Anti-Choice Extremists Hold Contest for Burning Congressional Leaders in Effigy

John Tomasic

"We're not violent" anti-choice extremists are holding a contest that includes asking supporters to burn Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in effigy.

This article is published in partnership with Colorado Independent and the Center for Independent Media. It first appeared on Colorado Independent.

Randall Terry, the founder of fanatical anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, is sending around an email to supporters asking them to burn Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in effigy as part of a national
Halloween protest and video contest. The email and video rallying
supporters is characterized by an ironic tone that serves only to
heighten the threatening factor that has come to characterize the
organization and its actions.

What we want you to do is hold a protest on Halloween
Day showing Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid burning in hell if they don’t
repent of making us pay for child killing in the health care bill. No
this is not a threat to their body but it is a threat to their soul.
First go to Next click on the link Nancy Pelosi and
Harry Reid Burn in Hell.

Of the many notable features of the Operation Rescue call-out is the
explicit references it makes to major mainstream U.S. corporations FedEx Kinkos, Home Depot and Wal-Mart.
The references have the feel of embedded advertising. Do the companies
know Operation Rescue is sending them their “Nancy Pelosi Burn in Hell”
business? Do they want that business?

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FedEx spokesperson Jenny Robertson told the Colorado Independent that the company had no part in the video. “Fed Ex is in no way affiliated with [the Terry project] and did not
provide permission to film the video in one of our centers. They probably took that video in the store very quickly and there was no
time to stop it.

“Now, that said, anyone looking to use those images of Pelosi and
Reid [for the contest or protest] would have to have the copyright.”

The pitch:

A sample video featuring the unidentified spokesman:

The email includes video submission instructions and prize information:

“Burn in Hell” Contest rules are as follows:

Join a Contest! Win Prizes!

Who Can make the best “Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid BURN IN HELL!” video?

First prize: Expenses paid for weekend here in DC during Roe vs Wade
anniversary, Jan 22-24, including pro-life training seminar (Includes
travel stipend!)…

And an ironical disclaimer:

Legal Mumbo Jumbo: Obey local laws on open flames; be
careful; if under 18, do not burn Nancy Pelosi in effigy unless your
mom or dad is with you, and gives you permission, and strikes the
match; do not burn yourself; do not burn another human being; do not
burn small animals; do not burn large animals; do not burn anyone from
PETA; and remember: this is not a threat to Nancy Pelosi’s or Harry
Reid’s person…it is a prophetic witness of what awaits them when they
die if they do not repent for this horrific sin.

Although Terry split with Operation Rescue, his name and approach to
politics and abortion remain tied to the organization. He reportedly
has been arrested more than 40 times, most recently as part of the anti-abortion protests over President Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame.

In 1999 Operation Rescue was ordered to pay $880,000 for harassing and intimidating Planned Parenthood
staff and came under investigation this year after the murder of Dr.
George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas. Investigators found the number of
Operation Rescue Senior Policy Adviser Cheryl Sullenger on the
dashboard of the alleged murderer Scott Roeder. Sullenger at first
denied having any contact with Roeder. She later admitted that he
called her looking for regular updates on the whereabouts of Tiller.

“He would call and say, ‘When does court start? When’s the next
hearing?’ I was polite enough to give him the information. I had no
reason not to. Who knew? Who knew, you know what I mean?” She told the
McClatchy reporters.

Sullenger was convicted in 1988 of conspiring to bomb San Diego area abortion clinics.

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