Randall Terry doing it again

terry2The same people who ruined things at Notre Dame are at it again. This is the latest that Randall Terry has been up to at a town hall meeting in Virginia:

While supporters dominated inside the auditorium, opponents made a splash outside the high school gymnasium with street theater.

The Moran town hall was the last stop on a 10-city tour for Randall Terry, the anti-abortion activist known for his extreme tactics.

Terry’s colleagues put on a skit with a man in an Obama mask pretending to whip a bloodied woman, who kept saying, “Massa, don’t hit me no more. I got the money to kill the babies.”

Terry himself dressed in a doctor’s lab coat and pretended to stab a woman in a gray wig.

“There’s no way to pay for this thing without killing granny,” Terry explained. 

Nearby, two young men heckled supporters of the bill as they walked in. They waved signs, wearing large flags around their shoulders adorned by a large machine gun and the words, “Come and take it.”

Now I’m no opponent of putting on skits as a form of demonstration.  A large part of my upbringing was spent doing just that outside of abortion clinics and conference centers.  But form and content must match.  This event shows the complete demise of American political discourse.  Until people stop this “death panel” business,” they are simply lying to get attention and deliberately twisting truth.  

Bishop D’Arcy made it clear that he did not want Terry’s shananigans at Notre Dame:

I released a statement on Good Friday, asking the Catholic people and others of good will not to attend demonstrations by those who had come avowedly to “create a circus.” I referred to appropriate and acceptable responses within the Notre Dame community led by students. Titled “ND Response,” and drawing a significant number of professors, these responses were marked by prayer and church teaching, and they were orderly.

We don’t need them here either.  

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20 Responses to Randall Terry doing it again

  1. Mere Catholic says:

    Lord help me, but I do not understand why the pro-life movement which I have known to be filled with people of highest moral character who have sacrificed time, talent, and money in support of unborn and born life, has been hijacked by the likes of Mr. Terry. There should be a clear call from Catholics of every political stripe that these tactics must stop now, and that Mr. Terry is not the standard-bearer for people with pro-life convictions. I am a convert to the Faith and the seeds of that were first planted as a high-schooler when I visited a pro-life booth at the county fair. I was radically pro-abortion then, supporting it as a method of population control that ought to have few restrictions on it. I lied to the woman at the booth, telling her I had a friend who had been raped and was pregnant and I saw no reason why this friend should be “forced” to bear a child. I expected (and truly, wished for) an argument in return, but instead, the woman sincerely and serenely asked me how my friend had been coping with such a trauma and she promised to keep all concerned in prayer. I instantly felt ashamed that my lie was met with such a loving consideration. In short time, first through reason and then through my embrace of Faith, I came to see abortion as the abhorrent practice of a civilization that has lost its bearings. But I know had Randall Terry been my introduction to those who would like life at all stages protected in law, my conversion would have absent or much delayed.

  2. Giovanni says:

    Yeah its the pro-life people that ruin it :rolls eyes:

    And here I thought it was a Catholic institution giving an honorary title to an advocate of mass murder.

    Do the Jesuits, lately, ever get tired of being in the wrong side of Catholic orthodoxy?

  3. No, not pro-life people, just “pro-life” people. Maybe you didn’t read what I actually wrote, but I’m siding with the Bishop of Fort Wayne, who did not appreciate what Terry and others did.

    I like to think that I’m on the right side of orthodoxy, thanks.

  4. samrocha says:

    “I like to think that I’m on the right side of orthodoxy, thanks.”

    In this case, I think you clearly are. Terry and friends might want to re-access where they are in relation to the gospel of life.

  5. Thank you for sharing Mere Catholic. I agree.

    The question of tactics is a hard one for me. I suppose for me, the disagreement with Terry in this case is both tactical and intellectual. As far as these “death-panels” go, I think he’s just plain wrong. But as far as tactics go, I struggle with my own history. I’ve done my own amount of carrying stretchers with red painted dolls. I’ve dressed up like an abortionist on Halloween. I’ve done silent skits in public. I’ve picketed abortionists homes. And many quit doing abortions. Over the long haul, was it because of these tactics, or just a general change of heart in the American public? What brings about changes of heart on this matter?

    It’s been a while since I’ve held a sign with a picture of an aborted baby on it in public. On the other hand, I’ve shown many of those pictures in my classrooms. I haven’t picketed an abortionist’s house in a while, but I’ve prayed at abortion clinics, done sidewalk counseling, and engaged in public debate on the issue. The question of tactics is a revolving one. What works? and not in a superficial way. What Terry is doing now is not working. It is causing more backlash than anything else. The scene has changed, and his tactics do more harm than good. On the other hand, we still need grassroots activism, since that is the heart of any movement.

    Any ideas?

  6. Missy Smith says:

    “Ruined things at Notre Dame” ! Are you crazy ? Where were you all when this
    treachory was taking place ? I was one who came and gave witness to life at Notre Dame. I was honored to be with these modern day saints who sacraficed their time and effort to show the world that honoring the greatest promoter of child killing in the world at a Catholic institution was true treachory ! Our leader in this effort is the modern day “Martin Luther King” and because of his deep committment to stopping thelegalized murdering of children, the arrests caught the attention of Fox TV and dominated the news for four days. The slaughtering of innocent children was put front and center because of
    Randall Terry’s tireless efforts behind the scenes. Obama even centered his speech around the issue of killing children. What is wrong with
    you people ? Have you all no back bones ? Stand up for the truth and
    let your voices be heard. Stop complaining about the bold efforts of
    the likes of Dr. Alan Keyes, Father Norman Weslin, Joan Andrews Bell, and Norma McCorvey. Look at these true heroes with respect and love and
    join them in these efforts. And for the record what we are doing is
    working !

    I was the woman being whipped by a man with an Obama mask outside the
    Town Hall meeting in Virginia saying, “Massa, don’t hit me no more, I’ll
    give you the money to kill the babies.” What makes you all think that this
    health care bill will not mandate that we pay for the slaughtering of children ?
    Wakeup and smell the coffee ! Get a grip. Your taxes already give Planned
    Parenthood $370,000,000 to kill children and with the new bill it will be
    more. Praise God that Randall Terry has the courage to put on this street
    theature that you all don’t have and call a spade a spade ! We shut down
    Howard Dean’s ability to lie to us by our chanting “We won’t pay for murder”
    at that town hall meeting. Again, what we are doing is working ! There will be more to come until legalized child killing is stopped. It won’t happen if we
    just sit behind our computers and tear the flesh off other activists who realy
    do things.

    God have mercy on our poor, weak, sad souls,

  7. I would appreciate if you did not name Joan Andrews Bell in the same breath as Randall Terry. She was and is a true hero of the movement. If she had been there with Terry, and Bisho D’Arcy had asked her not to protest at Notre Dame in this theatrical way, but rather to do so with the organized prayer protest, she would not have done so. She is an obedient woman of the Church.

    I don’t mean to “tear the flesh off other activists.” I mean to point our activism in a constructive rather than an alienating direction. And I mean that we should have a good basis for our protest. No offense to you personally, but I don’t think you have a clear and Catholic understanding of health care reform.

  8. Mere Catholic says:

    Nathan, I think the question of tactics is paramount for pro-lifers to understand and get right. And I would submit that the approach they should take should depend on the audience. I can see a limited arena where pictures of aborted babies are effective as a shock and awe technique, but over time I think the people whom we are trying to convert become desensitized to the violence they see in these pictures, especially in a culture where violence is already imbedded into our sense through various media. As a result, we’ve managed to convince people that abortion kills, but we haven’t managed to convince them that what is killed is a life and that this taking of life has serious consequences for the women who has been bearing it. I take those polls on pro-life/pro-choice with a grain of salt but I think the progress we have seen in this arena is more due to different approaches taken by various prolife organizations that emphasize the real damage that abortion does not only to the child but also its mother. I’m thinking here of Feminists for Life and their “Women Deserve Better” campaign as well as the ad that asked ‘Imagine the Potential’ for unborn life with Pres. Obama as the prism through which we were asked to view that potential. I wonder if there is any polling data that has tracked changes in viewpoints on abortion and tried to discern the factors that influenced these changes.

  9. Sikowile Dlamini says:

    Quick to criticize; quick to condemn.

    As a post-abortive mother (my baby is dead)

    I wish you would join Terry and any of his friends to actually try cry out to God and country to end abortion.

  10. Giovanni says:

    Amazing when you see a fellow Priest being dragged in handcuffs out of the Notre Dame campus in order to defend Church teaching and yet it is people like him that “ruined things” at Notre Dame.

  11. Giovanni,
    I stick to my point about the Bishop. I’ve seen priests (and my own dad) dragged away in handcuffs. That form of activism has its place. But not when the Bishop is trying to do something else. And not on a stage where it is not going to help the movement but only hurt it.

  12. Ruby Nicdao says:

    Thank God for the prolife activists who showed the truth about abortion and had the courage to defend Our Lady’s honor in the disgraceful, disgusting act of honoring a most pro-death militant President ever. Bishop D’Arcy should have kicked Fr. Jenkins and Obama out for their shameful dishonorable and un-Christian act. What an affront to Our Lord and Our Lady. And all you can do is pick on these prolife heroes – shame on you.

  13. Ruby, we’ll have to agree to disagree. In the meantime, I hope you and I will both get out to the abortion clinics in our cities to do what we can. But we cannot have a cause that gets out its message by lying and twisting the truth. Action without thought is worthless and dangerous.

  14. George Offerman says:

    Nathan, I would like to know what lies and twisting the truth had occurred that you are alluding to. I was arrested at Notre Dame, and since I was actually present, I know what happened. I was with Dr. Alan Keyes as we were peacefully praying the Rosary and carrying banners of our lady when arrested (wow, now that’s real offensive street theatre). Doesn’t sound like ‘out of control theatrics’ to me. The pro Obama people 10 feet away from me were not bothered, nor did anyone ask them for their ‘permits’. I also was at the Reston Town hall meeting, and say what you want, but the skits worked and made their point. As far as tactics, here’s the score: 36 years, 50 + million deaths, 54% of Catholics voting for the most pro death president ever, a new pro death supreme court justice, and Teddy Kennedy being upheld as a good Catholic, and getting a public Catholic funeral with Obama giving a eulogy. yes the current tactics have worked so well. I’m sure you may have pulled Jesus aside 2000 years ago, and told him, “easy on the whips, I don’t think you needed to flip the tables over in the Temple, you ticked everyone off.”

  15. George, I’m referring to the “death panel” stuff when I speak of “lying and twisting the truth.” I don’t think he helped at Notre Dame, as the Bishop pointed out, but don’t misplace my critiques. People are starting to confuse the two events a little.

    Take up the funeral with Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

    No, I would not have pulled Jesus aside. Please think before you write. I don’t have issues with theatrics. I think I’ve made that clear if you’ve been reading. But they must be a.) based on the truth and b.) for the good of the movement. That second one can be subjective, but the opinion of the Bishop of the diocese can be a nice aid.

  16. Richard A. Retta says:

    No one is lying and twisting the truth. If you read the paragraph quotes from HR3200 what’s being contested is all there in black and white. When our congressional leaders, such as at Town Hall meetings, say it’s not true, who is lying. It’s in black and white. Until we see revisions of HR 3200 in black and white that say we will never be required to pay for abortion and there will never be rationing for the elderly or disabled, and there will never be government committee breaucrats deciding whether we get care or don’t get care and whether we live or die becaused we’re too old or too disabled or too young or whatever, for the benefit of the “state.” We are heading for a government of the state by the state and for the state unless we do something now to stop it and oppose this blatant power grab. No one is denying medical care for those in need but it must be done the American way not by the Socialist/Marxist way. Let’s see the written words before we decide who is lying.
    Rgarding Randall Terry’s approach to bringing attention to the child killing policies of this once great nation at least he is trying to do someting out of the ordinary to end this blatant slaughter of our children NOW. Our children are the most important resource this country has. The public needs to be aware of exactly what the horror of this child killing is all about. “A woman’s Choice” “A woman’s right to Choose” “Termination of pregnancy” “It’s a piece of tissue.” “The contents of the uterous.” These are expressions to hide the nasty diry truth that a woman can brutally murder her child in the womb in a most horrible nightmarish way. What were we thinking to allow this horror to exist in America? With the most abortion minded president ever we can expect business as usual to result in a continued estimated 4000 unborn children murdered every single day totalling another 50 million for the next 36 years as we did the past 36 years since Roe vs Wade. If you have any better ideas on how to try to end abortion now then make them known, otherwise, if you really care, stop critizing and join in Randall Terry’s crusade to end the abortion horror NOW. Do something different. Business as usual is not going to change anything. The alterative is to sit back along with our so called pro-life religious, political and African-American leaders, who do nothing but watch the slaughter day after day, for whatever gains they may be realizing. Keep up the good work Randall.

  17. I hear what you’re saying but there is no evidence that we are hurting the cause as you say. You are right “b.)” is subjective.

    The ‘opinions’ of the bishops are just that. The laity have every right and a duty to stand up for truth and justice especially since our bishops are a part of the problem. Their tacit approval of this murderous health bill and election of Obama are small examples of why we are losing this battle.

    As for our tactics both Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal did an article saying that abortion is now in the health care debate. Up until we interrupted Howard Dean the debate including child killing was virtually non existent. If you preach to a crowd you can reach hundreds, if you get media you can reach thousands and millions. To get press you have to do something news worthy. Holding a cute little sign and hugging everyone that walks by is not so newsworthy.

    You can’t politely ‘dialogue’ with people that want to rip babies heads off.

    Everyday that we are ‘praying’ for conversion of hearts thousands of babies die. The time it takes for politically correct ‘conversions’ to take place is an injustice to the victims.

    God even says he ignores the prayers of those that refuse to defend the innocent.

    Isaiah
    15) When you spread out your hands, I close my eyes to you; Though you pray the more, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood!
    16) Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil;
    17) learn to do good. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.

    Also, at the end of the matter, Nathan, until you’ve had the same leadership experience, battles fought, enemies, and sacrifices that Randall Terry has had, you are just another commentator. I challenge you to put your opinions into practice and hopefully I’ll see you on the cover of every major newspaper and interviewed tv station. Its pretty easy and apparently popular and trendy to criticize Randall, but I still haven’t heard any of the critics on this blog offer a useful and actually effective tactic that has proven to work.

  18. “You can’t politely ‘dialogue’ with people that want to rip babies heads off.”

    As long as you have the mentality that most pro-abortion advocates want to “rip heads off,” our movement is losing. It is simply an illusion to claim that that is the case. We need to give the best interpretation to the other side an admit that in most cases, we are dealing with a deep level of confusion caused by multiple factors.

    My experience comes from watching Fr. Thomas, SJ, recently deceased. What he would have said about these matters I don’t know, but he had as much if not more experience than Terry. Sometimes he worked with him.

    The new health care bill needs a lot more work, but with our Bishops, we should be encouraging comprehensive change while simultaneously pushing for the removal of any abortion clauses. But taking a combative approach in order to derail actual reform is not the way to go. Health care is a central Catholic concern. Siding with Republican talking points does not help us achieve our goal.

    I do try to put my opinions into practice.

  19. Mason Slidell says:

    Given the tenor of many of the comments here, it is not at all surprising that abortion is still a firmly legal practice in this country.

    If the strategy of most movement pro-lifers remains the refusal to address the underlying socio-economic causes of abortion, the portrayal of women as lustily desiring to “rip babies heads off” and a political militancy that leads to extreme isolation from our shared government, economy and culture, then we will continue to fail in our goal.

  20. Ruby Nicdao says:

    In April, the leaders of the nation’s 28 Jesuit colleges and universities were put on record as supporting Notre Dame’s honor of President Obama by Rev. Charles Currie, S.J., president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Father Currie also indicated to the National Catholic Reporter that lobbying of the bishops had already begun: “[We] have been talking to individual bishops to see if we can’t lower the volume and lessen the heat of the discussion.” (Excerpt from the Cardinal Newman Society)

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