Anti-abortion leader Randall Terry, the head of Operation Rescue, held a press conference today at the National Press Club in Washington, DC that featured chicken wings and cans of Guinness. However, of the few journalists who showed up to cover the event. Only one local right-wing gadfly journalist partook of the "wings and beer" communion offering.
Terry spoke about the recent killing of women's reproductive health physician Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas by right-wing activist Scott Roeder. Terry, who likened the anti-abortion movement to the anti-slavery movement, said Tiller "reaped what he sowed." Terry also said that the "social warfare" being practiced by the "pro-life" movement exemplified Nat Turner's Rebellion of 1831 that saw a slave rebellion in which some 60 slaves kill 55 whites, including slave owners and their families.
Terry said that opposition to the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wadedecision that legalized abortion and the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court was prompting a new activism by anti-abortion activists. Terry said that there are plans for a new program to train anti-abortion activists called "Insurrecta nex."
Part of Terry's new activism will be to convince Catholic archbishops and bishops to refuse communion to any Catholic Republican or "Democrat" senator who votes to confirm Sotomayor. Specifically mentioned as targets were Democratic Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry of Massachusetts, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.as well as Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Sam Brownback of Kansas. Terry noted that some of the Democratic senators are from archdioceses and dioceses whose archbishops and bishops spoke out against Notre Dame's invitation to President Obama to speak at the university's commencement ceremony last month. Terry was arrested during an anti-Obama demonstration on the Notre Dame campus prior to Obama's visit.
Terry put Archbishops Wuerle of the District of Columbia and Edwin O'Brien of Baltimore and Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington, Virginia on notice that they would be be pressured to tell senators who live in their jurisdictions that communion to them would be refused if they vote to confirm Sotomayor.
Terry did say that he would have canceled today's press conference, which occurred the day after an extreme right-winger shot and killed a security guard at the Holocaust museum, but that his event had been scheduled a week prior to the violent incident that took place yesterday just down 14th Street from the National Press Club.
Terry personally offered this editor Guinness and wings, which are among my favorite combinations, but I politely declined the offer.
Randall Terry speaks to sparse audience at National Press Club