According to a leaked internal memo from January, the Richmond, Virginia office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation was looking to recruit parishioners and priests to spy on a local conservative Catholic church suspected of radicalizing parishioners into domestic terrorists.
Traditional Catholics are prone to "anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT and white supremacist" ideologies, the document suggests.
Civil rights attorney Leo Terrell responded to the since-withdrawn memo by saying this is another level of weaponization.
"God and religion are a threat to the extreme Left," he told Fox News. "This is scary. People need to understand this. They were launching an investigation into traditional Catholic churches without criminal activity; where's the evidence of any crime?"
He added that "this is a war" by the far Left, which is disregarding the Constitution and weaponizing the FBI against religion because it is a threat to their Socialist agenda.
Austin Ruse of the Center for Family & Human Rights (C-Fam) points out that the original memo cited reports from an organization that likes to label conservative organizations as "hate groups."
"There are nefarious people working within the FBI who have been in touch with the Southern Poverty Law Center," he relays.
The SPLC was initially founded to help black individuals fight for their legal rights in the post-Jim Crow South, but the organization has since been tainted by, among other things, its mistreatment of black employees. In 2012, the SPLC "hate map" was used by a gunman to target the conservative Family Research Council.
As for the Richmond parish, the only thing that seems to have put the church on the FBI's radar is the fact that it is attended by religious conservatives -- the kind of people who go to school board meetings and pray outside of abortion clinics. Considering that, Ruse thinks evangelical churches should "absolutely" be concerned about FBI spies likewise infiltrating their congregations.
"There is no question that there is an underground current at the FBI that is leftist and anti-Christian, anti-Catholic," he submits, going on to call the organization "wicked" and saying he thinks the FBI "needs to be shut down."
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the chairman of the Weaponization Committee, reportedly subpoenaed the FBI to provide documents related to the memo.