Throughout its history, despite being a so-called religion founded on Jesus Christ’s teaching to love all humanity, Christianity has been responsible for millions of deaths and the threat of god-approved extinction of non-believers, the wrong kind of Christians, and whichever group church leaders targeted. There is biblical precedence for killing in god’s name permeating the so-called “Old Testament,” but it is not featured in the “Christian” New Testament except during the “end times” when Jesus Christ kills off the segment of humanity that refuses to be his disciples. In the criminal justice system, god would be guilty of criminal solicitation to commit murder for commanding, encouraging or requesting other people to engage in specific conduct (homicide) which would establish his complicity in its commission or attempted commission. According to the law, it is immaterial that the actor fails to communicate with the person he solicits to commit a crime if his conduct was designed to effect such a communication.
In 21st Century America, there is a growing segment of the population that believes they are biblical god’s surrogates, and since he is incapable of verbally commanding his followers to commit murder on his behalf, extremist evangelicals are doing his bidding and are guilty of criminal solicitation. And, they are soliciting for murder with veritable impunity because this is America and no human being, particularly a human associated with the government, dare investigate so-called pro-life advocates calling for the murders of Planned Parenthood personnel.
A little over a month ago after an anti-abortion group released heavily-edited and contrived videos of a Planned Parenthood doctor discussing donations of fetal tissue for medical research after pregnancy terminations, a rash of “criminal solicitations” for murder began appearing all over the Internet. One specifically “ominous warning on Fox Nation” said, “I’ll pay ten large to whomever kills Dr. Deborah Nucatola. Anyone. Go for it.” The intended victim is the senior director of Planned Parenthood who was secretly filmed in one of the edited videos.
Another threat was lodged at the CEO, Cate Dyer, of the biomedicine company doing the medical research using fetal tissue. The threat said, “The CEO of StemExpress should be hung by the neck using piano wire and propped up on the lawn in front of the building with a note attached.” The solicitation of murder was accompanied with Dyer’s home address and a handsome offer of “ten grand to whomever beats me to her house.” The violent warning “that Dyer must die” ended the solicitation to kill an American citizen because of where she works. A legal complaint was filed in California district court by the National Abortion Federation (NAF), but since the criminal solicitation originated with rabid evangelicals, nothing can possibly happen because freedom of religion.
According to abortion rights advocates, the calls for murder represent a “very alarming spike in death threats and violent acts” against abortion providers, women’s health clinics, and any medical research company that criminal Christians believe are using fetal tissue. These are not just idle threats, or pro-life fanatics’ free exercise of religion. Since the threats began rising, two Planned Parenthood clinics have reported arsons, pro-life maniacs are showing up in large numbers outside of doctors’ homes, and commenters on conservative websites and online forums are making blatant calls for bombings of women’s health clinics across the nation for having the audacity to engage in a completely legal medical practice.
The death threats have risen to such a level that the president of NAF, Vicki Saporta, has asked the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigations to intervene. Saporta said, “In my 20 years at NAF, I have never seen such a volume, intensity and escalation of hate speech, threats and criminal activity, and we would like to prevent a serious violent act from occurring. We have enlisted law enforcement’s help.” As a person who receives regular threats of violence from fanatics in the religious right movement, this author can attest that there is nothing law enforcement can or will do until the extremists follow through on their threats.
It is important to note that according to the law, there is never a valid reason for soliciting murder, but it is particularly true in the case of Planned Parenthood that has done nothing whatsoever illegal. This is especially true since the U.S. Congress passed a 1993 law that “explicitly allows” for the donation of fetal tissue for medical research after an elective pregnancy termination. In fact, there have been no less than five separate state investigations into Planned Parenthood’s practice of donating fetal tissue and they have turned up no evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever. But these are rabid evangelical pro-lifers and they contend that regardless the laws, Planned Parenthood is engaged in an illegal activity and they intend on inflicting the ultimate penalty because god and Jesus. Once again, since evangelicals clutch a bible to their bosom but never open or read a word of it, according to the god of their bible, a fetus is not a “living being” until it exits the womb and breathes air on its own.
If history is any indication, law enforcement had better take the increase in death threats against abortion providers very seriously. There have been two abortion providers murdered at the behest of evangelical criminal solicitations including Dr. George Tiller who was shot in the head while attending his Christian church, and Dr. Barnett Slepian who was shot and killed in his own home after returning from worshiping in his synagogue. Both men were murdered for performing legal medical procedures that evangelical pro-life advocates claim are illegal and in answer to the persistent solicitations of murder that have reached a fevered pitch over the past month.
Although Republicans are not openly soliciting criminal activity against Planned Parenthood or abortion providers, they are as guilty as the fanatics calling for murder in god’s name. Republicans need to be held accountable for the rash of threats, arsons, and pro-life maniacs harassing doctors at their homes. Republicans are well aware that abortion is legal, tissue donation is legal, and that the edited videos created and released by pro-life activists are phony. Still, they have incited the religious base to violent threats by claiming Planned Parenthood is committing criminal activity by donating fetal tissue for medical research with the woman’s consent and according to a law they passed in 1998.
Republicans have had a huge measure of electoral success with their secret weapon the fetus, and they could not care less if their theocratic base solicits criminal activity and convinces religious maniacs to commit murder and firebomb Planned Parenthood and women’s healthcare clinics across America. That it is a religious movement calling for death and destruction in the name of god is exactly what evangelicals and Republicans claim makes ISIS worthy of America’s military wrath. However, it is not only acceptable, but necessary when evangelical pro-life advocates engage in the same practice and it is why Republicans and the religious right are, beyond a shadow of a doubt, America’s Christian version of ISIS.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.