Friday, April 13, 2007

Fish and guests

First, it was the Focus on the Family rally, complete with the patriotic music, all-white audience, and “Libberuls are treasonous scum” message.

Then the announcement that the Republican National Convention was coming to town, and St. Paul’s Democrats have already been warned about daring to express any thoughts that might be considered disrespectful of Our Glorious Leader.

But now St. Paul has gone too far with the welcome mat. Not quite satisfied with these two obvious bows to the American Taliban, my fair city somehow feels the need to welcome the creepiest of right-wing causes to town. The Abstinence Clearinghouse – the people who brought you Purity Balls, purity rings (a steal at $189.95!), “condoms kill” campaigns, and public condemnation of masturbation are coming to St. Paul!

The condom bashing, contraceptive-loathing, pro-cervical cancer snake oil road show hits St. Paul’s Crowne Plaza Riverfront from July 9-11, 2007.

Let’s take a look at the people who will be visiting us.

The group's founder and leader, Leslee Unruh, needs almost no introduction. Having exercised her right to an abortion in her younger years, she now spends her life in the dual roles of fighting abortion on every front, while at the same time doing all she can to stop contraception, thereby assuring that there will be more unwanted pregnancies that result in - you guessed it! - more abortions. (Talk about your full employment act for zealots!)

Follow that first abortion with a multiple felony indictment and plea bargain for violations of law while running an “adoption” agency in South Dakota that mainly pressured pregnant teenagers to give up their babies in exchange for monetary help (known in some circles as “buying babies”).

These days, when she’s not drafting the draconian South Dakota abortion ban that voters overturned in November, Unruh is busy:

Railing against masturbation, the “first step toward sexual addiction.”

Discouraging the use of the cancer-preventing HPV vaccine and proclaiming to legislators her "personal objection" to the vaccine.

Playing coy about the Abstinence Clearinghouse’s ultimate goal of banning all contraception.

Calling homosexual practices “dangerous.”

Doing her best to stop fact-based sex education and using your tax dollars to do so.

Discouraging the use of condoms in AIDS stricken Africa.

Her actions in the battle last fall to overturn the no-exceptions South Dakota abortion ban has resulted in one of her colleagues facing criminal charges.

I mean, really – do you want this woman walking the streets of St. Paul, possibly meeting up with your daughters, providing them with brochures proclaiming that AIDS is spread by sweat, that condoms don't prevent disease, and that she doesn't need a 100% effective cancer vaccine?

Of course she does have her own parody site, but I still don't think that St. Paul shares very many of her values.

(Image courtesy of Abstinence Clearinghouse demonstrating the joy of waving a blood-stained sheet the morning after your wedding night.)

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