Bless Me, Father, with the Catholic Vote - and Pass the Collection Plate
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Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 01:54:24 AM EST
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As Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry's Florida state senate campaign against incumbent Jim King turned nasty, as he found that his days as Jeb Bush's bright-haired boy were over, he reached out to his longtime comrade in arms, Father Frank Pavone. And Pavone, the director of Priests for Life whose scorn for federal regulations governing politicking from the pulpit have already prompted complaints to the IRS, answered the call.

Father Pavone Joins Randall Terry in Effort to Defeat Florida State Senator Jim King in Republican Primary, September 5

Internationally known pro-life leader, Father Frank Pavone, acting as a private citizen, has signed a letter which was sent to thousands of Catholic voters in Florida State Senate District 8.

Father Pavone has also recorded a thirty second phone message which was sent by phone [on August 17] to thousands of Catholic voters in the district.

Randall Terry, candidate for state Senate has the following statement:

"Senator King is trying to repackage himself as a pro-family conservative; Father Pavone's letter and phone call will lay that illusion to rest within the next 24 hours for thousands of Catholic voters. Father Pavone's letter and phone call may be what puts us over the top, because it will help us mobilize our base."

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Yes, the tax-exempt status of religious organizations forbids overt campaigning for individual candidates. And Frank Pavone is Priests for Life. But what does that matter to a man whose contempt for federal law runs so deep that his reaction to the FACE Act -- which outlaws the violence he claims to disavow -- was to set it on fire?  
Frank Pavone isn't the only Religious Right crusader who has been working for Randall Terry's election.  Gary McCullough, Terry's media advisor when he resurfaced during the Schiavo affair, provides Terry with a testimonial on the campaign Web site where Terry publishes photos of his 1991 meeting with Pope John Paul II and compares himself to Martin Luther King, Jr.  

You may have seen -- and if you haven't, you surely will -- the flyer that is coming in the mail. It is a vicious, lying attack against Randall Terry. I know it's vicious, and I know it's lying, because I have been a close friend of Randall's for many years.

This piece of literature may have actually broken the law -- committing libel and slander.
"40 arrests": This is true; but what the piece cleverly ignores is the fact that Randall Terry was arrested for peaceful protest in his work to protect the unborn from abortion.

Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested over 100 times for peacefully protesting against the injustice of segregation; Mr. Terry has been arrested for the exact same type of peaceful protest.
Henry David Thoreau, Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony, and a host of other American political activists and heroes of the past (Remember St. Paul?) also spent time in jail because they were protesting to make a point, or obeying the "higher law." Mr. Terry is a best-selling author -- and four of his books were written while he was in jail! One of his books is titled, Why Does a Nice Guy Like Me Keep Getting Thrown in Jail?

Well, on one occasion, it was because he had a fetus delivered to Bill Clinton at the 1992 Democratic Convention. The Secret Service tends to frown on stunts like that. But it wouldn't have bothered Fr. Frank Pavone, of course, as owner and media consultant of the most well-traveled and frequently memorialized fetus in America.

And according to Gary McCullough, Terry is just as non-violent as Fr. Pavone as well.

"Mr. Terry has been arrested 40 times. He is threatened others..." yes, Mr. Terry has been arrested, as we have discussed. But he has never threatened anyone. This is another lie.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingOf course, Gary McCullough's own concept of what constitutes either a threat or a lie might not be the same as yours or mine. McCullough's extremely questionable past includes a stint as Paul Hill's media consultant, too, back when Hill and McCullough were defending Michael Griffin, the murderer of Dr. David Gunn, as a "hero," and before Hill committed a couple of shotgun murders of his own -- crimes which McCullough publicly defended as well.

So perhaps in that light, it's understandable that McCullough wouldn't have thought Terry sounded threatening when he said this about Christianity . . .

"Let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good.... If a Christian voted for Clinton, he sinned against God. It's that simple.... Our goal is a Christian Nation... we have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want Pluralism. We want theocracy. Theocracy means God rules. I've got a hot flash. God rules."

. . . or this about doctors who provide abortion care . . .

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"When I, or people like me, are running the country, you'd better flee, because we will find you, we will try you, and we will execute you. I mean every word of it. I will make it part of my mission to see to it that they are tried and executed...

. . . or this about male supremacy . .

If we're going to have true reformation in America, it is because men once again, if I may use a worn out expression, have righteous testoserone flowing through their veins. They are not afraid of contempt for their contemporaries. They are not even here to get along. They are here to take over...

. . . or this about biblical retribution.

Somebody like Susan Smith should be dead. She should be dead now. Some people will go, "Well how do you know God doesn't have a wonderful plan for her life?" He does, it's listed in the Bible. His plan for her is that she should be dead."

Frank Pavone evidently doesn't see any of that as threatening, either, because he considers Terry's race against King to be "one of the most important in the nation."

From the Desk of Father Frank Pavone

One of the most important political races in the nation is happening in Your state Senate District in Florida - the race between pro-life champion Randall Terry, and your current State Senator, Jim King.

Dear friend of life,

I'm writing to earnestly solicit your help in one of the key pro-life battles facing us in this election cycle -- the Republican primary -- scheduled for September 5 -- between challenger Randall Terry and incumbent State Senator Jim King.

Let me refresh your memory -- Randall Terry has been on the front lines of the pro-life movement for over two decades -- a nationally and internationally known pro-life leader.

Randall and I have worked on various projects together for over 15 years.

Jim King, on the other hand, is a firm supporter of Roe versus Wade -- and he led the efforts to starve Terri Schiavo to death last year.

While Randall Terry and I were at the hospice,

Working side by side to save Terri from starvation...

Senator Jim King was working to starve Terri to death.

I am writing you as a private citizen, because I know you share my passion for life.

I know you want strong pro-life legislators in government as much as I do.  

Frankly, you could not have a more proven and dedicated servant of life in office than Randall Terry.  

I'm asking you to do three critical things in the cause of life:

1) Vote for Randall Terry. Early voting begins on August 21, and ends on September 2.  The Republican primary is on September 5, the day after Labor Day.

Please vote for my friend Randall.

2) Volunteer for Randall's campaign. I recently spent two days in the district, traveling from Daytona to Jacksonville, meeting with voters, and helping Randall put together an incredible volunteer team.  

With the election soon upon us -- there is much to be done -- but this is absolutely a race that can be won by Randall. He just needs help from people like you.
3) Give to Randall's Campaign. I am asking you to give is generously as you possibly can today to help Randall launch his final wave of advertisements, mailings, literature drops, and phone banks.

Randall must hear from you by August 27, so he can have the finances for the last week of the campaign.  

Please rush your gift today!

I pray you will do all you are able for the cause of life,

Father Frank Pavone

Just in case anyone at the IRS is paying attention, Fr. Pavone adds a token disclaimer.

(This endorsement is made in my own name, not in the name or with the funds of any organization I lead.)

That's right, it says so right there at the bottom of the page: "Paid for and Approved by Randall Terry, Republican, Florida Senate"

That means that it was paid for with money raised by Frank Pavone and Alan Keyes at up to $250 a plate, as well as over $100,000 poured into Terry's campaign account from the same Religious Right network that made Terri Schiavo a household name. According to donation records, Randall Terry's campaign raised only one dollar out of five in Florida, let alone from the district "base" that he claims to represent.

And today the voters of Florida's State Senate District 7 will tell Randall Terry and his friends on the Religious Right exactly how much political power their money and their perverted version of Christianity can buy.

[Photo of Gary McCullough from]

to objections regarding his political activity meets his usual standard of arrogance.

Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, noted that "Priests for Life's current violations and open and flagrant contempt for the IRS and the tax-exempt regulations is breathtaking.  Fr. Pavone is fully aware of the legal parameters of 501(c) (3) incorporation and its restrictions on political activities.  He has clearly decided he is above the law."  In his April 24 blog entry, he wrote:

We will repeat and intensify this year all we did in the previous election cycles. The pro-abortion groups, the liberals in the Church, the over-cautious attorneys, and the people who don't want to see the Church "influencing elections" can yell and scream all they want. In fact, I invite them to. It won't make a shred of difference. We will move forward with more boldness than ever before.

A Dallas physician received the following email from Pavone on November 3, 2004:

"This election is my gift to you and every abortionist."

And Karl Rove thought he did it all by himself.

by moiv on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 02:19:17 AM EST

What will it take to heve this monster defrocked?  

He no more represents the Catholic faith that Ken Lay and George Bush represent America.

I know molesting little boys won't do it so I suppose it will have to be really bad.

by nofundy on Wed Sep 06, 2006 at 02:59:45 PM EST

"with a dead girl or a live boy" only counts for politicians.

Although if Pavone got his way and sent us back to the bad old days, there would be plenty of dead girls, too.

by moiv on Thu Sep 07, 2006 at 10:14:26 PM EST

What bothers me most about Fr. Frank Pavone (among many, many things) is his one dimensional Catholicism. In his fanaticism over fighting choice, stem cell research and birth control, he completely disregards Catholic social teachings on the poor, distributive justice, the environment as well as the rights of labor. He will support a candidate that is anti-choice but who will destroy unions with large Catholic memberships.

Fr. Pavone is not truly pro-life. As Sister Joan Chittister has described such hypocrites, he is merely pro-birth.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 01:48:58 PM EST


I too am with Frank. There are a lot of us who are Catholic and who are disgusted with the one-issue approach to politics that Fr. Pavone exemplifies.

by khughes1963 on Wed Sep 06, 2006 at 01:05:34 PM EST

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