It would appear Kim Davis may have started a whole new trend whereby Christians simply ignore Constitutions and secular laws.
Last week, American Christian extremist and anti-abortionist Troy Newman was deported from Australia, after he attempted to enter Australia illegally, and knowingly so.
Mr Newman is the president of an American anti-abortion organisation called ‘Operation Rescue.’ He was invited to Australia by ‘Right to Life Australia,’ a local Christian, anti-abortion organisation, to speak at their Melbourne conference.
Mr Newman was planning to talk about his crusade against ‘Planned Parenthood,’ an American non-profit organisation which provides reproductive health, maternal and child health services, often to socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, and the attempt by right-wing conservatives to shut it down. Among other services, such as breast and cervical cancer screening, HIV screening and counseling, and contraception, Planned Parenthood also provides abortion services, putting the organisation in the crosshairs of anti-abortion activists for a long time.
The Planned Parenthood furphy
Planned Parenthood routinely donates tissue from aborted foetuses for medical research, which is perfectly legal. But, the Center for Medical Progress, another anti-abortion group, targeted Planned Parenthood with selectively altered and edited video footage purporting to show Planned Parenthood admitting selling tissue from aborted foetuses for medical research, which is illegal. While initially public outrage ensued, it soon became clear the video footage was heavily edited to cast Planned Parenthood in an undeservedly negative light for religious and political purposes. A consequent congressional investigation failed to find any evidence of wrongdoing.
Operation rescue and Mr Newman
On the other hand, Mr Newman’s organisation has been linked to serious wrongdoings over the years.
In 2002 he moved the headquarters of Operation Rescue to Wichita, Kansas, to focus its efforts on late-term abortion provider George Tiller. Their efforts failed repeatedly, since Dr Tiller was providing a legal, medical service to those in need.
However, Dr Tiller was assassinated in 2009 while attending a service at his church, the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita. He was assassinated by Scott Philip Roeder. While Operation Rescue insisted Mr Roeder had never been a member, contributor, or volunteer with Operation Rescue,’ Mr Roeder responded by stating ‘[w]ell, my gosh. I’ve got probably a thousand dollars worth of receipts, at least, from the money I’ve donated to him,’ and the phone number for Operation Rescue’s senior policy advisor, Cheryl Sullenger, was found on the dashboard of Mr Roeder’s car.
Ms Sullenger was herself convicted in 1988 of conspiring to bomb a California abortion clinic, and served two years in prison.
It was also reported Mr Roeder had lunch with Mr Newman before the assassination, and Mr Roeder recounted a portion of their conversation:
Oh, something like if an abortionist—I don’t even know if it was specifically Tiller…was shot, would it be justified? … And [Newman] said, “If it were, it wouldn’t upset me.”
Mr Newman also co-authored a book, first released in 2000 and revised in 2003, titled ‘Their Blood Cries Out,’ which called women who have abortion murderers, and called for the execution of abortion doctors:
When moms, dads, abortionists are added together, well over 100,000,000 people bear personal bloodguilt for at least one abortion. The doctrine of community bloodguilt found in Scripture further implicates the entire nation. The perpetrators are far too numerous and the bloodguilt has spread too far. We deserve God’s judgment.
In addition to our personal guilt in abortion, the United States government has abrogated its responsibility to properly deal with the blood-guilty. This responsibility rightly involves executing convicted murderers, including abortionists, for their crimes in order to expunge bloodguilt from the land and people. Instead, the act of abortion has been elevated to a “God-given right” and the abortionists canonized as saints. Consequently, the entire nation has the blood-red stain of the lives of the innocent upon its head.
The innocent blood of the New Covenant in Christ has the power to atone for all the innocent bloodshed from the beginning of time to the end, and to purify the whole earth – the land. Rejecting that innocent blood is to reject the only standard that is effective against innocent bloodshed, excluding the lawful execution of the murderers, which is commanded by God in Scripture.
Granted, those words do not expressly advocate the extrajudicial killing of abortion doctors, but he is very explicitly saying that providing an abortion should be a capital crime, equivalent to murder and invokes the biblical concept of ‘bloodguilt’ over otherwise legal abortions.
Right to Life Australia
The Australian Right to Life organisation also has an uneasy connection to anti-abortion violence.
The 2001 shooting at the Fertility Control Clinic in East Melbourne was a tragedy, costing the life of a security guard.
The perpetrator of the crime, Peter James Knight, was an unstable anti-abortion activist. If he wasn’t restrained by two brave men at the premises, the death toll could have been far worse.
Prior to the crime, Mr Knight visited Right to Life Australia and reportedly spoke to president Margaret Tighe through a security door and complained to her about pregnancy termination clinic ads appearing in the Yellow Pages. Ms Tighe said he did not express violent intentions, and she didn’t engage him and simply told him she would have to put his idea to their committee.
The clinic continues to suffer the wrath of anti-abortion protesters on a regular basis, despite ongoing attempts to prevent them from congregating outside their premises.
Thankfully, in Australia, the people who compose the so-called ‘right to life’ movement are a minority.
Mr Newman openly defied Australia’s laws
The impending arrival of Mr Newman set off alarm bells in Australia. Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton revoked his visa in light of the concerns raised about Mr Newman’s character.
In Denver, airline staff advised Mr Newman he couldn’t travel further en route to Australia, and was told to contact the Australian embassy because his Australian visa has been cancelled. In response Mr Newman exhibited nothing but smug obstinance.
Despite the cancellation of his visa, which was clearly communicated to him, Mr Newman eventually boarded a flight to Melbourne where, upon arrival, he was taken into immigration detention as an illegal arrival.
He appealed the cancellation of his visa to the High Court of Australia and the government gave an undertaking he would not be removed from Australia for 24 hours, allowing the High Court time to consider the matter.
High Court Justice Nettle ruled the Department of Immigration was justified in revoking Mr Newman’s visa over fears his visit would pose a risk to the community. He also noted Mr Newman ‘[a]cting as he did … means that he does not come to this Court with clean hands,’ had ‘contumacious disregard’ for Australia’s laws, and he had no right to treat those laws as ‘nought.’
Upon the decision of the High Court, Peter Dutton announced Mr Newman would be removed from Australia immediately.
Even after breaking the law, and his consequent deportation from Australia, Mr Newman’s organisation still can’t see what he has done wrong.
What Mr Newman does may be acceptable in the Unites States, but it is culturally and socially abhorrent in Australia, but for a tiny minority, who will not be permitted to dictate public policy on women’s health and wellbeing. That’s a job for medical professionals and women themselves.