Monday, July 30, 2007

Paul Hill Days

I caught up with Missionaries to the Preborn as they paraded south down Prospect Ave. Sixty protesters in all, nearly half of them children, followed a festive, yellow banner that proclaimed Paul Hill Days. Those at the front of the line marched, beat drums, played hymns on a ragtag assortment of wind instruments, and called out a military-sounding cadence in honor of their hero, an assassin who gunned down a doctor and his escort 13 years ago.

Half clown troupe, half street ministry, the procession was largely ignored by passers by. A young man from the local technical college followed with a small videocam. At one point, a man getting into a parked car shouted "Children shouldn't have to see those pictures." He was holding two young boys as they stared up at a poster of an aborted fetus. "Maybe we need to see more of these pictures," a protester yelled back.

The troupe reached the large, orange Sunrise sculpture at the point where Wisconsin Ave. meets the lakefront. They marched around the sculpture, then stopped, forming a ragtag semi-circle. Their apparent leader, a bearded, mountain-man type named Drew Heiss, led the group in song and prayer. "There is power in the blood of the lamb," they sang. Then Drew officially concluded "The First Annual Paul Hill Days", and reminded everyone to walk to a nearby park for the Subway sandwiches they had ordered earlier.

During the walk, I met Andy Wilson, the son of George Wilson who organized Paul Hill Days. Wilson, Sr., a former Presbyterian Minister, died of a heart attack earlier that week at age 55. I expressed my condolences, then asked Andy if his group was discouraged by President Bush's inability to promote Wilson's religious agenda. "Bush's heart is in the right place, but there's not much he can do," he answered.

At the park, some of the children discovered a crabapple tree on top of the bluff that overlooks Lake Michigan. The boys shimmied up the trunk, and shook the branches until the fruit fell on the ground. "Yuck, they're sour," said a young girl. "They're crabapples," said a boy. A plump, blonde-haired woman walked over and scolded the children. "He told us to," said one of the boys, pointing at me. "I guess that makes me the serpent," I said. Mom did not seem amused, but remained pleasant.

Colin, a thin man with large glasses that gave him a lost expression said Paul Hill Days was about "making people see what was happening." I asked if he thought the protest was persuading people, and he said he didn't know. "Most people are apathetic, but you have to start somewhere. You have to show them what is happening."

The man said he traveled frequently with the Missionaries, disrupting clinics and "showing what is happening" by way of the group's lurid posters. I asked what he did for a living. "Oh, I do odd jobs here and there. Mostly I travel with the Missionaries to the Preborn." He pulled a small plastic fetus out of his pocket. "I take this with me everywhere I go," he said. I asked if promoting murder was a persuasive way to draw people to their cause. "Sometimes I wonder if there is a more effective way," he said, looking even more lost as he thought about the question.

The group said grace over their sub sandwiches, including a shout out to their hero, Paul Hill, a "Godly man" whom the state of Florida executed in 2003 for shooting down two men he didn't even know.

I later asked Drew Heiss if he was concerned about teaching children that it was acceptable to murder people you disagree with. He didn't appear that he had spent much time thinking about the question. "Well, we try to teach our kids the difference between right and wrong, and Biblical principles," he said, before entering more familiar territory - the "real meaning" of the sixth commandment, which he identified as "Thou Shalt Not Murder".

"If I fail to stop a murderer from murdering, then I am also guilty of murdering?" he seemed to wonder aloud. He said he invited some of his friends to march in Paul Hill days, but he's not sure how they feel about it. "Will they stop being my friends if they know what I am for?"

He was dead serious.

h/t Illusory Tenant


illusory tenant said...

Very nicely done! Great pics too, especially the ape with the prehensile tail in the tree.

Rev. Don Spitz said...

Paul Hill Days where a good idea. Paul Hill saved many helpless babies from being murdered by that babykilling abortionist. For this, I believe Paul Hill is a True American Hero
SAY THIS PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I am a sinner and am headed to eternal hell because of my sins. I believe you died on the cross to take away my sins and to take me to heaven. Jesus, I ask you now to come into my heart and take away my sins and give me eternal life.

karen said...

Hi. I came over from the NGB.

Nice commentary on the event.
The Paul Hill Days homepage said there'd be a parade and a reenactment. I guess the latter didn't happen? That's the part I was really curious about.

Good to know the number of followers is small. Too bad they're brainwashing the kids.

rev. spitz
You're in need of a great deal of help.

Heraldblog said...

I missed the re-enactment, but it did go down. It was pretty lame from what others are saying.

Adrian Horien said...

You can see the reenactment by going to google video and typing in "Paul Hill Days."

The whole question of justifiable homicide, in particular in this case, hinges on whether or not the preborn children (call them "fetus'" if you want, it's only a semantical difference) are human beings. If they are, then what Paul Hill did makes perfect sense. If they are not, then Paul Hill is a misguided murderer and met the fate that serves the demand of justice.

We who have not abandoned Paul Hill's memory have the courage to answer that question and to deal with the implications. Do you?

Heraldblog said...

Sorry, Adrian, but you are presenting a false choice, and I'm not biting. Abortion is legal in the US, and since are a nation of laws, Hill's victim was innocent. Murder is a legal term, and Hill was tried and found guilty of murder. Another of those semantic differences, I guess.

adrian horien said...

Would you have made that same argument for slaves and Jews? I somehow doubt it. What is legal (declared by 9 men in black robes) doesn't make it conscienable, nor the child something less.

It's an interesting sidenote to your point that neither Roe nor Doe touched the issue of when human life begins. Simply stating that birth is the point of personhood doesn't make it so. Appealing to science will land you in my view of the issue, if you were to remain rational.

Regarding Paul Hill, any true liberal would be insensed that he was denied his only defense argument by judical brute force. That should frighten anyone regardingless of where they fall on the spectrum of opinion of the matter.

Heraldblog said...

I'm not going to reason a person out of a position he didn't reason himself into.

Adrian Horien said...

...and you know this how? Have we met? Or, are you a prejudiced bastard?

I can understand that you are tired of the arguments, but at least show me the courtesy of some honesty. BTW, your ad hominem argument is too obvious for you to be talking about "reason".

Heraldblog said...

I'm judging you by your words, and the argument you make. It's not necessary to meet.

It's really quote simple: Paul Hill, whom some might call a prejudiced bastard, murdered a man who was performing legal medical procedures. You apparently think it's OK to murder people you disagree with. Would it be ad hominem to label you a deluded fool?

Adrian Horien said...

Yes, if you intended to argue thereby. However,, considering your observation that "murder" is a lega word and that we haven't had that discussion yet, you beg the question by trying to defame me (and whom I represent to you) by it.

Again, I go to the Roe standard itself: if the humanity of the fetus can be shown, then Roe falls apart. That's the point at issue, which Paul Hill got right, irrespective of what some court filled with men say.

Doctor Defense said...

I am holding a justifiable homicide PRE-enactment. We will pre-enact the soon-to-be-done assassinations of Karen, Justin, Gloria, and Joy Hill.

Right-to-lifers who commit OR SUPPORT acts of terror are placing their children in harm's way.