The Other Paper
'YOU'RE A SICK CITY '
Baiting cops, bashing gays and bearing a fetus, Operation Save America
is having a fine week in Columbus
[ OSA: This sub-headline is an outright lie. This reporter has seen no one from OSA bashing homosexuals on the streets of Columbus nor anywhere else. Fred Phelps bashes homosexuals but when Phelps' little band of hate-mongering hypocrites came to Dallas, OSA rebuked them soundly for their complete misrepresentation of the gospel of Christ. See the June 2002 article on our web site, OSA Confronts Heretics to see how much we detest "gay" bashing and anything but extending the love of God and the hope found only through repentance and believing in Jesus as your Lord.
Stephen Bennett is a good friend of OSA. Stephen was delivered out of the homosexual lifestyle of death after 10 years in bondage. He now is happily married to a Christian lady with two beautiful children God has blessed them and is a nationally known Christian song writer. Stephen heads up Stephen Bennett Ministries, a ministry challenging men and women to successfully and permanently overcome their unwanted sexual attractions. In addition to helping men and women overcome and enter God's perfect plan of heterosexuality for men and women, SBM ministers to countless family members. SBM also serves as a public policy organization raising awareness and the truth about homosexuality, as well as informing the public about the dangers and misinformation campaign being promoted by the 'gay' agenda. Visit his web site at www.sbministries.org for more information.
Jesus came to seek and save sinners. Through a relationship with the Lord Jesus any person can be forgiven and delivered from any sin or bondage. The prerequisite to forgiveness of any sin big or small is repentance. Repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus is what we preach. Telling a sinner engaged in an openly sinful lifestyle that he or she must repent is not bashing. If we did not love sinners we would go our own way and be silent thus letting them die in their sin. I'm sure glad Jesus did not think or act this way! However we love sinners because Jesus loves sinners and in like manner we hate sin because God hates sin. The Lord Jesus preached repentance for three & a half years and they nailed His sinless body to a cross. John the Baptist lost his head for publicly commanding King Herod to repent of adultery. Were John or Jesus bashing when they said repent, believe then go and sin no more?
No. Neither are we. Lastly, that was a baby viewers saw in that casket, not a fetus. any two-year old child recognizes her as a baby while this newspaper plays word games with a Latin term meaning baby. Even abortionists call the unborn child a baby if it's a child they want to keep. Somehow in America we think we or less barbaric if we call the unborn baby a fetus then proceed to dismember her tiny body limb from limb.
There was an extreme amount of Christian bashing and harassment that occurred daily that this reporter completely ignores though she could not avoid seeing it by physically covering rallies or other OSA assemblies. ]
By Kristen Convery / July 22, 2004
| Ben French
|"Columbus has basically been taken over by the homosexual lifestyle": National OSA Director Flip Benham
When Rick Pfeiffer showed up at City Hall Saturday morning, he expected to sit in his quiet, empty office and get caught up on some work. Instead, the city attorney was greeted by a mob scene.
Operation Save America had arrived.
OSA, formerly the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, had been warning for months that it would be bringing its message—"Intolerance is a beautiful thing"—to Columbus this week, targeting homosexuals, abortionists and Muslims.
[ OSA: We do not target persons. We target sinful behavior, lifestyles, false religions, etc and wrong teaching by Christian churches that keeps individuals enslaved to sin, supports the murder of unborn children, the moral decay of our nation and ultimately takes people to an eternity in hell because they have not believed on the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible. The apostles in the New Testament challenged the cultural sins of their day and even the Lord Jesus Himself challenged false teachers in very harsh language much more intolerant than ours today. Jesus is the answer. He is God and there is no other. ]
But even those who knew OSA was coming were somewhat surprised when the radical conservative Christians actually arrived Saturday.
[ OSA: Would somebody please explain what is so radical about preaching the gospel of Christ according to the Scriptures in public if one really believes the Bible and Jesus when He said, "Unless you repent you will surely perish." or actually going to an abortion clinic where children are having their very lives snuffed out? The term radical is a word that comes from the root, fundamental or origin. It is misused in modern terminology on purpose as is extremist. Webster's defines radical as "marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional" which is exactly what America has done over the past 50 years in our haste to forsake God and His Word as the foundation upon which this nation was built. ]
OSA set up in front of City Hall with loudspeakers, huge posters of aborted fetuses, and a row of coffins marked with the names of landmark abortion-rights Supreme Court cases.
[ OSA: Unborn babies. Little children are seeing these photos of aborted babies and asking, "Who hurt the baby mommy? No pregnant mother yet ever said "My fetus is due in 6 more months." Can anyone guess this reporter's position on abortion? ]
Pfeiffer took a look around and then went to his office to figure out whether what he'd just surveyed was legal.
Several phone calls later, he decided it was.
OSA had prepared meticulously for this visit. Its Mississippi lawyer spent last week calling the city to make sure the group understood its rights under Columbus law and had paid its $174 for a sidewalk occupancy permit and to have a pair of parking meters hooded.
Still, Pfeiffer worried that the ingredients for a destructive and possibly dangerous confrontation were in place. So he trudged back down to the City Hall plaza, realizing the police would have their hands full monitoring the protesters and counter-protesters, and somebody would have to referee.
The city attorney quickly assembled a row of bike cops to separate the two camps, and then he found a bench overlooking the plaza and had a seat. He stayed the rest of the day, occasionally wandering around to make sure things were under control.
"Saturday's job was to cause no harm," Pfeiffer said. "The whole idea was, don't hurt anybody or destroy property."
He thought it went fairly well: no injuries, no arrests, no damaged property. But that doesn't mean he thought the city was well prepared for the onslaught.
"The absence of rules, the absence of guidelines, causes these situations," Pfeiffer said Monday, standing in a hallway inside City Hall as the noisy rally continued for its third straight evening outside.
"We've got to have some written policies or else we end up with this, this, gaggle."
[ OSA: The City attorney considers us a "gaggle" and claims there are no written policies. Has he ever read the Constitution or is that document in the unread section of his legal studies? ]
As it turns out, just those kinds of policies were written several years ago. Then they were shoved into a drawer without ever becoming law.
If the members of Operation Save America descend on your city and you don't notice, they have failed at their mission. They're so jarringly confrontational that even if you've decided to ignore them, you really can't.
[ OSA: Amen! We represent Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords. They got this right! The Scriptures give an account of Jesus' preaching and His hearers' response. Every single person Jesus met walked away from the encounter mad, sad or glad. You cannot ignore Jesus when the gospel is preached but must make a decision. You either accept Jesus or reject Him. God made it so simple. ]
Eleven hardcore members walking from California to Washington arrived Saturday, declaring that a "murderous spirit" has permeated Columbus. Depending on the time of day, up to 150 supporters from across the country are there along with them.
[ OSA: How else does one explain the increase in violent deaths while the national rate has declined? The year 2003 was one of the bloodiest in the history of Columbus. More than 100 murders were committed last year. Once considered a "cow-town," Columbus now ranks with the leading cities in America in violent deaths. "Because you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you." Ezekiel 35:6 ]
Sunday, they protested outside churches, including the ultra-conservative World Harvest Church. (The group pickets churches that are both near abortion providers and conservative enough that congregation members might take its message to heart.)
[ OSA: Ultra-conservative? Ah, the language of marginalization to demonize those one is opposed to. A large church with a national television program located near an abortion mill has no excuse for not maintaining a presence outside this killing center. If such churches are going to do nothing in the way of physically offering Jesus and assistance to abortion-bound mothers, they ought to do as the late Francis Schaeffer wrote and post a sign above the clinic that reads "This abortion clinic open by permission of the local church." This is the truth. ]
At City Hall Monday, they screamed over megaphones, making so much noise that office workers more than a block away were complaining to the mayor's office. They also held huge, graphic photographs of bloody aborted fetuses above highway overpasses, creating traffic jams.
[ OSA: There's that deconstruction of the language again. Babies, not fetuses. ]
Orchestrating it all was Flip Benham, OSA's national director.
"You're a sick city," he said Tuesday.
"Columbus has basically been taken over by the homosexual lifestyle, and it's obvious that the church really doesn't think it's a big issue."
Benham said he has brought an "aborted baby"—he'll quickly interrupt if someone calls it a "fetus"—from California and will bury it in Washington, D.C., sometime next month.
"They're not hard to come by," he said of fetuses. "They're in Dumpsters and everything else. You could get one if you wanted one."
[ OSA: This reporter just cannot bring herself to be truthful to the English language or facts. Her pro-abortion bias just won't allow her to call a baby a baby when it comes to abortion. ]
Contrary to rumors floating around the city—and a visit by Operation Save America certainly breeds wild ones—a couple of things won't be happening.
[ OSA: So why list them and give rabble rousers ideas or are they listed to give their sources the satisfaction of being noticed? ]
One: Benham won't be burning a placenta.
"I can't even imagine that," he said. "Where did you hear that? Holy smokes."
Two: OSA members will not scatter fetuses or parts of fetuses on the Statehouse lawn today.
"We would never do that with the body of a human being, dead or alive," Benham said.
What they will do is open a small casket near the Statehouse so passersby can see the fetus they're transporting to Washington. Benham said he wants the people of Columbus to see what they're doing to unborn babies.
Tuesday, OSA started the day by protesting in front of United Way of Central Ohio. Said Benham: "They dare to de-fund the Boy Scouts because the Boy Scouts of America has taken a stand to keep itself morally straight." (The United Way has cut off funding to the Boy Scouts of America, which excludes gays and atheists.)
Janet Jackson, executive director of the United Way, said they didn't bother her: "Everything I saw was quiet and orderly."
[ OSA: An honest observer quoted at last. Note this is the director of an organization that supports abortion in the way of Planned Parenthood. What eyes is this reporter and many quoted city officials seeing through if Janet Jackson sees our conduct as quiet and orderly? ]
By Tuesday evening, the members of OSA had again congregated at City Hall, and they were no longer interested in being quiet and orderly.
They had asked the fire division for permission to burn a rainbow flag, a Quran and several copies of landmark Supreme Court abortion-rights cases Downtown. They were told to wait until Friday.
[ OSA: No we were not told anything. The city officials would say neither yes nor no - that is until we told them we would burn the articles in a small brazier anyway. Then the police said they would arrest anyone who burned anything. People cooked their lunches on open barbeque grills in the park in front of city hall. This is ok but burning a few articles in a fire bucket with a fire extinguisher on hand is not? Where is the sense in that?
What? No mention of the city granting us a burn permit on Wednesday after our attorney with the public interest firm Liberty Counsel sent an 8-page letter warning the city of First Amendment violations and their practice of illegal content-based discrimination? This reporter and/or her editor ought to just come out say this newspaper withholds the truth from its readers. ]
On Monday, Benham promised his followers they'd see a fire Tuesday night, with or without permit. Police said OSA members told them to expect to have to make some arrests.
Mike Doughney, a longtime observer of OSA who's made it his mission to fight the group in Columbus, said getting arrested has become the group's way of grabbing attention. Benham takes pride in the fact he's been arrested four times since he started this year's walk from California to D.C. And if it happens to him or others in his group here, so be it.
[ OSA: At last the mask is pulled off. Mike Doughney (quoted extensively in this article as some "expert advisor" with no challenge to his distorted views) is a member of the extreme left wing pro-abortion God-hating group known as BARF (their home web page is www.BARF.org but when not appealing to their supporters is short for Biblical America Resistance Front). Mike Doughney writes extensively on the Christian bashing web page www.theanswerisno.org that was created especially to battle and bash Christians with Operation Save America this summer in Columbus. It makes one wonder why this reporter, Kristen Convery, conveniently leaves out Mike Doughney's role in this organization that most Americans would call extremely left of mainstream America, not just OSA. Pay close attention to Mike's quoted statements below. ]
"They are here to provoke people to arrest them, and it's over bullshit," Doughney said, as he videotaped the rally from the City Hall steps Tuesday night.
[ OSA: What does Mike Doughney of BARF call the banging of pots and pans, shouting obscenities and constant heckling during Christians prayers, testimonies of their experiences walking across America and worshipping God in an attempt to distract and drown out speakers? The rabble rousers that went so far as to shout obscenities all through Thursday's memorial service for Baby Mercy are trying hard to provoke people to violence. It's called Christian bashing. Mike is expressing his anger over his friends being held back from physical violence against us by police. This reporter conveniently fails to include any of the harassment of OSA participants this week. ]
OSA members seemed to take particular pleasure in irritating police officers who were assigned to their demonstration.
One officer was upset that a man had told his children the police were going to take his mommy and daddy away. Another was angry an OSA member had told him Christians could not, by definition, be cops.
[ OSA: We take pleasure in irritating no one, especially police officers. We are law-keepers, not law-breakers. The gospel of Christ will by the Spirit of God convict the hearers of sin, judgment and righteousness when preached in its purity and in love. Preaching the Word of God will comfort the afflicted but it will afflict the comfortable in need of repentance but denying it. Police officers are supposed to remain neutral while on duty. If they grow
irritated by Christians exercising their First Amendment rights, perhaps they
should become more familiar with the Constitution.
Some of us may occasionally ask officers that are sworn by oath to protect all human life without discrimination how they can guard abortion mills where innocent baby girls and boys are brutally murdered. We especially ask these types of questions of officers engaged in efforts to silence Christians and pro-life views by way of enforcing zones and sometimes non-existent rules they make up. It's a tough job and calling it "just doing my job enforcing the law" does not make it right. The guards at Nazi Germany's death camps claimed they were just doing their job enforcing laws the German Supreme Court ruled legal. They were still found guilty at the Nuremberg trials.
More recently since the Berlin Wall came down a number of East German border guards stood trial for shooting down illegal border crossing by those trying to escape Communism. They used their job and told how their superiors would have shot them if they refused. The "just doing my job" defense did not keep the court from sentencing each guard to three years in prison. How will this defense be received in God's court that is supreme over all human courts and man-made laws? ]
Doughney said the group's treatment of officers in Columbus was "probably the worst I've ever seen."
A cadre of OSA members toyed with police and news crews just before 9 p.m. Tuesday—half an hour past the time OSA members expected the evening's festivities to end. They began walking through Downtown, one of them carrying a steel bucket, presumably to burn something.
[ OSA: Let's be fair. Though the city's sudden reversal after the letter from our attorney proved the city was illegally withholding a burn permit from OSA we were prepared to do what was legal in spite of police officers telling us we could not. If arrested, we would have prevailed in court. Let's report the fact that there were over 100 officers surrounding gentle Christians and later following the brazier (a fire bucket for burning coals) all around the city. Columbus police officers pushed through the crowd of Christians by threatening to use Taser guns (similar to cattle prods) to several women's heads. We're talking about excessive force just to illegally prevent a pastor from burning several articles. While police over-extended their force around OSA four people were murdered that night. This is on the city, fire and police leadership's heads not ours. We applied for the permit over a week in advance. ]
Benham said the little group led the cops and cameras on eight tours of Downtown, each starting at City Hall. The longest, at about 1 a.m., took almost an hour and a half, he said.
"The police are still following the bucket," Benham said just before 9 a.m. Wednesday. In fact, the scene had quieted down before then, but not by much. Police spokeswoman Sherry Mercurio said the demonstration lasted until about 3:30 a.m.
[ OSA: Does our God-given First Amendment right end at 10 pm or 12 Midnight? The last time I read the Constitution there were no time constraints. ]
"By 4 a.m.," Mercurio said, "there were eight to nine people who were mostly half-asleep in chairs."
[ OSA: The point is ...? ]
Before Janet Jackson went to United Way, she held Pfeiffer's job as city attorney.
While this week is Pfeiffer's first brush with such chaos, Jackson was around for a number of large, offensive Downtown demonstrations, including Ku Klux Klan rallies in the 1990s.
Some regard the Klan rallies as far worse than OSA's event, partly because they drew so many more counter-protesters. The Klan rallies required barricades and metal detectors, which haven't been needed this week.
But some police officers who remember the KKK rallies say this week is far worse: It's longer and more drawn out, they say, and these people want to get arrested.
[ OSA: This is a common lie that media critics like to use and some police officers are naive enough to believe. Our courage to stand for King Jesus no matter what the costs, arrests, jail or even our very life comes from God. This boldness should never be confused with wanting to get arrested. No Christian I know in OR/OSA wants or enjoys getting arrested. Jail is a real bummer. However if the cost of following Jesus might result in arrest, then let the police do what they think they must do. Flip often says to churches he speaks in, "It's always fun to follow Jesus until you find out where He's going." Flip absolutely hates being arrested or jailed away from his family & friends. However he knows better than many in America that God gives joy in the midst of suffering, especially for the Name of Jesus. We know that the Word of God cannot be bound or chained and if jailed, we simply share Christ with the lost souls in jail. Our ministry merely changes locations if we're arrested for doing what is right. ]
By 2000, city staffers had developed a detailed and restrictive permit for non-city events on municipal grounds—but it was never passed into law.
Several of the rules listed in a February 2000 memo would have prohibited this week's rally:
• No one would be permitted to gather on the City Hall steps. (Both OSA members and counter-protesters huddled there this week.)
• Events would be limited to two hours a day, including set-up and tear-down time. Groups would have to submit $20 permit applications for each day.
• Event organizers would not be allowed to use any city equipment. (Monday, OSA tried to plug an extension cord into a city electrical outlet. City facilities management staffers promptly cut off power to the outlet.)
• Anything that could "permanently stain the stone and concrete around City Hall"—including candles—would be banned. (They have a permit to burn outside Federal Court today and Friday, and a fire division spokesman said other permits to burn outside City Hall would have been granted if they had come in sooner.)
• Events would not be able to use sound projection equipment that interfered with normal city functions. (Monday, offices complained about the noise to mayoral spokesman Mike Brown. "It's not what they're saying," Brown said. "It's about the loudness.")
"I have no idea why nothing got passed," Pfeiffer said. But others, who have been at City Hall longer than Pfeiffer, remember: Jackson, his predecessor, didn't think it was feasible.
But Pfeiffer clearly does. And Monday, a mere two days into the OSA event, Pfeiffer and Columbus City Council President Matt Habash met to discuss a potential ordinance.
Jackson doesn't think they'll find it easy.
"There's always that First Amendment right," she said.
[ OSA: Janet Jackson is so correct. Such a tyrannical ordinance would be ruled unconstitutional before the ink could dry on the new city code books. There is a reason the ordinance got shoved in a drawer several years ago. Even the godless groups on the left including the most political and powerful cadre in Columbus, the homosexual lobby.. Homosexual activists would fight such an ordinance since it could not be content-based and would affect all groups, not just those they hate.
Conclusion: Thanks for the article! However this baseless charge of "bashing gays" is a lie that needs to be retracted in a space as prominent as this article was printed. We won't hold our breath on this but God can do awesome things. That charge in the sub-headline is a lie from the pit of hell and The OTHER Newspaper ought to be ashamed of themselves for ever printing it. ]
@2004 The Other Paper and CM Media Inc., Columbus, Ohio