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Anti-abortion group harasses Unitarian church during moment of silence for dead member

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The anti-abortion activist father of a pair of wanna-be reality TV stars disrupted the services of a Unitarian church Sunday while the congregation was honoring a member who had died.

Members of Flip Benham’s Operation Save America group delivered an impromptu sermon while the congregation at First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans was observing a moment of silence, reported the Uptown Messenger.

“Into that sacred silence, a voice began to speak, and it began to speak about ‘abominations,’” said Rev. Deanna Vandiver, who told the Uptown Messenger that the protesters shouted that their church was not a true faith. “Literally in our most tender and vulnerable space, religious terrorism began.”

Operation Save America, which grew out of the Operation Rescue movement tied to the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, described the church as a “synagogue of Satan” for its longstanding support of reproductive rights.

“During an open ‘meditation’ time, Deanna (Waller) shared the Word of the Lord,” the anti-abortion group said on its website. “When the female ‘pastor’ took issue, Deanna reminded her that, ‘It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones’ (Luke 17:2).”

Vandiver invited the protesters to stay if they would do so respectfully, and church leaders escorted out the most vocal protesters.

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“I think we were an easy target, because we’re literally just a few blocks down the road from where they’re building this (Planned Parenthood) clinic,” Vandiver said. “But we are not interested in being terrorized. Freedom of speech does not trump freedom of religion.”

About 55 protesters from Operation Save America joined hundreds of other anti-abortion activists in New Orleans to protest the Planned Parenthood clinic, saying they were encouraged by a new Louisiana law that will likely shut down three of the state’s five abortion clinics after it goes into effect Sept. 1.

“We’re trying to shut the place down because God gives life and God takes life,” said protester Richard Fegan outside a clinic in Metarie. “This place is trying to be God.”

The protesters also demonstrated outside the private residences of abortion providers in New Orleans, waving placards showing graphic depictions of aborted fetuses and shouting anti-abortion slogans.

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“My kids are scared,” said a neighbor of one of those physicians. “It’s all these ugly pictures. They’re talking on the loudspeaker. I try to speak to them civilly, and it’s very difficult to do, because they’re looking for a confrontation.”

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued a proclamation Sunday welcoming Operation Save America to the city, as most groups are that apply for such a certificate, but his office said Tuesday the ceremonial proclamation was issued in error.

Operation Save America was founded as Operation Rescue in the 1980s by Randall Terry, but Benham changed the militant anti-abortion group’s name in 1999 after taking over as national director.

Benham is the father of anti-LGBT twins David and Jason Benham, whose proposed HGTV reality show was scrapped after their views on abortion, homosexuality, and other issues were publicized.

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The elder Benham was convicted in 2011 of stalking a North Carolina abortion provider by distributing “wanted” fliers with photos of the physician, his home, and clinic.

Watch this video report posted online by WDSU-TV:

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Virginia Democrats are so fired up that the party chair had to scold them: ‘Sit down — be quiet’

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Democrats in Virginia are fired up as they gathered in Richmond for their annual gala dinner.

Political analysts believe the Democratic Party of Virginia has a good chance to win control of the state legislature in 2019's election, before setting their sights on the Commonwealth continuing its recent trend of voting Democratic in presidential elections.

Patrick Wilson, a political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, attended the event.

He reported that Democrats were so "noisy" that it was hard to hear the speakers, which include presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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‘Everyone knows what to expect’ at Trump’s Amway Center re-election kickoff

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Donald Trump considers himself a legendary salesman, but can he really sell America on giving him four more drama-filled years at the White House?

Tuesday, he'll make his big pitch.

The 2020 reelection kickoff rally is being held in Orlando, Florida and campaign operations chief Michael Glassner says the "historic" event "has already generated tens of thousands of ticketing requests."

There's little mystery about how the night will go down.

Expect Trump, the self-promoting hero of his ghost-written book "The Art of the Deal," to claim the US economy is richer, the military stronger, and the country more respected than ever in history.

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Florida man’s own family blasts him after he was arrested for racist threats: ‘This isn’t how we were raised’

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After a Florida man was arrested for trying to start a race war, a member of his own family slammed his values.

"A Florida man’s social media posts that threatened violence against African-Americans, Jews and homosexuals and that urged his followers to start a race war netted him a $1 million bond," the Miami Herald reported Saturday. "And then there’s another $100,000 bond he would have to pay to get out of Lee County Jail because of a weapons charge."

Joshua Leff, 40, is being held in the Lee County Jail.

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