By Editorial Staff
Published September 1, 1988
Operation Rescue’s activists certainly can’t be stereotyped. They are not former ’60s protestors who burned dorm buildings and American flags in the student center. But they will take a bus at their own expense to another city across the nation to get arrested. John Ryan, 33, has been arrested for his pro-life stand nearly 400 times while a student. “I quit counting at 350,” he said during the recent rescue effort in Tallahassee.
A former social worker, Ryan says he spent most of his collegiate career in jail. “I was working full-time, going to school full-time, and in jail half of the time. Although I’ve been in jail a lot, it’s amazing how God takes care of you.” In the morning, he would go to class and then catch a bus to a local abortion clinic in St. Louis, Missouri, to participate in a rescue and to counsel women entering the clinics. “I thought of the injustice of it all,” he said. “I didn’t encounter any pro-life sympathy at the time, and the university had little to do with my involvement.”
His first arrest was in St. Louis eight years ago. Although he spent most of his college years in jail, Ryan managed to graduate with a masters degree in Social Work within five years. The total time he has served in jail adds up to one year. “Some days I got arrested twice,” he said. “The judge was pro-life, so he would let us off with a city ordinance violation charge which was the lowest penalty. The City was never in a hurry to hear our case, either.”
How did his time in jail affect his lifestyle? “I felt like I lived in two worlds,” he explained. “I would come home from jail, and it would be business as usual. Ordinary things strike you as bizarre when you know there are children dying out there and someone is more concerned about how they look.”
He says his hardest times were when he didn’t pray about his activist activities, or when he did things simply out of habit. “As an activist, I have to constantly keep in mind that this is a spiritual battle. If it’s just a political force, it will go the way of every other movement and become ineffective.”
After being booked several times, Ryan said the police began to fill out the forms before he got to the jail. “After filling out the forms, I would just return to the clinic,” he added. Ryan has been on a sabbatical for the past year.
Sharon Henning, a housewife from St. Louis, Missouri, has been arrested over 20 times. She fasted for five weeks before making the decision to join in the rescues. “I saw the film ‘Assignment Life,’ and something gripped me. I felt that God had called me to do something, but I didn’t know what.” Henning got involved in Lutherans for Life and started picketing.
However, picketing didn’t seem enough when a rescue was underway at a local clinic. “While those in jail were fasting, I began fasting,” she said. People that were normally unconcerned about abortion, she said, had begun to ask questions during her fast. After five weeks, her husband told her he would rather that she go to the abortion clinics and protest than to continue the fast.
Those involved in Operation Rescue are from all walks of life … including teenagers. With several teens in jail in Atlanta and Tallahassee, 16-year-old activist Willie Hinton is starting the youth arm of Operation Rescue. The group was born the first night of the Democratic National Convention when a group of teenagers protested abortion at the Atlanta Surgi-Center.
Hinton began getting involved in pro-life efforts last January. He worked on former presidential candidate Pat Roberton’s campaign as the assistant financial director, and is working on several local political campaigns as well. When asked whether he would get himself arrested during the Atlanta rescue, he replied, “If my father lets me.”
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Pro-life Articles
Your comments are welcome!
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion
This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.
Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.
“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan
Running time: 85 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)