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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

For Security Reasons, We Do Ask That You Leave Your Snakes at Home 

Via Avedon Carol: Max Blumenthal reports that two groups have won special permits to demonstrate directly outside both the Republican and Democratic conventions: Faith and Action and the Christian Defense Coalition, a pair of splinter groups headed by former members of Operation Rescue.

Thanks to the generosity of New York City, the Faith and Action service will be "the very last public event outside Madison Square Garden before roads and sidewalks are closed as a security measure" before the Republican convention begins on August 30. Boston officials settled out of court after the two groups threatened to file a lawsuit.

Blumenthal also links to his Washington Monthly profile of one of the event organizers, Rev. Rob Schenck, who co-founded Operation Rescue with Randall Terry:
His best-selling 1980 book, A Christian Manifesto, advocated abortion protest as a means to undermine the credibility of a secular law. "Schaeffer showed us [evangelicals] that these Biblical truths apply to all of culture and society," Schenck explained. "He taught us the responsibility--and I use this very guardedly--to enforce those truths in the sense that we should be confident enough about them to know that they are good for us and other people.... Ultimately, this should be reflected in the highest law of the land." During the early 1990s, Schenck put those ideas into practice. He was arrested a dozen times during protests outside women's health clinics and abortion doctors' homes, and is renowned for outrageous publicity stunts, including dangling an aborted fetus in Bill Clinton's face outside the 1992 Democratic National Convention.
Schenck is also planning to host prayer vigils outside John Kerry's house in Boston. Stay tuned.

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