+gt;You assume that those who engage in criminal activities, e.g., +gt;firebombing abortio

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>You assume that those who engage in criminal activities, e.g., >firebombing abortion clinics are Christians. Prove to me that >they are. OK, you wanted it, you got it. VIOLENCE INSIDE CHRISTIANITY by Mister Zen CopyLeft 1992 - All Rites Reversed ----------------------------------- Those who have been reading the current dialog between Robert Lee and myself may have noted that we are currently engaged in an argument regarding whether or not Christians are engaged in illegal activities with reference to their attempts to close and/or blockade abortion clinics. Robert Lee has stated that Christians have only been excercising their right to protest, to assemble in a peaceable manner, and to make their grievances known. He further asserts that what laws are broken are civil in nature - also known as Civil Disobedience. He characterizes that behavior as simply blocking entrances to abortion clinics. I have taken the position that, quite the contrary, Christians have been engaged in increasingly violent activity against their enemies, including tresspassing, bombings, threats, arson, assault, and even kidnapping. Robert Lee has asked me to prove my assertation. Here it is. On July 14th, 1986, after weeks of picketing and protests by organized Christian "Right to Life" groups, which including such stunts as breaking into the clinic and chaining themselves to chairs and floor fans, and even one zealot who dived through a plate-glass window, someone broke into a Reproductive Health Services clinic in suburban West City, poured six gallons of gasoline on the floor, and ignited it. The clinic was destroyed by the resultant explosion. Christian leaders expressed regret over the damage, but none of the groups involved stepped forward to claim responsibility. According to Connie Paige, in her book, "The Right to Lifers: Who They Are, How They Operate, Where They Get Their Money," there have been 32 bombings, 46 arsons, 38 attempted arsons and bombings, 232 invasions of clinics, 226 incidents of vandalism, 48 assaults and batteries, 67 death threats, 3 kidnappings, and 20 burglaries - since 1977. In 1987 in Chicago, a clinic security guard was driven over by Christian anti-abortion demonstrators fleeing the clinic after their break-in was discovered. They were arrested and successfully prosecuted. They also professed their Christianity at their defense and attempted to use their religious beliefs as an excuse for their attempted vehicular homicide. In 1988 in Southern California, 8 clinic defenders were held and beaten for over 40 minutes by a mob of pro-lifers. The assaults ended only when an Operation Rescue leader arrived with a bullhorn and encouraged the enraged OR volunteers to back off. Suprisingly, no one was seriously injured. In St. Louis in 1982, Dr. Hector Zevellos, a clinic operator, and his wife were publicly kidnapped and held for over a week by a group calling itself the Army of God. One of the men arrested in the kidnapping, Don Benny Anderson, has been sentenced to a total of 42 years in prison for his part in the kidnapping. He has been interviewed by Joseph M. Scheidler, author of the pro-life book, "Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion." Mr. Scheidler writes in chapter 81 of his book, entitled "Violence: Why it Won't Work," that Anderson was admittedly a Christian, admittedly a member of the Army of God, but that the group itself lacked any other affiliation. He also admits that many acts of violence have been done by Anti-abortion groups over the years, including one man who attempted to burn down a New York abortion clinic, but succeeded only in setting himself on fire... Schneider states that "while we might respect the zeal that would prompt such activities, we do not condone or recommend them." However, in the very next paragraph, he further states, "We must point out for the sake of proper perspective, however, that no amount of damage to real estate can equal the violence of taking a single human life." Scheidler himself will not come out against law-breaking in its various forms, although he states that only "non-violent" direct action is advocated by his group, the "Pro-Life Action League." His book details many legal and illegal methods for obtaining the aims of the group. His book walks the tightrope, never directly advocating illegal activities, but merely describing them, how they might be accomplished, and how seldom it is that anyone gets caught. For example, he states that in the case of a subway system that refused to remove posters for abortion clinics from its subway tunnels, a system of vandalism over a period of months led to the subway system refusing any further advertising from abortion clinics. He advocates infiltrating abortion clinics under the guise of potential clients and distributing leaflets in every magazine and book in the place, so that they will fall out into the laps of those reading them. He also directly advocates tracing the license plates of workers at abortion clinics, to picket them at home and call them on the phone. He advocates in his chapter "Adopt an Abortionist" a system of harrassment whereby the abortion clinic employee is followed 24 hours a day and harangued non-stop. He reports favorable results from the use of graffiti, advocates setting up a phony talk show, using canned scripts and hoked-up guests (Chapter 50), stealing "pro-choice" books from bookstores, defacing bench ads for abortion clinics, encouraging your children to speak out against abortion in schools and to get them to hand out leaflets inside of schools, make phony appointments at abortion clinics and then not show up, and using "horror stories" to convince pregnant women not to abort. Jenny Kirby, a former employee at the Northeast Women's Center in Philadelphia, received a letter which had a photograph of her daughter, taken clandestinely, torn into pieces with the message "We're going to cut your daughter into little pieces the way you cut up babies." Workers at Reproductive Health Services report constant phone calls at home and at work from people who either scream "Whore!" into the telephone, play the recorded sound of a machine gun firing, or begin quoting scripture. Every employee at this clinic reported receiving either phone or written death threats. In the book, "Christian Manifesto," which Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry reports was his model for the organization of OR, the author Franky Schaeffer wrote that the founders of America always intended to link the government to Christianity, even though they never got around to it. Schaeffer also wrote in favor of using violent methods when necessary - "In a fallen world, force in some form will always be necessary." Terry says he himself does not endorse violence, but does state that OR members may "have to physically intervene" to prevent a woman from entering an abortion clinic. He states, "That is the logical response to murder." According to Connie Paige again, Operation Rescue members have been arrested for pouring glue in keyholes of locks on clinic doors, for placing "fetal remains" inside a children's playhouse at a clinic, and for (on many occasions) forming a human wall to prevent women from entering a clinic. At one protest that was personally directed by Terry in Binghamton, New York, a pregnant clinic worker was punched in the stomach by a OR member and was seriously injured. She was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where she miscarried. I'd like to note at this point that the OR member who hit her was NOT charged with murder. If, as OR members insist, a fetus is fully human, then their own people are indeed guilty of murder. Frank Sussman says this about Terry: "If he doesn't condone violence, he does nothing to speak against it, and by his silence, he encourages it. It is a short step from the lawlessness of Randall Terry and his merry crew to the burning of an abortion clinic." The most recent episode of violence that I could find is merely months old. During the recent clinic blockades in Buffalo, an clinic defender was punched in the mouth by a rabid OR member who was led away quoting scripture. The victim's jaw was broken in 6 places. This happened on Thursday, April 23rd, 1992. Before that, 25 police officers were assaulted and held against a fence by a mob of over 200 Christian demonstrators in Wichita, KS, on July 30th, 1991. I think that I have proved my point. Christians are indeed responsible for rising violence and lawlessness directed against abortion clinics and pro-choice advocates. There have been numerous court cases where Christians have been found guilty of kidnapping, arson, bombings, assaults, and common vandalism, besides the many, many instances of "Civil Disobediance" that Robert Lee speaks of. He may now say that those people could not have possibly been Christians; he may say that not all Christians engage in illegal activities, he may say that the facts are tainted or that the judges are corrupt, or he may say that the "Christians" in question are nothing of the sort (perhaps they are undercover New Agers!). But the facts remain the facts. Bibliography Magazines: Szykowny, Rick. "Life During Wartime" The Humanist, Jul 92 Lawler, Philip F. "Uncivil Liberties: For Operation Rescue" Crisis, May 92 Henn, John. "Civil Rights and RICO: Stopping Operation Rescue" Harvard Women's Law Journal, Wint 91 DiSalvo, Charles R. "What's Wrong With Operation Rescue?" Commonweal, Dec 91 Faludi, Susan. "Where Did Randy Go Wrong?" Mother Jones, Nov 89 Newspapers: USA Today, Jul 30 91 Books: Faux, Marian _Crusaders: Voices From The Abortion Front_, Birch Lane Press 1990 Paige, Connie _The Right To Lifers: Who They Are, How They Operate, Where They Get Their Money_, Summit Books, 1983 Scheidler, Joseph M. _Closed: 99 Ways To Stop Abortion_, Crossway Books, 1985


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