Extremist Randall Terry Barred From JPIICC March for Life Activities; His Lieutenant Remains on Program
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Since AlterNet's initial report on the John Paul II Cultural Center's upcoming March for Life activities, Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue and his current group, Insurrecta Nex, has been barred from participating in the program that will be presented by his associate, Missy Smith, at the John Paul II Cultural Center on January 23, according to Deputy Director Hugh Dempsey, Ph.D. However, Missy Smith will still be making a presentation on behalf of her group, W.A.K.E. U.P. (Women Against the Killing and Exploitation of Unprotected Persons) and its affiliate, Chastity Programs International, but her program will not address anti-choice activism, focusing instead on chastity, Dempsey told AlterNet.
As we reported, in June, just two weeks after the murder of Dr. George Tiller, the gynecologist who performed late-term abortions in Kansas, Smith addressed an Insurrecta Nex training session by making disparaging remarks against Tiller, and then saying, "Next we have to get Carhart" -- meaning Dr. LeRoy Carhart, who provides similar services at his Nebraska clinic.
On the W.A.K.E. U.P. Web site, Smith announced that her Chastity Programs International has "formed a partnership with the well known Pope John Paul II Cultural Center (JPIICC)...to bring nationally known chastity speakers to JPIICC. This institution was in the news this April because of Pope Benedict XVI's visit during his visit to America." The W.A.K.E. U.P. site also features prominently displayed links on its home page to pages detailing Smith's work with Randall Terry, as well as OverturnRoe.com (which has a home-page button labeled "Sign up for Randall Terry's email list"). One video of Smith featured on her Web site describes her as a "team leader" for Terry's group, Insurrecta Nex. Another link brings the viewer to a page that details Smith's participation in Terry's protests of President Obama's speech at Notre Dame University.
While leaders of the John Paul II Cultural Center -- run by four Catholic bishops, including the archbishop of Washington, D.C. -- may have banned Randall Terry from participating in their March for Life events, but they appear to have entered into a partnership with one of his most zealous lieutenants.
In essence, the bishops dodged a public relations bullet without breaking ties to Terry's group, Insurrecta Nex, whose members engage in extreme rhetoric and antics, and who take great pride in having heckled President Obama at Notre Dame and Sonia Sotomayor during her confirmation hearings. After the murder of George Tiller at a church service Tiller was ushering, Terry famously said that the doctor "reaped what he sowed."
Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington bureau chief.