from Talk to Action
As Flip Benham's Operation Save America prepares to besiege the same Birmingham, Alabama clinic bombed by Eric Rudolph, longtime associates of the underground terrorist network calling itself the Army of God prepare to memorialize assassin Paul Hill — complete with a reenactment of the shotgun murder that took the lives of Dr. John Britton and his escort, James Barrett.
Events like these are intended to remind abortion providers that there is a violent underground. But they should also remind the rest of society that there is an armed wing of theocratic activism, to which most turn a blind eye. — Frederick Clarkson
Many also turn a blind eye to the fact that "the underbelly of the Christian right ... as scary as anything that ever dwelled in a Tora Bora cave," have influential associates in some very high places.
While next month's celebration of the crimes of Paul Hill (left) is drawing attention, it is nothing new. In fact, the Paul Hill Memorial Tour of 2004 — organized by the same actors — was more immediately menacing, since AOG veterans took up positions outside the very clinic where the murders took place.
AOG operative Jonathan O'Toole, Pensacola 2004
Hill's admirers do not dispute the facts of his crime.
Paul Hill, a former Presbyterian minister and fervent anti-abortionist, used a shotgun to kill Dr. John Bayard Britton and his bodyguard, retired Lt. Col. James Herman Barrett, as they drove into a Pensacola abortion clinic in 1994. ... Hill was a regular protester at the clinic and stepped out of the way as the truck, with Dr. Britton and Barrett inside, pulled into the parking area. As Barrett got out of the vehicle, Hill fired a shotgun four times at him, then reloaded and fired again, killing both Britton and Barrett. James Barrett's wife, 68 year old June Barrett, was also in the car and wounded. ... Hill became the first killer of an abortion clinic doctor to be executed.
What they do dispute — as did Hill himself in Mix My Blood with the Blood of the Unborn — is that it was really a crime at all. At the time of Hill's 2003 execution in Florida, the AOG assembled for a death watch.
Left to right: AOG "Chaplain" Rev. Michael Bray, Jonathan O'Toole, Drew Heiss, Erick Eggleton, Robert Ferguson, Florida 2003
David Miller ... who supported the execution, ventured into the area of Hill supporters, calling them "hypocrites who support murder."
A few Hill supporters debated with him momentarily before marching off. But not all walked away. John Brockhoeft, 52, a Kentucky abortion opponent, stood face to face with Miller, calling him a "blasphemer who was perverting the word of God."
Brockhoeft was convicted in 1988 after driving to Pensacola with a carload of bomb parts that he intended to use to blow up The Ladies Center. After also being convicted of the 1985 firebombing of an abortion clinic in Cincinnati, he served two separate prison terms totaling more than six years. He was released from prison in 1995.
"I love these babies just like Paul Hill did," Brockhoeft said after walking away from Miller. "They're worthy of being defended, and I'll do everything I can to defend them."
One AOG Hero of the Faith, the late Robert Ferguson, was a prolific apologist for the murders committed by both Hill and James Kopp — the AOG's "Atomic Dog" who assassinated Dr. Barnett Slepian from ambush in 1998. Before his death earlier this year, Ferguson quoted Bruce Murch of Full Quiver Mission — friend to both Ferguson and Paul Hill —to explain his own position.
Watchman (Bruce Murch) wrote:
"To me there has been only one question since Paul defended 32 children in Pensacola in 1994: Was he justified?
"In my opinion, killing abortionists is not expedient. In my opinion, killing abortionists is not mandatory. Those are not the questions. The question is whether or not Paul was justified. Based on the principle that I believe is Biblical, to wit: that whatever force is justified to use to defend a born person is justified to use to save an unborn person; Paul Hill was justified."
This has been my position all along. Tactically, such intervention IMHO, should be used only when all other intervention fails.
Others may disagree and think that defenders have a hand in distributing righteous judgment of God. I disagree some what. I see this justice as a biproduct (sic) of the act of defending. IMO-the intent should be defense of another for the heart to be judged honorable. (not all will agree [Phinehas seems to show a different intent] your mileage may vary- so to speak- I am not interested in making this leap and will focus on the issue of defense)
I have asked prolifers to allow God to use this opportunity of Hill's witness in death to change and to spur their heart on to the peaceful action that I invite them and others to join me in. Not everyone is called to be a Paul Hill type defender.
But if prolifers continue to refuse to defend children peacfully (sic) and prayerfully- it will just give more need for last min. defense of the children by shotgun.
In early May, Ferguson figured largely in a controversy involving Pastor Wiley Drake, Second Vice-President of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Southern Poverty Law Center reported what some of us had known for years — that since 2003, along with that of his friend Ferguson, Wiley Drake's signature had been published on the AOG-hosted Declaration of Support for Dr. Slepian's killer, James Kopp.
This document bears signatures and comments from a number of activists who openly condone or even advocate violence — some of whom, such as Brockhoeft, have acted on and served time for that belief. For a brief time, national attention focused on Drake's documented association with Ferguson and Bruce Murch, among others.
Southern Baptist Second VP Wiley Drake (second from left) with Bruce Murch (white shirt) and white supremacist W.N. Otwell (right) at the Supreme Court
In the wake of Ferguson's death, Drake denied any knowledge of how his signature appeared on the document, and Baptist bloggers dropped the subject like a hot hand grenade. Drake's signature was quickly scrubbed from the Army of God site, but the Wayback Machine remembers.
Pastor Wiley Drake
Comment: The price of blood is high. Some will pay high, and some will pay low, but pay, we all will for the 40 million babies we have killed. God bless you my brother as you serve Him, and His little ones.
James Kopp stipulated to the facts of his shooting babykilling abortionist Barnett Slepian. James did not want to cloud the issue with witnesses and a jury trial, but wanted the judge to decide
the case on the facts. These facts are clear - that James Kopp did what was necessary to save the lives of the children Barnett Slepian was planning to kill. The judge was supposed to make his decision on the facts, and not on the temperature of the political climate. If he did this, James Kopp would have been found not guilty. James Kopp deserves to be set free and honored as a hero who saved babies from certain death at the hand of abortionist Barnett Slepian.
In their view, Paul Hill was also a hero, with biblical justification for acting in defense of children. Maybe that's why Children Need Heroes — a project of Drew Heiss' partner, George Wilson — is such a proud co-sponsor of Paul Hill Days.
After much discussion and prayer, Drew Heiss and I are announcing an event to honor Paul Hill on the 13th anniversary of his actions in defense of preborn babies in Pensacola. Memorial events will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to honor him as God’s man and our hero.
On July 29th, 1994, Paul Hill boldly defended 31 babies from unspeakable violence by killing a paid assassin and his bodyguard. He was arrested, given a sham trial, and executed as a martyr. On the 13th anniversary of Paul Hill’s act of love and mercy, memorial events will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to honor him as God’s man and our hero.
The image above is just what you think it is: a crime scene photo, the sheet-shrouded body of one of Hill's victims in the aftermath of the double murder to be reenacted next month — along with "activities at our two remaining killing centers."
Bring the children. And yes, I'll admit it: I'm glad our own clinic isn't located in Milwaukee.
A week before "Paul Hill Days" begins, the Rev. Flip Benham's Operation Save America (OSA) will descend upon Birmingham to "push what is left of the abortion industry into a deep grave."
Benham reminisces, "We first came to Birmingham in the spring of 1994" for an event "designed to bring the Church of Jesus Christ to the gates of hell and challenge the newly adopted "Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances" (FACE) law." OSA focused national attention upon the Birmingham clinic targeted by Eric Rudolph less than two years later, although Benham is quick to condemn any violence he might inadvertently incite.
The fact that Paul Hill loaded his shotgun in Pensacola only a couple of months after Benham's 1994 circus in Birmingham could have no connection whatever to the actions of OSA's "gentle Christians." In the gospel according to Flip, he's walking in the steps of Dr. King.
What manner of men are these? As the adage goes, "Tell me who your friends are . . ."
Pastor Wiley Drake isn't the only publicly respectable figure who has some questionable connections.
Fr. Frank Pavone — Director of Priests for Life, number 31 among Daily Catholic's Top 100 Catholics of the 20th Century (ranking above popes, cardinals and at least one saint), and honoree of the Catholic Leadership Institute — was commissioned by the Vatican to found Missionaries of the Gospel of Life, the first religious order solely dedicated to ending abortion and the ability of families to make their own end-of-life decisions.
In addition to campaigning and fundraising for his good friend Randall Terry, the Vatican's "vicar for life" also lends his considerable influence to Flip Benham, with whom he has worked closely for years. In 2005, Pavone accompanied OSA to Colorado, where they made a target of Dr. Warren Hern.
Operation Save America's long-time friend and ally, Fr. Frank Pavone, from Priests for Life, described the last days of Terri Schiavo for OSA prolifers gathered at the Boulder Central Park bandshell this morning. He was blunt about her starvation and dehydration death, "Greer, Felos and Michael Schiavo are murderers!" he said.
Saints paraded with abortion signs through Boulder streets to what is probably the only clinic in the country with "Abortion" in its name, Boulder Abortion Clinic. This is where the infamous Warren Hern commits his crimes against unborn children and their mothers.
Fr. Frank Pavone (left) with OSA and Flip Benham (center) in Colorado, 2005
And when Pavone and his fellow Priests for Life are not on the road with OSA, they have time to drop in for a chat with Congressional allies such as GOP presidential candidate Sen. Sam Brownback . . .
Daubenmire (above, in cap) supervises the viewing of a preserved fetus — the centerpiece of several fake funerals staged by Benham and Pavone in recent years — with Pavone (below, in black).
Coach Daubenmire has a lot of friends, too. Among them is Dr. Patrick Johnston (left, with his wife, Elizabeth), a clean-cut and sweet-faced apologist for murder who has his own medical practice, his own ministry, and his own extensive history with the Army of God. Johnston has long served as the AOG's point man for its annual forays to meetings of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and was arrested last year when he, too, accompanied Flip Benham to Jackson.
Luckily for all involved, and thanks to Donald Wildmon, their American Family Association lawyers were "awesome."
Flip Benham and Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association in a planning meeting for OSA's event in Jackson, Spring 2006
This August, Johnston will appear with his fellow Minuteman Dave Daubenmire, Matt Trewhella of Missionaries to the Preborn (yet another AOG associate) and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore at an event in Lancaster, Ohio.
Documentation is plentiful, thanks to Full Quiver patriarch Bruce Murch — friend and protest partner of both AOG "hero" Robert Ferguson and the Southern Baptist Convention's Pastor Wiley Drake.
The Rev. Flip Benham, Director of Operation Save America, leads the multitude in prayer.
And that sweet-looking old fellow under the tent, patiently waiting in the heat of an Alabama summer for his turn at the microphone?
Why, I do believe it's Dr. James Dobson.
As AOG hero-worshippers gear up to commemorate Paul Hill's request to "mix my blood with the blood of the unborn," Steven Reynolds wonders whether any Republican presidential candidates will publicly condemn "Paul Hill Days."
I want to know a lot more than that. I want to know how many publicly unacknowledged friends of Paul Hill can get one of them on the phone.
Paul Hill: Army of God
Paul Hill Days: Paul Hill Memorial
Montgomery protest / Supreme Court protest: Full Quiver Mission
Robert Ferguson: Christian Gallery
OSA in Denver / Sam Brownback: Priests for Life
Patrick Johnston: Right Remedy.org
Daubenmire / Pavone: Minutemen United
Benham / Wildmon: Operation Save America
AOG at Paul Hill execution: SpiritFX (inactive)
Donald Spitz: moiv