Monday, May 29, 2006
All photographs were taken by the author; they did not appear in the original story.
Maybe it was the election. Maybe it’s payback from Operation Rescue/Operation Save America (and here.) Maybe it was our test-market reputation. Whatever it was, Columbus was a key city on the Biblical America Fall Election Tour 2004. Anti-abortion freak shows, street preachers, Minutemen United, Christian vets, and preaching politicians all shared with us their eschatological warnings of eminent national demise unless “Godly government.” is restored to the “high places.”
OHIO RIGHT TO LIFE: On the surface, the September 25 ORTL Voter Rally in Bicentennial Park looked like just another pre-election get-out-the-vote rally. While the local mainstream media was busy covering the OSU football game, and probably found the event inconsequential, its speakers and message were anything but. Keynoter Kay Coles James, Director of the US Office of Personnel Management, joined Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro, Rep. Linda Reidelbach(R-Columbus) Derrick Seaver (DINO-Minster, who turned Republican immediately upon re-election), and Cong. Pat Tieberi (R- Columbus) to deliver the unified “moral values” message that “right to life” is the only right that counts.
James, a longtime Republican public policy appointee, formerly with the Family Research Council, the Heritage Foundation and Pat Robertson’s Regent University (and reportedly a member of the murky Council for National Policy) told the crowd of about 150 that they were the “vanguard of the civil rights movement” fighting “discrimination against young humans who live inside their moms and can’t be seen.” Coles attacked pro-choice politicians, “elitists” and “pseudo-intellectuals” for being more interested in health care, housing, and jobs than securing “my right to life.” Conjuring up a vision of womb warfare Coles argued that “the right to have housing means nothing if you won’t protect my right to my first home, inside my mom which is now probably one of the most violent places in America.”
With the exception of Petro who opposes abortion but didn’t hype his belief with Bible thumping, the life-is-the-only-right theme wound through each speech. The most aggressive came from Ken Blackwell. In a mini-sermon in which he folded Ephesians 6:11(“put on the whole armor of God”), Jeremiah 1:5 (“even before I placed you in the womb I knew thee”) into the Declaration of Independence (“life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness), the gubernatorial hopeful presented his vision of a pro-life, pro-God society, where the Godly state owns the individual. “And so brothers and sisters of faith,” Blackwell excoriated the choir, “there is one primary responsibility of government and that is to protect life, which is the first God-given right. Protect Life. It is the essence of our freedom and it is the cornerstone of our Godly heritage.”
MINUTEMEN UNITED: Minutemen United, the Warsaw-based men’s ministry, headed by former London High School football coach Dave Daubenmire, that partnered locally with Operation Save America’s occupation of City Hall in July, has a growing presence in Columbus and Central, Ohio. Every Saturday since OSA’s departure, anywhere from a dozen to 30 or more “blue meanies in blue beanies,” waving baby blender-bits posters, pray and protest at Capital Care Women’s Clinic on the corner of N. High and Weber Road. A quick census reveals that the majority of protesters carpool in from Coshocton, Warsaw, Mount Vernon, West Lafayette, West Jefferson, Mansfield, and Health. They join long-time regulars Repent Man, prayer walkers, and a handful of non-affiliated protesters from Clintonville and other parts of the city.
On October, 8, the Minutemen staged a protest at the OSU Law School during a town meeting featuring OSU President Karen Holbrook and various school officials. The Minutemen called the demonstration to “chastise” Holbrook’s for her public opposition to Issue 1, the Ohio Marriage Amendment, and to protest the recent decision of the OSU Trustees to offer domestic partner benefits to employees. Claiming that “Mrs. Holbrook” and the Trustees violated Ohio’s Open Meeting law by holding “secret meetings” to decide the domestic partner issue, Daubenmire demanded Holbrook resign saying she is attempting to transform OSU into an “institution of moral decadence. ”
Skipping out on CapCare the Saturday before Christmas, the Minutemen joined Mark Harrington’s Christo-political Reform America at Easton for a “Shopper Education Project” to alert the public of Target’s recent decision to bar Salvation Army bell ringers. According to the Minutemen webpage about 100 people participated and they raised about $200 in donations from supporters which they planned to pass on to the Lancaster Salvation Army.
ISSUE 1: On October12, Minuteman and OSA friend, street preacher, physician, and Ohio Constitution Party vice –chair. Patrick Johnston (right in "Intolerant" shirt) debated Alan Melamed, chair of the anti-Issue 1 Ohioans Protecting the Constitution at the Columbus Metropolitan Club. Johnston accused Issue 1 opponents of having “counterfeit ethical standards” and argued that homosexuality should be criminally prosecuted. According to press reports published across the state, Melamed won hands down. Johnston disagrees. During one of his vigils at CapCare, he told the Free Press that the debate “went great for Christianity.” Johnston said unlike other Issue 1 debaters who liked to cite statistics and “what would be best for Ohio,” he presented a “transcendialist argument” in which he dismantled Melamed’s worldview and ethical system and questioned the propriety of even using the what’s best argument as a standard of judgement. “Whether we benefit from it is irrelevant.”
ROY’S ROCK: October15-17, saw the visit of “Roy’s Rock,” former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore’s 10 Commandments monument, removed by controversial court order from the Alabama Supreme Court. Dubbed the “Restore the Ten Tour ” by national sponsor American Veterans in Domestic Defense, the 5 ton marble monument is being escorted around the country on the back of a 20’ flatbed. The stop here was co-sponsored by Reform America. First stop: City Hal followed by visits to Potter’s House Church and the High Street Baptist Church in Worthington. Downtown, police, apparently expecting an OSA-type confrontation, nearly outnumbered the trickle of spectators. Dave Daubenmire, Mark Harrington, and Hollis Summers from ADVDD spoke. Scheduled speaker, Rep. Linda Reidelbach cancelled. Continuing the moral values message, Mark Harrington declared of the election, “If you think it’s about the economy, you’re stupid!”
OPERATION RESCUE WEST: In what turned out to be the most pathetic field trip of the campaign, Operation Rescue West (not to be confused with OR/OSA who ORW doesn’t speak to) showed up the Friday before the election with its “fleet” of 2 Truth Truck’s bearing baby-bits pics and the slogan “Kerry & Edwards: A Bloody Team for a Bloody America.” After a couple of apparent lively confrontations with protesters in Pennsylvania, OR leader Troy Newman (right with Patrick Johnston) had to settle for a crowd of 9 at City Hall (even the police didn’t bother to show up) 5 of whom were his entourage, and the other 4 Dr. Patrick Johnston and 3 of his small children, one in a stroller.
For what it’s worth, Operation Save America director Flip Benham, implied shortly after the November election that OSA’s presence in Columbus this past summer delivered the state from “the enemies of the cross,” that is, delivered Ohio to George W. Bush. “God directed us to Ohio so that He could make a statement! He made that statement!”
Unfortunately for Dave Daubenmire, that statement wasn’t loud enough. In his first time out, Daubenmire came in last in a 3-way battle for the District 9 seat on the Ohio Board of Education. Saying that it was “all in Gods hands, Coach told the Free Press that when Ken Blackwell is elected next governor, “maybe he’ll appoint me to the Board of Education..
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
NOTE ON TRANSCRIPTION: There are a few gaps in the transcript. The event was outside and traffic interfered with recording. Also, for part of the event a portable generator was running next to the truck bed, which occasionally drowned out recording. Hollis Summers was difficult to transcribe as well. He spoke softly with a deep Southern accent.
OPENING BIBLE READING (recorded in progress)
In the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous all together. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold. They are sweeter also than honey and drippings from the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned and in keeping them there is great reward. (Psalms 19: 8-11)
Amen (followed by inaudible sounds)
SPEAKER/SHOFAR BLOWER: (no name; middle aged man wearing yarmulke)
Many of you may not know what this is. It’s a shofar, the oldest wind instrument in the world. Actually created not by man, but by God Himself.
So, when was the first time the shofar was mentioned in scripture? You can read it in Exodus Chapters 19 and 20. When the shofar sounded loud and long it was then the presence of God came down on the mountain and it was then-- after the shofar—that these 10 Commandments—the 10 words—were given to mankind, giving us more than commandments, they gave us instruction how to live righteously together and in peace among all nations.
I’m going to play the traditional sounds of the shofar. They’re a little bit like Morse Code, so if you know the code you will know what the shofar is saying.
The first sound is ta-daaaa and it causes us to be awakened from our sleep and to recognize the awesomeness of God.
And when we see that awesomeness in God you’ll hear other sounds—short sounds—ta-da-ta-da-ta-da. That symbolizes our crying, our mourning over our sins. The sounds also represent God’s mourning. Rabbinical thought is that God Himself mourns when He sees us in unrighteousness. So these sounds remind us of that.
Also, you’ll hear short staccato sounds—ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta. It’s like a warning. It is a warning. When we recognize what God says as opposed to what many men thinks, we want to warn people what is right.
And then you’ll hear a long note at the very end. It’s called a tekiah haguadlah (sp?), and it’s a long long sound. And it simply means that when we get right with God there’s gonna someday be a kingdom on earth where that righteousness and right-doing will be forever and forever. So that’s the purpose of playing the nice long note. Just to remind us symbolically that the Kingdom of God is on its way. It’s in our hearts now and someday we’ll be (will be?) eternal. These are the codes and the message of the shofar.
(guitar and singing in background) Music performed by (first name unknown—maybe John) Hermis, a woman (wife?) and the shofar blower who also plays a horn. I didn’t note what kind).
(Note I didn’t transcribe the lyrics except for Song #2 since it seemed significant as an imprecatory ritiual.. The other songs were pretty standard).
Old Testament-oriented song: “This is the God of Israel....”
(folky-type song possible titled “We Take a Stand”)
This song says takes a stand, and we declare this city, this state, and this nation belongs to Jesus. Whether we acknowledge it or not is up to us. So that’s the way it is. That’s reality.
We take a stand
And we declare
This city belongs to Jesus
We take a stand
And we declare
Columbus: Columbus belongs to the Lord
We take a stand and we….
This state. This state belongs to Jesus
We take a stand and we….
Ohio: Ohio belongs to the Lord
Now is the time
Now is the time
To rise and be counted
Now is the time
To take the land
Now is the time
For sin to surrender
Now is the time to take a stand
Oh we take a stand
That we: This nation….
This nation belongs to Jesus
We take a stand
That we: America….
America belongs to the Lord
Now is the time
To march into battle
Storming the gates
Of evil’s reign
Turning the tide
With power from Heaven
Taking this city in Jesus’ s name
We take a stand
Oh we take a stand
And we: this nation….
This nation belongs to Jesus
We take a stand
And we declare
America belongs to the Lord
Thank you Lord!
“My Jesus, My Savior…. I sing for joy…. Shout to the Lord…. Nothing compares to the prize I have in you. (don’t know name of song but I’ve heard at Teen Mania
This is our prayer. Isaiah 64: Lord rend the heavens and come down for us. Turn the hearts of this country back to you.
(duet) Shine down on me Lord…..push back those clouds…
***Stopped recording songs for awhile***
(Note” They seemed to be killing time and I had to change batteries)
MARK HARRINGTON: (no introduction---pictured right)
50 years now….1963. The assault on religious freedom and the 10 Commandments began. Now we find ourselves in 2004. The 10 Commandments were removed from the Alabama Supreme Court last year. Now the US Supreme Court is going to hear the case now finally now 24 years after the decision of 1980. What we see that almost 50 years from that…almost 50 years now…. 41 actually since the first real decision taking prayer out of the schools, we’ve had the systematic elimination of references to God in public life.
Let me read a few of the decisions that led to where we stand today in 2004. These are the 7—7 I would say, major decisions that have gotten us to this point.
In 1962: Engle v Vitale The Supreme Court disallowed prayer in public schools.
1963: US Supreme Court in Abington v Schempp removed God’s word from the education of the children in the public schools
1973: Roe v Wade. The Supreme Court decriminalized killing unborn children.
1980: The Supreme Court case decided to take the 10 Commandments--Stone v Graham-- The US Supreme Court took the 10 Commandments from the walls of our public schools.
2003: Lawrence v Texas. The US Supreme Court declared that a man has the Constitutional right to sodomy.
(Inaudible remark from audience)
There’s 2003 as well. US District Court Byron Thompson ordered then Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was the Chief Justice of Alabama, the top judicial officer of the state to remove the 10 Commandments. It was actually more than that. They forbade him from the acknowledgment of God which you find right here in the front… (turns to monument) The Constitution of Alabama talks about the acknowledgement of God in civil government-- must acknowledge God.
Then in 2003 as well, the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized homosexual marriage.
I say this: What God has called an abomination we will never be able to call marriage.
Now, 50 years later, where to we find ourselves? We sow bloodshed in the womb, we’re gonna sow it in the streets and in our school system. If we sew sexuality, fornication, and Sodom, we’re gonna reap the breakdown of this civilization. If we sow the removal of God from the hearts of men that allow us to govern ourselves then it will be taken over by government itself, and become tyrannical and encroach upon our ability to govern ourselves.
So basically the idea is this. We’re in a crisis in this country. Our presidential candidates won’t address the main issues. They talk about the economy. Remember the old phrase. What was it? “It’s the economy stupid?” Right? Well, I’ve got a new campaign phrase for them this year. “If you think it’s the economy then you’re stupid” “Cause we don’t have economic problems. We got moral problems in America. And neither presidneital candidate really, for the most part, is dealing with those.
DAVE DAUBENMIRE (interjects):
If you’re stupid, it’s the economy!
If you think it’s the economy. …well, either way. Either way you get my idea here. So basically we’re here today to uphold the law of God and to attempt to draw attention to it, to restore it the halls of civil government whether it beat the Statehouse, at the City Hall, and at the Federal Courthouse. And to use this rock as it goes around the country with these folks from AVIDD, which by the way is American Veterans in Domestic Defense for taking this…. for about a year now, and will take it for another year. So, you know the idea is to try to draw attention to the need to draw—to bring that back into the civil government.
Now, let me say this. Before it’s restored into this house, the Federal Courthouse, the State House, and the Alabama Supreme Court, we gotta restore it into our own house. That’s where it began long ago, the church, Jesus Christ…really beginning with the father in the home, to be honest with you. The father in the home who began to neglect his responsibility to teach his family to follow the law of God. And therefore, it went into the church. No longer is the law of God taught or esteemed in the church house, from the pulpit. No wonder we don’t have it held up in the halls of our government today. So I call for us—for us—the Church, as Christians, to restore the teaching of 10 Commandments in the church and in the home as a precursor to restoring it in of civil government.
By the way, my name is Mark Harrington with Reform America. Also head up a group called the Bioethical Reform and host Mark Harrington Live on Saturdays. (WRFD-AM)
Now, I had a couple people call me today and say they couldn’t make it today. I had Linda Reidelbach, State Representative who was gonna make it down here. State Director for Christian Coalition is gonna be here a little later. This thing will be here until 2:00, I think, or so, and then we’re gonna move it to four churches this weekend. Saturday and Sunday. So, you’re welcome…anybody is welcome obviously to go up and take a look at the monument, take pictures, whatever.
I’d just like also just introduce Dave Daubenmire, for a moment. Dave Daubenmire, by the way if running for state representative
DAVE DAUBENMIRE: (interjects):
State School Board!
State School Board!
DAVE DAUBENMIRE (right):
20 (?) of my closest friend and I spent several nights sleeping on the steps of the Montgomery, Alabama last (inaudible) trying to take it out of the Judicial Building, and be down there and be a part of….
You can throw a stone from about here to the bridge to the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, which where many of you know, is where the Civil Rights Movement began. Where Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. sat at the table in the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and joined—began the boycott of the buses. That all happened within a stones’ of where this monument was sitting. And I really believe, even though we don’t understand it, the second great civil rights movement began in Montgomery, Alabama a year ago. And those who think that now that this has been removed from the Judicial Building and Judge Moore ahs been removed from office…. those who think the battle is over are greatly deceived, because I believe the battle is just beginning. But just to really…. back to what Mark said…. we’re told in Matthew that it would be better for you if they were to put a millstone around your neck and throw you into the deepest part of the ocean that you would you would (harm?) one of these little ones who believe in me.
(inaudible) What I’d love to have happen in this government as far as God teaching our children the truth, and teaching them that they were created, or not created rather. …came from the apes, and we all know how that story goes. Those of us who continue to allow our tax dollars to go to teaching of ungodly doctrine…. things that we know are not true, I believe that we are going to stand before almighty God (inaudible) for our willingness to allow those things to happen.
It’s an honor to be down every time Harrington does something with the 10 Commandments it rains. There must be a message there! But I was saying to Mark and the few of us that are gathered here, remember this: we are not responsibly for the result. We’re responsible to declare, to plant, to water. God’s the one’s who’s responsible for the fruits. So I salute all of you who came down here. John’s lovely wife, and shofar blowers and everybody…. we appreciate you being down here.
Evil spirits in high places! This is what we’re wrestling with (inaudible). Praise the lord
Let me just...Like I said, this thing will be here until Sunday. Tell your friends to come on down to the Potter’s House tomorrow. Hollis Summers who is heading this up…. (inaudible)
He’s the guy and his buddy Brian—the one driving the truck. I’d like to introduce him to you. By the way, this group is a non-profit organization. OK. (inaudible) receive a few donations here. I know we got a few numbers here. But we really can tell… I want to help these folks. And if you’re able to put a few dollars in the basket, Hollis is gonna pass it around right now. We’ve gotta help them keep this thing on the road, put fuel in his truck, keep this thing moving. So, let’s let’s do that. right now.
Talking about the Ohio Marriage Amendment. You understand we’re not trying to change the law. Everybody else is changing the law. We’re trying to reestablish the law. We’re trying to hold the fort on the law. We’re trying to stick our thumbs in the dike on the law. Because if we loose because (inaudible)
So they try to say we’re trying to change the law. And that’s absolutely not the truth.
All right. I just want to take a moment to introduce my friend now, Hollis Summers, whose been with this truck and the monument…. for how long now?…. 11 weeks, and plans on doing it for another year or so, God willing, with an organization called American Veterans in Domestic Defense, website: standingforgod.org. But also AVIDD…avidd.org if you’re interested in finding out more. But Hollis is the man He and Brian, and others and his wife have been traveling the country with this monument. We’re privileged have him in Columbus for this weekend. Hollis Summers.
HOLLIS SUMMERS: (right)
Thanks! My name is Hollis Summers (inaudible)
I’d just say that we are traveling the United States. We’ve been in 12 states: up in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. We plan to keep on traveling until we’ve been to all he states (long inaudible) It’s great to bring it out for all you folks to see it. (long inaudible, car horn blowing). …welcome to go up, take pictures, anything you want to do. It’s cold up here! (laugher!)
OK. That’s it. Let me pray and then, Joan (?) do you want me to…. mostly (inaudible…was taking pictures of prayer circle, fire engine going down street with loud siren). Picked up a few word and phrases: White House, Statehouse, courts, school board……salt of the earth….salt of the earth….trampled underfoot. We’re seeing that right now in our.the Word of God…. restoration of the Bible…. in Jesus name we pray, Amen. Thank you for coming guys The itinerary is on the website. God Bless!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The program booklet was jammed full of "facts" including a primer on "Manipulation of Public Opinion to Create Support for Roe v Wade," a "Mini Roe Quiz" and a directory of Ohio "Pregnancy Help Centers."
More instructive though, were the ads. Ken Blackwell appears in the full page inside front cover in a grinning headshot captioned: "Government has one first responsibility and that is to protect the sanctity of life. That is the first right of every citizen and the first responsibility of every government." Paid for by Citizens for Blackwell. State Rep. Ron Hood posed with a blond (presumably his wife) and a baby wearing a doofy headband. Numerous county ORTL affiliates, crisis pregnancy centers, social service agencies, financial planners, churches, and businesses located in mostly obscure Ohio towns (Fort Jennings, Lore City, Fort Laramie, Holgate, Hamler, Leipsic, New Riegel, St. Henry) filed out the booklet. The most disturbing, Henry County Right to Life's full page ad, featured a scary sonogram of a fetus in breech position waving an American flag: "LIFE, Liberty and the pursuit of HAPPINESS. It's not a choice, it's an American right." I still worry about how that flag got there. Ouch!
The most bizarre program note, though, came courtesy of Samuel A. Nigro, MD, "Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatry" located in Beachwood and Lakewood. So wacky that ORTL posted a disclaimer at the bottom. Unfortunately, the document is not available online. Here is a small excerpt:
If it feels good, do it!" is an entrapment. Actually, the sex reflex outside of marriage is a form of excretion ("sexcretion" is accurate). There is much more to life than "feeling good" for 90 seconds. ....The early teenage and young adult body is so attractive and stimulating that, when not treated with dignity, if can be a violation of your privacy and an intrusion into the privacy of others.
Without saying, John Kerry was persona non gratia. If any Democrats for Life were present they kept their heads down. However, I did spot a couple Feminists for Life. In retrospect, the day belonged to Ken Blackwell and his runup to the governorship. Preaching and poudning, he beat Jim Petro hands down.I attended that rally and was able to tape record most of the speakers. Unfortunately, I only learned of the event at the last minute and was not fully prepared to document the day. I arrived a few minutes late and was unable to record some of the opening comments. I also ran out of tape and was unable to record most of Linda Reidelbach's speech and none of the speech by Pat Tiberi, though I took notes which are included here. I had a camera malfunction and was forced to take pictures with a throwaway. Some of these pictures will appear in the transcripts I am posting with this article.
Transcripts are posted in order of appearance:
Jane Grimm, President, Ohio Right to Life
Keynote Speaker Kay Coles James,
Denise Mackura, Exe. Director Ohio Right to Life
Ohio Attorney General James Petro
Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth J. Blackwell
State Rep. Derrick Seaver
State Rep. Linda Reidelbach
US Rep. Pat Tiberi.
Hamilton County Commissioner, then Ohio Treasurer Joe Deters was scheduled to appear but cancelled due to a personal situation. Music was provided by the Springfield Grand Avenue Church of God Choir. I previously saw this choir perform at the 2000 D. James Kennedy Center for Reclaiming America for Christ conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL, where the choir re-wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic, with the memorable line (among others) "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." WWJWHD? (What would Julia Ward Howe do?)
I transcribed all of the recordings and am solely responsible for their accuracy. The speeches are posted in order of appearance on separate pages. The transcripts contain all introductory remarks. Occasionally my own comments are added and will be noted as such.
Here is the complete schedule taken from the program booklet:
Noon: Gathering - Master of Ceremonies Phil Heimlich
Music - Grand Avenue Church of God Choir, Springfield, Ohio
Opening Prayer - Fr. Mark Hammond, St. Mary's Church, Columbus, Ohio
Star Spangled Banner
Pro-Life Pledge of Allegiance - Mary Leavitt, "The Flag Lady"
ORTL Welcome - Jane Grimm, president of Ohio Right to Life
Keynote Speaker- The Honorable Kay Coles James
What's Your Roe IQ - Denise Mackura, Executive Director of Ohio Right to Life
The Future Presents
1:45: PAC Rally - Worthington Christian High School Band
Why Vote ProLife
Dynamic Duet - When Will I Be Heard
Introduction of Speakers - Dr. John C .Willke, President of Life Issues Institute
Attorney General Jim Petro
Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell
Treasurer of State Joe Deters
State Representative Derrick Seaver
State Representative Linda Reidelbach
US Congressman Pat Tiberi
Recognition of Elected Officials - Dr. John C Willke
Music - Grand Avenue Church of God Choir
Closing Prayer - Jeff Silleck, President of Columbus Right to Life.
JANE GRIMM, PRESIDENT, OHIO RIGHT TO LIFE
OHIO VOTES FOR LIFE RALLY
OHIO RIGHT TO LIFE
Bicentennial Park, Columbus, Ohio
September 25, 2004
(speech in progress)
“… those who are throwing all these other issues at us above the issue of life, that without life no other issue matters. They’re meaningless. We have to have a return in this country to respect for human life, and this election is…is a vital one.
I would like to close by reading some comments that were sent to us by someone I’m sure you’re all familiar with. It says:
Dear Friends of the Unborn:
It is a pleasure for me to share my greetings with you today. I should gather once again as part of the greatest movement of all time: the pro-life movement. In particular, I want to encourage you to focus with greater energy than ever on the task of electing to public office those who will advance the protection of the unborn. In these last weeks before the election we need to direct our energies to voter turn-out. While we always try to persuade those who disagree with us, in these weeks it is necessary to focus on mobilizing those who do agree with us and making sure they vote.
Thank you for all you are doing in this regard, and please know that Priests for Life stands ready to assist you in every way
With prayers and best regards
Fr. Frank….Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
I think his words are right on target. It is up to us, those who still realize the horror, injustice, the barbarism…. that goes on every single day in this country…. gruesome, brutal, vicious…. to… to connect to those would-be voters and get them to the polls.
Before I leave I want to ask you to show your gratitude and appreciation as I will to the terrific staff who prepared all this today and has this wonderful ability for us to meet and greet each other. So if you will join me in giving our thanks to Judy Gregory and all the staff of Ohio Right to Life.
Jane, those are powerful and sobering words.
OHIO VOTES FOR LIFE RALLY
OHIO RIGHT TO LIFE
Bicentennial Park, Columbus, Ohio
September 25, 2004
INTRODUCTION: PHIL HEIMLICH:
How often do we get to hear from somebody who has served under three United States Presidents? Well, our keynote speaker has. She was appointed by President Reagan as head of the National Commission on Children. President George H. W. Bush appointed her Associate Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs for the Department of Health and Human Services. She now serves under President George W. Bush as the head of the US Office of Personnel Management and is the leader of a dynamic agency with 3600 employees and a budget of $261,000,000. She is a former senior vice president of the Family Research Council. She’s a frequent commentator on news and talk shows throughout the country. Her editorials have been featured in newspapers throughout the country. She’s also the author of three books including her award winning 1993 autobiography Never Forget: Transforming America from the Inside Out. Most importantly she’s dynamic speaker on pro-life issues. Will you please join me in giving a warm Ohio welcome to Kay Coles James. (NOTE: hese are actually two books: Never Forget: The Riveting Story of One Woman's Journey From Public Housing to the Corridors of Power and Transforming America Ffrom the Inside Out.
KAY COLES JAMES:
Hello! What an enthusiastic crowd. I understand you’re all here because there’s no football? (laughter) I’ll bet you’re all here because you believe in the value, and the dignity, and the sanctity of human life. (applause)
There are people that I know here that have been at this for a very very very very long time. And I indeed have as well. And when I first started speaking out on behalf of life it was quite a different day. Back in “the day,” as my kids are fond of saying, we used to debate things like “is it really life anyway?” Some of you may remember those early debates. And, of course, those of you who have carried a pro-life message for a very long time can remember going on the college campuses, the church basements, the community centers, and making the case that if it isn’t life you don’t have to kill it so we don’t have a problem. If it isn’t life leave it alone and see what it grows in to. If it isn’t life then we really don’t need to be having this debate. But ladies and gentlemen, science and technology caught up with the pro-life debate, and there is no denying that what you have on the pre-birth side is a full-fledged human being.
So not only do I want to welcome you today to a pro-life rally, but I want to welcome you today to the vanguard of the civil rights movement. (applause) Because we are determined to protect a life that is placed in jeopardy just because it’s very very little, lives inside its mom, and can’t be seen. And so, this young human being is being discriminated against because of size, age, and place of residence. (laughter, applause) So for all those individuals who like to fashion themselves being compassionate, I encourage them to join our ranks and fight for what I believe to be one of the most fundamental issues in America today.
And this fight that we’re engaged in, this war that we’re engaged in is a battle not against some surgical procedure. Any time somebody calls you anti-abortion, you know something about them immediately. Immediately you know that they do not understand what we are about. We are, in fact, pro-life and what we are engaged in is a battle for the heart and soul of this nation because we want to return this nation to a culture of life (applause) And so we may get tired of one more election, one more educational campaign, one more lit drop, one more mailing to get out, but because it is so fundamentally important to the heart of this nation, we don’t have the right or the privilege to grow tired or worried, we have to keep goong. We are not going to stop until we have a compassionate nation that promotes a culture of life both here and abroad. We are not going to sit back and let the elitists and pseudo-intellectuals of our land promote a culture where disabled pre-born children are not welcome in our world. We are not going to let those elitists and pseudo-intellectuals tell us that the solution to poverty is somehow eliminating the numbers of poor children who are welcome in our world. We are not going to sit back and allow the elitists and pseudo-intellectuals in our country to somehow convince the rest of America that if you are elderly you have a duty to die. We have a job to do. An important job, and it is one that will affect the course of this nation.
So what happened in 1973 with Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton and subsequent Supreme Court decisions? Is it simply that now abortion is more prevalent in America? I want to suggest to you that something more profound and more important than that happened. What has happened to our great nation is that we now have a generation that has not been endowed with this culture of life which is so important to us. And what is the outcome of that? What does that mean? If you do not instill in our nation and particularly in our young…. thank God for the yellow shirts! * I’m glad you’re here! (applause) …It gives me hope.
But what happens to young people when they are not given that pro-life ethic—that value of life ethic? That’s when you find young gang leaders who can put a gun at somebody’s head at point blank range and pull the trigger and not flinch because he does not value life. That’s what happens when you have not taught that young person to respect life. When people can walk past a homeless person and not feel any empathy or sympathy because they don’t have a pro-life ethic. That happens because they don’t value human life. What happens when you don‘t continue to talk about the value and the dignity and sanctity of human life is that we can now put our elderly in warehouses across America and not respect them for the contributions that they have made and allow some of our culture and in our society to say that they have a duty to die and make room for the younger people in America. That’s what happens when you don’t have a pro-life culture.
And so we have politicians going around our country today and saying that they are going to fight for our right for education. They are going to fight for our right for access to health care. And they’re going to fight for our right to housing and jobs. Well, I’ve got news for them. The right to have access to healthcare means nothing if you have not first secured my right to live. (applause)
The right to have housing means nothing if you won’t protect my right in my first home, inside my mom which is now probably one of the most violent places in America. Fight for that right. (applause)
And it’s nice that you build wonderful buildings and you want to talk about…. that you will fight for the right to educate me, but would you please first fight for my right to live and walk and love among you? (applause)
I told you I’ve been at this a long time. And I’ve also told you that this is a battle for the heart and the soul of the nation. There are those individuals who speak out on behalf of women, and God bless them. Lord knows that we have needed that kind of voice in America. There are those who speak out for minority groups. Lord knows I’m thankful that the civil rights movement was there and I have benefited from so many of the sacrifices of those individuals. But I have to tell you I’m glad that you are here today to speak out on behalf of and fight for the right of preborn children to be here. (applause)
Ladies and gentlemen, the very first debate I ever did on this issue I realized that God had not left me without a testimony. And when I was challenged by the person who was representing an organization that I believe represents a culture of death-- that person said to me, “How dare you! How dare you with your middle class values take away something which is so fundamentally important to poor women? And that poor women need the right to have abortions in order to improve their quality of lives.”
And I as able to say to that woman at that time, “You counsel women. Explain to me what you would say to the woman who comes to you and says l suffer every day of my life, living with a husband who is struggling with alcohol. And because of his alcohol addiction he physically abuses me and sometimes I have to place my body between him and the children.” And this woman says to you today I found myself pregnant yet again, and I already have five children that I can’t take care of. I don’t know how I’m gonna keep food on the table or heat in the house or clothes on their backs. And I’m comin’ to you looking for answers and looking for help. Can you help me?”
What would you say to her? And, of course, the answer was, “I would say to her, that as a loving mother she would have to consider the option of abortion because what loving mother would bring a child into the world under those circumstances. I would say to her, that she should not consider stretching the family’s meager resources for one more child. And I would say to her that I’m glad that I am working hard to keep abortion safe and legal.”
And I said, “I have a vested interest in what you would say to that woman, because that woman was my mother. And I was that child.”
And so ladies and gentleman, while the women have their leaders, while other minority groups have their leaders. I‘m glad that you were there for people like me, speaking out on children’s behalf. (applause). That you said even though I came from a poor mom and dad that I was welcome in your world, and in case you hadn’t noticed you need not worry about my quality of life.. It’s quite good. (applause) by the way.
And so I will leave our take-away lesson from that story is simply this: that every life is precious in his sight. And every life is an unopened gift from God. And we dare not be so rude as to send back a gift from Him unopened.
Keep up the fight!
Thank you Kay. Powerful.
OHIO VOTES FOR LIFE RALLY
OHIO RIGHT TO LIFE
Bicentennial Park, Columbus, Ohio
September 25, 2004
INTRODUCTION: PHIL HEIMLICH:
I think most of you know Denise Mackura who is the Executive Director of Ohio Right to Life. Denise has been active, been a leader in the pro-life movement for 30 years. I can’t believe... she looks like she must have started when she was like 5 years old, I guess, Denise. She’s a former legislative council for Americans United for Life, former director for the Cleveland Right to Life organization. She is chair of the Life Issues of the National Lawyers Association. In fact, other than the fact that she’s a lawyer, she’s a fantastic person. (laughter). Denise come up! Let’s welcome Denise Mackura! (applause)
Now as she comes up I just want all of you to know what’s coming up. She’s gonna be speaking and then introducing a dynamic group of young people that will talk to you about what they’re going to spread the message among their peers. When we’re done with them we’re going to have some great music for you and were gonna have some of the top elected officials in the State of Ohio here to speak, so please stick around.
DENISE MACKURA: (note: first part missing from recording)
This is a critical election year. The stakes are very high for the future of unborn babies and women and American families. Voting pro-life is much more than a single issue. It is a recognition of the need for a moral prerequisite for those who seek to represent us.
If a candidate does not understand the tragedy of abortion…
If a candidate cannot understand the complete and indefensible injustice of destroying children at their earliest stages of development….
If the candidate does not understand the danger for all in a country which allows personal choice to determine who lives and who dies….
If a candidate votes to permit funding of agencies which promote or provide abortions….
If a candidate is willing to ignore to women from abortion surgery…
If a candidate won‘t even recognize the humanity of unborn children who are partially born or are victims of violence while still in their mother’s womb….
If a candidate is willing to promote judicial candidates who support the radical Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton decisions which allows abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy… then that candidate does not-- is not fit office-- and does not deserve our votes. (applause)
No other issue involves thousands of deaths on a daily basis as abortion does. We can never let our American brothers and sisters forget that economic well-being, a clean environment, and healthcare mean nothing if you’re not alive to enjoy them. The right to life must be absolute and primary before any other right or benefit. Human rights must begin when human life begins or they will be subject to human whim.
We agree with Gov. Casey who said, quote, “I believe abortion will ultimately fail because it is unworthy of this great nation.”
Make this a reality in 2004. Please register and vote. (applause)
Additional hand-written notes:Abortion law should be decided by the people, not judges
Nobody can stop legally stop an abortion; a woman can legally get one the day before the birth is scheduled
We need 3 new justices on the Supreme Court
ATTORNEY GENERAL JIM PETRO
OHIO VOTES FOR LIFE RALLY
OHIO RIGHT TO LIFE
Bicentennial Park, Columbus, Ohio
September 25, 2004
INTRODUCTION: Phil Heimlich introducing Dr. John Wilkke, director, Life Issues Institute, (Cincinnati) and former president, National Right to Life Committee. Master of Ceremonies for PAC Rally.
When I ran for office in 1993, he and his lovely wife Barbara were kind enough to sit down with me and talk about the issue of abortion from A to Z, and I’ll always appreciate their….considering how prominent they are, and that they took the time to sit down with me and talk this out with me.
Dr. Jack Wilkie in 1971 gave up his medical practice to devote himself to the pro-life cause. He has spoken in 66 countries. His materials have been translated in 29 languages. I asked him just now, how many times have you been invited to the White House? He couldn’t even count the number of times--12, 15, 20--many many times, because he is the person that presidents turn to when they want to hear from the leaders of the pro-life movement. It’s an honor for us to have him with us today. Please welcome a great man, a great friend, Dr. Jack Wilkie. (applause, cheers)
You know, as the saying goes, if my dad was here he’d be proud, if my mother was here she’d believe all of that. It’s my privilege today to introduce some of the truly big VIPs here in Ohio, and so on with the show
Our first person is the Attorney General of the State of Ohio, Jim Petro. He’s here with his lovely wife, Nancy. (applause). He has come up with a lot of experience behind him.. First a criminal prosecutor, then as city law director, city council member, then member of the Ohio House of Representatives for eight years, Cuyahoga County Commissioner for four, and Auditor for eight. Then he ran for, and became Attorney General. Well, some of you, of course, remember the partial birth abortion bill that he shepherded through the courts here, and achieved a victory of our 6th Circuit Court of Appeals so that the ban on that is in force in the 6th Circuit. That’s, I think that’s Michigan—it’s Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. Maybe Tennessee. (asks Petro—muffled background) And Tennessee. Good. (applause) And we do, we do owe him a debt for that. Now, just the other day you heard that the new law requiring certain regulations for the use of the French abortion pill RU 486 was passed, and that Gov. Taft signed it. It was challenged by Planned Parenthood and the others. It went before a Federal District court judge in Cincinnati, Susan Dlott, who did not surprise us with her decision. She was a Clinton appointee, the wife of one of the major financial contributors to Clinton’s campaign. In any case, she struck the law down and said that it was—it didn’t have a health exception. But the whole thing is about health, so ….in any case, I asked Jim if Ohio was going to appeal it, and he said definitely they would, so let me give you Jim. (applause)
Dr. Willke, thank you very much. I am very pleased to be here, and Doctor, I really appreciate your introduction. You’ve probably stated our position on HB 156. It will be appealed, but I also want to tell you Doctor, that my conversations over the years with you and Barbara are something I will always treasure. They were compelling. They provided me information that I thought really did
(end of tape)
….for all of you as we approach the election coming up on November 2. As I was coming over here today, Nancy, who is with me—she was just introduced to you-- my wife Nancy of nearly 32 years-- we were talking about a variety of things in our lifetime together, which has been 32 years. Long time. And I began to reflect on the fact that 28 years ago this week Nancy told me that we were expecting our first child. And with that revelation, all I could think about was that responsibility that became a driving force in my life that I would do all that I could to protect that new conceived child with all the power at my disposal. 26 years ago this week, Nancy told me that we were expecting our second child, almost exactly two years apart. And those are our two blessed children. And it was in that instance, also, that that view that I expressed a few minutes ago—that all I could do to protect that child from that moment of conception would be an important goal for my lifetime. I prayed that both those children would grow up to be strong adults, with strong and clear values, and among others things a sense of independence. In fact Nancy often joked with me because I’d come out of church and I’d say…she’d say what did you pray for during the silent prayer, and I’d say “for our children, for their values and their independence.” And now when we get together with our children--one lives on the east coast and one lives on the west coast and their respective careers--, she always says, “your prayers worked.” And that’s kind of a redeeming quality you can always kind of reflect upon.
And also, I’m very proud today of the men and women who work with me, and the ones that I manage in the Ohio Attorney General’s office. Nine months ago, the 6th Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals resolved the issues that we’d been raising as it related to Ohio’s partial birth abortion law. And they upheld on a 2-1 vote Ohio’s law even though it had not been upheld on the trial (entire?) court level. . We were very excited about that outcome, and we remain the only state of all of the states of the union that has an enforceable partial birth abortion law. (applause). We continue to battle in the courts. Today and last week, and in every day I can count on in the future because these battles are not going to end too quickly, in defense of laws that establish limits on RU 486. As Dr. Willke said, we do intend to appeal that current injunctive decision. And in laws that curtail the reckless behavior of Dr. Martin Haskell, and we’re in court on one of those cases right now. And also in court on cases that require informed and parental consent. And I think those are perfectly appropriate and will continue to fight that battle.
You know on the political front this year there has never been a more clear distinction than our presidential candidates. And that’s part of what this rally is all about-- to make you realize that we have such a clear choice as we look at the presidential election and as well look at elections around Ohio and around the country. President Bush aggresively talks about and advocates a culture of life. Sen. Kerry aggressively talks about and advocates a culture of abortion. If there has ever been a clear distinction, this is it. Over the next 40 days your efforts to insure President. Bush’s reelection will continue to see the advocacy at the national level that is so important to all of us. We have to move voters over the next 40 days to be sure that those voters who share our values are sure to be voting on November 2. If we don’t move those voters then we may lose an election. I can’t emphasize that enough, and I think you all to understand that responsibility. Voters need to be reminded of the responsibility of voting, of the outcome and what could occur if the outcome is different than the re-election of the president. And I know all of you really follow that message. And that message carries depending on how the turnout is for the presidential election, the election of other pro-life candidates in Ohio and around the country you are following. It really works that way. We lost many pro-life local races in 2000 because although President. Bush won, he won in Ohio by a much smaller margin than expected. And because that occurred we lost races that otherwise would have won. And so I can’t stress enough the importance of your efforts in getting the vote turned out.
With the strong support of this national organization—National Right to Life—24 years ago our nation elected another president who was committed to a culture of life The idealism that Ronald Reagan presented changed the way millions thought about this issue. Think about that. Think about the decade of the 1980s, and how the views expressed by Ronald Reagan did change gradually--coupled with the views expressed in the activism of this organization--changed the views of millions and millions of Americans. I think we all saw this occur. It was 1992, four years after President Reagan left the presidency, that Nancy and I were together in our first national convention of the Republican Party in Houston, Texas. And it was that occasion that represented the last major public address of Ronald Reagan. He addressed the convention and the 20,000 people present. He addressed at the same time, actually all of the millions of people watching on TV. And he was basically-- knowing that he was ill, but not yet ready to announce it--he was basically saying this is my last opportunity to address you all. And he concluded with that quote in mind by saying “My fondest wish for all of you is to love your country. Not for its power and wealth but for its selflessness and for its idealism. Our idealism includes at the top of our ideals, a deep and abiding in the sanctity of every human life from conception to natural death.” (applause) We must elect those share this idealism
Thank you so much for being here today. Thank you for your activism. God bless you all. (applause)
KEN BLACKWELL, OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE
OHIO VOTES FOR LIFE RALLY
OHIO RIGHT TO LIFE
Bicentennial Park, Columbus, Ohio
September 25, 2004
INTRODUCTION: JOHN WILLKE
Our next speaker is a very real personal pleasure. He’s a Cincinnati boy, as am I. Ken Blackwell started at Xavier University as a teacher and an administrator, and then he ran for mayor. You might be interested that when he set up his campaign office Barbara and I went over there, you know, for some reason. We looked around at all the volunteers-- we knew every one of them. They were all Right to Life people. So maybe that will tell you something about Ken. He moved up from there. His most prestigious international job was an ambassador to the Untied Nations. He worked under Jack Kemp for a while. Now he came back here. He ran for and became Treasurer of Ohio and now he’s Secretary of State. So, if, and I think it will—understand, and maybe he can tell us the Marriage Amendment should be on the ballot (audience-wooooo!!!!). Aa great deal of that credit will go to our Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. (applause)
Thank you very much. Thank you Dr. Willke. And thank you pro-life activists.
We are told in Ephesians that we should put on the armor of God. And the first thing we are to strap on is the belt of truth. And then we are to put on the breastplate of righteousness. We are told that we are to pick up the shield of faith and go in to battle as the light of the world and the salt of the earth to uphold all of our Godly heritage.
I don’t know any more essential aspect of our nation’s moral foundation than a reverence for life. I don’t know of anyone who has an ounce of sense that could, in fact, not understand what God meant when he told Jeremiah that “even before I placed you in the womb I knew thee.” He was saying that we all are divine beings.
The founders of our country understood that. Implicitly in their expressed explicitly in the documents-- the founding documents-- of this country, not just a reverence for freedom, but a reverence for life. In that first document of independence, we are told that there are unquestionable truths. “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” which means any idiot oughtta get it (applause) that all of us are created equal.
Look around to your right and to the left, to your front and back. It becomes obvious that we are not all equal in the non-essentials. We’re not all equal in size or weight, in intelligence or income. Those are non-essentials. We are told that we are equal in the essentials. Remember what God told Jeremiah. We are fashioned in the image of God. We are all accountable to a supreme lawmaker, and we are all equally the beneficiaries of his laws. All created equal. And we are told that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, which means that those human rights are not grants from government but gifts from God. (applause) And that the foundation of those freedoms is instilled in our reverence for life and our thirst for freedom.
And we are given those rights in an order: life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. A prescribed order because it is very difficult to enjoy freedom and liberty if we’re dead. It is very difficult to pursue happiness if you are enslaved by ignorance or sin or bigotry or you name it. That order is important. And so brothers and sisters of faith, there is one primary responsibility of government, and that is to protect life, which is the first God-given right. (applause) Protect life. It is the essence of our freedom and it is the cornerstone of our Godly heritage. For the last 40 to 50, perhaps 60 years there have been political, cultural and social forces that have tried to run God and faith and religion out of the public square. Our first president said that the two indispensable supports of our liberty were religion and morality. And so those forces that are trying to scrub God and religion and morality out of the public square take America on a dangerous path.
And there’s a question that is asked in Psalms, Chap. 11 verse 3. It’s a simple question. “If the foundation be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?” I would hope, brothers and sisters of the pro-life effort, that our answer will continue to be ever since the day of that dreadful decision in 1973, that we, in fact, will put on the full armor of God, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and pick up the shield of our faith and defend the moral foundation of this nation. Defend and protect life and keep us on the path of our Godly heritage, which has made us the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Continue to struggle because as we all know, life is about ups and downs.
This afternoon I’ve met two folks who are struggling with cancer and one other cancer survivor besides myself. And I want to tell you something. When I came out from under surgery and the influence of anesthesia, I saw on a monitor a little dot, and it was going up and down beep beep beep. And I said thank you Jesus for not showing me a flat line (laughter, applause). And I would suggest to you that life is about ups and downs. It’s about victories and defeats. It’s about holding on to our faith, and when we hold on to our faith and our Godly heritage, we as pro-life activists, no matter what our station, what our position, we don’t’ look for valleys in which to rest. We look for mountains to climb. And it’s that that gives us hope and vision for victory and it is for that very reason that I can say to you with the fullest of confidence: victory is ours! God bless you. (applause)
OHIO VOTES FOR LIFE RALLY
OHIO RIGHT TO LIFE
Bicentennial Park, Columbus, Ohio
September 24, 2004
INTRODUCTION: JOHN WILLKE
We had another star from Cincinnati who was going to be here—Joe Deters, our Treasurer of the State of Ohio—but Joe was held up by some very important personal business and he offers his regrets for not being here. So, the next person you’re going to meet is Derrick Seaver. Now Derrick is a rather unusual young man, and I emphasize young among all these old gooks (?) up here. Derrick was the youngest member ever elected to the Ohio House. He was 18 years old. He ran again as a senior citizen at the age 20 and won a second term. I think he’s gonna to run again. Yeah, in fact, I hear he’s gonna get married. He’s a pro-life Democrat. And as you all know, there are some very real solid pro-life Democrats--just not at the very top--and none of them with the name of Kerry, but…. He’s from a…. I was born in Mercer County, so I have a… he’s from Shelby, Champagne, and Auglaize. . So in any case, another thing that he did last year was introduce a resolution to the US Congress to support a human life amendment. And so, I give you Derrick Seaver. (applause)
Thank you very much. And I can tell you right now that I definitely have the hardest job of anybody in here having to follow the two speakers that came before me. Mr. Petro and Mr. Blackwell are both tremendous pro-life leaders of the state, and I think they deserve another round of applause. (applause)This is going to be difficult having to follow what just came before me, but I just appreciate the opportunity to be here today and to share the day with you all while here today.
Again, I represent three counties in Northwestern Ohio. I represent most of Auglaize County, all of Shelby, and all of Champagne County, and I see a few local faces that are down here today, and I appreciate you making the trip down and coming down to be part of this. And as was mentioned, I am a little bit unique in this panel of speakers today. I am a little bit younger than the other speakers that you’re gonna be seeing up now at the extreme age of 22. By now I’m running for re-election again, and in light of that, I do want to thank the members of the organization of the future who are out here today there’s many many members out here today working. They put on an excellent skit, and they’re doing a great job presenting young values in Ohio and the young pro-life movement throughout the state. applause) And I am also, I believe, the only Democrat that you'’re going to hear from today. And because of that I have a (applause) … I didn’t expect to get that, I’ll tell you that (applause) But I am the only Democrat, and because of that I'm going to bring you what may be a unique perspective. But despite those differences there are two things that I am absolutely going to share and stand with the other speakers on. And the first thing that I stand with the other speakers on 100% is that I am 100% pro-life and I want to defend the sanctity of human life. (applause woo-woo, whistles)
There are many many reasons for that. Obviously the values I was raised with, my religious background, but they couldn’t be stated any better, and I’m not gonna attempt to say them any better than what Secretary of State Ken Blackwell just stated when he talked about basically the non-negotiable facts of American life. And that is, we as Americans have to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You have to protect life to make that happen, And just think for a second what has happened since the Roe v Wade decision, and also what the media puts their spotlight on. We have been through some terrible events in recent years. Clearly the events in Iraq, which have now claimed the lives of over 1000 US soldiers and has injured many more. The events of September 11, which killed more than 3000 American citizens. These were terrible events which deserve media coverage; which deserve our attention.. . But since Roe v Wade 33 million unborn Americans have been killed and the media doesn’t talk about that. They don’t bring these issues up. They have to be raised from people like us, and that is why I stand as a pro-life member of the Ohio legislature to try to raise those issues and to bring back the culture of life that existed before Roe v Wade. (applause)
The other area that I’m in complete agreement with the other speakers coming up here today is…. I am… I am a Democrat, but I am 100% committed to the reelection of President George W. Bush this November (big applause). I want to talk a little bit about why that is, and talk about some of the things that I’ve see in my House District.
I have the pleasure of representing a district in the Statehouse that’s about 60% Republican when it comes to voter registration. The Democrats in that district are generally more conservative Democrats than what you find in our party’s leadership. And, when I went door-to-door, and I can’t begin to tell you how many thousands of voters in our district, how many different Democratic events I’ve been to, and how many different events I’ve been to in general. And the one thing I got tired of hearing more than anything else, was the phrase, “I used to be a Democrat, but…” And you could fill in the blank. But I can tell you that the #1 issue that was given by the constituents of the 78th House District was “I used to be a Democrat but then when Roe v Wade happened... And then the party leadership changed, and they are not a party supporting the right of innocent life anymore, and I can’t stand with that party.” And Democrats need to be strong enough to stand up and send a message. And I’ll tell you what. That’s the positive (applause). That’s the positive (applause) that I hear this from Democrats because these same Democrats do support candidates and have supported candidates like myself and other local Democrats who are support pro-life.
But then John Kerry stands up to run. And what’s disappointing to me in the negative right now is that a lot of these same Democrats that claim to be more conservative, that claim to want to change the party are not standing up… and I drive down the streets and I see Kerry/Edwards signs in their yards, and I see them standing up for John Kerry. And it’s time for the Democratic Party to send this clear message: if you want to be pro-life and you say you’re a pro-life personally, you’d better be ready to stand up and defend the right to life in public and in your public life. (applause) If you want to say… if you want to say that you’re a party that wants to give voice to the voiceless at the ballot box, you’d better be getting ready to give voice to the voiceless when it comes time for the cause of life. And if you want a party that says you're gonna defend the weakest among us and defend the indefensible, then you’d better be ready to stand up and say I am gonna defend the unborn children of this country. Our party can’t claim that unless we change our direction on the cause of life in this country. And the message that we can send is this November at the ballot box, I call on Democrats to join with me, vote for President Bush, and send a message that we are not gonna support any candidate you send down the pike. It’s time to change the message of the Democratic Party. (applause)
And I think that Democrats of the past, and some of the Democrats of the present would agree with me. You heard it from Sen. Miller at the Republican convention when he stood up. What I heard the media called that hate and anger. All I heard out of Senator Zell Miller was pride and passion. He has the pride in his party and the passion to want to take it back. And that’s what you’re gonna hear from other Democrats. And Democrats of the past would agree with him.
What would President John F. Kennedy say today if he had to see what his brother Ted does in the US Congress every day? Remember what he said about the issue of abortion even previous to Roe v Wade. President John F. Kennedy said that if the rights of one innocent human life were harmed the rights of all mankind are harmed. Now that’s the kind of Democrat we need back today and the kind of message we need to send. (applause)
And I’m gonna (applause) I’m gonna close my comments…. I’m gonna close my comments today with one of my favorite stories from history that also involves President Kennedy. It involves President Kennedy when he was still senator from Massachusetts and hewas campaigning for president in the state of West Virginia. And he was walking through a schoolhouse in West Virginia, and a child came up to him and he said, President Kennedy,” I’m supposed to thank you for my mom and dad.” And President Kennedy said, “Well I appreciate that, but what are you thanking me for” And he held up a sack lunch, and he said” I’m supposed to thank you because you voted in Congress to allow me to get this lunch. My mom and dad couldn’t afford it. And I want to thank you for making that vote and taking that stand.” And President Kennedy looked at him and he said, “Well, I appreciate that, and tell your parents that I appreciate that. But why are you still holding half your lunch? ”Well I have siblings at home and I have to eat half my lunch and I have to bring the other half home so that they can eat it when I get home because we don't have the money to afford that either.” And President Kennedy stood up after talking to the child and, he turned around and he said, “You know, this is a great great country, but it can always be better."
And I really feel that that’s the idealism of the pro-life movement in this country. We enjoy a lot of great things in America. It’s a great country with a lot of great opportunity, but it can always be better. And it will be better when the cause of life wins and we return the country to the days before Roe v Wade and we prevail in this struggle. And that’s the idealism that we bring forward, and I’m proud to stand with you and try to advance that cause.
Thank you very much!
Well, Derrick, I think you could teach public speaking along with other things. You can see why his wife said yes when he proposed.
REP. LINDA REIDELBACH (R-21)
OHIO VOTES FOR LIFE RALLY
OHIO RIGHT TO LIFE
Bicentennial Park, Columbus, Ohio
September 25, 2004
INTRODUCTION: JOHN WILLKE:
Our next famous person is Linda Reidelbach. She represents the northern Franklin County here in the Columbus area. She's in the US House (sic). I first met her when she was trying to get in. I think she missed it on her first try, but we're delighted that she's made it since. She's a member of the Ohio Compassionate Care Task Force, which studies ways to improve the availability of pain control, palliative care in Ohio. Translate: that says she's against euthanasia and she's for helping people remain as comfortable as they can until their life ends naturally. (applause). She has authored a resolution urging Congress to prevent all forms of human cloning. And we certainly thank her for that. She's married to Mike who I think has good taste in women. Smart ones also. And I think they have four kids (Reidelbach in background: "and one grandchild") Are you that old? OK. And one grand kid. (applause)
Dr. Willke is always so very gracious. Thank you. And Derrick Seaver is one of my colleagues. We've been on a couple of committees together in the House, and Derrick's--I don't know where he went, but any time you want it, you're welcome on my side of the aisle. And he's very wise for his age. I want to mention too, I think we missed an opportunity here today. I think after Ken Blackwell finished speaking, you should have taken a collection. That would have been a perfect time to do that.
Let me get this OK.
I want to know if you meet the requirements --any of you here-- if you meet the requirements to vote this November. Are you properly registered? Yes (Yes) Yes. All right! If not, you'd better hurry up. If you've moved or you've gotten married and changed your name or something you do need to change your address and change your name. If you have any kids or grandkids who are in college, they can be registered at their home address, but they can vote by absentee, but you have to get that absentee ballot application into your county board of elections, so I just wanted to remind you to do that today.
I just want to make a few comments about politics and voting. Some of us are called to a political ministry and that's good because Proverbs...
(TAPE RAN OUT)
Additional hand-written notes:
We shouldn't take freedom for granted; vote!
Happy to be at a rally with pro-life voters
There are many ways to support the pro-life cause: Choose Life plates for instance
Read Planned Parenthood candidate's questionnaire; loaded language
Pray for discernment, courage and boldness
Quotes Corinthians 2 (didn't get the verse)
Offers yard sign.
CONGRESSMAN PAT TIBERI(R-12)
OHIO VOTES FOR LIFE RALLY
OHIO RIGHT TO LIFE
Bicentennial Park, Columbus, Ohio
September 25, 2004
(NOTE: NO TAPE—ONLY HAND-WRITTEN NOTES)
Congratulates Derrick Seaver on speech. He should be a Republican.
Hollywood is working for Kerry. Paid volunteers from California going door-to-door came to his house. Were registering for Kerry.
Stakes in election: (1) appointment of federal judges; (2) appointment of Supreme Court justices.
Central all other issues is the “battle for life.” We have facts and science on our side.
We (pro-lifers) have no paid canvassers or Hollywood helping us.
“Vote for the unborn”
Monday, May 08, 2006
I have gotten very behind updating THEOCONIA. By the end of the month additional articles, transcripts and photos on Central Ohio Theoconia will be posted.
Coming soon: Rod Parsley, Ann Coulter, Jay Sekulow, Dave Daubenmire, Flip Benham... and more!
Originally published in The Ohio NOW Times, Fall 2004 (Ohio National Organization for Women)
Our nation has been turned upside down by the enemies of Christ (abortion, homosexuality, Islam, etc.) With the help of Jesus Christ, Ruler of the universe, we will turn it right side up. No more waiting for politicians who stand for nothing and fall for everything! It begins in Columbus, the heart of
the nation and will spread to every point across America.
..........Flip Benham, Director of Operation Save America/Operation Rescue “We Are Fed Up!,” press release, July 15, 2004
July 17-23, the Christian dominionist organization Operation Save America, once known as Operation Rescue , who in the 1980s and early 1990s gained notoriety for abortion clinic invasions, harassment of providers and clients, and mass civil disobedience (or rather mass Biblical obedience)—held its week long annual national “event” in Columbus. OSA was assisted locally by Minutemen United, a Central Ohio fundamentalist men’s organization based in Warsaw near Coshocton, founded by former London High School football coach Dave Daubenmire.
Presenting themselves as a “living parable,” OSA director Flip Benham, assistant director Rusty Thomas, and a few others, walked across America (the actual amount of walking is debatable) in what longtime OSA observer, Mike Doughney calls “the dog, pony and ass show:” a white horse named Judgement, a donkey named Mercy, a broken set of 10 Commandments carried by Benham’s teenage son Jonathan, and a miniature casket, holding what OSA claimed to be fetal remains, carried by Thomas’s daughter Shekinah. For most people this “living parable” is vague, incomprehensible, and often amusing, but it has a specific though ambiguous meaning to OSA and those who accept OSA’s interpretation of “God’s law” triumphant over the American secular, constitutional state. Doughney writes that the theatre piece is an ultimatum to secular society to “surrender to OSA’s “broad demands for change, and compliance with their peculiar interpretation of the Bible, in a grace period symbolized by an imaginary, merciful Jesus on the donkey, or face the wrath of their God, as symbolized by the militant mythical image of Christ with a sword mounted on the white horse.” As Doughney points out, however, OSA was unclear on just who will be judged. The entire country including themselves? Or just the “evildoers? —the rest of us? Maybe more importantly is OSA only out to convert or is their actual function to incite onlookers to take vigilante action against those “evildoers” to avoid retribution as a result of their own inaction? By the end of the OSA occupation of Columbus it was clear that they believe all will be judged.
OSA’s living parable was, in fact, a living sideshow that for six days occupied the W. Broad Street side of City Hall Plaza. The show included dozens of giant bloody bay-bee blender-bits posters, (blown-up pictures of alleged fetuses supposedly dismembered by abortion), a brace of Nazi-looking black and red fetus flags, painted plywood coffins, each representing an “evil” US Supreme Court decision intended to suck the United States further into Hell, and OSA propaganda cars adorned with OSA “art” spread out in front of City Hall. Bad music, hundreds of arm-waving worshippers, shouting preachers, cop taunters, shofar tooters, Quran burners, an alleged “bay-bee” funeral, and an oversized Ten Commandments that even God Himself would find too bulky to haul down a mountain completed the installation. For those unfortunate to miss the main show, traveling exhibits and prayer shouters went out daily, Columbus police never far behind, to freeway overpasses, women’s clinics, a gay business, “unfriendly” churches and even a Catholic hospital and the United Way—the last two an expansion of traditional OSA wedge targets, suggesting a ramp-up on “evildoers.”
Columbus NOW played a significant role in opposing OSA, effectively working with The Answer is No! (TAISNO) the oppositional response to OSA occupation.
Columbus NOW first met with Sabina Kniesly and her partner Mike Doughney in April. Kneisly, a Central Ohio native, has lived in Columbus, a town she calls “close to my heart” four times. She considers herself a recovering street activist. In the 1990s while living here she founded with several others the membership organization BARF-- Bisexual and Radical Feminist--which was restructured in 1997 with Doughney as more of a 2-person think tank, Biblical America Resistance Front, located in the Washington DC area. They consider themselves inactivists, oppositional researchers, and defusionaries.
For the last seven years Kneisly and Doughney have been doing non-traditional “inactivist” forms of “output” such as observation of various Biblical American groups, quiet listening, documenting events, and developing language and theory—though they will occasionally pick up a sign. “We look like radical (to the root) librarians or occasionally casual photographers,” Kneisly says.
As oppositional researchers they investigate how language is used, the shorthand codes of a subculture, and what the goals and tactics are of various organizations. She sees OSA’s national event issues--abortion, gay marriage, and Islam (and others not on the week’s “official” agenda--) as simply “decisional tactics” used to determine who is for and against them, and who they can “pry into.” The issues for OSA are simply a means to an end. The real goal of OSA and their ilk, she believes, is “a Biblical America where OSA’s particular interpretation of Biblical law becomes the basis of all social interaction and governance.” As unpleasant as this may sound to some people, by knowing, what your opponents believe, based on the oppositional research. perspective, you can understand how those beliefs relate to your own pro-active work and keep you from running down a rabbit warren of nuance and side issues when doing re-active work. Using abortion as an example she says that as oppositional researchers, instead of focusing on the nuances of abortion politics they cut to the other chase, focusing on how OSA does not believe that we own our own bodies. All of which lead to defusion, which Kneisly says is “situational work” and means choosing one’s battles carefully. “What may defuse in one circumstance may inflame in another—knowing those differences and tactically understanding when to use what.”
Central to their defusionary theory are the 3 Rs in dealing with OSA, the Minutemen and other like-minded organizations:
Receive: hear; listen to them
Read back: I hear what you say
Reject: My answer is “no.” (personalized, simple; and if they try to blow through the “no” it puts them on an interesting continuum along side rapists and abusers.)
When OSA announced it was coming to Columbus Kneisly and Doughney decided to turn theory into practice. Use OSA’s own words back at them. Listen and expose them through their own deeds
One of their first activities was to create The Answer Is No (TAISNO) website to serve as an educational center to share much of the information the community needed to understand about OSA. (Unfortunately, there was little historical memory of an early 1990s Operation Rescue action in Columbus.) An organizing and communications tool, the page offered a full menu of information and links about OSA and the Minutemen, downloadable flyers and posters, up-to-date TAISNO news, media coverage, and day-by day accounts of the “event, ” including photographs and video clips, once it started. TAISNO was not an “organization. ” Instead, it was a movement of non-hierarchical, fluid ”unorganized” response—a sort of communication system--to effect individual initiative and personal ownership of resistance. This is a “Columbus thing.” This is our town, not OSA’s.
Over the next few months, Kneisly and Doughney, among various activities, attended NOW meetings where they discussed OSA (some had never heard of it) and met with individual Columbus NOW members (and many others) socially who wanted to become involved. Columbus NOW stuffed abortion-specific TAISNO-developed flyers in the information packets of busloads of central Ohioans who went to the March_for_Women's_Lives in Washington. Members distributed flyers in local coffee shops, bookstores, and Laundromats. Some took escort training or re-training and worked at clinics while OSA was in town. All-in-all however, the operation was low-key, and in the end, took OSA by surprise.
While OSA holds public protests such as clinic actions, “fetal funerals” and Ecclesiastical Courts, “in most cities it visits, it traditionally holds many other events particularly their rallies, behind the doors of a host church out of sight of public scrutiny. Columbus, however, proved to be a challenge. The Minutemen claimed that they contacted—or at least planned to contact—500 area churches to locate a host church and other support. This time though, even exurban mega churches refused to cooperate, at least publicly, and opted for the comfort of the pew over a shofar-blowing boy from Newark. The one church that eventually did agree to host the event, Smyrna Baptist on Wilson Road suddenly disappeared from the program when TAISNO discovered that the minister had ties to the Moonies and posted the documented proof (July 9) on its web page, thus leaving OSA with no place to meet other than their far eastside hotel conference room. By the start of their event week though, God miraculously gave them an “awesome space”: City Hall, which did not require a city permit. Thrilled with the providential gift, but being unfamiliar with Columbus laws, OSA and the Minutemen, didn’t realize that unlike churches that can control who comes through the door and can filter out “undesirables,” City Hall Plaza was public space for anyone who pleased to stop, rest and reflect without a permit. Anyone like the people of Columbus.
On Saturday, July 17 at 1:00 PM, about 75 Columbus police, including the mounted patrol and the bike patrol, all well-aware of its reputation, lined W. Broad, keeping the walkways clear, as OSA, with their flags, propaganda cars, shofars, props, donkey and two horses (they acquired a second horse, Justice, along the way after Judgement turned up lame) crossed the Broad Street Bridge into the City Hall area. While about 120 supporters greeted them (scroll down), so did another 70 yellow- clad (yellow being the official TAISNO color), placard waving, chanting protestors telling OSA and the Minutemen to “take your ass and go.”
Since no permit was needed by either side to secure space on city property, we were free to take space in the plaza, and in fact, were there before OSA was. Columbus NOW co-presidents Heather Kosher and Eileen Lynch, as well as NOW treasurer Kay and her husband Neil, and I along with a lot of people we’d never seen before jumped into action. Kay and Neil acted as a 2-person welcoming committee. They helped distribute signs to the signless, passed out dozens of yellow The Answer Is No buttons, “Theocrats Suck” and “Columbus Says No to Operation Save America” stickers, and played sidewalk nanny, watching foot traffic to make sure that no one blocked the right-of way. Heather and Eileen played cheerleader, shaking yellow pom-poms and leading chants through bright yellow plastic megaphones. “Columbus says no-- take your ass and go” “Go Home!” “What part of no don’t you understand?” and “This is not a theocracy.” The donkey, or maybe it was a horse, dropped a load on the City Hall steps
Over the next few days, OSA and the Minutemen played tag with the police and TAISNO. Knowledge and documentation of most of these events was accomplished with the assistance of a small group of NOW members who helped with communications, who according to Kneisly ended up “being the glue holding much of the event together—invaluable.”
Every morning OSA did “overpass outreach” hanging signs and bloody bay-bee bits porn from Interstate overpasses downtown. More “outreach’ was done at both campuses of the “welcoming and affirming” First Community Church in Upper Arlington where OSA referred to the female minister as “Pastorette,” as well as televangelist Rod Parsley’s World Harvest Ministries in Canal Winchester and Xenos Christian Fellowship in Columbus, in a probable attempt to recruit troops as well as punish the churches for not falling for OSA’s command to join them. Xenos called the cops and had them thrown out of its parking lot. OSA set up a sound system and shofar in front of the Catholic Mt.Carmel East Hospital and railed against abortion and gay marriage. They also picketed Elemental, a restaurant on Parsons Ave, but had to leave before it opened for lunch.
On July 20, 75-100 self-described “gentle Christians,” marched on the United Way of Central Ohio, imploring God to destroy it, or at a minimum lift it out of its transgression. With a dozen police guarding the building, Flip Benham on a sound system, flanked by a score of anti-abortion posters and anti-gay banners, rebuked the United Way in the name of Jesus. Calling the agency a “dark filthy cesspool,” “a disgrace before God, the nation, and the city,” a “foul organization,” and an “abomination, “ Benham, periodically accompanied by the blowing of the shofar, implored God to “bring down this high place in Jesus’ name and to “lift up the gospel of Christ.” The United Way’s sin: the alleged de-funding of the local Boy Scouts and its continued funding of the Columbus AIDS Task Force, Planned Parenthood and other organizations OSA and the Minutemen find “morally repugnant to their faith.”
And, of course, they visited clinics: Founders, Capital Care, Planned Parenthood (including its Hilltop neighborhood center), and Dr. Mervyn Samuel’s office. After the church picket “outreach” on Sunday, OSA drove over to Samuel’s home where they marched around the street with bay-bee -bits pictures, blew shofars, and leafleted his neighbors. On Thursday morning Fr Frank Pavone, the director of Priests for Life, flew in to perform a public spectacle—the mislabeled “memorial service” for Bay-bee Mercy, the alleged fetal remains that OSA supposedly hauled across the country. That the donkey and the “fetus” shared the same name was not lost on TAISNO. Soon shouts of “Who killed the donkey?” and “How did you get the donkey in that little box” rang out during Flip Benham’s eulogy. Benham later admitted that it had never occurred to him that the donkey and the “fetus” had the same name, and apparently had some difficulty maintaining his composure. Such is theatre!
That evening, in the words of Mike Doughney, OSA officially transitioned to a hate group (July 22--scroll down). After a drawn-out diatribe against Satanic Islam, queers, abortion, and terrorism, Rusty Thomas burned “things detestable”: a rainbow flag, a copy of Roe v Wade and a Quran (“Better these lies burn now, then America burn later) The local Muslim community which had worked closely with the Mayor’s Office regarding its response to OSA stayed away except for a tiny handful who came to witness the burn and protest. In full nativist victim mode, OSA’s Director of Communications Brenda Spurlock complained after the burn that city officials are “terrified of offending Muslim immigrants” who she compared favorably to Hitler, but turn on “Christians who came to town seeking mercy for unborn babies being slaughtered in Columbus abortuaries,” and protest “that sexual perversion has been elevated to a constitutional right and Islam is being publicly proclaimed as ‘a way’ to God.”
As the night wore down and people began to leave, reinforcements arrived on the plaza in the person of Victoria, some of her friends and a dog. Victoria, much to the horror of OSA and the Minutemen, who couldn’t help but notice, was clad in nothing on top but two tastefully placed Theocracy Sucks stickers, which she soon tore off. Even worse: the police refused to do anything about it since it is legal in Columbus for women to go topless in public. Five or six uniformed cops, maybe more, in fact, stood behind Victoria and never blinked an eye. Dave Daubenmire was last seen that night off in a corner of the plaza screaming something into his cell phone.
On Friday morning, the next to last day of the event, About 100 OSA and Minutemen showed up en masse at Planned Parenthood’s office on E Main Street, where long-time OSA activist Eva Edl, 69, who OSA describes as an “elderly lady,” and a teenage boy were arrested for disorderly conduct after they refused to stop blocking the front door to the clinic. According to Flip Benham, the boy was later released because police said he hadn’t understood the order to move. Edl missed her court date, presumably because she had left the state to return home at the end of the OSA siege.
After a lunch break, OSA repaired to City Hall Plaza for an Ecclesiastical Court where seven “evil” Supreme Court decisions including Roe, Doe, and Lawrence would be indicted, tried and executed. The decisions were represented by appropriately color-coded coffins. (Pink was for gay). Rusty Thomas, with a city burn permit, waited to flic his Bic 30 minutes after the permit had expired, thus guaranteeing his arrest. Police, fire fighters, city officials, accompanied by the media moved in for the kill, cut the sound system, and hauled Thomas away in cuffs. He is currently charged with a fire code violation and possession of criminal tools, and is out on bond. Within an hour of the arrest, OSA was gone from City Hall, though they did leave their trash behind. Flip Benham later said that while they had decided earlier to keep Friday evening as a family picnic night at nearby Battelle Park instead of throwing an event, he also admitted that the final decision to shut down early had been pushed by Victoria’s un-family-like display the previous night. Columbus and its city hall with its free speech space and wild women, had become too radioactive for OSA.
Before coming to Columbus Flip Benham wrote a small piece for the OSA website entitled, Murderous Spirit has Invaded Columbus where he enumerated the murder rate, the I-270 Sniper case, and the alleged attempt by a local Muslim to detonate a bomb at a shopping mall. He questioned whether there was a correlation between local violence and the fact that Columbus has six “abortion mills” and is one of the most gay friendly cities in the country where last year’s Pride parade drew 45,0000 marchers—a speculation he naturally answered with the affirmative. And it was no secret that the mayor, city council, the police, people who worked downtown, and the public at large would have preferred an appendectomy rather than a week of OSA. In turn, OSA showed growing frustration though the week at the reception and on-going response it received. from what Benham called “a sick city.” Benham complained that the city administration preferred to protect public nudity, immigrant Muslims, sodommites, and pro-aborts rather than the rights of “gentle Christians.” He was particularly aggrieved at NOW’s own noisemakers, Heather and Eileen who one evening had a picnic dinner on the grass and just happened to bring along some pots and pans. Dave Daubenmire, who seems to have a shorter fuse than Benham, threatened to file charges against protesters for…. well, I’m not sure what. OSA’s Brenda Spurlock complained to the about the “lost souls” who protested OSA, the “poor wretch” who exposed her breasts and the lack of interest Columbus police showed in controlling the protest, calling the whole thing “deeply frustrating.” (Perhaps she’d forgotten that earlier in the week, OSA had taunted police calling them jackasses and corrupt.). In the September 2004 OSA newsletter, Columbus event participant Mike Warren writes that OSA “tasted rejection from the city, the local church and the “anti-Christ forces seeking to disrupt our lawful assemblies.” He further complains that that for years the City of Columbus has “been manipulated and run” by “the homosexual juggernaut.” Sabina Kneisly says that in the seven years has been tracking OSA she had never seen OSA so frustrated, and quite frankly, ready to get out of town.
I have spoken to several people who participated in TAISNO and they all say that it was a exhilarating experience. They feel that they actually made a difference, both individually and as a movement. Heather Kosher believes that the TAISNO defense had a positive effect on the community, especially on women, who were motivated to join the protest and continue working after OSA left. She cites, for instance, the number of women who became clinic escorts and continue to volunteer “I think we did a really great job getting OSA really aggravated and leave that way. And we actually chased them out with our breasts! That became the end of it”
An OSA event is just not a one-time event. It is important to remember that OSA does not just come to a city. It shows up because it believes it has support and an infrastructure, and it hopes to leave something behind. Dave Daubenmire and the Minutemen, though independent of OSA, have played and continue to play an integral role in OSA’s Central Ohio network. Neither OSA nor the Minutemen are going away. Back in January, during the annual flogging of Roe v Wade at the Statehouse, the Minutemen, wearing their trademark blue baseball caps, with bay-bee blender bits pictures in hand, stood guard along High Street while Republican 2006 gubernatorial wannabe Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, Rep. Linda Reidelbach (R-Columbus), Coach Daubenmire, and special out-of-town guest Flip Benham took turns railing against reproductive rights. That Blackwell and Reidelbach, well-known for their far-right stands on abortion, marriage, and gay and lesbian rights, felt no compunction at sharing the mike (pictures)with Daubenmire and Benham who six months later were excoriating “sodomites,” pro-aborts, and burning the Quran at City Hall, threatening to bring the wrath of God on the United Way, and a Koran, should serve as a clear warning of things to come during the next state election. It will be interesting to see if Blackwell and Reidebach distance themselves from OSA and Daubenmire’s “blue meanies in blue beanies” and what can be made of it whether they do or not. It is not too early to create a sophisticated pro-active oppositional response.
Currently Daubenmire has a lot of free time to organize and agitate. In 2000 he resigned his coaching position after a protracted suit and counter suit involving the coach and parents and the ACLU who complained that Daubenmire was indoctrinating students with classroom Bible readings and prayers. Since then Daubenmire has become a visible theonomic presence in central Ohio—one that sees no problem with burning other people’s holy books-- with his Pass the Salt Ministries, a weekly broadcast on Christian radio WRFD, and Minuteman appearances at “patriotic” events, anti-abortion rallies, pride parades, and women’s clinics. In October 2003 the Minutemen went to Washington for an OSA protest in front of the US Supreme Court. There they ran interference against Federal marshals and police trying to see who lit the fire in an unauthorized burn, making it impossible for an arrest to be made. The Minutemen have also traveled to Montgomery, Alabama to support Judge Roy Moore when the 10 Commandments monument was hauled away from his courthouse, and to Boston to protest gay marriage. This April they counter-protested the March for Women’s Lives. Since OSA left town, the Minutemen have held protests Saturdays at Capital Care in Clintonville. Few of the protestors are local. Anywhere from 30-70 demonstrators carpool in from Coshocton, Warsaw, Heath, Newark, West Jefferson, West Lafayette and other rural and suburban areas at the crack of dawn to be there by 7:30 to “save babies.” They are mostly middle age men but a few teenagers and a handful of women and children join them. .
NOTE: Minuteman United founder Dave Daubenmire is running for Ohio Board of Education in the 9th District against incumbent Jennifer Stewart of Zanesville who won a tight race in 2000. Daubenmire says that his campaign will focus on home schooling and bringing a Godly voice to the State Board.
The 9th District includes the counties of Ashland, Athens, Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Guernsey, Hocking, Knox, Licking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingham, Noble, Perry, Richland and Washington as well as portions of Pickaway. If you know someone who lives in any of those areas, let them know.
Photos courtesy of TAISNO