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Albany, New York

Albany, New York  

April 9, 2005

Beth Lynch Reporting

The lines are clearly delineated in this war for the unborn. Warriors on one side position themselves against the walls of the citadel of death. Armed with arrogance, politics and business savvy, they defiantly defend property, ideology, and the blind sheep they are leading into the abyss.

Christian soldiers on the opposing side stand just a few feet away at curbside on the edge of the sidewalk, the edge of secular society, the edge of reason and last chances. Armed with implicating photographs, rosary beads, prayers and Scripture, they boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the consequences of sacrificing His precious children.

Between the two forces is the sidewalk where crossfire flies. Here walk those for whom this battle is raging – unborn babies growing vibrantly in their mothers' wombs, and the mothers and fathers carrying them to sacrifice. Caught in the line of fire are less-than-innocent bystanders and passersby who passively tolerate cries of torture and death or who actively support it.

At the Lark Street Planned Parenthood in Albany the contrived joviality of the deathscorts in the doorway gave the scene a bizarre flavor. Cheerfully chatting and laughing, they broke into song now and then. They behaved like old friends visiting on the stoops of the neighborhood rather than like guardians of lies in spiritual warfare. Their contrived joviality was a transparent attempt to tell the world “See? Aren't we fun? Aren't we nice people? How can anyone believe that we are murdering babies in here?”

Their feigned congeniality was incongruous to the scenario of death to the point of the surreal. Occasionally an angry woman appeared with an ID badge fastened to her suit jacket. Casting disdainful looks and terse directions she barked at me “Stay out of the driveway.” A deathscort repositioned herself at the end of the building to distribute PP brochures in hopes of counteracting the truth we were handing out. She projected a dour look that relaxed only when a potential victim passed by, at which time she smilingly offered death camp propaganda. If looks could kill, we would be dead soldiers.

Harold stood on the street corner holding a sign. Without comment or warning a man on a bicycle rode close to him, spit in his face, and breezed away leaving Harold bravely containing his anger with a contaminated lip.

Paul paced and preached of the evil going on inside the abortuary and of the pending judgment of God. A woman happily chatting with the deathscorts suddenly turned on him and ranted that PP had saved her life. Unable to prompt from her what she meant, Paul held his ground and continued his testimony. She hollered loudly, pointing fingers, and approached Paul with very aggressive posturing.

Father Francis, crucifix in hand, intervened with the reasonable question “Why are you shouting?”

She could not answer that, but as the deathscorts took her by the arm, she backed away visibly shaken and extremely agitated.

Some wounds are deeper than we know. We did not learn what the woman meant by her comment, but she had rationalized whatever ‘help' she had received from PP as lifesaving and could not release that belief without facing her own guilt and shame. Unable to hear of the mercy of God, she chose to stay in darkness and pain. Her denial and rationalization lay dormant as she laughed and visited with her ‘lifesavers” the perpetrators of evil. But Paul's words awakened in her what was unresolved and unforgiven.

Rather than face the truth, she projected her anger onto Paul. Better he bear it than she own it in herself.

A woman from a nearby shop handed Tom a hand written note and went on her way. In it she accused him of hypocrisy and judgmentalism. Due to the beam in her own eye she could not see the hypocrisy and judgmentalism within herself which provoked disdain for us.

Bearing witness to the Truth is not pretty. It elicits rage, threatening gestures, spit, and violence, judgment. Jesus showed us this on the night he was arrested. Beaten, mocked, falsely accused and spat upon, He held fast to the will of His Father. “This is why I came into the world, to testify to the truth.”

God bless all of the prayer warriors who did battle that day. I pray for the grace to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us even as we expose and challenge their evil works.

March 12, 2005

It wasn't too long before the Albany police arrived

Tom Tarantelli Reporting

After 8:00 am Mass this morning at St John the Baptist we processed past City Hall, stopped to leave the PP building in charge of angels and archangels, gathered at the Life Center in Schenectady for a moment before heading to PP in Albany.

Ed and a Dr. Zielinski from the Oregon coast stopped by the Life Center for a bit too. Dr. Z was scheduled to appear on Culture of Life radio, an hour-long [ 5:00 to 6:00 pm ] Saturday Catholic radio program on Christian radio WDCD, sponsored not by the Catholic diocese but by Tom, Steve, Ed and Mike). Dr. Z is involved in the prolife movement on a national level. After a short bit of talk Paul, Fr. Francis, Joe, and I headed to Albany .

(Incidentally I am writing this on Saturday 5:30pm and have just turned on the radio to hear Dr. Z and Tom G.).

Upon arriving in Albany Paul and I unloaded the graphic signs and met Father and Joe at PP. It was a snowy morning, not too cold. I set up a graphic sign for passing cars while Paul talked to women entering PP. (You can sometimes tell which girls are going in for an abortion; they wear loose fitting pants and have someone to drive them home).

It wasn't too long before the Albany police arrived apparently responding to a complaint about our graphic signs. The first officer said we couldn't use our signs as they were too graphic and people (including himself) were offended. Father Francis introduced himself to the officer and told him to check with Lieut. Cox of the Albany PD. After a short while both police cars left. Were they surprised to see an aborted baby next to an abortion mill? We told the policeman we too were offended, not by the sign as what they sign pointed to, i.e. what was going on inside the building.

Soon another Schenectadian, Jim -- dad of 7 (soon to be 8) -- took time out from his busy life to join us to try to save a baby's life.

Many women went in and out. Paul and Jim talked to them as well as the deathscorts. Some of the women had loose fitting pants and went in with boyfriends. Some, after talking to us, didn't stay in too long. Hard to tell if they changed their mind.

After a while Lark Street regulars Ron, Julia, Frank, Steve and Bob joined us and we continued as one until 11:20 when Jim left for work and we left PP in the hands of the regulars.

February 26, 2005

[Latham is the suburb in the center of the Albany - Schenectady - Troy triangle]


With a small contingent of hastily pulled together stalwarts we witnessed to thousands of mortorists. This sunny and calm day allowed some of us to utilize more than one sign. The Neugebauers, Mike Schweigert and John O'Brien covered the South side of Rt. 2, Joe Bonville and myself the North side.

Mostly it was a typical FTT response, some heartfelt affirmations, some interest in reading the signage, much indifference and the usual numerous single digital fingers raised, catcalls, roaring off of engines, etc. - one woman angrily took off from the stoplight through the busy intersection with both hands raised off the wheel in a two handed digital salute.

A second angry woman waiting at the light challenged to what group I belonged. Upon momentarily thinking I was not a formal member of any particular group my reply was "the army of Christ." With that she roared off stating "you must be ashamed to mention the name of my group.

Having been previously notified of our intentions the police just passed by several times without stopping. Later on they did come out in response to the complaint of a young mother disturbed by the graphics. Although out of hearing range her arms were waving and pointing in an angry and lengthy tirade as she spoke into the police cruiser. Upon finishing with the woman the police left with no comment to us. A young man who was apparently her husband came along later to debate our use of graphics.

Doug Donovan from Our Saviors Church stopped to visit in affirmation of our efforts - he asked me to keep him informed through Pastor Koene on furture planned events. Doug who is a wonderful Christian poet left us copies of some of his work - perhaps he could be called upon to make up a poem for Oh Saratoga! Theresa has copies which can be passed along.

[ Delmar, a village in town of Bethlehem, is the southwestern suburb of Albany. ]


This location has been in mind for some time as a great place to witness for several good reasons: The historic "Four Corners" of Delmar - which actually has six corners of which main access comes together as a wedge - is the focal point for the elites of Albany (e.g. Albany Co. Executive Mike Breslin) who have migrated to Bethlehem over the years. From this intersection you can physically see three churches - St. Thomas Catholic Church, Bethlehem Reformed Church and the Methodist Church. Additionally several months ago an article in the Evangelist caught my eye about honoring people from St. Thomas who had formed a "Peace" group.

This was a spur of the moment decision to just go down alone in witness to Sunday morning worshipers. The large sign of Jesus holding an aborted baby was displayed along with a large two-sided message sign particularly made up for Sunday morning worshipers and so called "Peace" groups. In this intersection both sides of the sign could be read by those waiting at the lights in any two directions. The sign wording helps to understand the dichotomy set up with Sunday morning worshipers and/or Peace groups:





"Speak Up For Those Who Cannot Speak For Themselves"
Proverbs 31:8





"Peace, Peace, They Say,
But There Is No Peace"
Jer. 5:28

As has been typically experienced on Sunday morning witnessing there were more people thoughtfully interested in reading the signs as they waited at lights - also more affirmations. On this cold and windy morning only one digital salute was experienced, that is until about 12:30 PM when all three church parking lots had emptied and the usual traffic came on - then the normal indifference, catcalls and one finger salutes began in earnest.

Two young Christians from the Delmar Full Gospel Church who were working in a small restaurant across the street brought over a hot chocolate to share their appreciation for witnessing to what they confirmed to be a citadel of modernism passing by. They also told about a "Peace Group" that witnesses here at the "Four Corners" each Monday evening. I promised them I would return.


Upon arriving around 4:45pm (in a parking lot just 50 feet from the "Four Corners" intersection) no picketers were in sight. Thinking they might not even show with the storm coming I reclined my seat to take a short nap. Shortly after 5:pm the sound of car horns woke me with a start - looking into the intersection I was amazed to see the entire intersection sidewalks manned by some 12 picketers with signs of Stop the War, Peace Now, Bring the Troops Home etc. It seemed like every other car coming home from Albany was beeping and waving in affirmation of their messages.

I hastily pulled myself together and walked into the intersection, obviously lugging a large sign. My soon to be fellow picketers took me to be one of them, greeting me with smiles of welcome. Upon taking the sidewalk point of the intersection I held high a large crucifix while facing them holding the "Choice" side of the sign. Smiles quickly froze and then disappeared. On each corner were picketers with the stone cold looks we who witness the gospel of life are so accustomed to. Even motorists went into shock. One particular car setting at the light at that time was busily beeping and waving in affirmation at everyone and then at me. As the driver and his passengers read the sign they first looked to be confused and then dumbfounded as they turned away.

My fellow picketers ears were next offended upon sending over a representative to inquire as to my views on stopping the war. Determined to be the last picket standing they eventually left in silence - no good byes - no "Peace be with you." As the last person walked by I cheerfully inquired where else they might be demonstrating in the area. A woman strictly informed this was not a demonstration but a "Peace Vigil." While pointing to the "Consent" sign I stated "well then this is a vigil for peace in the womb." She stated that as a woman her concern was for the born - not the unborn. The logic of my reply (that it's just a matter of location and still one of God's children being murdered) apparently hurt her ears as she stalked off in the direction of the St. Thomas church.

The Word of God went out and this is all serious spiritual warfare but I can't help but think of myself as the skunk who surprised an elitist garden party. Hopefully it's not a a sin to take some joy out of twisting the tail of the devil - is it?

Blessings and True Peace In Christ,
Bill Schultz

Thursday, October 2, 2003

God Is Going Back To School

Three Christian witnesses along with pictures of Marty, Malachi and Christian arrived early at South Colonie Central High School to speak for the babies and their deceived families, and to help warn the children about the evils of abortion. Also present was a poster of Jesus weaping, complemented by a large sign reminding the world of the so often forgotten truth - Jesus: "Abortion Kills My Children."

I am reminded of today's reading,

Matthew 18:1-5, 10 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; 10 "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.

As I think of the busload after busload of children that passed by, and that one out of every four (or so) of the boys and girls will kill one of their children, I wonder if this is the only time that these children will see the Truth of this greatest of evils? Will this be the only time that they see witnesses proclaiming the Gospel Truth?

AmI one of the ones who despise these little ones, for not coming sooner?

Stay tuned for the next "God is Going Back to School"

Glenn Hitchcock, Servants to the Preborn and their Families