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Progressive Revival

Randall Terry is back with his after-life threats just in time for Halloween as reported by Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — Anti-abortion activist Randall Terry is calling on people to burn effigies of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this Halloween, as part of a “Burn in Hell” video contest to protest the health care legislation in Congress.

Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, said Tuesday that the contest serves as a political and spiritual statement that “gives people a chance to peacefully vent their rage.”

“If Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid force us to pay for child killing and they die unrepentant, they will burn in hell for this,” Terry said in a telephone interview.

But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., called the contest “unfortunate.”

“I don’t think appealing to people’s anger and in effect inciting them to acts which either display or in any way project violent acts is consistent with rational discussion of very critical issues,” Hoyer told reporters.

A YouTube video of the contest instructions shows how to print a poster of Reid and Pelosi and construct a stand for it. The clip shows a person dousing the Democratic leaders’ images with flammable liquid. The next scene shows their picture going up in flames. People are then encouraged to take pictures, record and submit online the footage of their Oct. 31 protests.

“No, this is not a threat to their body,” an unidentified man says in the instructional video, “but it is a threat to their soul.”

While this is a pretty spooky ploy I think most pro-lifers are embarrassed by these tactics finding them counter-productive as well as opposed to the American spirit of civil debate and disagreement.  Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners, whom I know to be personally opposed to abortion, responded to Terry’s Burn in Hell proposal with this statment:

“Such an offensive stunt that fans the flames of division and hate is not in accordance with the Scriptures that tell us to love kindness and walk humbly with our God. We are experiencing a moment in our history of great debate about the direction of our nation. People of faith must be about the business of creating safe public space that supports a moral and civil dialogue and seeks to bring us together to find common ground or at least to model a more civil tone when we disagree with one another. Driving anger, fueling hate, and even encouraging a spirit of violence by burning effigies of photographs of political leaders on YouTube is simply not in keeping with the spirit of Christ much less declaring fellow Americans will “burn in hell.” This simply lacks the compassion and humility that Christians ought to be noted for and is not the best way to sharing the love of Christ, that we, as believers, are called to embody.”

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