Democratic National Convention and Respect-Life Ministry Presence: An Update.
LATE ADDITION, 3:40 PM ET, from Rich Kendall: "We are operating below the radar screen in Boston - virtual news media blackout of our activities, but we have had direct contacts with the power elite of the Democratic Party and they don't appreciate what we are making them face. The police have been great. Rich"
Just received this from some friends who've been in Boston at the DNC, or rather outside it, I presume.
This is directly from Rev. Rob Schenck, who once had a most interesting "run-in" with former President Clinton (I'll tell that story below, after his email):
Dear Friend of Faith and Action,
Your missionary to Boston, Massachusetts, Rob Schenck, reporting. My only connection to you is my hand-held Blackberry device, so this must be short.
It's been a very busy and intense time of ministry here at the Democratic National Convention. My brother, Paul, spoke at an opening rally; prayer vigils and protests (in the best sense of the word) have been ably led by Rev. Pat Mahoney; and “Truth Trucks” by Rev. Troy Newman circulate with the reality of abortion on their mobile billboards. It has all been very powerful. I spent a good while today ministering to and engaging in debate with young people.
Rich and Mary-Ann Kendall, our dear friends and our new ministry representatives for the New England area [Annie's note: and personal friends of mine], have been here as strong witnesses for the Lord throughout the weekend. Rich will be filing a complete report on the Saturday-Monday ministry events. Be sure to watch for it.
There are Christians and pro-life people here trying to reform their party, but they are utterly ignored or reviled. Our news conference and much of our activities have drawn almost no media coverage. Reporters, editors and producers seem giddy with the party atmosphere--they are not interested in “fair” stories.
Please pray for us. I'm writing at 2:00 A.M. - the days are long. I'm learning a great deal about the moral and spiritual dimensions to this battle. I’ll write more when I can get to normal E-mail service. Wait until you hear the rest of what is going on here.
Your grateful missionary to elected and appointed officials,
Rev. Rob Schenck, Missionary to Capitol Hill
Faith and Action in the Nation's Capital
109 Second Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Back on Christmas Eve in 1996, Rev. Schenck had a unique opportunity to speak with Bill Clinton. Here it is in the Reverend's own words:
On Christmas Eve, 1996, I gently admonished President Bill Clinton for vetoing the Partial Birth Abortion Ban legislation. He and I had ended up at the communion rail together at the Washington National Cathedral during a special service. In a very respectful tone, I reminded Mr. Clinton that God would hold him "to account for the babies." He ordered the Secret Service to detain me, but they found no reason to arrest me, so I was let go. During the interrogation, however, one of the agents accidentally swatted my cell phone, inadvertently calling my office which began recording the proceedings on voice mail.
The next day, Christmas, an off-duty reporter for a national news wire called me to say he had been there at the Cathedral and watched the whole thing. He called the White House for an explanation on why President Clinton had ordered me detained. They denied it ever happened and called me a liar. The reporter told me, "I was there, Reverend, but my editor does not allow us to write from a personal, first-person perspective. I need someone to vouch for your side of the story."
By then, my wife had listened to the messages in my home office and realized that the cell phone/voice mail had recorded the entire incident. I played the recording for the reporter. He couldn't believe it. He later called the White House to tell them he had the recording. They changed their story, saying they had "no comment." The national news wire story that eventually went out told the story exactly as it happened.
Unfortunately, the Clinton people went on to punish me by having me black-listed in many places in Washington, a price I am still paying all these years later. Still, it was one of the sweetest days of my life to see God answer so many prayers today through a very different president who believes in the true Creator of Life.
Some sources indicate it was The Washington Post that ran the story back then. Rev. Schenck was not only stopped by the Secret Service but while they searched his wallet and took out his driver's license, he was told he wasn't allowed to call a lawyer.
And we didn't even have the Patriot Act back then.