Domestic Terrorism and the Religious Right
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:24:15 PM EST
Earlier this year, antiabortion revolutionary theocrats celebrated the tenth anniversary of the crimes of Paul Hill, the ex-Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) minister who, on July 29, 1994 assasinated abortion provider Dr. John Britton and James Barrett one of his escorts, and seriously wounding another, June Barrett, outside a clinic in Pensacola, Florida. Hill was convicted of his crimes and was executed by the State of Florida.

The festivities were called Paul Hill Days. The underground Army of God organization is now promoting a video of the celebration's reenactment of the murders.  The following post on the Army of God web site, is apparently written by AOG spokesman Rev. Donald Spitz.

For those of us who missed the Paul Hill Days, the Re-Enactment of Paul's glorious and beautiful deed of whacking that babykilling abortionist on his way in to murder some more of God's beautiful babies can be seen on YouTube...

YouTube - Paul Hill Days: the Re-Enactment  
Paul Hill is an American Hero and a Christian Hero. Paul Hill did the right thing. I'm glad he did it, he did a great and courageous deed.

I wrote at the time:  

Events like these are intended to remind abortion providers that there is a violent underground. But they should also remind the rest of society that there is an armed wing of theocratic activism, to which most turn a blind eye.

Of course, the reenactment and the Army of God's promotion of the video is part of the wider climate of terror they seek to foment -- as Moiv detailed at Talk to Action.    

Paul Hill's murder of Dr. Britton followed by about a year, the murder of Dr. David Gunn, by a deranged young man named Michael Griffin, which followed an earlier arson at the same clinic. Abortion care provider Dr. William Harrison, wonders whether the recent series of arsons in New Mexico, might be a precursor to another round of murders. It might not happen of course. But that American citizens exercising their rights to recieve and to provide abortion care even have to have that thought cross their minds, shows that terrorism works.  

Michael Griffin, who murdered Dr. David Gunn in Pensacola, FL in the first act of truly murderous violence, claimed to have been driven insane by the sermons he heard from his fundamentalist preacher and seeing the movie, Hard Truth at his church.

It makes me wonder just how long before another Michael Griffin is found to "commit murder for baby Jesus," like several have been inspired to do since Micky G. showed them the way, and so many politicians and preachers are covertly recommending it.

In my town, a year or so after the bombing of my office, the entire community began to respond very strongly to clinic violence and threats of violence. And there has been little or no antiabortion activity since 1989. But in many other localities, the violence toward abortion service providers and the women seeking their care has continued, unchallenged by the powers that be in those communities, and the violent language has continued.

Indeed. Anti-abortion activists like the Rev. Stephen Imbarrato, of the Catholic Project Defending Life (unaffiliated with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe), as quoted in the Albuquerque Tribune, often blame the victims of terrorism, not the terrorists, thus reenforcing the climate of violence.  He told the Tribune that the arsons and vandalism make his mission more difficult:

"I was very dismayed, because, unfortunately, pro-lifers get blamed for these things. It makes our lives more difficult, and it detracts from our credibility," he said....

"You have anti-abortion fanatics that get involved in these types of things," Imbarrato said. "But the real violence is perpetrated by the abortionists."

Hear that?  Bombings, arsons and murder are the fault of doctors, nurses and support staff in medical clinics. Arsons at medical clincs are not crimes so much as a PR headache for Rev. Imbarrato -- who, btw, maintains a chapel right across the street from one of the targeted Planned Parenthood clinics.

In the wake of the first arson, the Army of God said this:

Good news out of Albuquerque. Babykilling abortion mill is burned, All Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ for this wonderful deed. I pray our Lord Jesus Christ keeps the identity of these two saints from being known and their apprehension will never happen.

The National Abortion Federation notes that since 1977,

there have been seven murders, 17 attempted murders, 41 bombings, 100 butyric acid attacks, 656 anthrax threats, and 175 arsons including this most recent incident in New Mexico.

(And this was before the two Christmas attacks.)

Hello, America.

On anti-choice terrorism:
"The National Abortion Federation in Washington, DC started keeping statistics of anti-abortion disruptions and violence in 1977, for both Canada and the United States. Between then and now, there have been 7 murders of abortion providers and clinic staff, 14 attempted murders, 36 bombings, 150 arsons, 70 attempted bombs and arsons, 350 clinic invasions, 650 acts of vandalism, 100 assaults, 300 death threats, 2 kidnappings, and 330 stalkings. There have been over 3000 reported incidents of hate mail and harassing calls, 420 bomb threats, and over 14,000 protests outside clinics. Many of these figures are badly underreported, because abortion providers have learned to take anti-abortion violence and harassment for granted."

by Concerned on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 08:13:09 PM EST

The anti abortion people have not been able to overturn Roe vs Wade.  What do you think will happen if they do and it goes back to the states?  Will there be a mini civil war?  What will happen in some states where this is strong religious groups?

by Georgia on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:31:59 AM EST

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