Monday, January 21, 2013

#384: Randall Terry & Operation Save America

Randall Terry is a completely insane crank, self-proclaimed theocrat, “family value” “proponent”, fundamentalist religious herdsman, and sucker for attention. Sample quote from Terry: “I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good ... Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called on by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism.” Terry also thinks that Pat Robertson is a sell-out.

He generally likes to bash liberals and show great joy whenever “morally reprobate” doctors (guess who) get killed. Terry is the founder of Operation Save America and its subgroup Operation Rescue (as well as the website, which is devoted to the “protecting the innocents”. Here’s Terry summing up his position on doctors who perform abortions: “When I, or people like me, are running the country, you'd better flee, because we will find you, we will try you, and we'll execute you. I mean every word of it. I will make it part of my mission to see to it that they are tried and executed.” His organization has not consistently contained themselves within legal limits (their senior policy director, Cheryl Sullenger, was at one point convicted of conspiracy to bomb a California clinic (the plot thickens here), and Terry, his successor Keith Tucci, and subsequent director Flip Benham have all been arrested and convicted for transgressing legal boundaries during their activism). The group’s involvement with Scott Roeder, murderer of George Tiller, seems rather obvious to many, and after the murder Terry explained: “The point that must be emphasized over, and over, and over again: pro-life leaders and the pro-life movement are not responsible for George Tiller's death. George Tiller was a mass-murderer and, horrifically, he reaped what he sowed.”

The Operation Rescue subgroup, Operation Save America, works out of Kansas and is currently headed by Troy Newman (who succeeded Terry’s tactical director Jeff White). Apparently Terry has later sued Newman, but the circumstances are somewhat unclear and so permeated by unhinged insanity that it is probably not worth trying to grasp them. A study on the group’s rhetoric is here.

Terry, however, does not limit his campaigning to pro-life causes (neither does Operation Save America), but is vociferously attacking anything he deems to be inconsistent with his personal brand of Christian fundamentalism. The typical examples include his anti-gay campaigns (gay marriage isn’t even on his radar; this concerns whether or not good Christians should have the right to discriminate against or beat up people caught having ungodly sexual desires), his campaigns against euthanasia, and his hatred of Islam. When his adopted son turned out to be gay, Randall – as the good, Christian father he is – immediately disowned him. He also disowned two of his children who became pregnant outside of marriage for good measure. It’s all about love; tough love.

Terry has tried to run for Houses of Representatives in both New York and Florida, but hasn’t gained much traction since he is generally shunned by all but the most deranged Republicans. He is, however, a sucker for attention. You can watch him teach tea-partiers on how to get it here. In 2011, dimly realizing that even hardcore wingnuts find his language objectionable, he changed his party affiliation to Democrat with the intention to troll them by running against President Obama in the 2012 presidential primaries. After arguing that Obama supports both slavery and murder, he laid out his campaign strategy here. In fact, he managed to win a delegate, in Oklahoma (who would have guessed); or so it seemed, at least, until it turned out that he hadn’t done the paperwork properly. After this minor setback, he changed his plans to run as a third candidate instead, stating that a presidential run won’t draw votes away from the Republican nominee, but from anti-choice Democrats who would otherwise support Obama. Concurrently with revealing his plans, Terry also hearted Rush Limbaugh for his handling of the Sandra Fluke affair, claiming not only that Fluke is a prostitute, but that Obama is her pimp, the justification being primarily that Randall Terry is absolutely gibberingly crazy and incoherent.

He doesn’t like education or science: “The next step, if at all humanly possible […], it is to get our children out of the humanistic, brianwashing institution called 'public education'. Frankly, it is a mixture of insanity and irresponsibility to turn our children over to our adversaries and their curriculum in a God-less education system (i.e., a system that teaches history and science without God).”

Terry is the author of several books, including “Accessory To Murder: The Enemies, Allies, And Accomplices To The Death of Our Culture”, “Why Does A Nice Guy Like Me ... Keep Getting Thrown In Jail?: How theological escapism and cultural retreatism in the Church have led to America's demise”, and “The Sword: The Blessing Of Righteous Government And The Overthrow Of Tyrants”.

He has promised to testify against his enemies (Rightwingwatch, Jezebel, Huffington Post) on the Day of Judgment, mostly because he’s such a nice guy.

For something hilariously bizarre, look here.

Diagnosis: One of the most vile, and most batshit crazy people in the US – and pretty dangerous and influential to boot. Terry is not funny (as opposed to the impotent Phelps gang), however; he is just despicable.


  1. Remember 2000 and the Senate campaign, where Terry (and his mistress) lost the character campaign to Hillary Clinton?

  2. We should not forget Terry's intervention in the Terri Schiavo affair.