(Christian Gallery News Service, January 5, 2007) Today Operation Rescue trumpeted the following headline: "First Amendment Victory! Gwinnett County Drops Charges Against Truth Truck Driver." Sounds like good news, right? Think again. Operation Rescue is not telling anyone about a lie they broadcast, and continue to broadcast today, a lie about the police in Gwinnett County. Look at that lie and then ask yourself whether their actions make it safer to use graphic signs of aborted babies in Georgia.
First, get the scene in focus:
The pro-life community in Georgia and across the USA was alerted by Operation Rescue, a pro-life group located in Kansas, to the impoundment in Gwinnett County, Georgia, a suburb outside Atlanta, of a large truck carrying equally large pictures of the bodies of mangled aborted babies. The truck driver, Bob Roethlisberger, was arrested and jailed for four days, and before the truck was released, the pictures were torn off the truck's sides. People opposed to abortion across the nation were understandably concerned that government could censor graphic pictures that provide powerful evidence showing the horrible truth of legalized abortion from the public in this nation and public attention focused on Gwinnett County, Georgia.
On this past Saturday members of Operation Rescue went to the Gwinnett County Police station to protest the truck's impoundment. They brought another truck with the same pictures that had caused the earlier arrest. They also brought with them a letter designed to alert the authorities in Gwinnett County, Georgia that their actions would be resisted. They intended to hand deliver that letter. The door to the police station was locked. This is what Operation Rescue told the nation in a mass e-mailing and through posting on their web site:
Look at the headline above. Did the police "Hide" or is that a lie?
Assume that the Operation Rescue headline was the truth and the police did hide. If you were a police officer in Gwinnett County, how would you feel if some pro-life group broadcast across the nation that they had made you "hide" from them?
No police person wants anyone to think they are intimidated because, well, police who are perceived to be the ones who "hide" from other people are actually endangered by that perception because it tempts wrongdoers to feel more powerful than the ones who "hide," and tempts wrongdoers to test the police, thereby putting the police at risk--not to mention the wrongdoers.
Police who perceive they are put at risk do not like what puts them at risk.
But when they perceive they are put at risk and that they are being lied about, they can reasonably be expected to be extraordinarily displeased.
Did the Gwinnett County Police "hide" from Operation Rescue as the headline above blares out?. These two responses posted on Operation Rescue's web site proves people who read the OR article believed the police not only hid but their hiding proved them to be cowards. "Stephanie Says: December 4th, 2007 at 8:56 am, 'It appears that the Gwinnett County P.D. ,can dish it out, but can’t take it? Why lock the doors, why the cowardice? Maybe, they are finally realizing that they did cross the line, and their nazisque tactics have backfired?' And Sarah Says: December 4th, 2007 at 10:47 am, '... what a bunch of wimps…police there were afraid to receive a letter?'"
But the Gwinnett Daily Post, the newspaper of record for Gwinnett County, Georgia, reported that the police did not "hide" at all. The newspaper reported, "Police spokeswoman Cpl. Illana Spellman said that building [the police station] is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. 'Headquarters has always been locked on the weekend just like every other police precinct,' she wrote in an e-mail. 'Of course if someone calls 911 or the non emergency number, an officer will respond to any location if requested.'"
In other words, nobody was "hiding" from Operation Rescue. The Police Station was closed to the public on the weekend, just like every other weekend during the year, and according to Cpl. Lllana Spellman, just like "every other police precinct."
So what if Operation Rescue did not tell the truth? Who cares?
Abortion Abolitionists in Georgia Have To Live With Operation Rescue's Lie
The police in Gwinnett County, along with every other police person in Georgia, plus every citizen in Gwinnett Country, Georgia can easily know that Operation Rescue is publishing lies about what happened when they came to Georgia, lies that make Georgia police look like fraidy cats who hide from the pro-life people in Georgia.
As a person who regularly stands in public places displaying exactly the same graphic images of aborted babies shown by Operation Rescue, I was not left thinking Operation Rescue helped people have greater ability to display graphic pictures in public. While it is true that every police department in the State will think long and hard before they arrest anyone for displaying the signs, the police officers themselves have to deal with the idea that the pro-lifers made them look like cowards.
I have a son who is a policeman in Georgia and I know for a fact that it is safe to assume that every police man or woman in Georgia is not a coward who would "hide" from anything in the performance of their duty. That fact is displayed over and over again in countless examples of undeniable courage and self-sacrifice by people who literally put their lives on the line for the people of Georgia. And I know how deeply offended the police of Georgia feel when they find out about the lie that was told by Operation Rescue about the Gwinnett Police.
But that lie is not the only way Operation Rescue sabotaged abortion abolition work in Georgia.
Operation Rescue Sabotaged My Campaign for Georgia Governor
Below you will see a picture of me in a normal campaign appearance. My sign is an absolutely critical part of my entire campaign strategy. Because I say I will OUTLAW ABORTION if elected Georgia governor, the sign ensures that people know precisely what I mean when I use the word abortion. But the sign does something else in my campaign: it keeps me honest. For 34 years literally hundreds of pro-life politicians have said all the right things about abortion but when it came time to outlaw abortion, those politicians did nothing that actually outlawed abortion. I think politicians acted that way because abortion was always nothing more than an abstraction to them. They never really intended to represent unborn babies slated for death, they were always catering to the voting public, and their devotion to protecting unborn babies was totally dependent upon the devotion of the voters themselves to unborn babies. When the voters turned out to be more concerned about other matters than the lives of unborn babies, those "pro-life" politicians immediately discarded any intention of outlawing abortion. With me, voters will get what they see. If that's not enough to get me elected, then not only do I not want to be Governor of such an evil population, I don't even want to share the same nation with them. The sign helps remind me of these hard sayings.
You might think that Operation Rescue would be a real ally to me in my campaign for governor of Georgia. Think again. See what Operation Rescue did to me when I tried to stand with them in protest to the Gwinnett County Police unconstitutional censorship of the images I use on my campaign sign and you will learn something not only about Operation Rescue but the entire pro-life movement that supports them.
How Operation Rescue Sabotaged My Political Campaign
How do you go about sabotaging a Campaign for Governor? There are two ways: you can do things that overtly destroy the campaign like telling lies or directly attacking the candidate; or you can sabotage the campaign by attempting to silence the candidate. As you will see, Operation Rescue used option two and attempted to do everything in its power to silence the Horsley for Governor campaign.
All you have to do to silence a politician is ignore him or her--pretend they don't exist. Ignore them long enough, and since they don't have the power or the right to force you to listen, they will be effectively silenced. Ignore a politician long enough and they will have to go away or be arrested for any number of charges that have to do with infringing on people's right to avoid being harassed.
The picture to the right was posted on the OR web site. Notice nothing is said about the Horsley for Governor campaign.
To see how Operation Rescue pretended the Horsley for Governor campaign did not exist, read the report they published on the Operation Rescue web site of their visit to the Gwinnett County Police Station. Note that there is no mention of the Horsley for Governor campaign presence. What they are doing is called selective disregard of the facts.
Now to see how hard Operation Rescue had to work to keep the Horsley for Governor Campaign story out of their report of their visit to Gwinnett County, look at the picture below. Not only did they say not one word about the Horsley for Governor campaign, they also omitted showing the Horsley for Governor "Truth Truck" that was parked directly across from the Operation Rescue "Truth Truck."
The same scene shown in the Operation Rescue photo from another angle:
See how hard Operation Rescue had to work to pretend the Horsley for Governor campaign was not a part of the Gwinnett County, Georgia story?
An Operation Rescue Operative Literally Told Neal Horsley to Stop Campaigning
It was not merely by omitting the presence of the Horsley for Governor campaign that Operation Rescue proved it was the enemy of real abortion abolition. While Neal Horsley was explaining his campaign strategy to three black men who were driving the Truth Truck, men who had indicated they were excited about the prospect of a strategy that had the power to coordinate the ministry of government with the ministry of the Word, an Operation Rescue Operative named Peter Shinn actually motioned Horsley to stop talking to the three men. Because the attempted censorship of Horsley's speech was so unexpected and so directly offensive to everything Neal Horsley has to do to run a good faith campaign as to the Lord, Neal Horsley was tempted to physically attack Peter Shinn and beat him into silence so he would never again make such a mistake. Realizing his temptation was of the flesh, but not having the immediate grace to do anything else, Horsley quit talking, packed up and left his message to the three black men unfinished.
The actions Operation Rescue took against the Horsley gubernatorial campaign to outlaw abortion in Georgia demonstrate the kind of trench warfare that has long been going on between the pro-life establishment represented by today's iteration of Operation Rescue and those elements within the abortion abolition movement who will no longer tolerate the corpses of little babies being turned into cash flow opportunities by people who call themselves pro-life Christians.
Such lies and back-stabbing attacks by people who call themselves pro-life Christians had for years moved me to try find a word that accurately described how I felt about such people. Even though I have a better-than-average working vocabulary and know how to find the accurate name for most things, a word that adequately described the actions of this latest iteration of pro-life Christians in the USA had totally escaped me. This latest episode with Operation Rescue, and the rage it engendered, finally led the proper word to be found. It follows:
I ran the word by a group of friends, and a person I went to seminary with wrote back:
Neal, If you’re looking for a Biblical comparison to your [word] idea, here’s what one redneck Prophet had to say: "NAS Isaiah 64:6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
The "filthy garment" in Hebrew is "menstruation covering".
So when you hear me calling people kuntrags who treat me like Operation Rescue treated me, you'll know what I mean.
Final Note: Now that I've seen how the Lord intended to work for good Operation Rescue's attack on my campaign, I am back on the campaign trail. And you can rest assured that the next time some kuntrag attempts to silence me when I am campaigning in the State of Georgia, I will come up with something much better than rage tempting me to beat them into silence.
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