Jill Stanek's Sept. 16 WorldNetDaily column plays up the shooting death of Jim Pouillon, a Michigan anti-abortion protester killed along with another man who was not an anti-abortion activist. Stanek starts off by downplaying the killings of eight abortion doctors and workers by anti-abortion zealots, claiming they were "aborted" rather than murdered. Stanek takes a stunningly dismissive attitude toward them, as if condoning their murders:
Harlan Drake allegedly killed another man the same morning he killed Jim for a totally unrelated reason, they say, as if to dilute the magnitude of Jim's murder.
Oh yeah, we say, and what about Eric Rudolph, who not only killed two abortion workers in a Birmingham clinic firebombing but also planted bombs at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta and the Otherside Lounge, a lesbian bar?
Blah, blah, blah. It will never end.
But Stanek is much more interested in creating martyrdom for Poullion: "I hope Jim's family sees it that way – more jewels in a dazzling crown as he assumes a place of prominence in heaven with the other martyrs." She repeats claims that he was "a selfless, soft-spoken, kind-hearted man" and that he "needed a portable oxygen tank and leg braces" to carry out his activism, going on to call Poullion "he sort of person the other side likes to pick off" -- even though there's no evidence that his alleged killer was involved in the pro-choice movement.
Stanek might want to hold back a bit on granting Poullion sainthood. Criticism of Poullion's methods has come from an unlikely source -- the right-wing, Davbid Horowitz-operated Newsreal blog, where David Forsmark writes:
Jim Pouillon is a poor choice for a cause to choose as a martyr, both because of who he was—and the stubborn things called facts about the nature of the crime spree that claimed his life.
Jim Pouillon was a dark, and deeply disturbed man. Any dealings I had with him were extremely unpleasant as he tried to force his way into campaigns I was working for. When I denied him access to my candidates, he threatened to picket them– even though they were pro-life– until they sat down with him. So much for principle. Whether the problems were caused by a physical problem, a mental imbalance, or just his own personal demons, I won’t attempt to diagnose.
Pouillon was known for shouting vile things while carrying his signs—and not just at adults. He picketed a Catholic school in Owosso, yelling at students that there were “whores” inside. He was known for directly shouting to or at children who were entering places he was picketing.
Sources I trust implicitly tell me Pouillon taunted a pro-choice candidate’s pre-teen son about having discovered the body of his mother who had committed suicide a few years before. Pouillon didn’t deserve to be shot and killed, but that should have warranted a good thrashing– at the very least.
In short, Pouillon did a lot more than just carry his signs around.
However, it is understandable that there is a little bit of martyr envy from the beleaguered pro-life side, after seeing their most fervent opponents lionized by the media, despite glaring moral faults.
Jim Pouillon didn’t drive his Oldsmobile off a bridge and deliberately leave a friend to die.
Nor was he the nation’s foremost profiteer of legal infanticide. Quite the opposite, in fact.
However, Jim Pouillon did not create jobs in his community, either.
Regardless of the pros and cons of Jim Pouillon, the pro-life “leaders” in their rush to use Pouillon’s death to their advantage, cheapen life and betray their cause by treating Mike Fuoss’s life as meaningless– an inconvenient truth that gets in the way of a good story, that as such, must be ignored.
We must be better than this – and truer to our principles. When pro-lifers assign more value to one life than another, it’s a betrayal of our most sacred prinicple. It’s uncomfortably close to what the abortionist does.
Indeed, Stanek gives short shrift to that other victim, claiming he was killed "for a totally unrelated reason, they say, as if to dilute the magnitude of Jim's murder."
Not only has Stanek put the value of Jim Poullion's life above those her fellow anti-abortion activists have killed, she put it above that of another person killed by the same man on the same day, just because he wasn't an anti-abortion activist.
There's something deeply disturbing in that. Too bad Stanek doesn't think so.