Sunday, July 30, 2006


A slightly different version of this article was published in the July 2, 2006 edition of the Columbus Free Press Online.


Ohio anti-aborts hauled out their big guns Tuesday (June 13) for the HB 228 show hearing at the Statehouse. It ended not with a bang but with a whimper, when House Health Committee Chair John White (R-Kettering) shut off debate after 6 hours of testimony from four panels--2 supporting and 2 opposing. The abrupt ending left about 60 witnesses on both sides, claiming they’d been promised the podium, fuming.

HB 228, bans all abortion in the state and criminalizes anyone who performs abortions, and individuals (including husbands and parents) who transport Ohio women to other states to procure abortions. A clause in the bill theoretically protects doctors from prosecution who “unintentionally” terminate a pregnancy while trying to save the life of the woman--an exclusion that nobody seems to buy.

Cincinnati-based Life Issues Institute founder and National Right to Life Committee co-founder and past president Dr. John Willke; Ohio Restoration Project director Russell Johnson; former Ohio Right to Life Legislative Director Janet Folger; clergy, doctors, and several self-described “victims” of legal abortion were impaneled to flog the bill. Gary Dougherty, director of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio, Kellie Copeland, Director of NARAL-Pro-Choice, Ohio; Corinna Lohser, from the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, clergy, doctors, and women who have undergone legal and illegal abortions spoke in opposition. About 200 supporters for both sides filled the hearing room and over-flow seating in the statehouse atrium.

FANTASTIC VOYAGE. As the hearing opened, Committee Chair John White, in an unusual move, warned both sides that they would hear testimony they didn’t like. “Appropriate conduct” was expected: no hissing, no unsuitable body language, and no pictures were to be taken. Security guards were posted in the hearing room and atrium to discourage outbursts.

HB 228 primary sponsor Tom Brinkman (R-Cincinnati) kicked off the hearing claiming he just wanted to return the abortion debate back to the state where it belonged. “You don’t have true happiness without life” he told the committee, and then compared Roe v Wade to the Dred Scott decision. He was barely out the gate when committee members asked what would happen to women forced to continue their pregnancies if the bill became law. What kind of support would be available for them? Brinkman replied vaguely that he forsees a 3-4 year "transition" period after HB 228 becomes law. (Later some committee members warned a plan had better be up and running before the law went active). Brinkman said that Christian-based “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) would need “to be involved,” though he didn’t mention the state, following precedent, would end up pouring millions of taxpayer dollars into evangelical CPC ministeries. Brinkman also suggesgted that adoption needs to be made easiser for PAPs (potential adoptive parents) who, according to him, go to other countries because they "don't want to deal with Ohio bureaucracy." Brinkman failed to explain how making adoption easier for adopters means support for women in coerced pregnancies. Later, an HB 228 support witnesss said that more maternity homes were needed so "women can keep their babies," a peculiar notion since the historic duty of maternity homes has been to hide the pregnancies of middle class daughters and move white newborns into the adoption system.

John Willke followed Brinkman. Willke described himself as a doctor interested in “reproduction and human sexuality.” The fact is Willke hasn’t practiced medicine for years and since the early 1970s has dedicated his energy almost exclusively to eliminating abortion from the Ohio landscape. Willke created the why can't we love them both?" tactic that defines women who have abortions as victims without out agency, exploited by a profit-hungry abortion industry. His politics fall to the right of a good part of rank-and-file abortion opposition. He opposes gay rights, same sex marriage, comprehensive sex education, contraception, and adult adoptee access to their original birth certificates. Janet Folger considers him her mentor.

Spermatic-romantic Dr. Willke took us on a Fantastic Voyage of the female reproductive track, describing in detail the journey of sperm swimming through the uterus and penetrating an egg (which he compared to an ant piercing a basketball). He explained that upon impact, an electrical charge goes off to keep other sperm from entering the egg. “You’re all there with that one cell,” he said, “in your first house, your mother’s womb.” During the question period HB 228 opponents booed Willke when he claimed that pregnancy through rape is rare. In the afternoon session Corinna Lohser said that a little under 5% of sexual assaults--about 32,000 a year-- result in pregnancy.

Willke was followed by former missionary, Dr. Dennis Michael Sullivan, now a professor in the pre-med program at Cedarville University, who testified that humanity is conferred upon conception and does not depend on functional capacity.

Lisa Dudley, a paralegal and traveling witness for the San Antonio-based Justice Foundation’s anti-abortion Operation Outcry project followed Willke. She presented 2000 affidavits from women claiming their abortions were forced or coerced. Rep. Chris Redfern (D-Catawba Island Twn. and head of the Ohio Democratic Party) asked Dudley if she would be surprised to learn that Dr. James Leinginger, a major Justice Foundation funder, opposed contraception and condom use. Dudley acted taken aback by the question and after a pause answered “Yes.” (Leininger has been described as the “paymaster of the Republican religious right in Texas.” Molly Ivins calls him “God’s sugar daddy“).

Operation Outcry’s Ohio director Elizabeth Clyne, Columbus, described her abortion at a clinic in Pensacola, Florida in the 1970s. She alleged she was manhandled by nurses and the doctor and forcibly aborted when she tried to stop the abortion mid-procedure. No one reminded Clyne that no surgery can be simply stopped once it has begun.

The first panel closed with Diane Bailey, Mansfield, who talked about her shame as a Christian when she became pregnant and had an abortion in high school.

STARS AND NAZIS. Evangelical rock star Janet Folger and the Ohio Restoration Project’s Patriot Pastor Russell Johnson brought a sense of celebrity to the second panel.

Folger, the former legislative director and lobbyist for Ohio Right to Life later headed D. James Kennedy’s Center for Reclaiming America at Coral Ridge Ministries in Fort Lauderdale. At ORTL she developed public policy, was a fixture at the statehouse, and a local media darling. She takes credit for Ohio’s “partial birth abortion” ban, the “woman’s right to know law” and other anti-abortion statutes in the state. But she left the state with one regret, she said “We didn’t finish the job.” Supporting ecrementalism was a mistake, “The time is now.”

One of the most influential, though under-publicized, evangelical women in the US today, Folger currently directs anti-abortion, pro-abstinence Faith2Action and is the author of The Criminalization of Christianity. Known for publicity stunts, her affection for Yankee Trader, and sometimes humorous approach to lobbying while at ORTL (just ask Deb Pryce ), she played it straight this time. “The opposition is on the wrong side of women, history, and science,” she testified to the committee and her fans. “NOW knows it. NARAL knows it. This is your moment in history.” Folger drew more boos than Willke when she continued, “Guess what! It turns out there are more of us than there are of them — not to mention the fact that our folks have been having children while the other side has been aborting them.” Folger is unmarried and has no children.

Equating those who do nothing about abortion with Germans who did nothing about Hitler, Folger warned, “We are responsible for what we can do on our watch….This is your watch…This is your job…Stop the killing.”

Patriot Pastor Russell Johnson voiced similar sentiments wrapping his arguments in star spangled nation building. “Our national DNA instinctively protects life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” he testified. According to him, abortion is the cause of tax-base erosion. (He and Redfern went into a tangential discussion on taxes with Johnson concluding that the state tends to be confiscatory and “takes money from hard working people and gives it to liars and thieves.”)

Pushing Brinkman’s Dred Scott and Folger’s Nazis further, Johnson rammed ahead equating slavery and especially the Holocaust with abortion. He compared those who do nothing to stop abortion today to German church-goers 65 years ago whose hymns drowned out the cries of Jews shipped in cattle cars on the way to Auschwitz. Several times Chris Redfern asked Johnson if he was comparing members of the standing committee who refused to act on the issue to Germans who did nothing to stop the Holocaust. Johnson finally replied “God will hold those accountable.” During an afternoon panel, to the cheers of HB 228 opposition, Rabbi Barnett Bricker lashed out at Johnson, whom he called “an evangelical preacher,” for trivializing the Holocaust by comparing it to abortion. Departing from his submitted testimony, Brickner lectured Johnson and Folger. “For Jews, the Holocaust was a theological watershed that raises questions over the inherent nature of the human condition…There is no moral equivalency between abortion and the Holocaust. And it is theologically shallow, and morally reprehensible, to try and link the two.”

Two other panel members spoke briefly. Fr. Martin Fox, St. Boniface Parish in Piqua, said that human dignity is the premise of nearly all laws (and brought up slavery again). Rev. Edward Harvey, Lighthouse Community Church offered that “if we all loved one another our problems would be cleared up.”

WE LOVE OUR CHILDREN, TOO. The luv-fest came to an abrupt halt in the afternoon when opposition panels convened. Gary Dougherty from Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio , Corrina Lohser from the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, Rev. Lois Powell, Chair of the Board of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and a United Church of Christ minister (Ohio RCRC here), and Eileen Hammar, a family practice physician in Westerville opened the afternoon session. They stressed facts and “choice” over emotion, myth and moral rectitude--a huge tactical error given the political climate downtown. Outlawing abortion will not decrease the need for abortion or stop it, they argued. Nearly all wore cluelessly cute stickers reading, “Birth Control Not Bans” and recommended the committee support the Ohio Prevention First bill that focuses on preventing unwanted pregnancy, a bill with as much conservative support as HB 228 has liberal. They presented petitions with over 3000 signatures opposed to HB 228

Dougherty, perhaps due to Folger’s comment about “pro-choicers” being busy “aborting their children” felt the need to reassure the committee that his side loves their children. He told the committee, “Laws that criminalize abortion are bad for women's health, bad medicine and bad public policy." NARAL’s Kellie Copeland, a member of the second opposition panel, added later, “Why would the state punish families?” Laurel Murphy, a Columbus public school teacher, also on the second panel, recounted the 2002 therapeutic abortion of her triplets Robert, Tyler, and Ella, after she was given hours to live due to massive bleeding. Without legal abortion she said her new baby Grace Ella would not be alive today--nor would she.

Rev. Powell discussed UCC’s policy on abortion and told her personal story of being date raped at Oberlin College in 1970. With the help of “underground” clergy she was able to get to New York for an abortion, then illegal in Ohio, which she has never regretted. Dr. Hammar was particularly distressed that HB 228 threatened her ability to treat her patients and asked the committee, “Please, please help me help my patients.” Cleveland businessman Branislav Ugrinov related a 1970 incident when a housemate was turned away from 3 Cleveland ERs after collapsing at home from an illegal abortion. Ugrinov said he and his wife, both recently arrived from Yugoslavia where abortion was legal, were astonished that American women could not expect decent reproductive healthcare.

Corinna Lohser addressed rape. She told the committee that her agency serves 10,000-12,000 clients annually, mostly low-income youth. For many women pregnant by rape, she said, “abortion relieves pain and suffering…Rape took away their choice.”

Rabbi Barnett Brickner, Columbus, detailed the Jewish world view. “Life is sacred,” he said, but “the fetus has lesser rights.” Later, at the request of the committee he clarified, citing Old Testament passages and Rabbinical commentaries, and said, “the fetus has no rights.” His own mother, Brickner revealed, was forced to go to Japan to abort a rape pregnancy because she could not get a legal abortion at home. The rabbi said he feared that if HB 228 became law he could become a felon for following Judaic law. The bill, he said, “is a threat to religious expression.”

The most compelling narrative testimony came from, Taba Aleem, Akron, who underwent an abortion in 1968 at the hands of a BF Goodrich factory worker. “He had grease under his nails,” she recalled. She boiled his instruments--a coat hanger and rubber tubing-- in a pot on her stove. He charged her $50 and then forced her to have sex with him “to make me relax.” Later, she suffered serious infection and required emergency treatment. Anti-aborts winced.

ANGELS DANCING ON THE HEAD OF A PIN. Anti-aborts framed the issue and the language, while opposition witnesses pandered to it. No mention of the bedrock principles of the historical pro-abortion movement: self-ownership and autonomy. No critique of over-arching state intrusion into women’s wombs. Instead, opposition witnesses went defensive, spouting consumerist “choice” rhetoric--now completely co-opted by anti-aborts (“Choose Life” license plates) that legitimizes state ownership of women’s body and reproduction. You’d never know from their Hillaryesque“ abortion-legal-but-rare” testimony that 43% of US women have abortions by the age of 45 (Henry J. Kaiser Foundation Abortion Fact Sheet), making abortion an essential and normal part of women’s healthcare. This hen came to the coop when HB 228 co-sponsor Linda Reidelbach (R-Columbus) asked Eileen Hammar why women found abortion a difficult decision to make. Instead of replying that it often isn’t a horribly difficult decision, Dr. Hammar maintained an essentialist view of women, reciting an unhappy laundry list of reasons why women have abortions: poverty, diabetes, too many children already, failed birth control, not the right time, leaving intact the notion that abortion is abnormal. The only quibble seemed to be not when women would be pregnant, but only the timing of the blessed event.

HB 228 co-sponsor, Rep. Michelle Schneider (R-Madeira), tried to discredit witnesses by demanding their opinions on “partial birth abortion,” though there is no such medical term. Instead of deflecting the question as irrelevant to HB 228, witnesses defended “pba,” furnishing new sound bytes for anti-aborts to distribute. Another HB 228 co-sponsor, Rep. Keith Faber (R-Celina), repeatedly demanded to know when, in the witnesses opinion, life begins. Legislators on both side of the aisle freely spouted Bible verses, tuning the session into a Sunday School. The theologically charged day ended in the absurd moment of NARAL’s Kellie Copeland discussing her “faith” with committee members. Abortion without apology went the way of the buggy whip.

REDUX: Tom Brinkman has made no secret that HB 228 is one of many bills introduced in state legislatures nationwide to test Roe. Each bill is a little different, and it’s hoped that one of them will be the trigger to overturn Roe.

HB 228 is a fishing expedition to see how far the statehouse Cavemen can go to eliminate abortion in Ohio. The real battle lays ahead.

According to Brinkman’s legislative aide, Kara Joseph, her boss isn’t too happy with the current HB 228 draft--and neither are other anti-abortion legislators. Rep. Larry Flowers (R-Canal Winchester) has voiced concern over the lack of rape and incest exceptions saying the bill goes “too far.“ Rep. Michael Debose (D-Cleveland) told Janet Folger that the ban on interstate transportation “isn’t fair.” Others believe the ban violates the Constitution’s commerce clause. (Folger hinted that it may be dropped if a new bill is drafted.) HB 228 co-sponsor, Michelle Schneider, suggested that focus be switched to her own HB 239, which prohibits public funding of abortions if Roe is overturned. “My bill has a much better chance,“ she said. “It’s constitutional. Let’s stay with reality, shall we?” Committee Chair and longtime abortion opponent, John White, says he held the hearing only to give the bill a “rich going-over.” In fact, House Speaker Jon Husted and Republican leadership at least publicly ignored the bill from the start and said initially it wouldn‘t even get a hearing. Perhaps the Republicans are afraid of backlash from party moderates at the November polls. Or even worse. Without abortion, as some observers contend, the cow goes dry.

Denise Makura, director of Ohio Right to Life, calls the HB 228 “sloppy drafting” and until things are fixed, her organization remains “neutral.” Testifying as a non-paneled “neutral” at the close of the hearing, she complained that if the bill were passed in its present form and appealed, it could wipe out the state’s “partial birth abortion” ban, parental consent law, and other anti-abortion statutes during appeals. Kara Joseph says that Brinkman was especially concerned that under the current language women could conceivably be criminally prosecuted for undergoing an abortion, which he doesn’t want. Legislative Services, which drafted the bill, disagrees, but anti-aborts want no unintended consequences in such high stake legislation.

As of this writing no more HB 228 hearings are scheduled, according to Tasha Hamilton of the Republican Caucus staff. That could always change. The Center for Bioethical Reform-Midwest and the Genocide Awarness Project director and WRFD-AM “radio activist” talk show host, Mark Harrington, is pushing for a second hearing to accommodate witnesses turned away on Tuesday. Other groups may follow.

More importantly, Kara Joseph says that Brinkman, other legislators and anti-abortion groups, including the Christian Coalition of Ohio, (which has since left the Christian Coalition and reformed as Ohio Christian Alliance), Ohio Right to Life, Cincinnati Right to Life and the Center for Bioethical Reform-Midwest are working on a new bill to clean up technical problems and to clarify intent and scope. Although the sub bill won’t be ready for several months, Harrington has sent out an action alert encouraging abortion opponents to contact Committee Chair White asking him to hold hearings for Sub 228, get it out of committee, and on to the House floor.

Meanwhile, opponents worry that the bill may be used to hustle conservative votes in the November election or passed through the lame duck session should Ken Blackwell win the governorship. In any case, HB 228 will return in some form soon. And this time the Republicans won't be fishing and "choicers" had better stop dancing with the angels.

For more on the right of abortion v "choice":Abortion Without Apology: a radical history of the 1990s

Copies of presented and submitted testimony from both sides can be read at Jews on First!

Dr. Patrick Johnston's summitted testimony in support of HB 228 is at Right His attack on Right to Life for refusing support the bill as currently written--NRTL: The Judas of the Preborn--was published by Covenant News on July 10, 2006.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


This article appeared in a slightly different form in the July-September 2006 issue of the Columbus Free Press. It is not online yet. When it goes up, I"ll link to it. I also plan to expand on the article a bit when I have the time. All photos by the author.

I began researching Teen Mania Ministries (TMM) in 1999 and have since attended five events. I missed the controversial March 2006 Battle Cry initiative in San Francisco, the protest of which received national media attention. But I have examined broadcast videotapes of this year’s national events there and in Detroit, and footage from the San Francisco demonstration. In May, I attended TMM’s national Philadelphia event at Wachovia Spectrum, and a pre-event demonstration and protest at Constitution Hall. To my knowledge, I am one of the first, reporters to attend multiple events, including the largest-ever event –1999 Day One at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, and to write about it. Attending the events personally creates a “reality” different from the reality I get when viewing videotapes. In-person events, though tightly controlled, instill chaos, urgency, claustrophobia, and, strangely, boredom. The videos (even after attending the events) create feelings of manipulation, ordered spontaneity, and compressed time. No matter how I observe TMM, one reference remains: the 1960s’ TV show Outer Limits. Sterility, control, disembodiment, and paranoia. A known us versus an unknowable them.

SAN FRANCISCO. In March, under the banner of the “Battle Cry For A Generation” initiative (or campaign), Texas-based Teen Mania Ministries held a “national” event in San Francisco. For nearly 20 years, TMM has flown under the radar of the secular press and general public, despite endorsement and support from big name evangelical organizations, church leaders, and Republican politicians, including Bush 1 and 2. At its “Acquire the Fire” regional and national events, which have attracted as many as 70,000 participants, teens get to rock with “safe” Christian performers, and listen to hours-long sermons from Ron Luce (above right) and other evangelical speakers and political luminaries. The cast has included professional wrestlers, former Taliban hostages, grieving Columbine family members, NFL star Reggie White, and Gerald Ford. Still, TMM has caused barely a ripple in the secular media.

This changed when self-described Teen Maniacs, waving red flags, and some clenching their fists, threw a so-called “reverse rebellion” at City Hall against what Luce called “virtue terrorism and “virtue terrorists”: purveyors of popular culture, media, and advertising. Seasoned TMM observers understood that Luce’s focus on City Hall, which he described to youth pastors as a place where “several months ago gay marriages were celebrated for the entire world to see,” would be interpreted by the city’s “progressive community” as an attack on “diversity”--particularly on the city’s Queers. The 1978 assassination in City Hall of the country’s first openly gay elected official, city supervisor Harvey Milk, and of Mayor George Moscone, days after Milk’s gay rights bill passed, is still a vivid cultural memory. TMM’s choice of the site fanned the flames. Luce told me that at the time of the rally he didn’t know the site’s historic and social relevance. The point of the demonstration he said, was “to protest the fact that the secular world doesn’t mind if we keep it in church,where they aren’t challenged, but once they come out into the secular world, the secular world cares very much.”

Before the event, few secular San Franciscans knew or cared about Teen Mania and Battle Cry. TMM likely would have passed through town with little notice, as it had elsewhere, had it not decided to change tactics and stage a street event to promote itself and cause controversy. TMM’s strategy was two-fold: (1) Stage an event in a location where gay marriages had been held. Provoke knee-jerk reaction, hoping to create a visible real-life secular “enemy” acting out against praying Christians, and videotape it to show the “tolerant city” being “intolerant” towards Christians. (2) Inculcate and internalize youth group identity, tribal belonging, security, reinforcement, and being “under threat.” Progressives were reduced to props—an organizing tool.

Several organizations, including World Can’t Wait (WCW), spread the word about the TMM city hall rally. City Supervisor, Tom Ammiano, wrote an oddly phrased resolution for the Board, calling “Battle Cry“(not TMM) a “fringe group” and condemning “the upcoming rally to be held by antiabortion groups in front of City Hall.” (The WCW website lists Ammiano as a WCW endorser. WCW, Code Pink, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and the newly reconstituted Bay Area Coalition for Reproductive Rights (BACORR) among others, counter-protested.

Protesters greeted the Maniacs with, “Racist, “Sexist! Anti Gay! Christian Fascists Go Away!” and signs reading “Hitler Started with Youth Rallies.” State Assemblyman and WCW advisory board member, Mark Leno, told the counter demonstrators that fundamentalists like the Maniacs are “loud, they’re obnoxious, and they’re disgusting and they should get out of San Francisco,” a sound byte later put on Battle Cry’s webpage and printed on flyers. Teen Mania’s Center for Creative Media videotaped the counter-demonstration.

That weekend, 25,000 Maniacs watched the propagandistically- edited rally on jumbotrons. A 13-year old Maniac asked from the screen: “They have their culture, why can’t they let us have ours?” Luce said to me, “The secular world doesn’t like challenge. We ought to have a voice, too.”

On the first day, Friday, Luce called American culture a “pigpen(right--Philly) and introduced “Living with the Pigs” a graphic creepy allegory. ‘We don’t want 96% of your generation living with pigs!” he shouted over the rainstorm. Meanwhile, amidst a pigpen with large real live pigs, Teen Mania Honor Academy students played Christians with one foot in pop culture and one foot in the church. They used different props and identities—booze and smoking, an ipod-listening teen, a jock, a goth, etc., wallowing, partying, and praying in the pigpen. Preferring the familiar pop culture of the pigpen, blithely enjoying all the “world “ has to offer, they are unwilling or unaware of the need to escape until they realize that their life “stinks.”

OVER UNDER SIDEWAYS DOWN.TMM is a ministry of metaphor. Its message is fluid, ambiguous, and even in context, difficult for the audience to interpret. Is the gun real? Is the man on stage really a Navy SEAL? Does my ipod content mean I’m living with pigs?

According to TMM, America’s youth is under attack by marketing industrialists. TMM’s Teenage Bill of Rights (which hardly mentions “rights”) declares that “corporations and marketers seek to profit from our destruction.” In Philly, over the course of the weekend, Luce lectured that “terrorists,” as close as one’s living room computer or TV, steal God-given identities, and brand kids with Starbucks, video games, MTV, porn, explicit adult advertising, and promiscuity, turning them into willing, but deluded, pop culture hostages. But that weird assertion does not denounce consumer culture and its consequences, only those doing the branding. Luce asks teens to reject secular commercial branding and to be branded instead, by God, to belong to God, not to MTV or other secular content providers. Embracing the semantics of the market, TMM condemns popular culture, looks in the mirror, and recreates what it sees in its own image.

TMM videos and event skits lampoon commercial culture, creating alternate images: EmpTV(MTV), FedUp (FedEx), Binkos (Kinkos), but come across as Ad Busters without irony.

Its most frequently commented upon imagery, though, is that of a militarism going beyond traditional metaphoric put-on-the-whole-armour-of-God. The metaphor was carried to the extreme in Philly when FORCE Ministries (right), an evangelical “team” of current and former Navy SEALS, including two SEAL instructors and a former undercover cop turned Hollywood actor “invaded” the stage guns a’blazin’ and rappelled from the grid. The “raid” was strategically placed. Franklin Graham (below left--Billy’s son and G. W. Bush’s confidant) had just finished an inflammatory invective against Iraqis, a continuation of his previous Islam is “very wicked and violent” harangue.

“They hate the name of Jesus Christ and they are warring against every standard that God has ever created, not only are they against Christ but every standard of almighty God. Now those Babylonians, you know, you watch on television today, y'know they're still cuttin' heads off over there, they're still crazy, wild, and it's no difference between these Iraqis today than those Babylonians were thousands of years ago.” (Go here for video and transcript)

Luce dismisses alarm over TMM’s militarism. “We need to be strong,“ he says, “…The militarism says we won’t take a backseat. It’s a way of thinking.”

What happens when metaphor crosses into reality, no one addresses.

THE STORY. The 2006 TMM’s Battle Cry campaign intentionally provoked public scrutiny. The San Francisco event was described in a range of ways, as a “Lollapalooza for the Lord” (Time Magazine) for “fresh-faced Christian kids” (Concerned Women for America) “acting within their rights” (Bill O‘Reilly) and “a “fringe group“ with “an agenda of intolerance, “(San Francisco Board of Supervisors) consisting of “Christian fascists“ supported by “religious lunatics“ (WCW). Reporters, apparently satisfied with pyro and rock n’ roll, ignored the event’s true content.

The “progressive” press and bloggers were vocal, due partially to agitation by World Can’t Wait’s Sunsara Taylor. Taylor, (right) a self-described “former Christian” appears to have transferred her zeal from one enveloping cause to another, banging her Bible with the best of them, modeling herself into an absurd postmodern Bible swinging Communist lecturing 15-year old evangelicals on the “real” meaning of the Bible. She appeared on the O‘Reilly Factor the Monday after the protest to “debate“ Ron Luce, In May, she showed up in Philadelphia to counter demonstrate . Thanks to Taylor’s oft reposted retelling of her Philly experiences (for example here and here), on the street and in the TMM Wachovia Spectrum, Teen Mania stories bounced around websites and blogs. A sort of “telephone” game was played among unsourced insta-experts, who two weeks earlier had never heard of TMM, backslapping and quoting each other but not Teen Mania itself. Consequently, Teen Mania was dumbed-down to spectacle, aesthetics, absolutism, and the organizing agendas of others with no discussion of what Teen Mania actually was--and wasn’t.

LIFT THE BANNER.The military aspects of TMM are deeply troubling, but Maniacs are not all Bush’s foot-soldiers. Nor can Teen Mania, Battle Cry and its activities be cubby-holed in explicitly partisan terms. TMM espouses “godly values over culture” ultimately to replace secularism with a yet-to-be-defined theonomist or Biblical -inspired society. TMM’s purpose is to grow youth group and church membership. The blueprint for growth is found throughout TMM propaganda, like the new Battle Cry brochure “Lift the Banner,” distributed to the public and available for download.

“This is the purpose of the Battle Cry Campaign– to establish a support structure for the local youth group. It calls for at least 100,000 local churches and 1,000,000 individuals to join the Battle Cry Coalition and commit to the planning, prayer and work required to grow their youth group. It is calling for senior pastors, youth leaders, concerned adults and teenagers to work together in their church to double the size of their youth group each year for the next 5 years. (“Lift the Banner” page 7)

Although Luce claims TMM is not political, the Battle Cry initiative according to its literature, has a specific legislative strategy to “inform lawmakers of the plight of this generation and lobby them to pass legislation that protects our teens from the dangers they face while online and from advertising and other electronic media.” This “protection” seems to extend to anything TMM and Luce find “offensive,” though. No one should think the “protection” is limited teens.

TMM’s soft agenda is deceiving. The real agenda runs much deeper: Enlisting teenagers into “God’s army,” maketing them a new ‘god-branded’ identity and sending them headlong into what Luce has called the “culture war” to transform secular American society. A transformation that will be dual tracked, as simple as one-on-one recruitment and as overt as a legislative agenda.

ADDENDA: According to TMM’s public relations firm, the DeMoss Group, several Central Ohio churches sent their youth groups to Detroit and Philadelphia: Vineyard at Tuttle Crossing, Northwest Nazarene, First Alliance Church (all in Columbus); Faith-full Family Church (New Albany); Shekinah Christian Center Foursquare Church and the Life Church (both in Heath); the Good Sheppherd Church and most notably, Ohio Restoration Project Patriot Pastor Russell Johnson’s Fairfield Christian Church (both in Lancaster)


Lifting the banner. Constitution Hall, Philadelphia, May 12, 2006

National Park Service rangers drafted to "save" the Battle Cry generation from tourists and other malcontents. Constitution Hall, Philadelphia, May 12, 2006

World Can't Wait protestor, Constitution Hall, Philadelphia, May 12, 2006

Battle Cry intern Natasha Arias reads the Teenage Bill of Rights, Constitution Hall, Philadelphia, May 12, 2006

Respect authority, no matter what. Wachovia Spectrum, Philadephia, May 13, 2006

Respecting authority Battle Cry style. Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia, May 12, 2006

Teen Maniacs, Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia, May

Lollapalooza for the Lord, Wachiva Spectrum, May 12, 2006


Monday, July 17, 2006


(Information taken from news reports)

Right: Patrick Johnston outside CapCare, March 2006. Picture taken by the author.

According to the July 17, 2006 Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger, Central Ohio anti-abortion activist Dr. Patrick Johnson was arrested in Jackson on Sunday charged with obstructing traffic and protesting without a permit during an Operation Save America-sponsored anti-abortion rally outside out St. James Episcopal Church. The picture at the top left of the Clarion -Ledger story shows Johnston, in the red shirt, at the church.

Johnston and his wife Elizabeth are attending Operation Save America's "national event," this year targeting the Jackson Women's Health Center, the state's only abortion clinic.

No violence was reported at St. James, and it is unclear why the church was targeted. At an earlier protest at the Unitarian-Universalist Church, however, where a pre-service abortion forum was scheduled, the windshield of a car belonging to an anti-abortion protestor was smashed after the driver allegedly hit an abortion supporter in the church parking lot. The Clarion-Ledger reported that the OSA supporter attempted to drive into the parking lot past church security who were attempting to keep abortion protesters off church property. OSA claims the car was beaten with PVC pipe and "demolished" by masked "anarchists" while Jackson's "facsist" police stood by and did nothing. Pictures of the incident are here. Similar accusations of police disinterest were made by OSA in Columbus two years ago during the take-over of City Hall Plaza and here.

Here is the the report on Johnston's arrest. Johnston was charged under his "professional" name "James".

Arrested and released outside the Episcopal church were Ronald Brock, 67, of Winchester, Calif.; John Calvin, 46, of Jackson; Phillip Carnaggio, 80, of Greenwood; Ashley Harriet, 72, of Jackson; and James Johnston, 35, address unavailable, according to the police arrest docket. Brock, who was driving a vehicle bearing pictures of fetuses, was charged with disorderly conduct.

The other four people were charged with obstructing traffic and protesting without a permit, Cmdr. Lewis said.

Johnston's arrest followed a day of turmoil in Jackson. Smith Park was evacuated after a suitcase, later found to contain nothing but prescription bottles, was left in a trashcan during an abortion rights rally in the park where Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women was speaking. About 15 police were on hand for the rally, but the bomb squad, ATF and FBI have now been called in to investigate.

On Monday seven OSAers were arrested while protesting on the sidewalk at the Jackson Women's Health Organization. Lawyers for the American Center for Law and Justice and the American Family Association are seeking a restraining order against the Jackson police to stop further arrests.

Patrick Johnson is a well-known domionist figure in Central Ohio. I have written about him here and here. Saturday mornings he can often be found protesting at CapCare. His webpage includes a large collection of photos of clinic staff and patients along with their license plate numbers. I'll be writing more about Johnston over the next few months.

Members of Minute Men United are also in Jackson, but I have heard no reports of their activities.

Addenda: Check out "lesforlife's account of the Jackson mess, Masked Mauraders Assault Operation Save America's Evangelists" on Blogs for Life. (It includes a picture of the "anarchists.") The writer tosses WTO protesters, Anti-Racist Action, World Can't'Wait, NOW, Unitarians, liberals and the Jackson, Misissippi Police Department into the melting pot and pours out a gang of anarchists running amuck. Who wouldda thought!

Thursday, July 13, 2006


On January 22, 2004, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell spoke at the anti-abortion Stand for Life 2004 rally outside the Ohio Statehouse. Blackwell shared the podium with Flip Benham, director of the Christian domionist Operation Save America (OSA). Pictures of Blackwell and Benham together at the rally appear here.

On July 17-23, 2004, OSA held its “annual event” (and here) where OSA members, partners, and supporters verbally harassed Columbus police, held a “fetal funeral“ and an "ecclesiasitical trial" and generally rabble-roused for godly government. One evening I witnessed an OSA supporter assault a Channel 6 cameraman. Off-site, OSA disrupted entrances to women's clinics. Armed with bullhorns and shofars, they picketed Mount Carmel East Hospital and United Way of Central Ohio--“a dark filthy cesspool,” “a disgrace before God, the nation, and the city,” a “foul organization,” and an “abomination,"-- which Flip Benham implored God to destroy.

On July 22, exactly 6 months after Blackwell and Benham's Statehouse chat-up, OSA assistant director Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham standing nearby in City Hall Plaza, burned “ in sight of Muslim onlookers, "things detestable” including a Quran (“Better these lies burn now, than America burn later").

Following the burn, OSA communications director Brenda Spurlock wrote of Columbus:

"What was unexpected was the revelation that our government officials are absolutely terrified of offending Muslim immigrants. Like nations dealing with Adolph Hitler during the Second World War, government officials are trying very hard not to arouse the ire of the devil. It seems safe to say that terrorism has worked very well as far as our local and federal governments are concerned, Muslims have become a privileged class"

She then quoted Flip Benham,

"The [Columbus city] government is an absolute coward with the Muslims, because it's afraid of being blown up."

By the end of the week, OSA’s “national event” had cost the City of Columbus $127,896 in police protection alone. (Columbus Dispatch October 7, 2004--paid archives). I have not been able to learn the cost to other law enforcement agencies which also ran security at various sites which reportedly included the Franklin County Sheriff, the Ohio Highway Patrol, the FBI, and Federal Marshals.

Ken Blackwell, to the best of my knowledge, has neither commented on nor condemned Flip Benham, Rusty Thomas, and OSA's actions at City Hall Plaza

On October 16, 2005, Blackwell was a guest speaker at the launch of Rod Parsley's Reformation Ohio--again in front of the Statehouse. Other speakers included Parsley, State Senator Jim Jordan, State Represenatative Linda Reidelbach, US Rep. Walter Jones, and presidential hopeful Senator Sam Brownback.

After the event, I asked Blackwell about his relationship with Benham and Operation Save America and tape recorded the conversation. Blackwell walked away after this 1-sentence reply:

FREE PRESS: Marley Greiner from the Free Press. I’ve had one concern for the last couple years. I know that you shared the podium with Flip Benham a couple years ago, down here for Right to Life-- Roe v Wade-- in January. Later Flip Benham comes to town with Operation Save America and takes over City Hall for 5 [sic] days. Do you have any thoughts about that? Do you regret doing that?

KEN BLACKWELL: I never regret taking a stand for the protection of innocent life Period. Over and out. Ever.

NOTE: My article, Coup de'Etat in Ohio about the Reformation Ohio lanuch, published in the November-December 2005 issue of the Columbus Free Press will be posted on Theoconia soon, as well as transcriptions of speeches made from my tape recording of the event.

Blackwell and Benham photos by the author; the burn photo courtesy of BARF

For more on OSA's occupation of City Hall go to The Answer is No.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


This article was published originally in the November-Decemter 2005 issue of the
The Columbus Free Press. Following this article, in a separate blog , is the membership of the Ohio Reformation board as announced at the launch. That is followed in separate blogs by transcripts of each speakers comments in order of appearance.


In April when I wrote "An Evening with Rod Parsley" for the Free Press, I noted that guest speaker former UN ambassador and presidential candidate Alan Keyes hinted to an audience of several thousand at Parsley's World Harvest Church that Ohio, with Parsley's guidance, would soon be an experiment, inspiration and model for Christian Nationalists throughout the country. Unfortunately, that section of my article was cut due to space considerations. (The whole piece can be found below along with transcripts from the event. Keyes' hints have now been made flesh with Parsley's new socio-political redemption project, Reformation Ohio.

Launched from the south steps of the Statehouse on October 14 before a crowd of about 1000, Reformation Ohio is touted by Parsley as a bold 4-year plan for Ohio's spiritual, moral, and political redemption, authored by God, envisioned through Parsley, and operated by his hand-picked crew of activists, ministries, politicians, and private businesses. It will be funded by an initial donation of $10 million from RO's controversial mega ministry partner Impact World Tours/Youth With a Mission reportedly making RO the largest evangelical effort in any state in US history.

Officially, Reformation Ohio will stage a four-pronged program: present the Gospel to one million Ohioans resulting in at least 100,000 saves for Jesus; serve the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized Ohioans "of character;" and to register 400,000 new voters who supposedly out of gratitude, reciprocity, or disposition will pull the Christian Nationalist line and help break secular power within the state. From the slick youth-manipulating propaganda – bladers, extreme sports, "culturally appropriate music and art" – shown on the Jumbotron at the rally, it is clear that despite the "spiritual" garnish the real meat isn't spiritual but political. "Ohio is the pivotal state in the heart of America" the narrator of the promo informs. "A swing state whose tilts and leanings determine the course of our nation." Reformation Ohio is meant to tilt Ohio into the Biblical American camp, especially for the 2008 election.

Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, greeted as a hero for his opposition to abortion and same sex marriage, agrees. Speaking towards the end of the rally, the gubernatorial hopeful preached, "We understand that it is time to stand up, time to speak up, time to pay up, and we refuse to give up or back up or shut up."

Reformation Ohio and Rod Parsley, who calls himself a non-partisan Christocrat, were braced and embraced at the launch by prominent Republicans. Ohio Rep. Linda Reidelbach (R-21), a member of RO's board and reportedly on Blackwell's short list for Lt. Governor, presented Parsley with a commendation from the Ohio House in appreciation of spiritual revival. Ohio Sen. Jim Jordan (R-12) oddly referred to his university town, Madison, WI as "Communistville" and could barely contain his enthusiasm for Parsley's Biblical "David Attitude" towards contemporary immorality. Longtime Parsley pal Cong. Walter "Freedom Fries" Jones (R-NC) claimed that never as today has there been such an assault from the "extreme left" on American Christian-Judaic values. Finally, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KN), who endorsed Blackwell for governor the day of the rally, and seemed to be on a pre-presidential fishng trip, gave a short sermon comparing Parsley to British anti-slavery reformer William Wilberforce.

ADDENDA: On October 21, Mark Anderson, international director of Impact World Tours denied that his organization was donating $10 million to Reformation Ohio. Anderson told the Dispatch that he wouldn't mind giving $10 million if he had it, but the orgaization doesn't. He said that Impact World Tours is committed only to having volunteers pay their own way to make appearances and speak at Reformation Ohio events over the next four years. He "guestimated" that $10 million might be the cost of putting on all the events in state that Reformation Ohio plans. At the same time, Rod Parsley declined to disclose sources of funding or the amount received, saying the Reformation Ohio board hadn't yet decided on a disclosure policy.

Information on YRAM partnerships is here. Mark Anderson

The Apologetics Index has information on Impact World Tours/YRAM's own questionable activities.


unofficial transcript

Introducing to you the first five board members of Reformation Ohio. Please note that although Pastor Rod Parsley is the founder and visionary of Reformation Ohio, he understands that this vision is bigger than himself and we need a broad representation of people from across the spectrum here in the State of Ohio. For that reason he has formed a separate non-profit corporation known as Reformation Ohio. And the board members—the first five board members that will serve are:

Ray DiYanni the owner of DiYanni Homes, the 8th largest home builder in Central Ohio. (applause)

As I already mentioned to you, Ohio Representative Linda Reidelbach will be one of our first-time board members.

The pastor of Columbus Christian Center and the CEO of Ever Increasing Life Miniseries, Pastor David Forbes will be one of the board members. (applause)

The pastor of the —the senior pastor of Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church, Pastor Doug Shriner will be one of the board members (applause)

And, of course, the senior pastor of World Harvest Church and the founder and president of The Center for Moral Clarity, Pastor Rod Parsley will serve as a board member of Reformation Ohio.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s thank God for the representation we have on the board of Reformation Ohio!


unofficial transcript

Opening remarks:


So, we’ve got lots of folks who will be joining us here in the next few minutes. They’re making their way here right now, and so we want you to know that in order to get as many people here as possible we’re gonna wait just a couple minutes and we’re expecting and anticipating supernatural things to happen here at this Statehouse. (applause). So thank you very much for being with us. Thank you for your patience. And we’ll begin in about 5 minutes.

(approximate 5 minute pause)

Columbus, Ohio! (cheers) Welcome to the state capital! (cheers) Today we will change the history of this state and this nation. Forever. (cheers) I’m so excited to welcome you to the Reformation Ohio launch. It’s not just a launch. It’s a launch out into the deep. (cheers) I want you to know that the blessing and the reward, and the destiny of God is not in the shallow waters. It’s out in the deep! (cheers) And today we launch out into the deep (cheers) to bring the blessing and the honor and power of God to bear not only on our state but on this nation. (applause) Right here on the ground are the words inscribed “With God All Things Are Possible.” (cheers) That’s because at some time in the past somebody— forefathers and foremothers of this state—knew that God had to be part of this great State of Ohio! (applause) And I’m here to declare to all of you that that seed that was sown many many years ago is bearing its first fruit right here today (not understandable. cheers)

Reformation Ohio is important because not only do we have the opportunity to unite blacks, whites, Latinos, and other nationalities and those with various religious backgrounds and experiences, but we come together to say this state is united (cheers)—we are one—we are one under the blood and under the name of Jesus Christ!. (cheers) Individuals are transformed. But I have news for you. States are reformed. (cheers) and from this day forward, the State of Ohio will never be the same! (cheers) As a friend of mine would say “Give up praise and glory!” (Cheers)

Pray with me for one moment:

Dear Lord God: we thank you and honor you for this moment. And father we come not in our name or not in the name of our churches or our denomination -- even our political parties. We come, Lord, in your name. And we bring all of the power of your presence to bear on this moment. Lord, our prayer is for today and for every other moment until you come, Lord, that your character will be manifested. Manifested in us. Manifested in our state. Manifested in our government. And manifested in our people. So, we invite your presence here today. We invite you to do and say what you want to do and say. Have you way. Make the points you choose to make. And Lord, at the end let all of the glory be yours in the name of Jesus. Amen!

Amen! (applause)

Just a couple of months ago, in the State of California, a federal judge—and this is one of the reasons we’re gathered today—a federal judge decided that the words “one nation under God” are unconstitutional. Imagine that. And that means that in the State of California and in other places, young children are not even in their schools allowed to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

That’s not true today. That’s not true today because we have a young man who is anointed, who is powerful, excited and prepared to come and lead us today. A student to lead us in the National Anthem. So at this point I welcome to the platform Mr. Jeran Dorman (NOTE: not sure of spelling) to come and lead us in our pledge. Following that we’ll have a musical selection by Mr. Travis Laws—will come following that event (applause)

Give this young man a hand! (applause then cheers)

(joined by audience):
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, (NOTE: one nation—Jeran skips that phrase, but audience doesn’t) under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


Followed by song performed by TRAVIS LAWS

Lord. For those who cannot cry out for themselves
We’re crying to you.
We stand in the gap
To find the darkness, Lord.
The Army of Light, in power and might
Declaring your word
So come in your power

Thank you.

NOTE: An article on David Forbes and same sex marriage is at USA Today.


OCTOBER 14, 2005
unofficial transcript

In 2001 Sen. Jim Jordan was elected to represent Urbana and Champaign County in Ohio’s 12th Senate District. In the Ohio Senate he serves as the Chairman of the Judiciary and Criminal Justice Committee and is one of our finest defenders of life, faith, family and marriage. Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to introduce to you Ohio Senator Jim Jordan. (applause)

Thank you. Thanks, Bill. It’s good to be with you. This is just a—this is just a great project that Pastor Parsley and everyone else involved. I want to commend you for this outstanding Reformation Ohio project that you’ve undertaken. I mean just—just think about where we’re at as a country. If someone would have taken—go back 20 years—20 years ago in your life, and if someone would have told you that in 2004, 2005 the United States of America would be having a national discussion—a national debate—about how we define marriage, you’d have said they’re crazy.

I had—the first presidential election that I was eligible to participate in was 1984. I was a student at the University of Wisconsin. Anyone ever been to Madison, Wisconsin? (cheers) My wife and I are from Champaign County but we went to school at the University of Wisconsin. It’s a great, great town. But Madison is leftwing Communistville. I mean it is—like a lot of college towns—it’s leftwing big time. And I was there in 1984. If you remember in that election, President Reagan beat the pants off of Walter Mondale. Reagan won 49 states and Mondale won his home state Minnesota by 7,000 votes. Reagan won in a landslide. But in Madison, Wisconsin you’d have sworn it was just the opposite. You’d have sworn that Walter Mondale was gonna be our next president. But even in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1984, if someone would have stood up and said in 20 years in the United States of America we would be having a debate about how we define marriage, even in Madison, Wisconsin, people would have said you’re crazy. But unfortunately, that’s where we are today. And so it’s so important that we have efforts like this that focus on the values that make this country special, that make this country the greatest nation in the world, (applause), so I want to commend you again! (applause).

And I’ll just finish with this. You know I do believe that there’s a spirit in this country that says no matter what the obstacle, no matter what the hurdle we’re gonna win. (applause) There’s this attitude of optimism that always prevails in America. It’s part of… It was there at the beginning with the founders and it’s continued for 200+ years. I call it the David attitude. You guys all know the story from scripture we got in Sunday School when we were kids. When the Israelites were camped against the Philistines, and every day the Philistine giant walked out and issued the challenge. “Who will fight Goliath?” The Israelites response was ”He’s so big we will never defeat him.” But David’s response was “He’s so big I can’t miss.”

Thank you!


Good word!


OCTOBER 14, 2005
unofficial transcript

Rep. Linda Reidelbach has been elected to her third term representing the 21st District representing Franklin County. We appreciate her not only as an effective politician who defends the values we hold dear every day, but we’re thankful for her unwavering commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. She has a reputation within the Ohio General Assembly of being a woman of impeccable character and strong faith. In addition, we’re pleased that Rep. Reidelbach has agreed to serve on the Board of Reformation Ohio. (applause) Ladies and gentlemen, would you please welcome State Representative Linda Reidelbach. (applause)

Good morning,

Good morning!

God is good.

Good is good!

All the time.

All the time!

I am so—I’m getting goose bumps. This is the first I’ve been up here that I could see all of you. God bless you. Thank you for taking the time from your work, your families, whatever else you had to do today to come to this event that will be monumental for the State of Ohio, and you’re all a part of it. Thank you.

As a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, I am pleased to endorse the tremendous objectives of Reformation Ohio. The ambitious objectives are worthy of our sustained support and heartfelt prayers. I am particularly delighted that Reformation Ohio will be reaching out to the hurting and the less fortunate in our state, making a difference. (applause). Making a big difference with acts of compassion and mercy. I thank the members of the Board of Directors for working in such a unified effort. We are all unified as Pastor Forbes said, in this unprecedented initiative.

And, Pastor Parsley, as he founder of Reformation Ohio, would you please come forward. I have for you and the Board of Directors this morning, a commendation from the Ohio House of Representatives. (cheers, applause, whistles). I’ll read a brief portion of it:

On behalf of the members of the Ohio House of Representatives we are pleased to extend special recognition to the Center for Moral Clarity and the launch of Reformation Ohio. Over the years, the Center for Moral Clarity has made many significant contributions to the area and has earned the well deserved respect and appreciation of many. A four year initiative, Reformation Ohio will promote spiritual, revival and moral reformation, and all that is associated with the launch of this exemplary program are deserving of high praise for their unwavering dedication.

Again, thank you.

Thank you. Thank you. (applause, cheers)


OCTOBER 14, 2005
unofficial transcript

Sample of Remnant production:

During the next four years, Reformation Ohio will be hosting events and outreaches throughout our state. Various ministries and expressions of the arts will be represented in these campaigns. One group that’s going to be criss-crossing the State of Ohio in the next four years representing the arts is Remnant from World Harvest Bible College. (cheers) Would you please welcome Remnant.

Female:1973 the Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand.
Male: 2003: the Supreme Court legalized sodomy
Female: 2004: Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage
Male: 2004: A California Federal District Judge declared the ban on partial birth abortion to be unconstitutional
(mixed voices)(not understandable)

I cannot be silent any longer. You understand tonight that the gates of hell are teetering and tottering, being torn from their rusty hinges by a remnant of believers who are prevailing in prayer the proclamation of the Great Commission, and tonight we find our voice and tonight we lift our gaze, and tonight we form our foundation, and tonight we follow our commander and chief into the smoke-filled corridors of conflict because we were built for the battle. We were created for the conflict. I don’t know about you, but I came to raze hell.

Remnant routine starts.

Silent no more!

The weapons of our welfare are not carnal. (not understandable) through God. (not understandable)tearing down the stronghold; therefore we’ve brought you....


OCTOBER 14, 2005
unofficial transcript

I’m pleased to introduce to you the director of Reformation Ohio, Mr. Dan Steman. Dan will be overseeing the daily operations of Reformation Ohio and networking with hundreds of pastors, churches, and not-for-profit ministries in order to coordinate acts of compassion throughout Ohio. Dan will manage the regional offices of Reformation Ohio in Cleveland, Cincinnati—and Columbus. We can’t leave out Columbus! Tell Dan you appreciate his ministry of reformation. (applause)

Good morning!

Good morning!

60 seconds isn’t quite enough time for me to say everything that I have to say, but let me say this. I’m not here this morning because I hafta be here. I’m here because I wanna be here. (applause)

I’m leaving a very successful career in business to take on this opportunity. I’m honored and grateful to accept the position of Executive Director. I want all of you to know I accepted the position because I firmly in my heart believe in the objectives of the organization. And as we saw with Hurricane Katrina as well as Rita, the government cannot do what the local church body (that’s right!) the Body of Christ (applause) can do. (applause)

So that means that I look forward to working with all the many private organizations throughout the state and ultimately the nation and to extend our message of hope and compassion with maintaining a certain level of dignity as we serve those less fortunate.

God bless every one of you and I’m ready to get to work!



OCTOBER 14, 2005
unofficial transcript

Am I on?


I said, am I on?


Are you on?


Shout free at last!

Free at last!


Free at last!

Thank God almighty!

That we are free at last!

Free at last!

Marty Emmett is the Ohio State coordinator for Impact World Tours. Impact World Tours is a division of Youth With a Mission, one of the largest missions organizations in the entire world. Youth with a Mission has approximately 20,000 staff worldwide. 220 different ministries, and 800 operating locations in 180 nations of the world. We’re delighted that Impact World Tour and YWAM have agreed to partner with Reformation Ohio. In fact, they’re bringing a budget of $10 million to bear in the State of Ohio in the next four years. (applause) We’re glad to have a partner like that with Reformation Ohio! This will be the largest evangelistic campaign ever attempted in any state in the United States of America in our history, and you’re on the ground floor launch of it. Would you make Marty Emmett welcome! (applause, cheers, whistles)

It’s a great day to be alive, amen!


It’s my privilege to be here today representing Youth With a Mission. YWAM Campaigns, our international director Mark Anderson. And firstly I just want to express my gratitude and thanks to you Pastor, and the board of Reformation Ohio. It’s an absolute privilege and honor for us to be invited to partner with this great initiative.

YWAM Campaigns has been used of God in over a thousand communities and 40 nations, and five continents in the last decade. And in that time we’ve been out to get before 3 million people with the relevant message of truth-- using forms of culture that are relevant to people today. But we are excited. We believe this is God’s time for America. (applause) Amen! (applause).

We’re excited for what the Lord wants us to do right there in the Buckeye State. And in partnership with you, the people of this state, with church leaders, business leaders, with civic leaders right across the state we’re committed to preaching the Gospel, getting over 1 million people in the next four years. Amen? (applause) We’re believing for 100,000 people to respond and give their lives to Jesus. (applause) We’ve seen ongoing movement, we’ve seen transformation and revelation right across, amen? (applause) In partnership with you we believe this will happen. We believe, a fire like many of you, is pivotal in this nation’s destiny, so we’re excited to be here. We endorse this. We’re committed to this. We prepared to (not understandable—perhaps “campaign”) for this state and you. Amen? (applause)