Deportation of Bible-Loving Anti-Abortion Fanatic Triggers Christian Persecution Complex

Planned Parenthood arsonNothing triggers cries of persecution faster than a Christian zealot thwarted.

Troy Newman leads Operation Rescue, an extreme anti-abortion organization that has advocated the execution of doctors—likely inciting the murder of Dr. George Tiller—while ironically condemning women who end ill-conceived pregnancies as murderers. Newman also is one of three board members for the “Center for Medical Progress,” the group facing federal and state charges over its secretive recording of Planned Parenthood employees to produce deceptively spliced videos.

The Australian immigration code treats people like Newman as undesirables—with reason—and when Newman, on a mission to agitate against abortion care, tried to board a plane to New South Wales, his visa was revoked.

Why No Visa? 

Under the code, Australia can deny or revoke a visa when “the presence of its holder in Australia is or may be, or would or might be, a risk to:  the health, safety or good order of the Australian community or a segment of the Australian community; or  the health or safety of an individual or individuals.”

Seems pretty clear in this case.

In the words of Labor MP, Teri Butler, “Anyone who advocates the execution of doctors or compares women who seek terminations to murderers clearly fails the Australian community’s character test.”

But Newman sees himself as a victim. “Please pray for me. I’m stuck in Denver airport like a man without a country,” he wrote on Facebook, which lists the Bible and The Art of War as his reading list. Then he got onto a plane without a visa.

Martyr Complex At Odds with Reality

Mercifully, Australia’s high court appears prepared to deport him.  High Court Justice Geoffrey Nettle ruled that Newman threatened “the good order of the Australian community.” . . . “He does not come to this court with clean hands,” Nettle added.

Obviously, Newman is a man with a country, or we wouldn’t be stuck with him here in the U.S. But his hyperbole is classic Christian persecution complex (CPC).

Despite having co-authored a book advocating the execution of abortion doctors, Newman insists that he is being mistreated. “The revocation was based on a pile of lies, including the idea that I promote violence,” he added to his Facebook on Wednesday. “My 25 year history of peaceful, prayerful action speaks for itself.”

Never mind that the fabricated shock videos produced by the so called Center for Medical Progress have triggered violent threats, doxing, hacking and denial-of-service attacks against abortion care providers, and likely clinic arsons in Washington and California.

Genuine and horrible persecution of Christians exists in the world, often in countries dominated by Islam, which—like Christianity—makes exclusive truth claims and denigrates outsiders. But the loudest cries of persecution tend to come from fundamentalist and Evangelical Christians who are safe and well-fed, but who are being thwarted from foisting their views on others:

  • Christian Persecution Complex - Jesus and MoEvangelicals in the military cry persecution (and sometimes make horrible threats) when they are blocked from proselytizing men and women under their command, or citizens of other countries under their control, or in uniform on the public dime.
  • Para-church organizations cry persecution when they are blocked from seeking converts among children in public grade schools.
  • Christian aid organizations like World Vision cry persecution when forced to treat employees like aid workers rather than missionaries.
  • Public servants cry persecution when forced to skip sermonizing, Christian-themed prayers before meetings, or else make prayers more inclusive (or issue marriage licenses to queer couples).

Bible and Tradition Set Believers Up For Persecution Complex

Christian Persecution Complex - Jon StewartEvery religion has an immune system–a set of teachings that inoculate believers against doubt or defection–and one part of Christianity’s immune system is a group of teachings that brace believers to expect persecution simply because they are good people who love Jesus. This expectation that Christians will be persecuted—not because they often are obnoxious or wrongheaded or causing harm but simply because they are Christians—is a theme throughout the Bible that was later reinforced by a long Christian tradition of celebrating martyrs.

In addition to an immune system, every religion also has a reproductive system. In Christianity, a handful of sentences in the New Testament command Christians to Christian Persecution Complex - Atheist Eveproselytize (which can produce some very bad behavior in the service of this perceived greater good). For Evangelicals this is considered one of the most important commandments in the Bible. It is called “The Great Commission.”

As a way to prevent missionaries and other enthusiastic “witnesses” from taking negative feedback to heart, the Bible and Christian tradition specifically predict persecution as a response to evangelism. Consequently, almost nothing brings out Christianity’s multi-millennial persecution complex more readily than thwarted evangelism:

Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Matthew 28:18-20

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. Matthew 10:16-17

Australia Sees Through It

Troy Newman isn’t on a mission to win converts to Christianity, but he believes he is on a mission to win converts to what God wants—in this case, to end abortion by criminalizing it (rather than simply making it obsolete, which might allow women a little too much sexual freedom).

A man like Troy Newman, convinced that he is on a righteous mission—convinced that he speaks for God and God speaks through him—has no hope of seeing obstruction for what it is, a rejection of his own ugly verbiage and behavior by more clear-headed people whose morality is based, not in blind belief, but in a thoughtful commitment to wellbeing. What Newman is up against is not persecution, but Australia’s commitment to the wellbeing of her healthcare providers and couples who are trying to make wise intentional decisions about their families. That may make him feel persecuted, but it makes many of the rest of us feel grateful that, in Australia at least, someone is minding the shop.

_________________________

Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light and Deas and Other Imaginings, and the founder of www.WisdomCommons.org.  Her articles about religion, reproductive health, and the role of women in society have been featured at sites including AlterNet, Salon, the Huffington Post, Grist, and Jezebel.  Subscribe at ValerieTarico.com.

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About Valerie Tarico

Seattle psychologist and writer. Author - Trusting Doubt and Deas and Other Imaginings. Founder - www.WisdomCommons.org.
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22 Responses to Deportation of Bible-Loving Anti-Abortion Fanatic Triggers Christian Persecution Complex

  1. Melinda Wilson says:

    As usual, well researched and excellently articulated. I was wondering about charges against those who fraudulently published the anti-Planned Parenthood video(s). Relieved that action is being taken against them. Thanks for disseminating this info!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lowell Bushey says:

    Hi, Valerie,

    You’ll be pleased to know that Planned Parenthood Pullman is still in business, although at the moment they’re operating out of a tent.

    Further comment: Many people don’t know that Dr. George Tiller was murdered in church, while handing out church bulletins.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. john zande says:

    For Ken Ham, I apologise, but I’m happy Australia has performed as a rational country here. Katy Faust (AsktheBigot) recently go the shock of her life when she turned up on ABC’s Q&A trying to spew her US evangelical BS about gay marriage and got met with two politicians (from opposite sides of the political divide) lambasting her as a hate-filled nutcase.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Awesome. Thank you!

      Like

    • Lowell Bushey says:

      Hi, John,

      It’s good to know that Australia is ruled by sane people. Unfortunately, if one asked the question, “which of the developed, industrialized countries are ruled by sane people?” the answer would be “every one of them, except the US.”

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mary says:

      I’m an Aussie too, and was pleasantly surprised that the current very conservative government took this decision. We have had abortion clinic violence here too, and I guess the government doesn’t want that encouraged. Mind you, abortion is still illegal in some states, including my own.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Lowell Bushey says:

    Hi, Valerie,

    There’s something that’s really bugging me here. Long ago, the Supreme Court ruled that free speech does not permit one to e.g. yell fire in a crowded theater. I find it really hard to believe that advocating murder is legal, especially when it has happened. I can almost guarantee that, if this guy was a Muslim, he’d be locked up faster than anyone could utter “you’re under arrest!”

    Also, thanks for pointing out that one of the board members of the “Center for Medical Progress” is the head of “Operation Rescue”. “Operation Rescue” has a long rap sheet of abortion clinic violence. In fact, two of the “Operation Rescue” folks are currently doing time for attempted murder.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. this may seem kind of strange to say, but actually, by all the talk, I’m more surprised that there is not a regimented all out violent bloody machine gun toting crusade against Planned Parenthood and the pro-choice movement IF (and IF is important) people actually BELIEVED that a fetus has the same value as a three year old… (I mean seriously, wouldn’t any of us risk our lives to save a 3 yr old?) I suspect that for ALL the self-righteous god-talk, 99.99% of Christian believers don’t actually believe a 3 yr old and a fetus is equal, but they enjoy spouting spiritually correct blabbery that makes them feel good…..and…..well, thank goodness for that…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lowell Bushey says:

      Hi, richardzanesmith,

      IMO, the so-called “pro-life” strategy has been much more surreptitious than you suggest. Operation Rescue’s original strategy, leading to the anarchy we observed in the 1990’s, was to have anti-abortion protesters be women, (presumably) because (1) since men commit the lion’s share of crime, women, especially those who project the image of “nice, white middle class women”, would be treated more leniently by the courts if they were arrested, and (2) it allowed the so-called “pro-life” movement to preserve the fiction that they actually cared about human life. (Note that this situation has always struck me as bizarre; in effect, the anti-abortion protesters are women opposed to women’s rights.)

      That tradition has persisted today. Most, if not all, the anti-abortion protesters are women. (Frankly, if anyone believes that the anti-abortion protests are unconnected with abortion clinic violence, I’ve got some swampland I want to sell.)

      I must admit that it seems absurd for any (sane) person to buy the (scientifically ludicrous) claim that life begins at conception. However, the “pro-lifers” are, for the most part, people who believe that the world is 8000 years old, and that humans lived alongside of dinosaurs. Clearly, expecting reasonable behavior, or rational thinking, from these folks is a bit generous. :)

      Liked by 3 people

      • metalnun says:

        Lowell, you said: “I must admit that it seems absurd for any (sane) person to buy the (scientifically ludicrous) claim that life begins at conception.” Ironically, this is exactly the claim that many anti-choicers do make! They will tell you with a straight face that “science proves” a human life begins at conception “because DNA!” i.e., unique DNA is the sole requirement to be a human person; not sentience, self-awareness, or even the most rudimentary consciousness, as I’ve addressed here: http://metalnun.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-chicken-and-egg.html

        Like

      • Lowell Bushey says:

        Hi, Metalnun,

        I like your waiter analogy; it expresses very well the absurdity of the anti-choicers’ arguments!

        You also pointed out one important fact: No matter how many times the anti-choicers’ arguments are proven false, they manage to come up with yet another (equally ludicrous) argument. Apparently the latest incarnation of this insanity is “because the result is not an ox, or a chicken, or a duckbilled platypus, or some other creature, this endows a human embryo with rights that supersede those of a woman.”

        (Just in case you hadn’t noticed :)), we’ve had a rather contentious argument regarding the abortion issue the past few days. As far as I can tell, not once were the rights of a woman even mentioned by any anti-choicer. (I Stopped trying to wade through their b.s., because I have better things to do.:)) That’s clearly a subject that the anti-choicers want to avoid!

        I do think it’s important to point out that the anti-choicers keep engaging in a seemingly endless game of “would you believe”, a la Maxwell Smart. (Oops, I just gave away my age. :)) By now, there’s got to be a long list of their talking points that have been refuted.!

        I wasn’t aware of Ben Carson’s “rape” comment. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons that he’s dropped in the polls; such a statement would no doubt anger even Conservative women!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Lowell Bushey says:

      Hi, richardzanesmith,

      Oops! I left something out. I seriously doubt that many of the Republican candidates running for President actually believe the “pro-life” spiel. However, they obviously believe that they can’t get the Republican presidential nomination without appeasing the “pro-lifers”. Presumably, they believe in Romney’s “etch-a-sketch” claim, i.e. that they can “start from square one”, and that people won’t notice that the Republican Party is controlled by extremists.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I just don’t see much evidence today that anti-abortionists “believe” that a fetus and a 3 yr old are both worthy of the same protection. If there were clinics across the country that regularly euthenized 3 yr olds to control human population growth, lifesaving actions would be immediate. I detect change is already here…the aged conservative action force is losing ground and yielding to those of rational thought … Though some of the old rhetoric is still spewing out, most citizens are already changing within , maybe without even knowing it…they can drive by a Family Planning Clinic still laughing with friends.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lowell Bushey says:

        I sincerely hope that you’re right, although I’m clearly skeptical. The main statistic that gives me pause is that an alarming proportion of the younger folks still buy into the “pro-life” spiel.

        It certainly is true that the availability of IUD’s through Obamacare, and the availability of Mifepristone, have the potential to render the abortion debate superfluous. 20 years from now that might be the case.

        Liked by 3 people

  6. paul says:

    I have some friends who are Pro-lifers, spouting the rhetoric of anti-abortion – until their 14 year old daughter became pregnant. Guess who had an abortion? Guess who no longer spouts the rhetoric?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lowell Bushey says:

      This isn’t at all unusual. According to the research I did, Evangelical Christians, who comprise 17% of the population, have 13% of the abortions. In fact, adherents to the two religions most opposed to abortions, Evangelicals and Roman Catholics, account for around 40% of the abortions. There’s nothing like hypocrisy, no? :)

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mary says:

      It really goes to show that religious types really should pay more attention to Jesus’ teachings about not judging. You really have no idea, and no right to cast judgement, about other peoples’ s situations.

      Like

  7. allanmerry says:

    Late to the game; had saved the post. Valerie, Tops as always. (How to get more folks onto your site?) And just quick comments re the last 2 “comment posts.” As a general rule, it is wise when offered “research” results, to wonder either how good was the research design and execution and/or is this a source I already enough to trust it’s work and sources. And also to know that “public opinion” research is probabilistic. Valerie and her sources I trust highly. Others whom I haven’t known or “read” as much, I tend to suspend my own tentative “sense” a bit more. Re Mr Bushey’s post, I would wonder how “Evangelicals” (Christians, I assume) were separated from “run of the mill” Christians. Tho I’m certainly pleased if that statistic is valid.) In response to Mary, I think that “Suspend Judgement” was one of the best ideas attributed to Jesus. That said, of course, in order to have nonviolent, peaceful, equitable, collection of Cultures living interdependently together in a World Community of the overall characteristics, there must be mutually acceptable standards and consequent judgement. Therein lies the big, “bottom line” challenge. Best we preserve a survivable planet, to give ourselves a LOT more time to ponder and deal with that.

    Like

    • Lowell Bushey says:

      Hi, allanmerry,

      According to Wikipedia, Evangelicals have four characteristics that tend to differentiate them from “mainstream” Christians.

      Conversionism, or “belief in the necessity of being “born again”,” Biblicism, “having a reverence for the Bible and a high regard for biblical authority”, including belief in biblical inerrancy, and/or biblical infallibility, Crucicentrism, a belief in “substitutionary atonement, forgiveness of sins and a new life”, because of the crucifixion of Christ, and Activism, including “preaching and social action”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • metalnun says:

        Also they identify as such when asked; I would assume the polls include that question.

        Like

      • Lowell Bushey says:

        Hi, metalnun,

        I think that you’re right. If I’m not mistaken, Pew listed this as a possible shortcoming of their methodology, i.e., that they have little alternative to assuming that respondents have correctly identified their religious affiliation, (or lack thereof).

        Liked by 1 person

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