Why Did Anti-Choice Activists Harass Unitarians in New Orleans?


As Teddy Wilson reported for RH Reality Check, anti-choice protesters from the group Operation Save America spent a week recently harassing the residents of New Orleans (as though that city has not had its share of grief in recent years). The ostensible reason for the protests was to target a Planned Parenthood that’s being built in the area to provide legal abortion care, but one incident in particular showed how “abortion” continues to be a Trojan horse for the real agenda here: a fundamentalist attack on the long-standing American tradition of religious freedom and tolerance.

Some of the anti-choice activists invaded the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans while members were observing a moment of silence for a deceased congregant and proceeded to abuse and harass the people inside the church. The folks from Operation Save America were hardly ashamed of this deplorable behavior, instead bragging on their website about disrupting services at the “synagogue of Satan” and making special note of haranguing the female pastor, who they called a “pastor,” in scare quotes. (But they’re in this for “life” and not because they have a problem with women!) This behavior isn’t necessarily any worse than the miseries they subject clinic patients and workers to, but it serves as a reminder that the reason anti-choice “protesters” get into the lifestyle is that they are bullies, full stop.

Why did they pick on a Unitarian church? The ostensible reason is Unitarian support for reproductive rights and social justice, which antis seem to have decided Jesus was against, despite biblical evidence to the contrary. But let’s be honest here: Their hostility against the church likely was just as much, if not more, about the long-standing fundamentalist hostility to the Unitarian church for being open-minded and accepting of people who have a variety of beliefs. Unitarians have been targeted for hate crimes before, most notably in a Knoxville shooting in 2008.

(It’s worth pointing out that while Operation Save America—like most fundamentalist organizations—imagines itself “restoring” some kind of halcyon past, the Unitarian Universalist Church has deeper roots in American history than Bible-thumping fundamentalism. The two churches, which combined in the 1960s, date back to 1793 and 1825. In contrast, belief in the “Rapture,” which is a common marker of modern evangelical fundamentalists, only really started in the late 19th century and only became popular in the late 20th century.)

Basically, “abortion” was just a flimsy cover for what’s really going on, which is a fundamentalist war on the very Enlightenment principles—of which the Unitarian Universalist Church is a long-standing historical emblem—that undergird our Constitution. There are many pro-choice churches, but the religious pluralism of the Unitarians is what really sets fundamentalists off. Indeed, there’s a strong reason to believe that the religious right is basically using the battle over reproductive rights to advance a much larger agenda against religious tolerance. And the strategy is to argue that their own “religious freedom” cannot be protected without taking yours away.

That is, after all, what’s at the heart of the two recent Supreme Court decisions over whether or not abortion clinics can have buffer zones and whether or not your boss’s opinion on birth control should matter more than your own when it comes to insurance coverage of contraception. In both cases, anti-choicers argued that their own freedom could only be protected by taking someone else’s away. With the abortion buffer zone case, anti-choicers argued that their “right” to impose their views on you should trump your right to ignore them. In the Hobby Lobby case, anti-choicers argued that “religious freedom” can only be protected by forcing other people’s health-care plans to meet your own religious beliefs, just because they work for you. In both cases, anti-choicers won with the argument that the fundamentalist “right” to impose their religion trumps the American tradition of religious tolerance.

Now the argument that the “religious freedom” of fundamentalists relies on taking the freedoms of others away is out there, and there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was heard recently encouraging opponents of gay rights to see themselves as victimized and their religious freedom being trod upon, even though they are actually the ones seeking to take away the rights of others. “[T]oday, there is a growing intolerance on this issue, intolerance towards those who continue to support traditional marriage,” he said, claiming that it’s wrong, for instance, for the CEO of Mozilla to be forced out for being anti-gay. (Rubio did not extend this logic to its conclusion and argue for reinstating Donald Sterling as the owner of the LA Clippers. Why is it OK to fire people for being racist, but not for being anti-gay, Rubio?)

But mostly his argument rested on the assumption that calling bigotry by its rightful name is somehow a grievous violation of human rights. “And I promise you that even before this speech is over, I will be attacked as a hater, a bigot or someone who is anti-gay,” he said. “This intolerance in the name of tolerance is hypocrisy.”

The problem with this is no one is actually being “intolerant” of homophobes. No one is arguing that their freedom of speech should be denied, nor are they arguing that churches that preach anti-gay views should be shut down. No one is denying their right to organize or to hate gay people as long as they want. The “offensive” thing that gay rights activists are doing is fighting for their own rights. At the end of the day, what this argument boils down to is suggesting that the religious freedom of fundamentalists can only be protected by taking away the freedom, religious and otherwise, of gay people to marry—that your same-sex marriage somehow deprives them of rights.

Obviously, people should support reproductive rights for the sake of women’s health and well-being. But it’s also important to understand that while the attacks on reproductive rights are quite sincere—antis really are upset that you have sex without their permission!—the issue is part and parcel of a larger campaign to end the long American tradition of religious plurality, of understanding that the best way for religious freedom to be protected is for everyone to stay in their own lanes. It’s about giving fundamentalists not just the right to practice their own faith but the “right” to foist their faith on you.

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  • dudebro
  • StealthGaytheist

    That’s their M.O. Harass the hell out of people until they break. If that doesn’t work there’s always stronger tactics like clinic bombings and doctor murders.

    • BelligerentBruncher

      Yeah, it’s not like the pro-abortion crowd assaults and maims humans.

      Like this lady:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCJf9b0yB5Y

      • Elizabeth

        Who did she maim?

        • BelligerentBruncher

          While she definitely assaulted them, as far as I know, she didn’t maim anyone.

          However, 1,200,000 humans per year are extinguished in the name of “pro-choice.” Maybe you don’t choose to view that as being maimed, but some of us view human life as slightly more important than to discard it in the waste bin.

          • GM52246

            1) If you believe that abortion is murder, do you believe women who get abortions should be arrested for murder? 2) If you believe that abortion is murder, do you support Scott Roeder’s decision to murder Dr. George Tiller? 3) Do you plan to kill doctors yourself? 4) If you believe doctors are murdering 1.2 million people a year, don’t you have a moral obligation to start killing doctors who perform abortions?

          • BelligerentBruncher

            1. Nope
            2. Nope.

            3. Nope.

            4. Nope.

            Any more questions?

          • Arekushieru

            Yeah, and I’ll bet it’ll be the same ones they just asked you, since you didn’t answer them. You contradicted yourself, after all. Oops, so typical.

            And, no, you antis see women as disposable breeding containers. So, if you don’t see women as any more important than fetuses in the scheme of things, which you obviously don’t, because you just casually dismissed the loss of WOMEN’S lives in favour of the fetuses’, you definitely do NOT fucking treat human life as something more than to be discarded into a ‘trash bin’. Ignoramus. Besides, you don’t want to treat fetuses as if they’re something more than to be discarded, you want to treat them as if they’re DIVINE. BLEARGH.

          • DonnaDiva

            Great, you don’t think abortion is murder. So let’s keep it legal then!

          • fiona64

            He’s our resident teenaged dudebro troll. Please feel free to weight his opinions accordingly.

          • Shan

            Apparently, he’s in a bad mood lately. Disappointing since he seemed borderline reasonable last week. Oh, well.

          • Shan

            “Any more questions?”

            Do you think abortion should be illegal?

          • Arekushieru

            I see you’re ableist, as well. Don’t mind the able-bodied people who essentially assaulted the woman who was autistic, because that’s PRECISELY what it amounted to considering the behaviours associated with autism, but SHE is responsible for assaulting them in what would be an equivalent manner as a RESULT? Ableist, classist, misogynist DOUCHEBAG.

          • http://joannevalentinesimson.wordpress.com/ ValPas

            Belligerent, those stats you mention do not refer to humans. They are embryos and fetuses. If you don’t know the difference, you should take a biology course. Question: Are YOU human? Or a troll?

          • BelligerentBruncher

            Are they canine embryos and fetuses?

            Maybe they’re feline fetuses?

            Or are they human embryos and fetuses?

            Oh, Val. You’re love for abortion has jaded you into thinking that the DNA isn’t human. So sad for someone who purportedly is a “scientist.”

          • http://joannevalentinesimson.wordpress.com/ ValPas

            In fact, the DNA isn’t a human. It is human DNA, but so is the DNA in the skin cells that slough off your body all the time, or the cheek cells that you swallow (or spit out). So is the cancerous tumor that grows in your body and that you may want a surgeon to remove. Cells are not humans. Humans are multicellular organisms that are able to survive in an external environment. Again, I recommend that you take a biology course.

          • BelligerentBruncher

            We’re not talking about a few cheeks cells, or a tumor. We’re talking about a fetus. A human fetus.

            Not that you’d know the difference. But, of course, you’re a “scientist” (which we all knows that you weren’t a PhD or an MD otherwise you would have stated as such). What’s the matter? Not smart enough to get a doctorate degree?

          • dudebro

            Let’s talk about a human morula.

          • P. McCoy

            And you’re “god” because you’re male and ‘righteous’ and have decided that you and your fellow ‘gods’ie; anti choicers have the right to force women to give birth as well as live the way that YOU see fit- well here’s one woman who won’t bow down nor obey false idols like YOU!

          • Suba gunawardana

            Why should all humans be forced into life at the expense of non-humans?

          • http://joannevalentinesimson.wordpress.com/ ValPas

            Yes, Belligerent, I do have a Ph.D. in human anatomy, and I studied and taught human embryology as well as histology and gross anatomy to medical and dental students. When you have the illusion that a bit of human DNA makes something sacred, then you are worshiping DNA and not God, and you certainly don’t care anything about the lives of women.

          • ansuz

            Why should I care whether or not a non-sapient life form is human?

          • Shan

            “Or are they human embryos and fetuses?”

            Of course they are. Women don’t have abortions because they’re worried they’re going to end up giving birth to an iguana.

          • fiona64

            “My dear, I love you very, very much. You have just given birth to a lizard.” — Bill Cosby, “Himself”

          • fiona64

            He’s a teenaged boy … and a troll.

          • ansuz

            It’s not ‘in the name of pro-choice’. It’s to remove something — someone, if you insist — from the body of someone who doesn’t want it there.

          • Alex Hunter

            At least twice that many are born.

          • ryanov

            You going to clothe and feed those “humans”?

          • BelligerentBruncher

            I will clothe and feed any child I bring into this world without hesitation. As should any responsible parent.

            Are you not capable of being a responsible parent?

          • Arekushieru

            …Says the person who wants to force even irresponsible people to parent. So, the only ones putting money where their mouths are, are the pro-choicers, once again. After all, you REFUSE to take responsibility for the actions of your ilk that will bring more humans into this world to suffer from starvation and lack of shelter because of EITHER said parents or because those parents are too poor to PROVIDE the fucking basic necessities.

            So, not only are you classist, ableist AND misogynist, but SPECIESIST, as well.

          • BelligerentBruncher

            Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that it is only poor people getting abortions because they think that they are not responsible enough to be good parents.

            My bad.

          • ryanov

            Not only, but plenty of people who for whatever reason don’t think they can be good parents (including not wanting a child). You don’t know anything about people’s personal decisions… soo… shut up.

            (BTW, you’re not a woman)

          • BelligerentBruncher

            I can be whatever I say I am. Woman. Man.

            Don’t you love it?

          • Arekushieru

            So, you think transwomen can get pregnant, ass? Oops.

          • Arekushieru

            Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you hadn’t actually said responsible parents can feed and clothe their children. My bad.

          • Kit Kimberly

            Great. When you can get the foetus out of my body with no more risk than an abortion, it’s all yours.

            BTW, how many of the child refugees from south of the border have you taken in?

          • JamieHaman

            Lots of people are NOT capable of being responsible parents. Why would you object to them staying child free?

          • ansuz

            “Are you not capable of being a responsible parent?”
            I’m not.

          • BelligerentBruncher

            Great, then what was it that someone was telling me about what men should do if they don’t want kids…..

            Oh yeah, keep your legs closed or pants zipped.

          • dudebro

            What do you think sheep are for? Silly!

          • ansuz

            For me, that’s a viable strategy. (I’m asexual, low libido, and I find sex to be baffling and kind of gross.) For others? Not so much, at least not for an entire lifetime.

          • Arekushieru

            Which is only a response because of your ilks common ASSumption that women need to keep their legs closed or pants zipped. Oops.

          • BelligerentBruncher

            lady_black thinks men need to keep their pants zipped.

            Is she part of my ilk?

          • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

            Lady Black wants me to zip their pants so they will not get pregnant? I don’t think so.

          • Arekushieru

            Did you even bother reading the rest of my post, because it applies just as well to lady-black as it does every other Pro-Choicer. But, somehow, I don’t think so.

          • colleen2

            No she is not one of your ilk. She is a good and decent and honest person. You lack all those traits as far as I can tell.

          • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

            I like to do it with my legs closed. I have great orgasms that way.

          • BelligerentBruncher

            “I don’t understand common vernacular.”

          • Suba gunawardana

            What about people who are unable/unwilling to be provide and care for children? What good does it do to force children on them? You are only punishing the children.

          • BelligerentBruncher

            You’re right. We should just allow parents who don’t feel like being parents to kill their kids.

          • Suba gunawardana

            The whole point of abortion is to PREVENT that kind of cruelty to actual children.

          • Shan

            I disagree. The whole point of a woman having an abortion is to end her pregnancy and prevent giving birth. That’s all. Steering the conversation/empathy toward the “unborn child” as you are here is still carrying water for for the anti-abortion rights crowd, even if it’s unintentional.

          • dudebro

            yeah, I hate when people say that all abortions will end when every child can be guaranteed a good life

            no, that isn’t an answer, because bodily autonomy yo

          • Suba gunawardana

            I should have said “a major point”. Protecting children from abuse is just as important as women’s reproductive rights, and access to abortion accomplishes both.

            As I always say: if there comes a day when all unwanted children can be guaranteed a good life they might have an ETHICAL argument against abortion, but not a legal one. It still doesn’t change your right to be secure in your person.

          • Arekushieru

            Oh, wow, so you’re essentially an ignoramus that thinks it’s more compassionate to force humans to suffer, rather than end their lives before they can experience it. Got it. Well, I hope you don’t have kids, because I KNOW you’ll think that sawing off their leg without painkillers is just fine and dandy for them, simply because YOU’RE not the one suffering, rather than ending it in the only other possible manner, death. You anti-choice freaks are SICK..

          • BelligerentBruncher

            “freak?” “ignoramus?”
            Flagged for violating TOS.

          • catseye

            Awwwwww, boo-de-hooo, poor widdle MRA can dish it like a champ, but when somebody hits HIM with a dose of his own medicine, he goes sniveling to TOU.

          • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

            Parents do kill their kids. It is not a question of ‘allow,’ Stupid.

          • BelligerentBruncher

            What?

            Not legally.

          • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

            I am sure that gives child killers pause. Reality is.

          • ryanov

            You are trying to force parents to bring children into the world. Unless you’re going to feed and clothe THOSE kids, shut up.

        • StealthGaytheist

          Let me guess, it’s the autistic woman who snapped after being harassed for who knows how long by antichoice zealots. Because that’s totes the same as calculated, premeditated acts of terrorism.

      • Kit Kimberly

        No one is “pro-abortion”; we are pro-choice.

        We don’t try to force our beliefs or indeed our choice on anyone else.

        • BelligerentBruncher

          “We don’t try to force our beliefs or indeed our choice on anyone else.”

          Except for the fetus.

          • P. McCoy

            Fetuses aren’t “anyone” but you don’t buy that DO you, Napoleon?

          • Arekushieru

            Except you try to force the same beliefs that we have on a rapist, just like we do! Can we say fucking misogynistic hypocrite???!!!???

          • lady_black

            Who cares.

          • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

            Fetus is excellent sauteed in EVO with capers and lemon. Yummy.

          • Chris19741949

            Oh, you are so smart, darlin. You just have all those little arguments for the fetus (I like that spelling better), but then, you just slam down on the woman, who had the audacity to have sex. Darlin, you are such a cute little hypocrite, and sch a darling little troll…you are a man, I am sure, and as such, darlin, you don’t have anything to say in this matter. We neither care nor want your particular opinion…and if you just happen to be a woman, well, you know what that makes you.

        • BelligerentBruncher

          “Pro-choice” = pro-abortion

          “Pro-life” = anti-abortion

          • Kit Kimberly

            No, dear, no one is pro-abortion.

            “Pro-life” in this context = anti-choice, = forcing YOUR patriarchal BS values on other people.

            “Pro-life” is a lie b/c when abortion is illegal, women die. And you don’t care about that b/c your REAL goal is to punish sexual women.

            And the foetus is not a human, it is a cluster of cells. As I said, when you can get it out of a woman’s body with no more risk or inconvenience than an abortion, it’s all YOURS.

          • BelligerentBruncher

            So you’re anti-abortion. Got it.

          • Kit Kimberly

            So you’re disingenuous or stupid or both.

            Got it.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Both. He’s our resident troll–really not even worth engaging with.

          • http://joannevalentinesimson.wordpress.com/ ValPas

            Yes, he’s our resident troll. We probably shouldn’t feed the troll.

          • Arekushieru

            Um, disagree. Not feeding the trolls hasn’t worked out very well, after all, now has it?

          • Ramanusia

            Pro-choicers are indeed anti-abortion, it’s why we do our best to make abortion safe, legal and RARE, while you antis are all about attacking every attempt to stem the tide of unplanned pregnancies and violating the ability to even access health care much less contraception, making you not only pro-abortion, but pro-unsafe, illegal and lethal abortion. You are pro-death.

          • BelligerentBruncher

            Nobody is stopping you from donating as much money as you have to Planned Parenthood.

          • Ramanusia

            And nobody is stopping you from donating as much money as you have to your church so that they need not suck up billions in tax payer monies. How about you and your church go spend some time together figuring out how you can fund their pedophilia and their ignorance and leave the rest of us alone?

            We don’t care what you think, you’re not qualified on any level to have an opinion on the personal medical decisions of anyone but yourself.

            You’re interference in public policy is promoting death and suffering, kindly butt out and address the log in your own eye as your godman told you to.

          • catseye

            We’re ANTI-FORCED BIRTH, BB brain.

          • JamieHaman

            Nope. Your post is ALL Bullshit.

          • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

            Nope. I am pro life and that means I must be pro choice.

          • David Overton

            I am not sure if you are just being sarcastic or not. I doubt you actually believe the math above. It is quite possible to be for choice without being pro abortion. For example, I believe people have a right to choose a religion, but that does not mean I am “pro” whatever religion they choose. I am not “pro-Buddhism”, or “pro-Judaism”. It only means that it is their choice, and not my business.

          • BelligerentBruncher

            David, the choice in this debate is to have an abortion or to not have an abortion. If you are pro-choice – then you are for the choice that includes abortions. And therefore you are pro abortion. You may never personally (obviously) (or your spouse) have an abortion, but you are for other people having it.

            Then there are people like me, who are against it and think it is a disgusting, barbaric practice and should only be used under to most extreme of circumstances. I didn’t go to med school to destroy life. In fact, many OBGYNs (I’m not one) don’t agree with abortion and have stopped practicing it after seeing how cruel it is. Why do you think only 14% of OBGYNs choose to practice “terminations.” (the nice little euphemism used in the bidness)

          • David Overton

            I doubt we will agree on this ever, but I am just trying to express a logical point of view. Maybe you could respond to this line of thinking: If I am pro choice in religion, that means I support each individual’s right to choose their religion. Some people will choose to be Buddhist. Does this make me “pro-Buddhist”? If you think so, it would be helpful if you could explain why.

            Another example – I am “pro” your right to express the opinions you choose to embrace, but that does not mean I am “pro” those opinions. It seems obvious that we can be “pro” freedom of speech, without being “pro” everything that is said.

            Relating this to abortion, I believe that women, at least in the first trimester, have the right to choose to have, or not have, an abortion. It is irrelevant whether I am “pro” either of those choices. I am “pro” them having the choice.

          • BelligerentBruncher

            If the choice was no religion or Buddhism, and you were for people having the choice of Buddhism, then yes, you’d be tacitly stating that you are OK with people practicing Buddhism.

            Also, with the opinion example: when people say “I’m don’t agree with you but I agree with your right to say it” — those are two different things. Free speech vs. whatever the topic that person is speaking of.

            You say it’s quite possible to be against abortion and still be pro-choice. Really? That doesn’t seem to be the case for you. So who are these other people for whom you are speaking?

          • David Overton

            “You say its quite possible to be against abortion and still be pro-choice.” I did not say that. What I said was that I can be pro choice without judging the decision made. I can’t say whether a given woman is right to have an abortion – it is her choice, not mine. Just like I can’t say whether someone should choose to be a Buddhist. I would agree with you that I can’t be “against Buddhism” and still claim to be pro-choice in religion. I am not “against abortion” and I am also not against someone deciding that abortion is not for them. I wonder if you can now understand that my support of a right to choose is independent of my opinion on the choices made? I hope I have gotten that across. If not, I am happy to try again!

          • BelligerentBruncher

            It’s because it is the right to choose abortion. That’s it. It’s a semantics game. “Pro-choice” is simply a euphemism because people get defensive (like you are doing) when they are accused of being pro abortion.

            The pro-life crowd does the same thing. “Pro-life?” Really? In all circumstances? Like also against the death penalty? No. It’s about abortion. Pro-life is anti-abortion.

          • David Overton

            You are still not getting my point. I am sorry if I have been unclear.

            Here is another example. I am “pro-choice” when it comes to voting. I support the choice to vote for a Republican. I am not pro-Republican. In this case, I am anti-Republican, but that does not affect my support of the right to choose to vote Republican. I hope you can see that one can be ‘pro-choice” independent of one’s position on the choices. Another example: I am “pro-free speech”. I support someone’s right to say that climate change is not real, even though I would not say that myself.

            Whether I am pro-abortion is irrelevant, just like it is irrelevant whether I am pro-Buddhist, pro-Republican or pro-Climate Change Denial. I am pro the right of the individual to make those decisions for themselves. Do you agree with that?

          • BelligerentBruncher

            “Whether I am pro-abortion is irrelevant”

            Nope, that is not true. And if you can find someone who is pro-choice and thinks abortion is wrong, then I’d like to meet this person.

          • dudebro

            Veiled_in_dance on Love Joy Feminism is anti abortion, but won’t vote against it, and believes that making it illegal will cause more harm than good. I and others have had days long debates with her about the morality of abortion.

            Clemans on Mother Jones is also anti abortion, but she says that it is not up to her to make reproductive choices for other women.

          • BelligerentBruncher

            It’s sounds like those two are against abortion for themselves…not against abortion in general, for society. And that is what this about.

            I won’t ever smoke weed. But I think it should be legalized. That makes me pro-marijuana when it comes to what is important here – the passing of laws that affect everyone.

          • dudebro

            Neither of them want women to have abortions for reasons other than medical necessity.

            They just think that illegal abortion won’t end abortions and will do more harm than good.

            You can oppose something without wanting it to be illegal, and have valid reasons for doing so.

            I oppose adultery, but I don’t think people should do jail time for having an affair. However, I can believe that adultery is immoral.

          • BelligerentBruncher

            “You can oppose something without wanting it to be illegal, and have valid reasons for doing so.”

            Good point actually. That’s your inner Libertarian poking through. :)

          • dudebro

            Weird. I wonder why some comments go to ‘guest’ status. I thought that was because the poster tried to delete the comment but that is obviously not the case.

            Anyways, I sincerely hope that you do indeed brunch whilst belligerising!

          • Guest

            ****what? where’d my Libertarian comment go**** OK repost:

            “You can oppose something without wanting it to be illegal, and have valid reasons for doing so.”

            Good point actually. You’re inner Libertarian is poking through.

          • L’Anne

            In countries like the Netherlands, where abortion is legal, much ess stigmatized, easily available, and often covered by national plans, we see MUCH FEWER rates of abortion than in the US and in places where abortion is illegal. Why? Ready access to affordable and more reliable forms of birth control and comprehensive sex ed.

            Making abortion illegal doesn’t stop or even decrease the numbers of abortions in most places. It does create and reinforce inequities that exist. It makes any abortion dramatically more dangerous. If anti-reproductive justice activists really want to decrease abortion, they need to change their approach to encouraging sex ed and improving access to affordable birth control.

          • dudebro

            Except they won’t. Because they oppose abortion, contraception and even gay marriage on moral groubds. Purity. Identity politics.

            Controlling women and moral purity are more important than pragmatically saving lives

          • L’Anne

            Absolutely. It s all about controlling women and women’s bodies and sexuality. Not saving “innocent babies’ lives.”

          • Shan

            “against abortion in general, for society. And that is what this about.”

            Is this as close as you’re going to get to saying whether or not you think abortion should be illegal?

          • David Overton

            I think dudebro has provided some good examples. But, I stick by the statement that “whether I am pro-abortion or not is irrelevant”. I am “pro choice” on many issues in which I do not agree with all possible choices, but still support an individual’s right to choose. I cannot and should not pass judgement on a woman who is making a difficult choice about continuing a pregnancy. I believe it is her choice, and she is the one to make it.

          • fiona64

            He’s a teenaged MRA troll … who likes to be deliberately obtuse.

          • Arekushieru

            Nope, Pro-Life is not anti-abortion. They typically oppose contraceptives and comprehensive sex education for the same erroneous reasons they oppose abortion. Which typically INCREASES the abortion rates. Oops.

            The only reason we are fighting to legalize abortion is because pregnancy is ALREADY LEGAL. I assure you, if pregnancy WAS illegal, we would be fighting just as hard for that. Of course, being the belligerent ASS you are, it’s no wonder that is such a difficult concept for you,

          • Ann Kah

            Belligerent, y’suppose few doctors want to go into a practice in which the anti-choice folk paint a target on them? Death threats, daily harassment, and yes, MURDER of doctors has a discouraging effect upon one’s choice of career specialty. Murder, of course, carried out by those who call themselves “pro-life”…..

          • BelligerentBruncher

            I know dozens of OBGYNs and about 4 that do abortions. While I suppose you may think that is a valid concern, it’s pretty much the last thing on their minds…as they have about a 10,000X greater chance of dieing in a car wreck on the way to work than being murdered by some anti-abortion psycho.

          • Arekushieru

            Really? I wonder why it is then that most people tend not to air the views on the terrifying aspect of being haunted, stalked and terrorized by the fear of vehicular accidents on their way to work yet quite recently a number of doctors have spoken up about the fear of being followed, harassed and threatened (and, yes, MURDERED) by anti-choice stalkers. Hmm…?

          • fiona64

            I didn’t go to med school

            You should just have stopped right there, teenaged dudebro. We all know you didn’t go to med school.

          • Shan

            “Then there are people like me, who are against it and think it is a
            disgusting, barbaric practice and should only be used under to most
            extreme of circumstances.”

            But do you think it should be illegal?

          • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

            A film of a cruel abortion. You can see the whole thing.
            http://vimeo.com/84797427

          • Ramanusia

            Except that pro-choicers are the ones promoting policies that reduce the necessity of abortion, while the “pro-lifers” not only promote an atmosphere of hate and harassment and utter ignorance that promotes abortion, but they’re indifferent to the fact that these policies literally promote death as well.

            Thus Pro-choice = pro-life
            while anti-choice = pro-death and pro-abortion

          • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

            Same as:
            War is Peace
            Freedom is Slavery
            Ignorance is Strength.
            Good job, not.

  • lady_black

    They should have been bodily ejected from the church. They were trespassers on private property. The NERVE of those people.

  • TheBrett

    “Synagogue of Satan”? Sounds like they’re anti-semitic as well as misogynistic and nasty. Not that that surprises me.

  • badJim

    Just to beat the Unitarian drum: among the founders, John Adams was a member of a Unitarian Church, Franklin and Jefferson were openly unitarian, in the sense of rejecting the divinity of Jesus, and both Washington and Madison expressed comparable sentiments. Washington often asserted that Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus all worship the same God.

    The founders were as radical in their religious beliefs as they were in their politics. Quite a lot of people objected to the lack of any mention of God in the Constitution; the drafters of the Confederate Constitution remedied that oversight, not that it did them any good.

  • PBremser

    Thank you, A.M., for pointing out the historical roots of the U.U. faith. Your thesis about the motivation for this attack makes a lot of sense. The “Unitarian” part is threatening enough to to these disturbed individuals (terrorizing children in the nursery with “grotesque images”? Stay classy, OSA), but it’s the “Universalist” message — everyone is worthy of love — that gets in the way of their “Rapture” delusion, which makes them feel special. This is one challenge of being a U.U. — I need to acknowledge the “dignity and worth” of those who would put themselves above others in a way that (in their minds) justifies such ugly behavior. That doesn’t mean I should have to listen to their ranting, though I think singing was a brilliant response on the part of the congregation.

  • Kris Weibel

    Since when did freedom of religion become my freedom to fore my religion on you? Well, you can start with the SCOTUS. Somehow we have to put a stop to the nut cases. If I were in that church, I would have called the police. What ever happened to 1st Amendment and how did it evolve to this?

  • dana becker

    “Marco Rubio (R-FL) was heard recently encouraging opponents of gay rights to see themselves as victimized and their religious freedom being trod upon,…”

    Just another of the already numerous reasons to vote this moron out.

    • P. McCoy

      So called “victims of ‘homo-sexual’ rights “of the 21st century bray just like their ” victims of civil rights legislation” – (they wanted to keep Blacks under apartheid ) did in the 20th century. Both parties are unjust.

      • catseye

        Exactly the same as the MRA bozos claiming that they have been “huuuuuuurt” by legislation to secure women’s rights. Spot-on!

  • Leanne Ceadaoin

    Reminds me of a couple years ago when they tried to bar Democrats For Life from their January demo in DC … apparently because they were Democrats, not the right kind of anti-abortion activists/politicians. “Trojan horse” indeed….

    • P. McCoy

      How many pro choice or secular Republicans get to speak front and center at GOP conventions ? Please feel free to name some.

      • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

        Name a prochoice Republican? There are none. The Repub platform is anti abortion.

        • BelligerentBruncher

          Good. We need less abortions.

          • Chris19741949

            Then get out there and support sex education and free birth control, bb. That is the best way to reduce abortions.

          • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

            Who is ‘we,’ TurdBreath. It ain’t you and me. You need less abortions.
            In the real world, abortions go on in the same number at the same pace no matter what anyone does and they always will go on at the same number and at the same pace.

          • Arekushieru

            Good. We need more women dying.

            Fixed it for ya.

      • Leanne Ceadaoin

        Are there even any anymore? GOP’s been taken over by the Fundamentalist/Industrial Complex.

  • David Overton

    Sorry that the troll has taken over the comments. This well-done article could have sparked a useful discussion. Maybe next time. Probably best to ignore them.

    • BelligerentBruncher

      Thanks for calling me a troll, David. That shows where your mindset is.

      It’s always nice to come on these message boards and see how people don’t like seeing opinions other than their own.

      • David Overton

        I think of a troll as someone who is just being disruptive, rather than trying to participate in a constructive discussion. If I have misinterpreted your comments, I apologize. I am very happy to see the opinions of others, even those I disagree with.

      • David Overton

        I did not name the troll. Why did you assume it was you?

        • BelligerentBruncher

          Oh, who were you referring to?

          • David Overton

            I was referring to you. But why did you assume that was the case? You appear to identify yourself with the role. Is that not correct? If not, why did you assume I was referring to you?

          • BelligerentBruncher

            Name another person on this message board that is against abortion and you win the prize.

            Unless you could be referring to Arekushieru for name calling and violating TOS. But, I know that get’s a pass, because she’s pro-abortion err pro-choice.

            If I did it, they’d threaten to ban me. They’ve already deleted a couple of my comments because they disagree with anti-abortion people. But that’s par for the course, I guess.

          • David Overton

            Being against abortion does not make you a troll.

          • P. McCoy

            Arguing is a waste of energy; better to more on and work to pass legislation that will curb religious groups from imposing their tyrannical views onto others and prevent them from establishing a theocracy in the United States.

          • David Overton

            Good advice and appreciated. Actually, as is often the case this kind of dialog helps me to clarify my own views. Agree with your concern about theocracy – especially in my home state of Texas! Ironic that the same people who are so concerned about Sharia law are advocating the same song, different verse.

          • P. McCoy

            The pleasure was all mine. This battle may BBC take decades or it may happen quicker, but tragically, it will be at the expense of suffering women, aware men and LGBT people. Prepare to work, hold fast and hang in for the long hawl.

          • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

            One of the things you can do toward that is support the Satanic Temple. I am not kidding. Join. Send money. put the word out etc.
            http://theweek.com/speedreads/index/265471/speedreads-satanic-temple-seeks-hobby-lobby-style-exemption-from-anti-abortion-laws

            Satanic Temple seeks Hobby Lobby-style exemption from anti-abortion laws
            Facebook.com/TheSatanicTemple
            If Christian business owners cannot be compelled to violate their faith, why should the same protection not apply to Satanists? That’s the argument the Satanic Temple is making to claim that, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, women who share their beliefs should not be forced to follow some of the more restrictive state-level abortion laws to crop up in recent years.

          • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

            Being against abortion and not having one is one of the choices PROCHOICE supports.

            You are not called a troll because you are anti abortion. You are a troll because you troll.

            What we do not support is criminalizing/restricting abortion and contraception. You have been here how long now, Trollee Poo, and you still refuse to grok this? That is essence-of-trolling.

    • Jennifer Starr

      Definitely best to ignore him, as none of his comments have anything to do with the topic of the article. He derails all the threads with his pointless crap.

  • Sydney

    Disrupting services? Isn’t that trespassing at that point?

  • mmyotis

    Thanks for the commentary, Amanda. I believe the term you intended to use was snear quotes. Snear quotes are meant to demean the referent by suggesting that the label is undeserved. They serve as the typographical equivalent of a snearing intonation.