Theocracy and Sexual Freedomby Bob Rowell
After ten years on the front lines of defending abortion clinics, the threat of theocracy is visibly real to me. Could any type of dictatorship prevail in America? Absolutely yes! The extremely conservative and vicious factions of American Christianity gained influence and trampled on many of our rights because millions of people remained unaware and passive. Although there is a strong tendency in the media to exaggerate its size, the Religious Right continues to push this nation further towards theocracy.
What is theocracy? Simply stated, it is a dictatorship by a governing entity of religious leaders. Iran is probably the most familiar theocracy today. An Islamic government replaced an equally horrifying regime and implemented their own system of execution, torture, outlawing entire Islamic sects, and denying freedom through public policies. People who visit Iran are not likely to remember it as a partying environment. It is truly unnerving that Christian extremists in America would model numerous components of their own agenda and tactics from the Iranian theocracy.
In America, we are, at least in theory, a democratic and pluralistic nation. The separation of church and state was established as a constitutional protection against abuses of power. In the 1950's, a trend began to escalate that would subject our diverse nation to move in a direction of officially becoming a "Christian Nation." It was in this time-period that In God We Trust was added to US currency, and religious artifacts were increasingly a part of public, neutral facilities. This trend seemed harmless until the late 1970s. After Anita Bryant lead an anti-gay campaign in Florida, Reverend Jerry Falwell saw the media exposure and political climate as an opportunity to organize a movement of fundamentalist extremists, hence the birth of the Moral Majority.
The saturation of publicity for the Moral Majority occurred simultaneously with the rise of Ronald Reagan. When Reagan became the US President, his administration maintained a strong, reciprocal relationship with the Religious Right. Conservative religious groups, TV evangelists, and Reagan himself, learned the power of using inflammatory rhetoric and pushing the buttons of bigotry and hysteria. The Religious Right leaders were enjoying new heights of power and wealth. Their impact was evident by the behavior of their followers. Although their leaders spoke of numerous issues, the flocks of the Religious Right were the most obviously zealous outside of abortion clinics. Although ordinary picketing was the norm in the 1970s, clinics experienced the advent of an era where intense screaming, blockades, invasions, assaults, threats, and eventually terrorism, became the new by-products of the tone and rhetoric of Religious Right leadership. Such leadership has long had an immeasurable impact on its followers, who are used to unquestioning, religious submission.
Anti-choice violence increased dramatically in the early 1980s. There were movement leaders who denounced violence, but even some of those statements were made by people who proved to have the ability to exhibit irrational behavior. The various strains of the Religious Right, including the violent attack dog types, were undeterred largely because there was little resistance. Further, the perpetrators of violence at the clinics and elsewhere, were used to getting away with their actions. The Reagan Administration and Justice Department officials (notably under the leadership of Ed Meese) made no secret that Religious Right violence was neither a significant issue, nor worthy of being declared terrorism. As clinic bombings escalated, and when a doctor and his wife were abducted by the Army of God for three weeks (in 1982), we were not supposed to believe that terrorism was occurring in America. Needless to say, few people had any problem acknowledging that the Islamic Ji-Had (whose name translates to "Army of God") and Hamas perpetrated terrorism when they performed comparable acts. As the Religious Rights grew, the tone and rhetoric consistently moved in a theocratic direction.
Although the many targets of theocrats are compartmentalized, we are one in the minds of those who believe we should be imprisoned, or in some cases, stoned to death. We are all the same enemy, and as such, declared by Pat Robertson, James Dobson, and similar religious leaders to be agents of their favorite fantasy cartoon character Satan. Unmarried, sexually active straight people, sexual freedom advocates, anti-censorship organizations, providers of birth control and abortion services, the gay community, safer-sex educators, and even non-repressive school boards and public libraries are the primary targets of the current wave of Religious Right organizers.
Is it human nature to be an obsessed power freak? I would argue that the answer is no. We have a natural inclination towards freedom, compassion and desire. However, human consciousness becomes fundamentally corrupted when one seeks to control others. Sexual repression is a classic tendency of political and religious authoritarians. The brutality and backlash against the counter-culture of the 1960s illuminated the mentality behind such ugliness. Happy, positive, free, sexually expressive people are a sharp contrast to head-bowed, solemn, self-doubting submissives (not the role-playing kind!), who merely work, consume products, and unquestioningly serve the interests of the wealthiest and most powerful. The repression of sexuality is fundamental to breaking individuality. Authoritarians seem to vary between overly repressed sexual dysfunctionaries to hypocrites who cannot resolve their internal love/hate relationship with sexuality. That, of course, would not deter such a person from subjecting common people to networks of repressive, hysterical power freaks. However, sexuality need not only be repressed by others. The religious and cultural conditioning of most people deeply programs a strong tendency for sexual guilt. Women are especially raised in such a manner, in most cultures. Through conditioned sexual guilt, most individuals can implement such repression upon themselves.
The magnitude of Victorianism and sexual guilt in segments of American culture is astounding. The stigma attached to erotic entertainment and sexual behaviors seems worse in the 1990s. The labels..."you're a slut...you're a pervert...you're a fag.." are more severe than if you were a violent criminal. The theocrats of today are the ultimate perpetrators of those tendencies. If you look at someone and feel sexual desire, then that's all you could possibly be feeling! If you are sexually expressive or fighting for sexual freedom, then that's all there is to your being! It is still taboo to be open about your sexuality. The 'family-values' Republicans, political consultants, and evangelists decry sexuality (outside of straight, Christian marriage, of course), then anxiously hide their own behaviors. Sexuality need not be scandalous!
Perceiving pregnancy to be punishment for sexuality is an extension of the same conditioned guilt. When birth control and abortion were newly accessible legally, conservative churches lamented that there would be more sexual activity than ever before. Sex without punishment is a disturbing thought to them.
"It's very healthy for a young girl to be deterred from promiscuity by fear of contracting a painful, incurable disease, or cervical cancer, or sterility, or the likelihood of giving birth to a dead, blind, or brain damaged baby (even ten years later when she may be happily married)."
-Phyllis Schlafly, President, Eagle Forum
Sexual repression is at the root of the movement towards theocracy. Hysteria over birth control, abortion, gays, and even language and images, reveal the connectedness of religious extremism and sexual issues. How extreme are the forces of theocracy?
"[Christian fundamentalists must] take dominion over the US...[abolish democracy] which is actually heresy...[establish a theocratic republic] under biblical law...True to the letter of Old Testament law, homosexuals, adulterers, blasphemers, astrologers, [and for such offenses as] abortion, heresy, apostasy...will be executed."
-Rousas John Rushdoony, President, Chalcedon Foundation, in Christianity Today, Democracy as Heresy, February 20, 1987.
"...we will see the beginning of massive killing of abortionists and their staffs. In time the killing, in protection of the innocent, will begin to spill over into the killing of the police and military who attempt to protect them...members of Planned Parenthood, and other pro-abortion/choice organizations will be sought and terminated as vermin are terminated."
-Father David Trosch, Director, Life Enterprises Unlimited,
Letter to Members of Congress, dated July 16, 1994.
"What should we do? We should do what thousands of people across this nation are doing. We should be forming militias...There are plans of resistance being made...Churches can form militia days and teach their men how to fight...This Christmas, I want you to do the most loving thing...buy each of your children an SKS rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition..."
-Reverend Matthew Trewhella, Director, Missionaries to the
Preborn, addressing the Wisconsin Convention of the US Taxpayers Party, May 27-29, 1994.
The most common targets of theocratic violence are abortion clinics and people associated with them. Twelve shooting incidents and over one hundred bombings have proven the violent factions of the anti-choice movement to be the number-one perpetrators of terrorism in North America. Doctors, clinic staff, security personnel, and escorts have long been subjected to harassment, stalking, assaults, death threats and bomb threats. For years, Operation Rescue attempted to craft an image of being a peaceful organization that practices "civil disobedience." In reality, they were modeled after the racist segregationists of the early 1960s, who also broke laws to fight against the rights of others. Operation Rescue was anything but peaceful. Clinic staffs, escorts, patients, and police had experienced countless assaults since the earliest days of these blockades.
As the blockades and rhetoric of the anti-choice movement intensified in the late 1980s, other influences became increasingly prominent. Advocates of Christian Reconstructionism not only had an audience with the extremists on the front lines, they were provided with opportunities to promote their ideas in Fundamentalist Journal, published by Jerry Falwell, and on James Dobson's Focus on the Family radio program. Christian Reconstructionism stands for a theocratic government that is comparable to the leadership of Iran. Proponents call for harsh penalties for those deemed insufficiently Christian, and there are now eighteen commonly agreed non-violent, victimless 'offenses' for which one would be judged as warranting execution. Similarly, a resurgence of the Phineas Priesthood has occurred. This revival of the Dark Ages is smaller than the movement for Reconstructionism and strongly influenced by the militia movement. Several extremists who self-identify as Phineas Priests have been apprehended for a range of violent crimes, including bank robberies.
Amazingly, the most vocal advocates of violence have gone so far as to threaten public officials in pursuit of their goals, and got away with it! Father David Trosch has long been a representative of organizations that support the killing of people associated with abortion clinics. His letter to members of Congress, sent in July, 1994, proclaimed his views on the killing of clinic personnel, pro-choice advocacy organizations, police and military persons who intervene, and even the President, Attorney General, and justices of the US Supreme Court. He not only got away with these threats legally, he has never been defrocked or excommunicated by the Catholic Church for his public pro-violence positions. He was even received at the Vatican in July, 1994, with a 20-member delegation, to seek the excommunication of pro-choice Catholic politicians in the US. It is interesting how the hierarchy of the Catholic Church has such a high level of tolerance for violent anti-choice people, as well as for the thousands of priests who have sexually abused children; while they have historically banished the Liberation Theologians of Central America and heavily censured pro-choice church officials in the US.
In recent years, there has also been a significant level of overlap between proponents of anti-choice violence and right-wing militias. Fundamentalist and anti-choice literature increasingly became common at militia gatherings, while terrorism manuals and militia literature grew in popularity at events organized by the American Coalition of Life Activists and similar organizations. There are extensive similarities in not only the tactical content, but also the rhetoric, in the manuals issued by the Army of God, as well as the Michigan Militia. Individuals and groups from the white supremacist movement have been a key component of the militia movement since it's inception. Today, a variety of far-right fringe groups have found a home and base for coalition-building in the militias. There are several organizations in which there is a substantial crossover between anti-choice extremists, militias, and white supremacist individuals and groups. Some such crossover organizations include: US Taxpayers Party, Missionaries to the Preborn, 10th Amendment Militia, Michigan Militia, Reformation Lutheran Church (Bowie, Maryland), Chalcedon Foundation, Institute for Christian Economics, American Coalition of Life Activists, Advocates for Life Ministries, and the Conservative Caucus.
Although clinic bombings are nothing new, the January, 1997 bombings at a clinic in Atlanta were unique and comparable to similar acts by militia-related groups. A second bomb exploded 45 minutes after the first, in the dumpster of the same clinic. It was obviously intended to harm law enforcement personnel and federal investigators who arrived at the scene. 7 individuals, including fire fighters, were injured. A few weeks later, a gay bar was bombed, also in Atlanta. Last summer, investigators announced that both bombings were made from the same materials as those used in the Olympic Park bombing of 1996, in Atlanta. Recently, a suspect in the shootings of 2 police officers in Atlanta has become a suspect for all 3 bombings. The Army of God claimed credit for the clinic and gay bar bombings. Whether or not that is true is only speculative at this point, but the acts were reflective of the rhetorical trends of the current wave of theocratic extremists. The acts were also consistent with the Army of God's history.
In the early 1990s, a small, obscure organization known as the US Taxpayers Party, founded by Howard Phillips, began to attract prominent anti-choice extremists and a variety of crossover individuals. Several leaders from the Rescue movement became state and national leaders in the Party, including Randall Terry, Reverend Matthew Trewhella, Reverend Joseph Foreman, Joseph Slovenec, Lowell Patterson, Reverend Michael Bray, and David Shedlock. It also included Rescue veteran Monica Miller, who was recently charged for locking her small children in their car - with the windows tightly closed, on a brutally hot day - while she shopped. Another anti-choice extremist to become prominent in the Party was Julie Makimaa, who was also the Founder of Fortress International which fights for the "rights of unborn babies conceived in sexual assault." Many folks who monitor theocratic and other far-right groups agree that the US Taxpayers Party is one of the most significant crossover organizations at present. Although many of their statements are too extreme to generate support from the mainstream, even in these conservative times, they do seem to be an increasing influence in the more accessible and popular conservative religious organizations.
A more secretive organization of the Religious Right is called the Council on National Policy (CNP). Founded in 1981 by John Birch Society leaders William Cies and the late Rep. Larry McDonald (R-GA), the CNP became a significant organization for Radical Right campaigns, strategies, and long-term planning. Early CNP leadership included Reagan Administration operatives, Christian Right election strategists, pro-apartheid activists, and organizers for the support network of the Central American contras. Current membership includes: Reverend Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Rousas John Rushdoony, Reverend D. James Kennedy (Coral Ridge Ministries, Florida), Paul Weyrich (Free Congress Foundation and National Empowerment Television), Gary North (Institute for Christian Economics, which advocates for Christian Reconstructionism and a new system of slavery), Phyllis Schlafly (Eagle Forum), Reverend Donald Wildmon (American Family Association), James Dobson (Focus on the Family), Reverend Lou Sheldon (Traditional Values Coalition), Richard DeVos (Co-owner of Amway Corporation), Nancy DeMoss (Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation), Jeffrey Coors (Coors Foundation; Free Congress Foundation), Howard Phillips (US Taxpayers Party; Conservative Caucus), Nelson Bunker Hunt (Texas oil tycoon; National Council of the John Birch Society), Richard Schoff (former Indiana Ku Klux Klan leader; owner of Lincoln Log Homes in North Carolina; funder of Conservative Caucus), Richard Wirthlin (prominent Republican pollster), and Reagan-era criminals Oliver North and Edwin Meese. CNP has an agenda that is disturbingly similar to those of the more obvious extremists, as well as actual links.
The Christian Coalition operates somewhat differently. Former Executive Director Ralph Reed did Pat Robertson's bidding, but implemented what Reed referred to as a "stealth" strategy. That translated into hiding the extremism of Religious Right candidates, as well as the Christian Coalition, behind an image of being a defensive, moderate, mainstream organization that only seeks to influence policies on selected issues. The Christian Coalition found itself with legal problems with the Federal Election Commission due to their overt campaigning for specific candidates, in violation of their tax-exempt, non-profit status. While Reed attempted to create a moderate image for the Christian Coalition, Pat Robertson continued to appear on television speaking his thinly-veiled anti-Semitism and End-Times rhetoric, comparable to both Reconstructionists, as well as the Heaven's Gate cult. Robertson has also been under investigation for alleged use of non-profit funds for the benefit of his for-profit broadcasting empire, as well as his diamond investments in the nation formerly known as Zaire (renamed Congo).
James Dobson, Founder of Focus on the Family, runs an organization that is substantially larger than the Christian Coalition, and seeks to influence public policy through massive political organizing. Dobson was recently exposed in a book entitled James Dobson's War on America, by Gil Alexander-Moegerle, who was an original and long-term leader in Focus on the Family. Dobson tends to change his public self-identity to suit each situation or legal crisis. He has presented himself as an apolitical, religious leader who simply wants to help families; then presented himself as a political leader whose religious leanings are separate from his mission. Dobson still focuses on issues, but ultimately believes in establishing a theocratic state. He is notorious for attacking fellow religious leaders who disagree with him, as well as individuals in his own organization for differences of views or making personal decisions which he objects to (e.g. divorce).
Several leaders of the Religious Right have endorsed the Promise Keepers, including Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and James Dobson. Promise Keepers Founder Bill McCartney spoke at rallies organized by Operation Rescue and other extremist organizations. So far, the Promise Keepers' leaders have managed to sustain a public image that they are merely an organization that deals solely with the personal affairs of the men they attract. Interestingly, the "accountability teams" concept is remarkably similar to the "shephards" of the Reconstructionists who advocate forming small groups within the organization, so that each member can be accountable to a local leader for all personal decisions, including those pertaining to finances and relationships. Promise Keepers is currently enjoying a wave of media coverage that does not even question their links to the Religious Right.
When the 104th Congress emerged in 1994, under the leadership of Newt Gingrich, much of the agenda of the Religious Right was embraced by a substantial number of policy makers. Some of the ideas that were mostly advocated in the most extreme organizations can now be elevated to prominence via the Newt Congress. Having a President with a strong tendency towards spinelessness, leaves little room for reassurance. We are now in a time when all of our worst fears are closer than ever to being actualized. It is urgent that we monitor the relationship between the Religious Right and the Newt Congress, as well as being consistent advocates for freedom and justice. There is a genuine need to take stock of what we're up against.
Most of the leaders of the Religious Right continue the pattern of demonizing those they seek to attack. The successful formula of crusading against a perceived enemy continues to be effective for organizing and raising funds. Such leaders seemed to learn one of the lessons of the Cold War: that fighting the enemy can justify nearly anything. The Pentagon and military strategists were highly successful at maintaining extremely high publicly-funded budgets by sustaining a climate of fear and hysteria. By generating fear of a perceived threat, funding and public support were guaranteed to remain high. Under Reagan, such a phenomenon escalated dramatically, and future generations will pay the consequences of such economic recklessness for decades to come. Reagan did somehow have an incredible talent for being able to deceive large numbers of the American public.
It is more challenging today to be as successful at demonizing intended enemies. Mainstream America is not likely to get hysterical over gays or erotic film stars...or at least to levels that match the Cold War, or Desert Storm. Even though there is a strong tendency in the media to be soft on the Religious Right, Pat Buchanan's "cultural war" and James Dobson's "civil war of values" are not likely to generate as much excitement. Most of the impact of such demonization is going to be within their own flocks and people who are vulnerable to extremists and/or cult-like religious concepts. However, if most people who value freedom are passive, these shock troops can maximize their impact without ever becoming a majority of Americans.
The demonization of people in the abortion field is even less likely. There has long been a consistent majority of Americans who believe in the right to privacy and freedom of choice. The anti-choice movement has never been able to generate massive support for their message, despite their fake clinics and the saturation of lies and myths that they have perpetrated. Their movement has been further weakened by the murders that have been perpetrated by anti-choice terrorists.
Today, Operation Rescue is much smaller and less effective. Their "rescues" rarely attract significant numbers. They have had to resort to bizarre propaganda campaigns outside of high schools, and silly poster tours, where they display enlarged, grotesque fetus posters prepared by their art departments. In the summer of 1997, there was attempt to reactivate "rescues" by organizing a series of rallies and blockades in Dayton, Ohio. Their efforts were quite impotent. The blockades were marginally effective, most patients obtained an abortion on the same day or rescheduled shortly thereafter, local pro-choice activists mobilized and staged Abortion Providers Appreciation events, and the primary target of Operation Rescue, a doctor who performs late-term abortions, was not in any way deterred by their activities.
Even though the anti-choice movement and the remainder of the Religious Right has failed to become adequately united, the same can be said of advocates for choice. As the late anarchist Emma Goldman wisely observed early this century, people who struggle for freedom and justice are usually compartmentalized. We frequently are either limited to our own primary issue of concern, or simply lack the vision to truly advocate for a free and just world. The pro-choice movement has even greater obstacles. Throughout history, people have had a tendency to emulate their oppressors. Colonized people deeply adopted the religion of their conquerers, some minority sects in Iran have attempted to be the most fervent proponents of the prevailing Islamic power-holders, ad infinitum. The pro-choice movement doesn't seem to go quite that far, but there is a strong inhibition to criticize the religious hierarchies that perpetrate the holy war against abortion rights. There is a continued taboo in the mainstream pro-choice movement against responding to the Pope, or even the evangelists who are at the core of all that we're up against. Further, the mainstream movement has it's own organizational agendas, as well as struggles with freedom issues. The mainstream women's movement is largely dominated by leaders who have their own variation of sexual repression. Erotic entertainment, for example, is erroneously blamed for the perpetration of violence against women. People in the sex industry and alternative lifestyles scenes can find themselves judged harshly by such leaders and those who have a strong tendency to follow them (usually in the larger organizations). Views to the contrary can simply be dismissed as anti-feminist, or 'backlash.' The New Victorians by Rene Denfeld, and Whores and Other Feminists , edited by Jill Nagle, offer insightful discussion on this subject. Additionally, there are tendencies in the pro-choice movement to establish organizational monopolies and create an authoritarian leadership that can mandate passivity at clinics, even when it is inappropriate and/or dangerous.
Incredibly, a majority of the people of prominence in the pro-choice movement have consistently written Bill Baird out of history. In addition to being one of the most courageous and articulate spokespersons in the movement, he has won three Supreme Court cases for abortion rights. In 1972, the Baird vs. Eisenstadt decision, which legalized birth control access for non-married people, largely established the precedent, language, and political climate that made the 1973 Roe vs. Wade victory (legalizing abortion) possible. Most books about abortion, that were written from a pro-choice perspective, either omit Baird vs. Eisenstadt, or acknowledge it in a paragraph, or as a footnote! The discrimination and hostility that Baird has endured, from his own side, throughout his nearly 35 years of front lines activism, has been unconscionable. Fortunately, there has been recent conciliatory acts from sectors of the mainstream pro-choice movement. Additionally, a book publishing company, as well as film producers, are in the preliminary stages of ensuring that his story is recorded.
Another factor that keeps the targets of the Religious Right compartmentalized is a tendency in the sexual freedom scene to be passive and apolitical. The time to decide that one values his/her rights is not when they have already become lost. Similarly, people tend to feel that the rights of those whose sexual orientation is different than their own is not an issue of concern. The 'family-values' Republicans and Religious Right leaders who want to generate hysteria and pass anti-gay legislation are the same people who want to involve themselves in everyone's video/record/CD collections, libraries, and the lifestyles of straights. They hate Nina Hartley as much as they hate Ellen Degeneres.
The threat of censorship, including of the internet, will continue despite recent victories. The variations of the threats of the Religious Right reveal that we do not have the luxury of isolationism. Although the opposition is not completely unified, many segments are willing to look past their differences, organize, infiltrate school boards, write letters and guest opinions to the media, and pressure policy makers to push their agenda. The variety of people and organizations that oppose the Religious Right are still too fragmented and detached from each other to implement a permanent resistance.
The Newt Congress has reached new highs in working in the interests of the Religious Right. Amendments have been added to legislation and budgets to further the agenda of theocratic groups. One example is the attachments to funding allocation bills. After all the cuts in human services programs, Congress has been consistently attempting to pass funding bills with attachments that allow some of the remaining monies to be allocated to church groups. Effected programs include substance abuse treatment, mental health, welfare and other survival programs. So if you are downsized and your life bottoms out and you lose access to relief programs...you may be receiving your final bread crumbs from a proselytizing member of an evangelical church! Obviously, that would be a gross violation of the US Constitution and in contrast with all standards of diversity, ethics, and peoples' choices, rights, and dignity. We can find ourselves severely bullied by extremist policy makers, almost as much as by the theocratic spokespersons.
It is sad to hear epithets (regarding race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) that fuel the old 'divide and conquer' problem from people who should know better. The lesson from the McCarthy-era is that we can find ourselves facing destroyed careers, media demonization, legal battles, imprisonment, and even violence, when we decide that it is not worthwhile to stop people who want to destroy the foundation of what's left of democracy and diversity (or even the illusion of such ideals).
Resisting such abuse is not simply dreary defense. It can be almost as much fun as defying the taboos established by authoritarians and the forces of sexual repression. Creativity and satire can provide unlimited entertainment to the troops on the front lines. Numerous clinic defenders on the east coast, usually unaffiliated with the big organizations, can deliver rousing choruses of Monty Python's Every Sperm is Sacred, and there have been parties to remember after some key victories. Whatever one's talents or interests, there is an immediate need for expressive, analytical, humorous or serious-toned public opposition to the forces of theocracy. There is also a need to make every possible effort to look past differences with those in other communities and concentrate on the people who actually are jeopardizing your freedom. If one cannot work with others to stop a common bully, s/he can at least refrain from fueling the fires of bigotry and intolerance, that are ignited by the Religious Right. By not judging others whose lifestyle could be labeled 'weird,' we defy the value-system of the control freaks. If by some unexpected evolutionary step forward, freedom-loving people, in significant numbers, found a way to work together to stop the rise of theocracy, we could move mountains. We could not only stop negativity, but could also build real support systems, friendships, cultural and recreational diversity, standards of ethics, and explore new and fun means of consented pleasures.
Special thanks for research information to: Front Lines Research (a project of Planned Parenthood), Body Politic Magazine, Church and State Magazine, and South Jersey Clinic Defense Coalition archives.
Bob Rowell is a Co-coordinator of South Jersey Clinic Defense Coalition. SJCDC can be reached at: PO Box 493, Collingswood, NJ 08108. Tel: (609) 858-6745. E-mail: email@example.com. Web: http://www.sjcdc.org/
"We need to preach the law and we need to say unashamedly that our goal is a Christian Nation...We can't have it both ways. Either God had called us to extend his law over all the earth, or he hasn't...[God] has called us to extend his law to unbelievers...My friends, America is going to enter the next millennium in convulsions. We are going to see turmoil and disruption that will make the civil war look civil. It's going to be a horrifying time and it's the judgment of God."
-Randall Terry, US Taxpayers Party, Founder of Operation Rescue, addressing the Human Life International Conference, April, 1994.
"Abortionists should be put to death. They are murderers."
-Jeffrey Baker, 10th Amendment Militia, addressing the Wisconsin Convention of the US Taxpayers Party, May 27-29, 1994.
"We are no longer working to preserve the status quo. We are radicals, working to overturn the present power structure of this country."
-Paul Weyrich, Free Congress Foundation, National Empowerment Television, in John S. Soloma's book, Ominous Politics: The New Conservative Labyrith, Hill and Wang, 1984.p.49.
"Any action that is necessary to defend innocent unborn life is justified...[violence against law enforcement officers guarding clinics is justified] because they are guilty of making sure children are murdered."
-Donna Bray, Defenders of the Defenders of Life, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, January 1, 1995.
"It would be a good thing for an abortionist to repent. But in as much as he is unrepentant and continuing in his deeds, it is a good thing that one be terminated."
-Reverend Michael Bray, Pastor, Reformation Lutheran Church, Project Rescue Maryland.
In response to the two murders at clinics in Brookline, Massachusettes (12/30/94):
"This is going to be, hopefully, the beginning of the war, and we'll win because we're right and we'll once again have godly laws in our land. Everybody that's ever had an abortion or had helped someone get an abortion should be dead, if they haven't repented...[referring to Shannon Lowney, murdered receptionist] There was blood on her hands...John Salvi deserves a medal. He's a hero."
-Andrew Cabot, Missionaries to the Preborn, Massachusettes Citizens for Life, in the New Hampshire Sunday News, January 1, 1995.
"[A] tiger in India...starts attacking and killing and eating human beings, you have to go and take it out...Well, what you have in the case of an abortionist is somebody who is in the midst of a very complex medical field, and they've just gotten a taste of human blood, that's all..."
-Joseph Foreman, American Coalition of Life Activists, Operation Rescue, in a WVCY radio broadcast, January 27, 1993.
"How effective has imprecatory prayer been?...Sometime Tuesday night of Wednesday morning [Dr. Milton] Tarver had a severe stroke...At press time, Tarver is confined to an invalid care unit. He is not expected to return to his profession."
-Gary McCullough, American Coalition of Life Activists, Prisoners of Christ, in Life Advocate, July, 1994.
"I think he's [President Clinton] probably in harm's way by acknowledging and endorsing the killing...it would probably be to me more justifiable to assassinate the Supreme Court judges."
-C. Roy McMillan, American Coalition of Life Activists, in the transcript from an unaired segment of TV Nation, December 28, 1995.
"For those who say I can't impose my morality on others, I say just watch me."
-Joseph Scheidler, Executive Director, Pro-Life Action League.
"We are totally opposed to abortion under any circumstaces. We are also opposed to abortificient drugs and chemicals like the Pill and the IUD, and we are also opposed to all forms of birth control with the exception of natural family planning."
-Judie Brown, President, American Life League.
Resist, Expose, or stop immediately every public school or group sex education program, no matter what it is called, or how it is diffused into the curriculum."
-Father Paul Marx (who has an extensive history of anti- Semitism), President, Human Life International.
"I don't think we should punish the criminal [a rapist] by killing his child."
-Dr. John Willke, Past President, National Right to Life Committee.
"I don't think Christians should use birth control. You consummate your marriage as often as you like--and if you have babies, you have babies."
-Randall Terry, US Taxpayers Party, Founder of Operation Rescue.
For instance, several years ago we tracked down a twelve-year-old girl who was going to have an abortion, so that we could talk her out of it. Talking a woman out of having an abortion is not news. But tracking her down by using a private detective is."
-Joseph Scheidler, Executive Director, Pro-Life Action League.
"Meanwhile, let it be clear what we do: we fight contraception-sterilization-abortion on six continents..."
-Father Paul Marx, President, Human Life International.
In solicitation of letters on behalf of anti-choice murderer Paul Hill:
"Paul Hill was called to abort the abortionist...And his blood will be upon those authorities which participate in this unjust execution...It is our duty at this hour to write to the Florida State Office of Executive Clemency...And as we acknowledge no wrong in Paul's service, clemency is an inaccurate word to describe the relief we seek. (It is for these reasons, I am confident, that Paul has had no zeal to pursue pardons. To seek pardon is - even if only implicitly - to admit wrongdoing. He will have nothing to do with such falsehood.)...We can sully ourselves by asking rulers to extend mercy as they understand it even when we know we ought to ask as well that they repent and award him honors...We can implore the powers to show mercy, even if they are confused and exchange the truth for a lie. Speak to them in their own language...May our Lord, who is rich in mercy, grant you time and zeal to write requests for our brother's life..."
-Reverend Michael Bray, Pastor, Reformation Lutheran Church, Project Rescue Maryland, in his website entitled Capitol Area Christian News, written July, 1997.