian signs in WG/Sudley, and we’re not even in that Congressional district. I believe the fanatics will always flock together.

  37. It’s almost over…almost.

  38. Moon-howler

    Lafayette, I will defend old Connolly on everything, even his Fairfax Tude. I don’t know much about him but I don’t like the communion threat on anyone.

    Good grief. I feel like it is the middle ages. The Catholic Church doesn’t need that kind of bad publicity. Most people aren’t like that.

  39. ShellyB

    I don’t know anything about Connolly other than that he was unafraid of the Corey Stewart/Greg Leteicq team, even when they seemed to have a legion of followers (digital or otherwise). There were plenty of Dem’s who ran for cover in 2007. Connolly stood tall, took the heat, and won reelection while he was at it. I’m glad he is now my Congressman.

  40. Moon-howler

    Supervisor Frank Principi has a letter to the editor in today’s News and Messenger clarifying his position as a pro-life candidate. It was a well-written letter.

    The attack continues on the website and on the dark screen. Greg pretends he is an historian and pontificates about the expression ‘seperation of church and state.’

    Funny. When I was a kid, Catholics went out of their way to show everyone that they thought for themselves politically and their church and religion were independent of their politics. I have read where that was a bit road block with Kennedy. People feared the Pope would tell the politicians what to do and he would influence American politics.

    Nowadays, militant Catholics want to lord Catholic edicts over people’s heads and control how they vote on political issues. It’s like the worm has turned 180 degrees in 50 years.

    The JV Catholics (Episcopalians) aren’t in much better shape. They have a full blown schism going on over the ordination of an openly gay bishop.

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