Just the other day we were wondering why Barack Obama’s campaign was legitimizing right-wing leader Rob Schenck of Faith and Action by attending the forum he was moderating, especially considering his attacks on Obama’s Christian faith and his long history of militant anti-abortion activism, fines, and arrests.
Now, it looks like the campaign figured out whom it was dealing with and decided to pull out of the event and Schenck is none-too-pleased:
A top-level advisor and ten-member delegation for Sen. Barack Obama were no-shows at yesterday’s Reese RoundTable on Capitol Hill, a forum for the campaigns to present their respective candidates’ worldviews and how that informs their ideas about government.
The Obama representative, the Reverend Evna Terri La Velle, Senior Advisor Religious Affairs for Obama for America, inexplicably cancelled only hours before the event. When event organizers appealed to Democratic Party Officials, they were told someone would “look into it,” but that these decisions are made in Chicago, meaning Obama campaign headquarters.
Event host, Rev. Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK), who moderated the discussion, said he was profoundly disappointed. He released this statement:
“Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean assured me last year in a private meeting in his office that his party would do everything possible to constructively engage Evangelicals, traditional Catholics and other moral conservatives. He even pledged to participate in events like this. Barack Obama has made similar promises. They did a couple of high-profile media events, but it appears they were not serious at a grass-roots level. Yesterday’s last-minute unexplained cancellation was nothing short of a snub. Our capacity crowd was insulted by their absence.”
The campaign’s cancellation was anything but inexplicable – most politicians don’t want to be associated with the type of people who do things like this (except John McCain of course):
3 Charged in Scheme to Thrust Fetus at Clinton
14 July 1992
The Associated Press
Three anti-abortion supporters were arrested Tuesday after thrusting a container with a 19-week-old fetus at presidential candidate Bill Clinton.
“By the grace of God, Bill Clinton has been brought face to face with a victim of choice,” Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry said outside Clinton’s headquarters at the Hotel Inter-Continental.
Clinton appeared unfazed by the incident.
“They tried to hand it to me but I wouldn’t take it,” he said. “It was no big deal.”
The incident occurred as Clinton left the hotel around 8:30 a.m. for his morning jog.
Harley David Belew, 37, of Binghamton; the Rev. Robert Schenck, 34, of Tonawanda; and the Rev. Joseph Forman, 30, of Marietta, Ga., were charged with three health code violations: transporting a fetus into New York, removal of human remains from the place of death and improper disposal of a fetus.
Minister’s advice to Clinton draws Secret Service scrutiny Pro-lifer cited God’s judgment
26 December 1996
The Washington Times
The Rev. Robert Schenck, a pro-life activist, gave President Clinton some Christmas Eve advice as their paths crossed at the Washington Cathedral.
“God will hold you to account, Mr. President,” Mr. Schenck said he told Mr. Clinton as he walked by to receive Communion.
Mr. Schenck, general secretary of the theologically conservative National Clergy Council, said he was inspired to remind the president of God’s judgment on his pro-choice policies when he realized he would walk past him in a Communion line.
“At that moment I said, `Here we are,’ ” Mr. Schenck said in a telephone interview yesterday. “It was a rare moment when you are this close to the president. As I got closer to him I thought, No. 1, it had to be brief.”
Mr. Schenck said his comment drew on a verse in Hebrews 14. “I said it respectfully, in what I would call my pastoral voice.”
Mr. Schenck is no stranger to the limelight – nor to President Clinton. In 1992, he led Operation Rescue’s protest of Buffalo abortion clinics and participated in handing Mr. Clinton a dead fetus.