One Bite, One Bomb, One Bullet at a Time
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Fri Feb 10, 2006 at 09:26:29 AM EST

Gary McCullough condemns violence in the name of Islam. Gary McCullough has condoned killing in the name of Christ. Image hosting by Photobucket
The infamous anti-Mohammed cartoons from Denmark have been published online by the Christian Communications Network (CCN), a Washington, D.C.-based public relations firm run by Christian right activist and anti-abortion crusader Gary McCullough. McCullough distributed press releases calling for even wider publication of the inflammatory cartoons, including one caricature of Muhammad with a fuse-lit bomb tucked in his turban, and another of the prophet on a cloud in paradise, telling newly arrived suicide bombers, "Stop, Stop! We have run out of virgins!"

Islamic tradition forbids any depiction of the religion's holiest figure; such stereotypical, bigoted cartoons have sparked protests across the Muslim world.

McCullough stated in interviews that no one paid him to post the cartoons, and that he is not "speaking on behalf of the Christian faith." McCullough claims to be making a brave stance against terrorist violence and intimidation by Islamic fundamentalists. However, he has a history of condoning intimidation and violence -- including killing -- in the name of Christ.

In his press release dated February 5, 2006, McCullough stated:
"If the world's press gives in to demands, backed by threats of violence, not to print a political cartoon today--what freedom will we give up tomorrow to keep the peace?  It is imbecilic to believe that such a success in the use of violence and threats of violence does not encourage such behavior.

By McCullough's own measure, then it is also reasonable to believe that his own outspoken defense of and fundraising efforts in support of individuals convicted for violent crimes in the name of Christ encourage more threats and violence.

McCullough recently rose to national prominence as a media consultant to the parents of Terri Schiavo, whose feeding tube removal begat a hurricane of hyperbole over a husband's right to carry out his wife's end-of-life choices without undue government interference.

Less well known is the fact that McCullough previously served as a publicist, apologist, and funding conduit for the unapologetically pro-violence wing of the anti-abortion movement. For example, he was the principal of Prisoners of Christ, a group that provided financial aid and other support for antiabortion activists who been convicted of crimes including murder, arson, bombings, and kidnapping. Frederick Clarkson has noted in a 2002 article for that some of the convicts were members of the violent, antiabortion Army of God.

In addition, McCullough served as a media advisor for Paul J. Hill's Defensive Action group, a network of anti-abortion zealots that got behind Michael Griffin, who murdered Dr. David Gunn at a Florida women's clinic in March 1993. Defensive Action published a statement declaring that the murder of abortion providers is "justifiable homicide."

McCullough listed himself as "media consultant" on the declaration, printed on Defensive Action letterhead, which stated:

"We, the undersigned, declare the justice of taking all godly action necessary to defend innocent human life including the use of force. We proclaim that whatever force is legitimate to defend the life of a born child is legitimate to defend the life of an unborn child.

"We assert that if Michael Griffin did in fact kill David Gunn, his use of lethal force was justifiable provided it was carried out for the purpose of defending the lives of unborn children. Therefore he ought to be acquitted of the charges against him."

During Griffin's trial, McCullough penned an article in the May 1993 issue of the anti-abortion journal Life Advocate, in which he characterized Griffin as "a hero, though I doubt this generation will recognize him as such." McCullough added, "In America we have failed to protect the preborn infants. When violence comes it will be justified." And, lest anyone miss his acclamation of Dr. Gunn's murderer, McCullough's article is titled, "Griffin Is a Hero!"

Hill went on to commit two murders himself on July 29, 1994, when he shotgunned Dr. Gunn's replacement, Dr. John Bayard Britton, and his escort James H. Barrett as they entered a women's clinic. He was executed for his crimes in 2003.

When confronted by Tom Burghardt of the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights during an interview with northern California NBC affiliate KNTV in 1995, McCullough stated, "Paul Hill is my friend. No, I won't denounce his actions."

McCullough founded the CCN in 1989 - the same year he went to work as a media consultant for the militant, underground Operation Rescue. CCN's mailing address is 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC., which is a private mailbox at an office operated by Mailboxes Etc./UPS.

CCN is paid to distribute press releases by conservative groups, including Christian right organizations. CCN's clients include the crackpot anti-gay researcher Paul Cameron, PhD, founder of the Family Research Institute, whom the Southern Poverty Law Center has called "one of the most thoroughly discredited researchers in America."

Cameron has been ejected from two legitimate professional organizations -- American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association (ASA) -- for his junk science in support of anti-gay propaganda. "Dr. Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism," stated the ASA.

Other clients include the Society for Truth and Justice, headed by Operation Rescue founder Randall A. Terry, who has called for Christians to rise up in bloody revolution in his 1995 book The Sword: The Blessing of Righteous Government and the Overthrow of Tyrants. In sermons and writings, Terry makes clear that he's calling for a revolution styled after the American Revolution, when "real men fired real bullets at other real men who shed blood, died excruciating, real deaths, and left behind real grieving widows and orphans on both sides of the war."

On February 5, the same day that CCN posted the Mohammed cartoons, it also distributed an editorial by Terry, "The Mohammed Cartoons, Courage, and Freedom," in which he again calls Christians to combat in a cultural war that looks more and more like a "real bullets" kind of war. "[W]e should mark those media outlets in America who fade into the grey twilight; those who claim to be defenders of liberty, yet quickly withdraw from the battle of ideologies as non-combatants, and refuse to show the cartoons," writes Terry.

Terry concludes:

"In our war with Islamic Terrorism, perhaps our most valuable assets are Truth and Courage. We must not succumb to fear; we must not tip-toe around those who are committed to destroying our liberties. We must declare the Truth about Mohammed's role in assassinating those who satirized him. As the horror of the last century proves, appeasement does not abate the appetite of the aggressor -- it merely invites him to devour more victims and liberties -- one bite at a time."

When Terry speaks of warfare in the name of Christ, he means not only a metaphorical war, but a real one, with real bullets and real grieving widows. One such widow is June Barrett, widow of U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel James H. Barrett who was buried with military honors after Paul Hill murdered him on July 29, 1994, as he escorted Dr. Britton into a women's clinic in Pensacola, Florida. June was wounded in the shotgun blast that took her husband's life.

While condemning violence in the name of Islam, and claiming to care about American civil rights and civil liberties, McCullough and Terry have dedicated their careers to the demolition of American civil rights and civil liberties, not through satirical words or caricatures, but through words and deeds that seek to inspire and justify violence in the name of their own religion. And theocrats who condone violence cannot be appeased, lest their ungodly followers devour more victims and liberties -- one bite, one bomb, one bullet at a time.

McCullough was the Schiavo parents' media consultant ? Well, Barbara Weller was their lawyer. Weller founded the group which became the "Biblical Witness Fellowship", one of the principal IRD affiliated "renewal" groups attacking the United Churches of Christ.

It's a small world.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Feb 10, 2006 at 02:50:01 PM EST

Attorneys David Gibbs III and Barbara Weller of Gibbs Law Firm in Seminole, Florida, became lead counsel for the Schindlers in September of 2004, according to a press release distributed by CCN. Gibbs Law Firm is also named on CCN's client list.

by jhutson on Fri Feb 10, 2006 at 03:03:20 PM EST
I think you and John Dorhauer might have a mutually profitable conversation. Just a guess - and he may know of those associations already - but those connections might be useful ancillary evidence for him.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Feb 10, 2006 at 03:07:06 PM EST

Christians leaders worldwide have condemned the publication of anti-Mohammed cartoons that spread hate based on bigoted stereotypes.

Dr. Elizabeth Harris, Methodist Secretary for Inter-Faith Relations in the UK stated:

"In the light of the current controversy over the publication of cartoons depicting the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the Methodist Church affirms that freedom of speech and responsibility depend on one another in a democratic society. The right to speak freely cannot be separated from the responsibility to draw back from causing deliberate provocation or offence.

"We affirm that dialogue and respectful debate are the best way forward. We would call for restraint and dignity on the part of both Muslims and Christians."

by jhutson on Fri Feb 10, 2006 at 09:33:21 AM EST
Bizzarely McCullough's "Christian Communications Network" ALSO features a recent press release from "International Christian Concern" which worries about attacks on Christians worldwide from the eruption of anger in the Islamic World over the Anti-Islamic cartoons that Gary McCullough has printed on his own CCN website ostensibly in defense - as McCullough and Terry write of -  Freedom of speech !

To: National & International Desks

Contact: Jeff King, President, of International Christian Concern, 301-989-1708,

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 Christian Wire Service --  The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) has been monitoring the response of Muslims to cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad in a way they say is a blasphemous. ICC is concerned that as Muslim outrage grows against the publication of these cartoons, Christians will increasingly be targeted because of their association with the Western world.

In protest over the publication of these "offensive" cartoons, Muslims are attacking embassies, burning flags, boycotting products, and attacking Christians and others associated with the West. The violent protests have continued to spread to Beirut, Indonesia, Palestine, and Afghanistan. In Beirut, over the weekend, a Christian neighborhood was attacked and rampaged by Muslims, in Pakistan, a church was ransacked and Christians beaten.

Step One : Incite hatred

Step Two : Wring hands in worry over violence that erupts in response to incitement.

Step Three : Profit ?

by Bruce Wilson on Sat Feb 11, 2006 at 03:11:39 PM EST

CCN's web site lists dozens of groups on its client list, including, but not limited to:

Alliance Defense Fund,
Alliance for Marriage,
American Family Association of Michigan,
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association,
Christian Coalition of America,
Christian Law Association,
Christian Educators Association International,
Christian Medical & Dental Associations,
Concerned Women for America,
Congressman Chris Smith,
Coral Ridge Ministries,
Faith and Values Coalition,
Family Research Institute,
Focus on the Family,
Foundations of Law PAC,
Human Life International,
Jerry Falwell,
Judges PAC,
Life Dynamics Incorporated,
Morality in Media,
National Association of Evangelicals,
National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools,
Operation Rescue,
Operation Save America,
Pro-Life Action League,
Randall Terry for Florida Senate 2006,
Randall Terry Live,
Society for Truth and Justice,
Stop Planned Parenthood/STOPP International,
Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation, and
United States Justice Foundation

by jhutson on Fri Feb 10, 2006 at 12:04:47 PM EST

Let's see:

a) A mess of blatantly Christian Reconstructionist groups (including a number of Randall Terry's groups; Terry, it should be noted, has connections to the "Christian Militia" movement via Matthew Trewhella and several other parties in the hardcore antiabortion community)

b) quite a number of hardline dominionist "pro-life" groups, including a number which can be argued to literally be anti-birth-control of any sort and have blatantly claimed that any form of birth control (yes, including the use of condoms with spermicide) is abortifacient

c) At least one group tied to Roy Moore and several groups specifically dedicated to dominionist hijacking and/or hobbling of the judiciary

d) At least one "parallel economy" body of doctors designed to essentially be a dominionist-friendly alternative to the American Medical Association for purposes of accreditation (and licensing)

e) At least a few well known dominionist groups (like Focus on the Family, the AFA, Concerned Women for America, etc.; keep in mind that the last was actually founded by premillenial dispensationalist Beverly LaHaye, of "Left Behind" Rapture-fictionalisation infamy)

by dogemperor on Fri Feb 10, 2006 at 02:41:04 PM EST

This is important material that goes to the heart of what the contemporary struggles with the Christian Right are all about.  

It is appalling that an apologist for -- and arguably a facilitator of -- domestic terrorism plays such an influential role in public life.

Thank you for highlighting this.

by Frederick Clarkson on Sat Feb 11, 2006 at 02:58:49 AM EST

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