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Burn In Hell Halloween

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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posted October 27, 2009 at 11:11 pm

It’s just so wierd that people actually believe that they’re “sharing the love of Christ” by inciting people to burn other human beings in effigy, and scream “BUrn in hell!” Such ‘love’.
I bet they’d be outraged if people counter-protested by taking those ‘pro-life’ pictures of fetuses and burning them in effigy! I mean, after all, they’d just be showing them that they’re sinners. Isn’t that the point? Oh no, sorry, it’s those cheques that will come rolling in.
Vile in the extreme.

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posted October 27, 2009 at 11:15 pm

I haven’t seen this YouTube video,and,probably won’t,but,if its shock value will cause Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to switch from being pro choice to being pro life,so be it!

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posted October 28, 2009 at 7:27 am

Why not just go out and shoot all of us who believe in a woman’s right to chose? Better yet, why not go out and douse us with gasoline and set us on fire?
Are you conservative, fundamentalist, evangelical, bible-thumping, literalistic, etc. Christians clear on just what you are endorsing here?
You are literally advocating the murder by fire of people with whom you disagree.
Such Christian charity. Frankly, if I were undecided on the issue (Christian or no, and I am a Christian) such horrible actions would definitely not make me look at your side of the debate as the more reasonable one.
All conservative Christians in America stand for is torture and whatever the Republicans say is right. Their entire faith-based values-driven agenda consists of gay-bashing, bombing doctors’ offices and now, inciting people to pour gasoline on other humans and burn them.
By their fruits shall ye know them.

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posted October 28, 2009 at 7:53 am

Let’s be real clear here. These people are not Christian in any sense of the word. Calling, or even claiming, a title does not make it so. Actions are the only thing that provide validity. Not one of their actions can be, in the remotest sense, be claimed to display Jesus’ teachings. They are no different than many of the violent members individuals who claim to be acting in the name of Mohammed.

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posted October 28, 2009 at 8:03 am

Ah, but Brian, I have to disagree.
They very much are part of our Christian body, hateful and perverted as they are.
Their favorite game is to label gay Christians like me “non-Christian”. I don’t think we should sink to their level. The solution is to fight back against their hatred, not to pretend this is anything but what it is: A very large part of the American Christian community.
I split my time between the US and Europe. You have to experience the difference between the two cultures to really appreciate just how invidious these twisted perspectives are in American popular culture.
When I first read about this burning in effigy, it reminded me of two things. First, the crosses burning on my parent’s front lawn in Georgia (my mom is a human rights activist) and, second, of the Palestinians/Iranians/Afgahni, etc. and their acting out against the American flag by pouring gas on it and lighting it afire.
Nope, they’re Christians, alright and it is both our fault for raising our nose at the simple, white-lower-class-men for too long, excluding them from our liberal, progressive world as well as for thinking that they’d just ‘go away’ when confronted with solid theology.

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Nate W

posted October 28, 2009 at 3:06 pm

“By their fruits shall ye know them.”
Perhaps you should give those words some serious thought, Panthera. Your comments rarely seem to display the kinds of “fruits” one would expect of a Christian. Loving your enemies doesn’t usually include slandering them.

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posted October 28, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Nate W
Show the slander, then we’ll talk about it.
Oh, and, do weigh please the distinction between actually burning people in effigy and criticizing conservative Christians.
Or do you thing that such actions are really showing Christian charity?

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posted October 28, 2009 at 4:22 pm

What a class act (NOT). And I love this line, “peacefully vent their rage.” Sounds like an oxymoron.

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Brian Griffith

posted October 29, 2009 at 8:45 am

May I recommend a great book on this hellish business: “Religion of Fear: The Politics of Horror in Conservative Evangelicalism,” by Jason Bivins.
Bivins investigates the recent spate of books, comics, and “Hell House” dramas, which are designed to put the terror of God back into the media. He points out that the vast majority of conservative Christians in the USA were non-aggressive during the decades of America’s world supremacy. But as American dominance waned, many conservatives blamed the forces of sin, and devoted themselves to a victory for God. Bivins details many of their major media efforts such as Christian cartoons, attacks on popular music, “hell house” dramas, and apocalyptic novels. He finds the level of vindictive violence, blood, and horror in these productions almost stupifying. Instead of offending the religious authorities of his day by daring to forgive sinners, Jesus as portrayed in these productions is bound to execute vengeance for sin. As Jesus says in the Left Behind novel Glorious Appearing, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that is justice, and that is your sentence”.

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posted October 29, 2009 at 9:11 pm

“Burn in Hell” is a typical conservative Christian chant when you don’t heed their beliefs or somehow don’t cower or admit you’re wrong and that they’re right. It’s kind of the last resort that is used or said, that you’ll be sorry for not listening to me when you die. I’ve seen them leave with this smug expression. I generally laugh because it’s the ‘i got the last word’.

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posted October 30, 2009 at 12:17 pm

In this case, the christianists aren’t just speaking metaphorically, they really are agitating for truly attacking and burning those with whom they disagree.
Christianists are the biggest danger our country faces.

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