A small group of people met together on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on Thursday afternoon for a prayer vigil for social justice issues, including abortion on demand. The event was promoted by Planned Parenthood to bring together people of “all faiths.” But one group, including a minister, were told in no uncertain terms that they were not welcome.
The invitation reads, “Ohio faith leaders will culminate a week of prayer on issues that affect all Ohioans on Thursday.” Bryan Kemper is a national faith leader based in Ohio and founder of Stand True, but when he went to the rally on Thursday, he found that he was not actually welcome to pray there. Like some of the other participants, he began setting up signs.
Kemper writes on the Stand True website that he was met by a permit holder for the event who was sporting an “I heart Jesus” sticker on her shirt. She said that “that they were welcoming all people to this prayer vigil.”
However, the signs that Bryan Kemper and his colleague Mark Harrington of Created Equal were putting up to display were considered “divisive,” and they were asked to remove them. In a moment of cognitive dissonance, the spokesperson said that they did not want the “dead baby” pictures, yet promoters of the rally wanted to pray for women to have access to abortion.
The signs display what the results of the abortions actually look like. In another context, it could be interpreted as “informed choice.” According to Created Equal, the images are used intentionally to bring attention to the reality of abortion, that it is not just a philosophical concept, quoting Martin Luther King, Jr., in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail:
“Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”
Notwithstanding, Bryan Kemper acquiesced and removed the graphic signs, replacing them with signs with only words. When another from their group brought out a sign with a picture showing a baby developing in the womb, he was told that the sign had to go as well.
As the people gathered for the prayer vigil, the spokesperson was asked, “[W]hat were the qualifications for leading prayer and she said you have to be a minister.”
There happened to be a minister in the group with Kemper and Harrington. That minister’s request to lead a prayer was summarily dismissed by the event spokesperson.
According to a tweet by Stephanie Kight, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, she was proud to stand with “all faiths” at the rally.
Grateful that Moral Movement is here in Ohio. Proud to stand with all Faiths at today’s Prayer Rally.
— Stephanie Kight (@StephanieKight) August 28, 2014
But that isn’t what happened. Kemper’s group was asked to step back behind the sidewalk. They were not even permitted to be in the prayer meeting, even though it was promoted as an event for faith leaders held on the state capitol grounds.
There came a point during the rally where Bryan Kemper felt that he couldn’t remain silent any longer, and he began preaching from his position behind the sidewalk.
Earlier in the summer, Time reported that Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, blasted Planned Parenthood for attempting to recruit religious leaders to their cause:
“Is Planned Parenthood so desperate for business that it has to spiritualize the murder of tiny children?”
In response to a letter that the organization posted online entitled “Pastoral Letter to Patients,” Perkins said, “Obviously, [Planned Parenthood] is always looking for new ways to justify abortion. But the Bible? That’s a step too far, even for them.”
But is it? Earlier The Inquisitr reported information that Planned Parenthood actually has quotas for their clinics that they are expected to meet of the number of abortions they perform. When their bottom line is at stake, it appears that the organization will do whatever it takes to get their numbers up and increase their bottom line.
Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, was appalled at the prayer vigil event advertised by Planned Parenthood. He expressed to Life Site News his disappointment that they would use such an event to advocate abortion of babies, saying:
“It is a tragedy that Planned Parenthood would prostitute Biblical teachings for their own political gain.”
Ironically, perhaps, throughout the entire one hour prayer meeting, the name of Jesus was not mentioned even once, according to Stand True, even though ministers of several Christian churches took the podium. Access to abortion was preached and prayers were spoken in praise of abortion by the various faith leaders at the prayer vigil.
[images via Facebook]