What is the dictionary definition of “terrorist?” Here’s what mine says:
A person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in pursuit of political aims.
Using that definition, there are a lot of terrorists in the world. They exist in pretty much every country and represent almost every religion and political viewpoint. No matter who they are, most of them are likely to tell you the same thing — they don’t consider themselves terrorists.
One of those terrorists who bristles at the term is Cheryl Sullenger. She is currently upset because Colorado doctor Warren Hern took out a full-page ad in the Denver Post in the form of a letter to anti-abortion congresswoman Marsha Blackburn. That ad reads in part:
You and your Republican Party are vigorously allied with a violent terrorist movement that threatens the lives of women, their families and healthcare workers. As part of this sham ‘investigation,’ your letter to me and letters to other physicians constitute a program of target identification for anti-abortion assassins. You can deny this, but it is a fact.
Your ‘investigation’ is legislative harassment that endangers our lives. The blood of any of us who are assassinated is on your hands.
One group that is part of Hern’s “terrorist movement” is Operation Rescue. That group, founded in 1986 by anti-abortion activist Randall Terry, is widely considered to be a domestic terror organization. Cheryl Sullenger is currently the vice-president of the group, and she is very upset that someone would regard her as a terrorist.
Sullinger took to Operation Rescue’s website to protest. In her post she writes,
As for ‘threatening the lives of women and families,’ no legitimate pro-life activist has ever harmed any pregnant woman.
Well, not directly at least. But Sullenger is being disingenuous in the extreme. “
Pro-life” Anti-abortion activists don’t target pregnant women; they go after the clinics and doctors that provide services to those women. And one of those “legitimate” activists who has been convicted of plotting an attack on an abortion provider is none other than Cheryl Sullenger.
In 1988 Sullenger was one of the first of a group of defendants who were convicted of attempting to bomb an abortion clinic in San Diego. She was sentenced to three years in prison for her role in the attempt, which failed because the wind blew out the fuse on the gasoline bomb that the group had planted.
Sullenger told the judge that she realized what she had done was wrong, but tried to blame God for it, saying her religious beliefs “put a lot of pressure on us to do this.” And now the unrepentant terrorist is shocked, SHOCKED that Hern would lump her and her merry little band of assorted bombers and other upstanding “Christians” in with those filthy guys from ISIS. She writes,
Hern’s warped perception of the work of a peaceful pro-life movement that sacrifices to aid pregnant women and provide loving alternatives to abortion – acts that he considers ‘terrorism’ — reveals how much Hern is deceived by his own fears and prejudices.
The euphemism there is “aid pregnant women.” Sullenger never exactly explains how Operation Rescue “aid[s] pregnant women.” But we all know that one way they do it is by threatening and committing acts of violence against abortion providers. And, as the definition says, when you use violence and intimidation to support your politics, that is terrorism. Which means that you, Cheryl Sullenger, are a terrorist.
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