Priests for Life

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/17/14

Anti-Choice Activist: Nelson Mandela 'Engaged In Mass Genocide'

Anti-choice activist Jill Stanek says she won’t be mourning the death of Nelson Mandela because, she claims, the late leader’s pro-choice record means he “engaged in mass genocide of his own innocent people” and “has the blood of preborn children on his hands.”

Even the Pope and Cardinal Dolan have been lauding South African leader Nelson Mandela following his death earlier this week of natural causes at age 95.

But I can’t.

Nelson Mandela has the blood of preborn children on his hands… lots of them.



I cannot get past this and cannot view Mandela as any other than a leader who engaged in mass genocide of his own innocent people.

Meanwhile, Alveda King of Priests for Life regrets that she didn’t try to persuade Mandela to drop his support for reproductive rights before he died in order to help fight the “three-headed hydra monster—racism, reproductive genocide and sexual perversion”:

While he sanctioned abortion during his presidency, he was perhaps like me and millions of others who were once deceived into believing that abortion and harmful contraceptives would help our people. I wish I had told him the truth. I didn’t know the truth when I met him in the early 1970s. So I failed him. I didn’t speak to him about our babies.

What is happening now in the battle to end human injustice, to stop man’s inhumanity to man, whether we are women, men or little children, is occurring on a divided battleground. Some battle against racism, based upon skin color or class or rank. Some battle against reproductive genocide, and that is certainly appropriate as well, wherein we fight for the lives of the little babies in the womb, their mothers, the sick and the elderly and demand that they be treated with equality, justice, mercy and agape love. And then some battle against sexual perversion. That in itself also is a very important fight.

Now, if we can see that we are battling a three-headed hydra monster—racism, reproductive genocide and sexual perversion—and get to the heart of those matters and fight them all together with the understanding that we can overcome evil with good, then at the death of someone like a Nelson Mandela, some of us would not feel as though he should just be totally lambasted, ostracized, cast out of history and considered to be one of the most terrible people that ever lived.

And so I do acknowledge the work of President Nelson Mandela. He confronted apartheid, a serious evil during his lifetime. He did some things that were not good. And we pray that he had an opportunity to meet his Maker before he left the planet and that he was able to reconcile those differences.

'Religious Freedom' Rallies Barely Conceal Anti-Obama Activism

Opponents of contraception access this weekend held “religious freedom” demonstrations across the country to protest the Obama administration’s new rules ensuring contraception coverage in health insurance plans. In one of the rallies last month in Washington D.C. in front of the White House, speakers including Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition and Lila Rose of Live Action denounced the Obama administration for their purportedly “tyrannical” insurance mandate.

The keynote speakers at the White House rally was none other than Father Marcel Guarnizo, whose claim to fame is denying a lesbian parishioner communion at her mother’s funeral and refused to attend the burial ceremony. Fr. Guarnizo said that pro-choice and pro-gay equality politicians are “unfit to rule” and are “not worthy of a democratic vote.” He went on to maintain that American democracy is on the brink of collapse and told attendees to “vote this man out of office in November.”

He also had harsh words for Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who championed his state’s marriage equality law, claiming that they are more than unfaithful Catholic “lost sheep” but “wolves who are plotting and working specifically against the common good and the Church.” “Those people need to be castigated publicly by the shepherds of the church,” Guarnizo said.

Also appearing was American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who warned that legal abortion and gay rights is provoking God’s “judgment and wrath” on America. 

Anti-Choice Activists to Engage in Civil Disobedience Over Contraception Mandate This Weekend

It looks like this weekend will kick off the Religious Right's latest protest against the Obama administration's contraception mandate with something called ActsFive29 in which activists plan to descend on the White House and risk arrest in announcing that they will never comply with the mandate. 

The event takes its name from the Bible passage which declares "we must obey God rather than men" and is being sponsored by a handful of radical anti-choice groups including Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, the Christian Defense Coalition, Pro-life Action League, Operation Rescue, Priests for Life, and the American Family Association.

For 72 hours, they plan to carry out a "vigil of prayer, public witness and arrests at the White House" because "we must obey God rather than man or soon jail may be the only option":

We are a nation ruled by those we choose by our votes. So we are sending those in elected office a warning: you hold office because we chose you — and we will not comply! We will not pay the $1 monthly abortion surcharge, we will not pay for abortion-inducing drugs and other unconscionable practices demanded of us through the HHS mandate, and we will not surrender our freedoms as delineated in the Declaration and our Constitution.

And we will go to jail before we do.

Today our arrests will be voluntary, a living witness to the church and to the government — tomorrow arrest may be the only option if we are unwilling to pay to have someone’s child murdered.

Please join with us as we send a powerful message to those within the church and to our elected officials through peaceful civil disobedience! Just as MLK was arrested for the rights of his fellow men, so we will stand. This will be 72 hours of continuous prayer and arrests in front of the White House! This moment is fraught with an unprecedented “urgency of the hour”; thus, we are issuing a national call for Christians, and all our fellow Americans of whatever creed, to come to the White House and be part of this prayerful, peaceful, and prophetic witness for life and justice: ActsFive29.

Join us September 29 through October 2, 2012 as we humbly and boldly lay down our lives and our freedom so that future generations will have that freedom, and the liberty to practice their faith.

Anti-Gay and Anti-Muslim Activists Come Together for 'Rise Up California'

Eagle Forum’s San Diego chapter is hosting a conference in June to unite conservatives in Democratic-leaning California before the upcoming election:

Tomorrow, Friday June 1, 4-9pm prominent national, state and local leaders will address hundreds of conservatives at the "Rise Up California" Eagle Forum San Diego Convention at Skyline Church in Rancho San Diego. The purpose of the convention is to gather, energize, educate, empower and activate conservative Californians 4 days prior to the primary, and into the November general election.

Skyline Church is led by Jim Garlow, a close adviser to Newt Gingrich who led efforts to pass Proposition 8 and has since become a national spokesman for anti-gay causes.

Brian Brown and Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage will also address the conference alongside Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, a birther and “Christocrat” who believes AIDS is part of God’s judgment and is working against the “sexual anarchy led by sodomites.” The NOM leaders’ appearance with Scarborough, who as Kyle noted earlier today mourned the decline of the white population, won’t help their attempts to distance NOM from a campaign memo based on sowing racial divisions and build a “rainbow coalition” to oppose the gay rights “storm.”

Joining them will be Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, the anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist who was banned from CPAC and the “Weyrich lunch” for his extremist views and attacks on fellow conservative leader Grover Norquist.

Another speaker is Dinesh D’Souza, who is turning his discredited book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage, into a movie with the help of Republican megadonor Joe Ricketts, who recently had to drop a proposed plan to finance racially-charged ads linking President Obama to Jeremiah Wright.

Other activists appearing at the event include Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Charles LiMandri of the far-right Thomas More Law Center, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for Vice President in 2008 Wayne Allyn Root, Dran Reese of the Salt and Light Council, and anti-environmentalist campaigner Holly Swanson.

Pavone's Tangled Web May Have Led To His Downfall

Pavone’s Tangled Web May Have Led To His Downfall After Bishop Patrick Zurek of the Archdiocese of Amarillo, Texas, recalled Frank Pavone of Priests for Life over financial concerns, many of Pavone’s allies lashed out at Zurek. The Center For Bio-Ethical Reform said it would picket Roman Catholic churches in Amarillo for “hindering efforts to protect the safety of unborn children” and Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said Pavone’s suspension was “outrageous,” slamming Zurek for “casting a shadow where none should be.”

Pavone and his friends defended his financial management, but it appears that the group hit a significant financial shortfall. It appears that much of the problem involves one of Pavone’s many spinoff groups, Gospel of Life Ministries. Other Pavone-affiliated groups besides Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries include the National Pro-Life Religious Council, Rachel’s Vineyard and Faith And Action.

According to Religion News Service, Priests for Life faces a serious budget shortfall, partly as a result of its decision to loan “some $879,000 to Gospel of Life Ministries,” which lost its “tax-exempt status because it failed to file any forms for three consecutive years”:

A leading Catholic anti-abortion group whose leader is under scrutiny for failing to disclose financial details reported a $1.4 million deficit in 2010 despite collecting tens of millions of dollars in donations during recent years.

The budget shortfall at Priests For Life and a bishop’s recent decision to sharply curtail its national director’s activities raise serious questions about the group’s long-term viability.



Earlier this month, Bishop Patrick Zurek ordered Pavone to return to Amarillo, Texas, where the priest is officially based, saying Pavone had failed to answer questions about Priests For Life’s finances. The group’s financial troubles appear to partly result from the economic downturn that has hurt many nonprofits.

But an audit for 2010 released this week by PFL shows the problems also stem from debatable management decisions, such as spending nearly all of its reserve funds.



The audit shows that Priests for Life’s income, which is based largely on donations from individuals, went from $9.3 million in 2007 to $10.8 million in 2008 and $12 million in 2009.

In 2010, income dropped to $10.7 million while expenses stayed the same, resulting in a $1.4 million deficit.

Still, Pavone and PFL’s loaned some $879,000 to Gospel of Life Ministries, an offshoot of PFL that Pavone established in 2006 at the headquarters of Priests for Life in Staten Island, N.Y.

Gospel of Life Ministries was intended to unite evangelical and Catholic anti-abortion activists and to be financially self-sustaining. Instead, it relied on funds channeled from PFL to subsidize two cable television programs.

The IRS has revoked Gospel of Life’s tax-exempt status because it failed to file any forms for three consecutive years, according to GuideStar, an online database that tracks nonprofits.



Earlier this month, Zurek told the rest of the bishops in the United States that he was recalling Pavone to Amarillo and restricting his ministry until the priest complied with demands to disclose financial records and ended his “incorrigible defiance of my legitimate authority as his bishop.”

Zurek portrayed Pavone, who spends almost all his time traveling for PFL, as driven by personal ambition. Pavone has appealed Zurek’s ruling to the Vatican and said he will look for another diocese to call home.

Pavone Says Support For Abortion Rights Is Akin To Supporting Terrorism

While in Amarillo, Texas, after his archdiocese recalled him from New York over allegations of financial mismanagement, Frank Pavone of Priests for Life is still making his voice heard. Pavone writes in his blog today that in the same way voters cannot find common ground with politicians that support terrorism, they can’t find common ground with pro-choice candidates:

“When I preach – and help other priests to preach – the clear message that candidates and parties must defend life, some – including clergy – complain to me that my message hurts their favorite candidate or party. My response? ‘Go tell your favorite candidate or party to get the babies’ blood off their hands and clean up their act regarding defending life. Then my words won’t hurt them anymore.’ ”

… “What if a candidate supported terrorism,” Father Pavone asked. “Would citizens say, ‘Well, I disagree with you on terrorism, but what’s your health care plan? Maybe we can work together on some social programs. After all, terrorism isn’t the only issue.

Susan Tyrrell at Lou Engle’s group Bound4Life made a similar claim today, saying that Christians who voted for pro-choice candidates are succumbing to the “spirit of the antichrist”:

Cut to the 2008 election season. As polls burgeoned nationwide on who was voting for whom and why, a recurring theme emerged: the economy. Voters said over and over that was their primary concern. Unfortunately, many Christian voters said this as well. It caused many to utter rationalizations such as “who I vote for won’t change abortion, but we need to help the poor. That’s what Jesus would do.” Actually so would the devil.

The devil actually feeds his business on helping the poor. This is the spirit driving the modern social justice movement that says we should help those less fortunate at all costs. The truth is, we should help those less fortunate—but only at the cost of the blood of Jesus. Not the blood of 54 million babies.

We have become worshipers of the god of riches. That’s the reason we have so much federal funding of Planned Parenthood, and why the latest recommendation for national health care includes a mandate for birth control coverage, including abortive birth control. If every person who called him or herself a Christian were standing against these issues vocally and publicly, there would be no debate. We are more in number than Planned Parenthood, NOW, Congress, the National Institutes of Health—all of them put together. The fact is, money is behind it all and since more pro-abortion policies have been in place since January 2009, we have watched our nation pursue the American dream of wealth in the name of practicality and security. We care more about our personal comfort than we do righteousness when we live this way. And that is the very spirit of the antichrist who uses this very method to find his worshipers.

Financial Scandal Rocks Priests For Life

Frank Pavone, the head of the prominent anti-choice group Priests for Life, has been suspended from his position because of concerns over financial improprieties. Pavone is a priest in the Roman Catholic diocese of Amarillo, Texas, but has used his position in Priests for Life to be a full-time political activist. He garnered national attention during the Terri Schiavo case when he called her husband Michael “a murderer.” He gained more notoriety after bringing in Alveda King to Priests for Life, when he launched “Freedom Rides” in the South in an attempt to connect abortion rights opponents to the Civil Rights Movement. Pavone increased his standing by working with Republican leaders including John McCain and Sam Brownback. Catholics for Choice has consistently warned about financial inefficiencies in Pavone’s organization and “PFL’s electoral campaign-style selling of Pavone as antichoice personality.”

The Amarillo Globe-News reports:

Amarillo’s Roman Catholic bishop ordered a nationally known anti-abortion leader back to his diocese starting Tuesday, citing concerns about a “potential financial scandal” over the priest’s management of millions of dollars in donations.

The move against the Rev. Frank Pavone, announced in a fiery letter from Bishop Patrick J. Zurek to his fellow bishops across the country, ignited a clash reaching all the way to Rome. Pavone said he’d comply with the suspension of his public ministry outside Amarillo, but he’d already appealed to the Vatican.

Priests for Life, Pavone’s Staten Island, N.Y.-based charity, “has become a business that is quite lucrative, which provides Father Pavone with financial independence from all legitimate ecclesiastical oversight,” Zurek wrote in his Sept. 9 letter. Pavone’s fame, Zurek added, “has inflated his ego.”



The steady flow of donations has been accompanied by growing worries over how the money is used, according to Zurek’s letter.

“The financial questions and concerns have persisted with no clear and adequate answers since the time when Father Pavone was under two previous bishop ordinaries,” Zurek wrote.

Pavone called Zurek’s assertions that he has refused to provide financial documentation “completely false.”

Pavone said in a statement:

This past week, however, I received a letter from the Bishop insisting that I report to the Diocese this Tuesday, September 13 and, for the time being, remain only there.

I am very perplexed by this demand. Despite that, because I am a priest of the diocese of Amarillo, I will be obedient and report there on the appointed date, putting the other commitments that are on my calendar on hold until I get more clarity as to what the bishop wants and for how long. Meanwhile, I continue to retain all my priestly faculties and continue to be a priest in “good standing” in the Church. The bishop does not dispute this fact. Rather, he has said that he thinks I am giving too much priority to my pro-life work, and that this makes me disobedient to him. He also has claimed that I haven’t given him enough financial information.



Therefore, in the interest of preserving my good reputation as well as protecting the valuable work done by the Priests for Life organization, I have begun a process of appeal to the Vatican. This process aims to correct any mistaken decisions of the bishop in my regard and to protect my commitment to full-time pro-life activity for my whole life. We are very confident that the Vatican will resolve this matter in a just and equitable fashion. Because of this confidence, we are not currently making any changes in any positions at Priests for Life, or in any of our projects and plans.

After Being Called a "Charlatan," Frank Pavone Vows To Vote For Randall Terry

Last year, Randall Terry went on a rampage against other anti-choice groups, accusing them of not fighting hard enough to stop the confirmation of Elena Kagan.

And the primary focus of his ire was a fundraising letter sent out by Priests for Life and Father Frank Pavone, which Terry claimed was a perfect example of "why we are losing this fight" to stop abortion:

1) He tells people that to be REALLY pro-life, they just have to send Priests for Life money. This falsely trains people to think that they can discharge their duty to God with money; that they are champions for the babies who are being murdered because they write a check. This is not true. It is a false paradigm.

2) He tells the reader that "Priests for Life is the Voice of the Pro-life Movement." This is a falsehood on two counts. First, they have not been heard in the key fights against Kagan, Sotomayor, Health care, etc., because of their tax exempt status. In real, political terms, they barely give a peep. Second, YOU CAN NEVER GIVE UP YOUR VOICE. You have a duty to lift YOUR VOICE. When someone tells you they can be your voice in this life and death struggle, they are misleading you. You have to go to the abortion mills; you have to go to lobby your elected officials. You cannot have a hired gun do it.

3) He tells the readers "we are winning!" This is also a falsehood. The pro-life movement is not winning, it is losing, and it is losing badly. 50 million babies are dead, with no end in sight. We cannot even filibuster Kagan, perhaps the most evil judge to ever take the bench! Is this what "winning" looks like?!

In Terry's view, Pavone and Priests for Life were claiming victory while doing nothing to stop abortion in order to raise money and were therefore guilty of "living off the blood of babies:" 

But the essence is this: some LEADERS and MANY CHARLATANS in the pro-life movement are like PRO-LIFE VAMPIRES, living off the blood of babies. The very fact that they DO NOT FIGHT KAGAN is the proof of their hypocrisy and duplicity. And their silence is driven by MONEY; the "tax exempt status."

They are useless; they are collaborators with the baby killers themselves. (I DO NOT perceive Fr. Pavone to be fully in that camp, but he is flirting with the wrong people, and it comes out loud and clear in his letter. His organization has clearly put money ahead of the babies in certain fights; I beg your prayers for him and his organization.)

So, using the words of the Priests for Life letter that just went out, and using the useless, godless letter sent out by Americans United for Life - and signed by other pathetic groups - I am drawing a line in the sand, for the sake of the babies.

So it is interesting, not that Terry is planning on running for president so that he can exploit an election loophole and run graphic anti-choice ads on television, that Pavone is heaping praise upon the idea and vowing that he will vote for Terry:

After Being Called a "Charlatan," Frank Pavone Vows To Vote For Randall Terry

Last year, Randall Terry went on a rampage against other anti-choice groups, accusing them of not fighting hard enough to stop the confirmation of Elena Kagan.

And the primary focus of his ire was a fundraising letter sent out by Priests for Life and Father Frank Pavone, which Terry claimed was a perfect example of "why we are losing this fight" to stop abortion:

1) He tells people that to be REALLY pro-life, they just have to send Priests for Life money. This falsely trains people to think that they can discharge their duty to God with money; that they are champions for the babies who are being murdered because they write a check. This is not true. It is a false paradigm.

2) He tells the reader that "Priests for Life is the Voice of the Pro-life Movement." This is a falsehood on two counts. First, they have not been heard in the key fights against Kagan, Sotomayor, Health care, etc., because of their tax exempt status. In real, political terms, they barely give a peep. Second, YOU CAN NEVER GIVE UP YOUR VOICE. You have a duty to lift YOUR VOICE. When someone tells you they can be your voice in this life and death struggle, they are misleading you. You have to go to the abortion mills; you have to go to lobby your elected officials. You cannot have a hired gun do it.

3) He tells the readers "we are winning!" This is also a falsehood. The pro-life movement is not winning, it is losing, and it is losing badly. 50 million babies are dead, with no end in sight. We cannot even filibuster Kagan, perhaps the most evil judge to ever take the bench! Is this what "winning" looks like?!

In Terry's view, Pavone and Priests for Life were claiming victory while doing nothing to stop abortion in order to raise money and were therefore guilty of "living off the blood of babies:" 

But the essence is this: some LEADERS and MANY CHARLATANS in the pro-life movement are like PRO-LIFE VAMPIRES, living off the blood of babies. The very fact that they DO NOT FIGHT KAGAN is the proof of their hypocrisy and duplicity. And their silence is driven by MONEY; the "tax exempt status."

They are useless; they are collaborators with the baby killers themselves. (I DO NOT perceive Fr. Pavone to be fully in that camp, but he is flirting with the wrong people, and it comes out loud and clear in his letter. His organization has clearly put money ahead of the babies in certain fights; I beg your prayers for him and his organization.)

So, using the words of the Priests for Life letter that just went out, and using the useless, godless letter sent out by Americans United for Life - and signed by other pathetic groups - I am drawing a line in the sand, for the sake of the babies.

So it is interesting, not that Terry is planning on running for president so that he can exploit an election loophole and run graphic anti-choice ads on television, that Pavone is heaping praise upon the idea and vowing that he will vote for Terry:

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Frank Pavone of Priests for Life says the Religious Right will never accept any sort of truce on the issue of abortion.
  • Pam Tebow has endorsed Colorado's "personhood" amendment.
  • This is an exceptionally inane column, even for Linda Harvey.
  • Religious Right leaders are resoundingly unexcited about prospect of Speaker of the House John Boehner.
  • Quote of the day from Dave Welch, responding to Judge Virginia Phillips' DADT ruling: "The raw arrogance represented by this Virginia Phillips should result in impeachment. She has proven herself not only unfit for judgeship but is in fact a 'domestic enemy' of the very kind our military members take an oath to defend against."
  • The Catholic Church claims that Homer Simpson is a Catholic.  Please, everyone knows that the Simpsons are Presbylutherans.
  • Finally, nothing spices up a boring CSPAN panel like some conservative using it to vent about a failed past relationship with a co-panelist:

Randall Terry Sets Off Anti-Choice Civil War

Last week Randall Terry sent out an email essentially declaring war on all the other pro-life organizations, calling them frauds and scam-artists who take money from anti-choice activists and produce nothing of value, targeting Priests for Life and Americans United for Life by name: 

Our team spent a long time talking about the material for this show and preparing for it. So I am not going to spend the time now typing out what I said. If this interests you, please watch the show.

But the essence is this: some LEADERS and MANY CHARLATANS in the pro-life movement are like PRO-LIFE VAMPIRES, living off the blood of babies. The very fact that they DO NOT FIGHT KAGAN is the proof of their hypocrisy and duplicity. And their silence is driven by MONEY; the "tax exempt status."

They are useless; they are collaborators with the baby killers themselves. (I DO NOT perceive Fr. Pavone to be fully in that camp, but he is flirting with the wrong people, and it comes out loud and clear in his letter. His organization has clearly put money ahead of the babies in certain fights; I beg your prayers for him and his organization.)

So, using the words of the Priests for Life letter that just went out, and using the useless, godless letter sent out by Americans United for Life - and signed by other pathetic groups - I am drawing a line in the sand, for the sake of the babies.

If the babies - who are being butchered and thrown in sewers and landfills at the rate of 3,500 souls per day - have these men and women as their advocates and protectors, we shall witness millions more perish because of the treachery, love of money, and love of "respect" that guides these cowards and collaborators with the child-killers.

Terry then went on to continue his attacks on his television program on Friday (skip ahead to the 7:00 mark):

And on Saturday, Terry sent out another email containing the original Priests for Life fundraising email that initially set him, which I want to highlight because it reveals that the organization has nearly $1 million in overdue bills: 

I’ve sent you this urgent email because your mission to end abortion is in serious jeopardy!

For years you have dedicated your life to saving innocent babies from the terrible horror of abortion. Your absolute and unwavering commitment to the youngest members of our human family is beyond question. Your loyal and generous support for the work of Priests for Life proves it.

But Priests for Life is in a huge financial hole. I just met with our finance department and our outstanding payables have reached the critical stage:

* Bills now over 90 days old total $673,379.18
* Those over 60 days are another $175,215.76

That’s $848,594.94 in overdue bills that must be paid … now!

But the only way that can happen is if you click here and rush Priests for Life the largest financial gift you can send … today!

It is critically important that you do this before you go on to your next email.

I’m counting on your help because our financial crisis here at Priests for Life threatens to derail your pro-life mission.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The ACLJ isn't just opposing Islam at home, they are opposing it abroad as well.
  • The Washington Post has a long profile of Ken Cuccinelli.
  • Peter LaBarbera is still complaining that I accused him and his allies of hating gays ... and then turns right around and calls the Gay Liberation Network a "radical homosexual hate group."
  • Randall Terry blasts Priests for Life and Americans United for Life as "useless; they are collaborators with the baby killers themselves."
  • I will never understand why people who get caught saying something stupid try to claim that they never said exactly what they were caught saying.
  • Larry Klayman has absolutely no reason to believe that the judge in the Arizona immigration case was pressured by the Obama administration, but that is not going to stop him from launching a fishing expedition.
  • Finally, the Liberty Counsel continues to serve as the law firm of choice for woman seeking to keep their former partners away from their children because "Ohio law, like nature, makes no provision for a child to have two mothers."

Religious Right Working to Limit Reproductive Choice At Home and Abroad

It is important to remind ourselves occasionally that right-wing anti-choice groups don't just want to control the rights of women in America, they want to control the rights of women everywhere.

Case in point: Pat Robertson's ACLJ has been deeply involved and spent tens of thousands of dollars in trying to keep abortion out of the constitution being drafted in Kenya ... and now it looks like dozens of other Religious Right leaders are backing the effort:

With just two weeks to go until Kenyans vote on a new Constitution, World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs announced the conclusion of a successful petition drive "In Support Of The 'No' Campaign -- Kenyans Opposed To The Pro-Abortion Constitution."

In less than a week, the Congress gathered signatures from more than 170 pro-life and pro-family leaders in 21 countries. Signers include former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Former Boston Mayor and Vatican Ambassador Ray Flynn and Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay ...

Organizations whose leaders are represented include:

-- Priests for Life
-- Tradition, Family and Property
-- Concerned Women for America
-- Alliance Defense Fund
-- Human Life International
-- Liberty Counsel
-- Americans United for Life
-- National Right to Life Committee
-- LifeSiteNews.com
-- Eagle Forum
-- Vision America Action
-- Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
-- The Beverly LaHaye Institute
-- Focus on The Family
-- Family Talk [w/James Dobson]
-- Traditional Values Coalition

While the Religious Right is working to outlaw abortion overseas, they are also working to limit access to legal abortions here in the US in increasingly imaginative ways, which is why the ACLJ is representing a Texas bus driver who lost his job after refusing to take a passenger to a Planned Parenthood facility because it performed abortions:

[Edwin] Graning had asked his wife to call the facility; she heard a recording directing callers to call 911 in case of abortion complications. "I said, dear God in heaven, this woman's gonna have an abortion," he said.

Graning said that no protocol for orders to drive people to abortion clinics had ever been discussed. "I'm a Christian ... I love the Lord and I'm not going to be a part of something like this," said Graning, a former pastor. He pointed out that the woman quickly received a ride from another bus.

When he told his supervisor that he would not make the drive, Graning says the supervisor replied, "Then you are resigning." He objected, but was later directed to bring his vehicle and belongings back to CARTS, and received a letter of termination on grounds of insubordination.

Graning, 63, who celebrated his 40th wedding anniversary last month, is a father of two and grandfather of three.

He is being represented by lawyers from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).

Freedom Rides for the Unborn

Whenever the issue of achieving full equality for gays and lesbians in America comes up, especially as it relates to marriage equality, someone from the Right inevitably plays the "Homosexual marriage is not a civil rights issue" card:

Defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman would not deny homosexuals the basic civil rights accorded other citizens. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights or in any legislation proceeding from it are homosexuals excluded from the rights enjoyed by all citizens--including the right to marry. However, no citizen has the unrestricted right to marry whomever they want. A person cannot marry a child, a close blood relative, two or more spouses, or the husband or wife of another person. Such restrictions are based upon the accumulated wisdom not only of Western civilization but also of societies and cultures around the world for millennia.

But you know what is apparently so much like the civil rights movement that is warrants it own reenactment?  Abortion:

The pro-life movement is all about freedom. That’s why Priests for Life, with the leadership of our Pastoral Associate Dr. Alveda King, is launching “Freedom Rides” for the unborn to galvanize pro-life activity across the country.

During the Civil Rights movement, the “Freedom Rides” constituted a distinctive moment of resolve and unity. The Supreme Court, in its 1960 decision Boynton vs. Virginia, had outlawed segregation in bus terminals and restaurants serving interstate travelers. So the following spring, thirteen people – seven African-Americans and six whites – decided to travel by bus from Washington DC to New Orleans to test the enforcement of that Supreme Court decision.

Along the way, particularly in Alabama, they encountered opposition and violence from those who did not want desegregation. But having been brutally attacked, and some lying with wounds in hospital beds, the “Freedom Riders” vowed that the journey would continue. That’s when others joined in, and the initial Freedom Ride became 60 rides across Southern states in the summer of 1961, with some 450 riders participating. And by the fall of that same year, the government issued orders for the enforcement of desegregation at the bus terminals.

The Civil Rights movement and the Pro-Life movement have the same heart and soul: a longing for equal justice for everyone, based on the inherent dignity of every human life. That’s why, when Dr. Alveda King first walked with me at the annual March for Life and I asked her, “Does this remind you of the marches in the civil rights movement?” she declared, “Fr. Frank, this is the civil rights movement!” Both movements are movements of freedom.

It is therefore time for Freedom Rides for the unborn. The pro-life movement is more ready than ever to proclaim freedom…

Freedom from the lies and the deceit that allow abortion to continue…
Freedom from the fear of speaking up and taking action for the unborn…
Freedom from the shame and guilt of past involvement in abortion, so that those called to speak up and share their testimonies may do so as people who are “Silent No More”…
Freedom from the political oppression that tramples on human rights and denies equality before the law…
Freedom from violence and death itself.

People will be invited to participate in the Freedom Rides themselves. The bus rides are a symbol of the journey we are on, of the fellowship we share with each other, and of the fact that we are a movement. Major events in cities along the bus routes will be held, in which all the different facets of the pro-life movement will be invited to participate.

Among the scheduled participants are Alveda King, Frank Pavone, Clennard Childress, and Day Gardner.

Another Day, Another Right Wing Coalition Formed

I've honestly lost track of exactly how many new right-wing groups and coalitions have formed since Barack Obama was elected president - I feel like there have been close to a dozen.

Well, we can now add another one to the ever-growing list, this one consisting of Priests for Life, Wallbuilders, the National Clergy Council, the Susan B. Anthony List, and others:

Declaring that it is time for the Culture of Life to gain ground at the voting booth, Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today that a "Vote Pro-life" Coalition is forming to assist organizations, Churches, and individuals to foster Christian political responsibility.

"For years, Priests for Life has been working with groups like National Right to Life, Susan B. Anthony List, Wallbuilders, National Clergy Council, National Pro-life Religious Council and many other organizations to foster political responsibility. This year we will both continue and enhance this collaboration. The "Vote Pro-life" Coalition will assist organizations and individuals to advance activities like:

a) Non-partisan voter registration drives in Churches and through other organizations;

b) Educating candidates and voters about life issues and their critical importance;

c) Informing voters about the positions of candidates on key issues;

d) Getting voters to the polls during early voting and on Election Day, November 2, 2010.

Reports: Anti-Abortion Activist Shot In Michigan

Early reports are coming in that a "well-known anti-abortion activist" was shot and killed in Michigan this morning, and that another man was shot a few miles away.  The police say the two shooting are related and that a suspect is in custody but aren't releasing any more information:

A well-known anti-abortion activist was shot multiple times and killed Friday morning in front of a Michigan high school and another man was shot and killed just miles away in what police are investigating as related incidents.

Michigan State Police have taken a suspect into custody but have not released the name of the victim, the Flint Journal reported. The school was placed on immediate lockdown, though no students were injured or involved in the shooting, Ossowo Hish School officials told the paper.

School officials say the shooting took place outside of school grounds around 7:30 a.m., when most students were already inside the building for classes. The school, located 20 miles west of Flint, is now allowing students to leave with a parental escort, WLNS News reported.

The suspect was picked up at his home at about 8:15 a.m. and is now being investigated in connection with a second killing that occurred a few miles away from the school, WNEM News reported.

Anti-abortion have already scheduled a press conference before anything is even known about the situation:

The Washington DC based Christian Defense Coalition will hold a news conference today, Friday, September 11, at 2:30 PM, in front of the US Department of Justice, on Pennsylvania Avenue.
News Conference Details---

When: Friday, September 11, at 2:30 PM
Where: In front of the U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania, Washington, DC
Who: Christian Defense Coalition director Rev. Patrick Mahoney, and other pro-life leaders
Why: To Comment on Murder of a pro-life activist in Michigan this morning

"Pro-life leaders have received numerous death threats. We call upon the Obama Administration and the Department of Justice to put the manpower and attention they have given in the past to the murder of abortion providers toward solving this case. If breaking news reports are accurate, this was a long time friend of mine." -- Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition

Priests for Life says it was a man named James Pouillon:

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today upon learning of the shooting of longtime pro-life activist James Pouillon in front of a high school in Owosso, Michigan.

"We do not know the motive yet. But this is a time to console one another, and to renew our determination to organize peaceful protests. It is no time for fear. And I am waiting to hear the abortion advocates condemn this killing."

UPDATE: The Flint Journal confirms his identity:

An anti-abortion activist gunned down Friday morning in front of Owosso High School has been identified as James Lawrence Pouillon, 63, of Owosso.

Pouillon was a longtime abortion protester, known for his highly vocal and visible public demonstrations around the community and even outside the state.

Longtime friend and fellow activist Judy Climer, president of Flint Right to Life, described Pouillon as "just a nice, elderly gentleman who was disabled, used an oxygen tank and wore leg braces."

Climer said Pouillon had a regular weekly schedule of visits to abortion clinics in Flint and Saginaw, where he would park across the street and pray when abortions were allegedly being conducted.

"I knew him very well. He told me one time God put in his heart a passion for the little babies that have the right to be born and they were being denied that right," said Climer, who said Pouillon often stopped at her office for coffee breaks as he drove from one location to another to demonstrate.

"He even told me once he'd be willing to die for that belief. That's what I hear him saying right now."

Climer said Pouillon called her last week and told her he planned to be in Flint later today, parked across the street from the Feminine Health Care Center, 2032 S. Saginaw Street.

"He always comes. He would even go up to Saginaw at 7:30 a.m. and pray, then come here to Flint at noon," said Climer. "This was a passion he's had for 20 years, to just pray that abortion would come to an end and that women would see the truth that abortion is murder."

...

Pouillon was arrested in 1994 for disorderly conduct, in a case where he allegedly harassed parents as they took their children to day care at First Congregational Church in Owosso.

In a 2003 Flint Journal report of the case, Pouillon said that he targeted the church because it had hosted a 25th anniversary celebration for the local Planned Parenthood office.

At the time, Pouillon said he urged parents escorting children, "Don't take your kids to that church. They kill babies in there. They support abortion."

The 1994 police report indicated Pouillon was screaming at pre-school children and their mothers but Pouillon said he and a church member were shouting only because they stood hundreds of feet apart.

The state Supreme Court ordered the state Court of Appeals to rule on the case, which overturned Pouillon's conviction in 2003.

In another case, the U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a ruling that ordered the city of Owosso to reimburse Pouillon for legal costs from another 1994 incident in which Pouillon was cleared of charges of resisting a police officer. In that incident, Pouillon was jailed after failing to heed a police demand that he stop demonstrating on an outdoor landing near City Hall.

The Inane State of the Health Care Debate

Earlier today The Freedom Federation held its press conference demanding "explicit exclusion" for abortion coverage in any legislation as well as protections "for those with debilitating or terminal illness and the elderly."

That was too be expected ... as was this sort of crassly moronic attempt to use Sen. Ted Kennedy's passing to bolster their case, I suppose:

“When [Kennedy] faced a serious health problem he did not go to England, he did not go to Canada, he did not go to a country that has a government plan. He sought treatment in the country that he believed had the best treatment available, and that is America,” said Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women For America, during a news briefing at the National Press Club. “That is a lesson that we can take from Ted Kennedy.”

Of course, nobody is arguing that our healthcare treatments are not excellent; they are arguing that our method of getting people access to those treatments is in need of reform.  Those are two completely different issues.

On a semi-related note, Frank Pavone of Priests for Life has announced the creation of what it calls "Political Responsibility Teams" that will be dedicated to getting churches to "speak out" on political issues and "educate and activate citizens to exercise their responsibility to participate in the electoral process."

Again that is not particularly surprising, considering that new right-wing organization seems to be popping up every other week.  But I don't even know what to make of this statement: 

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, the Catholic Church's largest pro-life ministry, stated today, "The reason for the mess we are in with the health care reform debate is the elections of 2008, and the way out of the mess will be the elections of 2010 and 2012."

I honestly have no idea that that is even supposed to mean.  Is he suggesting that if Barack Obama had not become President and Democrats had not taken control of Congress last year, the healthcare reform debate would be just swimming along all nice and peaceful like?  

If you want to know what is really causing the "mess" in the healthcare reform debate, these sorts of inane statements from Religious Right groups pretty much exemplify it.

Efforts to Protect Choice and Doctors Will Only Lead To More Violence

When news broke of the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, Frank Pavone of Priests for Life was quick to declare that people should not "rush to judgment" over who might have been responsible: 

"I am saddened to hear of the killing of George Tiller this morning. At this point, we do not know the motives of this act, or who is behind it, whether an angry post-abortive man or woman, or a misguided activist, or an enemy within the abortion industry, or a political enemy frustrated with the way Tiller has escaped prosecution. We should not jump to conclusions or rush to judgment.

While that sort of statement is obviously somewhat self-serving, it seems pretty reasonable in comparison to this other quote from Pavone in this piece by The Washington Independent's David Weigel in which he seems to suggest that Tiller's murder was due to the fact that anti-choice activists "feel helpless" under President Obama and the Democratic Congress and that efforts to protect the right-to-choose and those who provide services to women will inevitably lead to more violence: 

Anti-abortion leaders quickly got out front to denounce the idea of a large-scale response to Tiller. Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, the head of the Christian Defense Coalition, staged a protest outside of the Supreme Court asking Barack Obama and Democrats “not to repeat the mistakes of the Clinton administration in the mid-’90s and use this tragedy for political gain.” One of the chief worries among activists — whether Obama will revisit a pledge he made to Planned Parenthood during the 2008 campaign and push for the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that would roll back Bush-era federal restrictions on abortion.

“I wouldn’t put it past abortion advocates in Congress to use this tragedy to put more protections in place for the so-called right to choose,” said Frank Pavone. “That would just feed into the problem. There’s a lot of disappointment and frustration out there as a result of 2008 elections. People feel desperate. I’m not justifying what happened to Tiller at all when I say that it’s not surprising that a pattern begins to develop — the administration is hostile to the anti-abortion movement, there are acts of violence from people who feel helpless.”

Weigel also quotes Joseph Scheidler of the the Pro-Life Action League claiming that efforts by the Obama administration to protect clinic workers is all a scam designed to distract the American public from the nation's economic problems:

Joseph M. Scheidler, the national director of the Pro-Life Action League, argued that the reaction to Tiller — including the federal marshals — was “just a show,” and no different from how “the abortionists blame the pro-life movement for everything, anyway.”

“It’s like the swine flu,” said Scheidler. “It’s something for the press to get people to focus on so they don’t obsess over the declining economic conditions.”

George Tiller Assassinated, Randall Terry Blames The Victim

As head of the Women's Health Care Services clinic in Wichita, Kansas, George Tiller has long been the most prominent target of anti-abortion activists in this country due to the fact that he was one of the few physicians in the country willing to perform "late-term" abortions. 

His clinic was regularly targeted by anti-abortion activists and, recently, his "ties" to Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius became a right-wing talking point in opposing her nomination to become Secretary of Health and Human Services.

This morning, Tiller was assassinated while attending church:

Late-term abortion doctor George Tiller, a prominent advocate for abortion rights wounded by a protester more than a decade ago, was shot and killed Sunday at a church in Wichita where he was serving as an usher and his wife was in the choir, his attorney said.

Tiller was shot during morning services at Reformation Lutheran Church, attorney Dan Monnat said. Police said a manhunt was under way for the shooter, who fled in a car registered to a Kansas City suburb nearly 200 miles away.

As one would expect, those who had long targeted and demonized Tiller were quick to issue statements - with Randall Terry essentially blaming Tiller for his own murder:

Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue states, "George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God. I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller's killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder.

"Those men and women who slaughter the unborn are murderers according to the Law of God. We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches."

Frank Pavone of Priests for Life also offered his own statement in which he sought to deflect blame from anti-abortion militants by saying that, for all we know, he might have been murdered by a "political enemy" or someone traumatized by abortion

"I am saddened to hear of the killing of George Tiller this morning. At this point, we do not know the motives of this act, or who is behind it, whether an angry post-abortive man or woman, or a misguided activist, or an enemy within the abortion industry, or a political enemy frustrated with the way Tiller has escaped prosecution. We should not jump to conclusions or rush to judgment.

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Priests for Life Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Monday 11/17/2014, 5:34pm
David Weigel @ Bloomberg Politics: The Colorful History of Ben Carson's Biggest Booster. Joe Jervis: AFA Head Tim Wildmon: The Human Rights Campaign Has Declared War On Christians. Warren Throckmorton @ The Daily Beast: How the Religious Right Scams Its Way Onto the New York Times Bestseller List. Ian Millhiser @ Think Progress: Anti-Birth Control Group Says It Will Defy Court Order. Hemant Mehta @ Friendly Atheist: Christian Groups Offer Dueling (and Sometimes Conflicting) “Naughty & Nice” Lists for the Holiday Season. MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 12/10/2013, 11:45am
Anti-choice activist Jill Stanek says she won’t be mourning the death of Nelson Mandela because, she claims, the late leader’s pro-choice record means he “engaged in mass genocide of his own innocent people” and “has the blood of preborn children on his hands.” Even the Pope and Cardinal Dolan have been lauding South African leader Nelson Mandela following his death earlier this week of natural causes at age 95. But I can’t. Nelson Mandela has the blood of preborn children on his hands… lots of them. … I cannot get past... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 10/22/2012, 3:45pm
Opponents of contraception access this weekend held “religious freedom” demonstrations across the country to protest the Obama administration’s new rules ensuring contraception coverage in health insurance plans. In one of the rallies last month in Washington D.C. in front of the White House, speakers including Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition and Lila Rose of Live Action denounced the Obama administration for their purportedly “tyrannical” insurance mandate. The keynote speakers at the White House rally was... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 09/25/2012, 2:10pm
It looks like this weekend will kick off the Religious Right's latest protest against the Obama administration's contraception mandate with something called ActsFive29 in which activists plan to descend on the White House and risk arrest in announcing that they will never comply with the mandate.  The event takes its name from the Bible passage which declares "we must obey God rather than men" and is being sponsored by a handful of radical anti-choice groups including Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, the Christian Defense Coalition, Pro-life Action League, Operation Rescue... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/31/2012, 1:00pm
Eagle Forum’s San Diego chapter is hosting a conference in June to unite conservatives in Democratic-leaning California before the upcoming election: Tomorrow, Friday June 1, 4-9pm prominent national, state and local leaders will address hundreds of conservatives at the "Rise Up California" Eagle Forum San Diego Convention at Skyline Church in Rancho San Diego. The purpose of the convention is to gather, energize, educate, empower and activate conservative Californians 4 days prior to the primary, and into the November general election. Skyline Church is led by Jim Garlow, a... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 09/26/2011, 10:24am
Pavone’s Tangled Web May Have Led To His Downfall After Bishop Patrick Zurek of the Archdiocese of Amarillo, Texas, recalled Frank Pavone of Priests for Life over financial concerns, many of Pavone’s allies lashed out at Zurek. The Center For Bio-Ethical Reform said it would picket Roman Catholic churches in Amarillo for “hindering efforts to protect the safety of unborn children” and Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said Pavone’s suspension was “outrageous,” slamming Zurek for “casting a shadow where none should be.” Pavone and his... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 09/19/2011, 4:17pm
While in Amarillo, Texas, after his archdiocese recalled him from New York over allegations of financial mismanagement, Frank Pavone of Priests for Life is still making his voice heard. Pavone writes in his blog today that in the same way voters cannot find common ground with politicians that support terrorism, they can’t find common ground with pro-choice candidates: “When I preach – and help other priests to preach – the clear message that candidates and parties must defend life, some – including clergy – complain to me that my message hurts their... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 09/14/2011, 9:31am
Frank Pavone, the head of the prominent anti-choice group Priests for Life, has been suspended from his position because of concerns over financial improprieties. Pavone is a priest in the Roman Catholic diocese of Amarillo, Texas, but has used his position in Priests for Life to be a full-time political activist. He garnered national attention during the Terri Schiavo case when he called her husband Michael “a murderer.” He gained more notoriety after bringing in Alveda King to Priests for Life, when he launched “Freedom Rides” in the South in an attempt to connect... MORE >