You may have seen or heard that an anti-abortion group calling itself Operation Rescue is holding a "convention" in Denver this week. I say, "You may have seen..." because members of the group have been out and about waving anti-abortion signs and trying to spread their message. Apparently they also had time for a detour yesterday, stopping off to "protest" embattled CU professor Ward Churchill.
"That's the power of Christ, to set the captive free from the lies and from those demons that are inhabiting Ward," the Rev. Flip Benham, of Concord, N.C., told the gathering. A contingent traveled to Boulder to protest at two clinics that perform abortions. They changed direction after lunch, driving to the campus in a white and yellow church bus to make the impromptu call on Churchill, who wasn't in his office and couldn't be reached for comment. Churchill became a national lightning rod in January after a 2001 essay came to light in which he appeared to condone the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A CU faculty committee is investigating allegations that Churchill plagiarized and manufactured historical facts in some of his essays. An administrative committee ruled in March that his opinions on the terrorist attacks are protected by the First Amendment. Benham cited both the Sept. 11 comments and the alleged academic violations during his talk on Churchill. "This man has been a blight and a disgrace throughout America," Benham said. He was also critical of the university for employing Churchill. "We're going to bring the news of Jesus Christ to the gates of hell," he told followers as they set out on the march across campus to Churchill's office, carrying signs depicting aborted fetuses.That's a busy group. They are in town to protest abortion, but find time in their schedule to also yell at Churchill. How the two fit together isn't something you're going to be able to explain to me, but I do love the quote: "...to set the captive free from the lies and from those demons that are inhabiting Ward." I also like how they call him "Ward," like they're doing an intervention. This story makes you wonder what else this group does as they travel the country, and how they schedule things. When they stop in Grand Junction, are they going to go protest over water rights? Will they demonstrate in front of Gerald Ford's house when they go to Vail? And who schedules this stuff? From 8:00 a.m. until Noon we're protesting abortion. From Noon to 1:00 is lunch. From 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. we yell at Ward Churchill. From 2:00 until 3:00 p.m. is free time, and then back to abortion protesting from 3:00 until 5:00 p.m.