Monday, March 28, 2005

Who are those Protesters?

One of the most cogent comments I've heard during the Schiavo controversy is from a woman who is a veteran on the Pro-Choice issue. She notes that this issue is akin to that issue, in that the whole group out their protesting would deny women any decisions regarding their bodies. Well, that's an easy concept to understand with the prominence of Randall Terry in Pinellas Park, but, as seen on DKos, Steve Gilliard and Jesus' General, it seems like even some of the protesters are virulently anti-women.

Remember young Joshua Heldreth, pictures at the right there with his Dad Scott, and how young Joshua made all the papers with pictures of him getting arrested? Well, there's an article out there that urges us to believe young Joshua begged his Dad to take him to help rescue Terri Schiavo. The conceit of the Heldreth testimony is that the innocent young boy was the one concerned about Terri Schiavo, not his father, a veteran of Operation Rescue protests and also the Florida Sex Offender List and the Illinois Sex Offender list, from which he is a fugitive. On the Florida list Scott Heldreth is listed with TWO rapes. He's not merely a guy who has been arrested numrous times while protesting with Operation Rescue.

I'm willing to go a bit out on a limb here. While there may be real spiritual reasons for one to be against abortion, and even against abortion rights, Operation Rescue in their actions have shown themselves over the years to hound women who are trying to exercise their legal rights. While I had always assumed these folks practiced more virulent formsa of abuse against women and their rights, I suppose it surprises me that one of them turns out to be a rapist.

Seems like a family with little respect for the law to me. It's all for the Lord, at least on
Scott Heldreth cried when he saw his son arrested. Ordinarily those would be tears of sorrow for a father watching his son being handcuffed. But Scott's tears were tears of joy because Joshua, in attempting to bring water to Terri Schiavo, had taken to heart the mandate in Matthew 25:35-36. “I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in.“

Such a sweet emotional scene, yet I've read Scott Heldreth's conversion testimony, now available only in the google cache. Here's a guy put away for a couple years for rape and he glosses the crime over, almost as if it was someone else's fault. I suppose now he thinks he's helping other victims.

At the core of these protests is a violence far worse than anything happening to Terri Schiavo. Yes, they're teaching that violence to their children.