The following is an exchange that transpired between me and a NPR reporter. We will see what he does with it, but it is important that you all know the true discussion of the issues.
IN KING JESUS’ SERVICE,
Sorry for the all the confusion. I’ve unfortunately been pulled away from the office for the day, so am without recording equipment, but below are a few questions if you’d be willing to answer them. I’ll likely send some follow up questions, as well. Just as a heads up, I’ll act on the assumption that everything you write will be on the record if not otherwise indicated.
NPR: Would it be accurate to say that, while this is in a way an anniversary to the 1991 summer, it adds more structure to those initial protests, bringing speakers and schedule to the week rather than the day-in-day-out protests that defined the original Summer of Mercy?
OSA: Summer of Mercy took on a life of its own. What started as a weeklong event, turned into a 2 and half month heaven-sent revival. Whatever structure and leadership that was in place, quickly became more fluid as the Spirit of God led the Church to interpose at the death camps on a daily basis. I suspect the 25th Anniversary of the Summer of Mercy, our Summer of Justice event, will not be prolonged as far as time is concerned, but we are still trusting the Lord for lasting impact. Plus, we do have a plan of structure, speakers, and a schedule, but ultimately, we make our plans, trusting the Lord to direct our steps.
NPR: What’s the aim in offering more structure? Is there hope the arrest rate won’t reach the levels of the 1991 protests? Or is it simply to add organization and offer more coherence throughout?
OSA: We will not be seeking to be arrested, though sometimes it still happens. Rescue was a tactic that was employed back in 1991. The federal government, however, stepped in and established F.A.C.E., Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances. We were successful in shutting down the death camps, so they took the misdemeanor charge of trespass and applied federal penalties. Some of us went as far as we could. We were charged with 4 counts of F.A.C.E. If turned criminal, we were facing ten years in federal prison and financial ruin. Thankfully, we were delivered out of their hands and remain the Lord’s freemen to this day.
We are still interposing to rescue the preborn, but utilizing a different methodology, which is doing the very same things we do in church and applying them on the streets, in the culture, and at the abortion mills. That does take planning, structure and more organization to accomplish our vision and mission.
NPR: What’re the goals of this week-long event: awareness of the issue or hoping to shut down the clinics?
OSA: What God began in 1991, we are believing, He will complete in 2016. When we first came in 1991, I believe there were 5 operating death camps. 2 immediately shut down. Eventually, through the years, all of them shut down. Wichita became abortion free and enjoyed peace for 4 years. Today, two death camps came roaring back to once again pollute and defile the city of Wichita. We have some unfinished Kingdom business to take care of and we do trust that God will watch over His Word that we proclaim and these two death camps will go the way of every other bloody, tyranny of man. They will shut down in Jesus’ name!
NPR: I think it’s important to note here the abortion clinic closed in 2009 only after the shooting of Dr. Tiller, which you just here described as bringing peace. Do you think referring to incidents such as this only in such a way that the ends — the cessation of abortion services in Wichita — are mentioned and the means — the murder of a man — are not feeds an image of nonviolence or does it give credence to those who might seek to end abortion services through any means?
OSA: I did not say the murder of Tiller brought peace. That default template may help create controversy and sell media, but that is not what I said or even implied. I said “Wichita became abortion free.” I did not say how it became abortion free. I never mentioned the murder of Tiller, especially, as a legitimate means to end abortion.
The God of the Bible is concerned not only with the ends we achieve, but the means we use to achieve them. in His economy, the ends does not justify the means. People can have a good motive and perform an evil action. On the other hand, people can have a bad motive and perform a good work. God wants right motive and good behavior.
Besides, all the other death camps shut down by peaceful means and that is the only means we support.
NPR: Is it problematic for your organization that the organizing group for the 1991 protests is not involved with this anniversary in spite of their being based in Wichita?
OSA: There is no problem. They are another group that did not organize 1991.
NPR: The Associated Press has claimed the lack of involvement is because Troy Newman does not want his organization related to the possible violence that could stem from the Summer of Justice. Do you see any truth to this?
OSA: We have a 3 decade history of non-violence. Each person must sign a non-violent pledge. We cannot become what we are seeking to end. The Bible is clear on this, we overcome evil by doing good.
You previously told the Kansas City star: “We’re talking about defying it… Just flat-out defying it” in reference to, assumably, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Additionally, you cite the “doctrine of the lesser magistrate,” and claim to be looking for a governor, sheriff or other local official to disobey the Supreme Court decisions and order an end to abortion.
“What we want to produce here is a paradigm shift in how we view government, how we view God, how we view abortion,” you told the Star.
How do you want us to view government after these protests?
OSA: Our government, especially on the federal level, has unleashed lawlessness, corruption, and unconstitutional decrees upon the citizens of America. In the name of the Constitution, they violate the Constitution. In the name of government, they betray the sacred trust of government. Under the color of law, they impose lawlessness. We are calling upon the states to restore law and order by placing the Constitutional chain back upon Washington DC. The states have to arise to provide the missing checks and balances that safeguard our liberties and promote good governance.
NPR: Yet, it is clear, both in precedent and all formal legal thought, that the Supreme Court should have the right to decide what follows the Constitution and what does not, creating, protecting or abrogating law in the process. The approach you outline above seems to suggest you would be for ignoring that precedent in favor of personal interpretation of the Constitution. Doesn’t this view simply promote no absolute legal standard, creating a legal relativism behind which individuals can hide if they view the Constitution differently than the formal interpreters of that document?
OSA: What you just described is the problem with the Supreme Court. To them the Constitution is a living document that evolves with the mores of the people, not a fixed standard of law. In times past, before they looked to other sources besides the Constitution, like international law, they held up cases to the light of the Constitution and rendered their decisions. Those day are long gone.
For decades now, we’ve endured an activist court that treats American citizens like lab rats in order to further their grand social engineering experiment. As a result, going to courts today for justice is like chickens going to foxes to protect them from wolves. We cannot expect our redress of grievances from the courts to be taken serious, since they continually establish and reinforce our redress of grievances.
Courts can issue opinions and make rulings, they cannot, however, under the Constitution, make law. That is reserved for our legislative branch of government. We the People nor our representatives voted for Roe vs. Wade or any other immoral social issue of this day that has polarized us.
The courts have played the tyrant and the other branches of government have played the coward. Tyrants need to be challenged and our other branches of government must defy them and reign them back in to perform their Constitutional duties and nothing else.
NPR: On the same note, following the decision handed down by the Supreme Court concerning a Texas abortion law last week, would your organization advocate that states simply ignore that ruling and continue to regulate clinics by their own standards?
OSA: We would call upon the state of Texas and all other states to ignore the ruling and do their duty to defend the preborn. God does not want us to regulate baby murder, He wants us to end it.
NPR: Again, wouldn’t this approach simply lead to lawlessness and a destruction of any center of legal authority?
OSA: Lawlessness is already here. It has been imposed upon us by the federal government. As a result, we have moral anarchy running rampant in our culture while our federal government seeks to control every aspect of our lives. We are advocating for the rule of law that our federal government abandoned years ago to be reestablished once again. We are calling “We the People” and the states to provide the necessary checks and balances that the feds have discarded and place the Constitutional chain back on Washington DC. They are out of order, spinning out of control, and doing great harm to our nation in the process. Somebody needs to be an adult, put their big boy pants on, and stop the madness. The inmates are running the asylum in America today.
NPR: If the goal is for us to view the government as a vector through which God’s laws can be handed down and put in action, surely this goes firmly against the constitution and begs questions of which God and which interpretation of which God a country as pluralist as the United States would follow, as some have brought up. How would you respond to this?
OSA: Murder is against the Constitution. This happens to agree with God’s Holy Commandment, “Thou shall not murder.” The Constitution actually declares that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law. What capital crime does the baby in the womb commit that deserves capital punishment?
We maintain that Roe vs. Wade is legal fiction. It is legal fiction on two counts. As stated, it violates the Constitution. Again, no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law. No Penumbra of the Constitution, no magic fairy dust that emanates from the Constitution can change the plain meaning of the text.
Second, any law of man that countermands or violates the Law of God, according to 1500 years of Western Civilization is no law at all. Divine law trumps human law. As Christians we should know better, when the laws of men conflict with the laws of God, we are duty bound to obey God rather than men.
Sir William Blackstone, English Jurist who wrote Commentaries on the Laws of England stated “Upon these two foundations, the law of nature (the eternal laws of good and evil) and the law of revelation (found only in the scriptures), depend all human laws. That is to say, no human laws should be allowed to contradict these.” This man was one of three, (the other two were John Locke and Baron De Montesquieu) that our Founding Fathers studied to establish our form of government.
NPR: As Ms. Burkhart mentions, which God and which interpretation of that God could the Constitution legally use as justification for the overturning of legal precedent?
OSA: We appeal to the same God that our Founding Fathers appealed to in our Declaration of Independence. 4 times Almighty God, the God of the Bible, is mentioned in our founding document. They acknowledge Him as Lawgiver, Creator, Supreme Judge, and relied on His Divine Providence. They stated that this God was the source of American’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Governments were merely instituted to protect those God given rights.
America violated our national covenant when we denied black Americans the right to liberty. It cost us a bloody Civil War. Over 600,000 men died to atone for that national sin and crime. Today, we have violated our national covenant once again. We deny the first and most fundamental right of all, which is the right to life to our own sons and daughters. One can only imagine what we have stored up as a nation when you consider that close to sixty million children made in the image of God have been exterminated under our watch.
What God? How about we look to our currency to remind us, “In God we Trust!” What God? How about remembering our national motto that remind us that America is, “One Nation Under God!” It would be intellectually dishonest and historically inaccurate to doubt what God or which God America acknowledged. It was, is, and always will be the God of the Bible, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is the true and living God and apart from Him there is no other.
NPR: How would you respond to those who claim the laws of God dictate the actions of the individual, meaning perhaps you would decide abortion is morally wrong and impermissible, but that the state, in not choosing an official religion, cannot make that decision for others whose moral views may be different?
OSA: Abortion is murder. It is against America law. That is true, regardless of what people believe about religion. Abortion is also a national sin, like slavery before it. National sin brings national calamity. Americans can choose to commit child sacrifice and shed innocent blood, we just can’t choose the consequences and they are terrible indeed.
We must also remember that everything Hitler did in Nazi Germany was legal. It will never, however, be considered lawful. The same principles hold true for America. So much of our immorality, sin, and crimes are considered legal, but they will never be lawful.
NPR: More modern interpretations of these texts, including those by eminent thinkers like Ronald Dworkin, show that these thinkers, especially Locke, seemed to believe one had a moral right to ignore the laws of a state when those laws contravene the moral autonomy and moral rights of the individual, but that individual must also accept the consequences of such illegal actions in order to prevent lawlessness and chaos erupting. How would you respond to such a criticism of this point?
OSA: In the days of lawlessness, those who keep the law, become the outlaw.
NPR: The founder of Trust Women, Julie Burkhart, responded to the strategy of denying the Supreme Court’s authority via elected officials by saying it “seems like vigilantism and people just wanting to take things into their own hands,” seeming to imply such an action would bring about lawlessness. How would you respond to that?
OSA: Vigilantism was established by Roe vs. Wade. Men took the law into their own hands and became, judge, jury and executioner of the most innocent amongst us. We are seeking to end this vigilantism and restore the rule of law.
NPR: If possible, can you clarify how the rule of law is restored when you advocate ignoring laws? Vigilantism is often defined as taking justice into your own hands, how would your quest to ignore the decisions of the Supreme Court not Constitute this exactly?
You’ve said you advocate nonviolence, but do you think that can be taken seriously, especially because much of the 1991 protests were centered around Tiller, and he was killed by Scott Roeder, who had contact information for a senior policy adviser — who herself had seen legal trouble for planning bombings of abortion clinics — at Operation Rescue in his possession and had contacted her multiple times?
OSA: Again, that is a separate group. We had no dealings with Scott Roeder. If we had, we would have called him to repent of his misguided actions.
NPR: Allow me to clarify this question. By calling abortion a holocaust and calling those who perform such procedures murderers who go against God’s will, how are you to ensure that an individual does not choose to take his or her view of justice into his or her own hands and commit an act of violence, against the best intentions of yourself and your group?
OSA: First, I find it incredible that the media is always concerned about the possibility of violence that may be a threat against those who work at abortion mills, but completely ignore the actual violence that is being perpetrated against innocent victims. The preborn endure mass violence on a scope that is unimaginable. America would drown in the blood that has been spilled from the bodies of these precious children. No investigation there, no questions to the abortionist on the nature of their rhetoric, procedures or violence they commit. Why do you think that is the case? Jesus would call that straining at a gnat, while swallowing a camel.
Second, there is man’s view and then there is God’s view. What America calls choice, God calls murder. As a minister of the Gospel of the Kingdom, I’m called to preach and teach God’s Word not to parrot the slogans of the age. The truth is the truth whether no one believes it and a lie is a lie no matter how many believe it.
Pastor Adrian Rogers stated, “It is better to be divided by truth, than to be united in error. It is better to speak the truth that hurts and then heals, than to speak a lie that will comfort and then kill. It is better to be hated for telling the truth, than to be loved for telling a lie. It is better to stand alone with the truth, than to be wrong with a multitude. It is better to ultimately die with the truth, than to live with a lie.”
My work, rhetoric, and prayer for those involved in slaying the innocent for blood money would be for them to acknowledge the error of their ways, repent of their sins, and come to the saving grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. May they use their skills and expertise to bring health and healing, instead of death and destruction.
NPR: Relatedly, there was a shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood last years that many have correlated to the videos released by original Summer of Mercy planners Operations Rescue. Do you think similarly inflammatory practices like asking people to simply not follow laws from the federal government could lead to violence, against your best intentions?
OSA: Just like some phantom video caused Benghazi, so the video from the Summer of Mercy caused violence? America has become so biblically illiterate in these days. What a people or nation sows that shall they also reap. God will not be mocked. This is spiritual gravity. Bloodshed touches bloodshed (Hosea 4:1-6). It will break out like a plague. If we dare sow violence in the womb, do we think it strange that we reaping violence that is savaging our nation on a daily basis?
NPR: Again, if I can just get a clarification here, are you stating the violence which occurred in Colorado and Wichita are byproducts of abortion rights advocates and those who advocate freedom of choice?
OSA: No, I’m saying there are certain realities that we cannot escape. One of them is sowing and reaping. There is such a thing as spiritual and moral gravity. Have you ever committed a wrong and suffered consequences? Abortion is a national sin and crime, it has and will continue to bring national calamity.
We have sown domestic terrorism in the womb and we are reaping foreign terrorism from without. If peace will ever return to America, we must end the American holocaust. America cannot thrive violating the commandments of God. They provide the infrastructure to reality. We cannot continue to hurl ourselves against this unchanging reality. We can’t continue to break God’s commandments, eventually, they will break us. I think we are beginning to experience this breakdown as our nation is unraveling under our watch.
Is there hope? 2 Chronicles 7:14 states, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” If is a mighty big word. Do we have the courage and humility to change? Literally, our future hope hangs in the balance. Choose wisely America.
IN KING JESUS’ SERVICE,
Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas
National Director, Operation Rescue National/Operation Save America