Monday, February 01, 2010

Pro-life hero series, #1 Randall Terry (aka Lifeman!) A real (pro) life superhero

Joseph: [desperately] Look at all those woman entering the abortion clinic!

Mary: [pleadingly, as she fingers her rosary] Oh Joseph! Who will save them?

Joseph: Look! Getting out of the beater-van, with all the cool bumper stickers!

Mary: [squinting] It's a bishop!

Joseph: [peering intently] It's a saint!

Together: [realizing, then rejoicing] No, it's... LIFEMAN!

Randall Terry with megaphone at March for Life, Washington, D.C., 1-22-10, photo by Therese O'Toole; click for more images.
Like most boys, I went through the superhero stage, and enjoyed my share of Superman and Batman comics until books about sports superstars (the sanitized kid versions, that is) replaced them. Now that I'm grown up (and read stories about Christ and His saints) I fight the battle for the unborn, and wonder (with the passing of Mother Teresa and John Paul II) if there are any pro-life heroes left. And then I remember that gallant figure in the often goofy costumes, who (when he's not in jail) is always on the front lines doing anything and everything to save the babies; the guy I like to call "Lifeman," the one and only Randall Terry.

While many deserve kudos in standing up to the Culture of Death that John Paul predicted and Barack Obama perfected, perhaps only Terry deserves superhero status, not only for his years of service, but for the creative ways he still fights abortion 24/7. Faster than a speedy Blackberry, stronger (or at least more clever) than the local authorities, able to leap Planned Parenthood barracades in a single bound, Terry has the uncanny knack of pinpointing where ground zero in the abortion debate is, then being the first to get there and do something about it.

At Notre Dame, when University President Father John Jenkins invited President Obama to be honored and give the commencement speech against the directive of the American bishops (and Rome itself), Terry not only shamed Jenkins' local bishop, the usually timid Archbishop John D'Arcy of South Bend, into speaking out against the invitation, but led a movement of nearly a hundred bishops and hundreds of thousands of lay people to condemn Jenkins by exposing what a fraud of a priest he really was. Back in Washington, Terry mobilized the pro-life forces to protest against the abortion funded, "death panel-ed" health care bill, and though he is reluctant to call the bill-killing newly elected Senator Brown "Great Scott" as many Republican pundits do (instead boldly comparing it to the United States cozying up to Stalin in order to defeat Hitler in WWII) he has to be given much credit for the voters' rebellion. Finally in Kansas last week to witness the Scott Roeder trial, Terry chided the judge and jury for being one-sided; if pictures of Roeder killing Tiller in cold blood could be used to (justly) condemn Scott to prison, the photographs of the late term aborted babies Tiller and his cronies murdered should have been shown to condemn them to the same fate.

Randall Terry as Satan, click for videoAlthough many cynics argue that, given the fact Obama did speak at Notre Dame, Roeder did receive the maximum sentence (which he is now appealing) and, of course, thousands of babies are still murdered in this country every year by legal abortions, that Randall's in-your-face, often eccentric (my favorite is still when Terry, dressed as the devil, seranaded a bunch of flabbergast pro-choice feminist protesters to the tune of Frankie Valli's "You're Just Too Good to be True") tactics are no longer successful--but that's like saying Mother Teresa was a failure because there are still poor people in India.

To me, Randall Terry is to the pro-life movement what the vigil candle is to the Eucharist. Just as this candle is always near the Eucharist (the center of Catholic worship) and is always lit to remind people that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist, Randall is always near the center of the pro-life fight, reminding us with his unique light on the subject, that the unborn are really people too. Many, because of its appearance, may doubt the Bread and Wine is really Jesus, and many, despite the fetus' appearance, doubt it is really a girl or a boy. But if Mother Teresa did more than anyone I knew to clear up the first misconception, Mr. Terry is getting close to "The Saint of the Gutters" when it comes to disproving the second.

Does that mean that Lifeman, complete with megaphone, bad Obama costumes, and bloody (doll) baby props, is not "just" a superhero...but a saint? I guess it all depends on..."Hey Mary! Joseph! Are you allowed to wear masks in heaven?"


Joseph Landry said...

I'm with ya Tom! Randall Terry is a champ! I've worked with him for 2 years and there is no other organization that is getting things done like he does.

Anonymous said...

To judge a person's actions is one thing, but to spend time with them and see how they reason and to see a certain sum (but infitinely small sum of the whole)of their choices throughout the day with their colleagues, to see what kind of car a person drives, how they care for their children, how they are trustworthy--this I know of Randall Terry and agree with you, Tom, that his tireless efforts to rescue the unborn from slaughter are meant to do just that and call the men of this age to arms. The arms of prayer, words, and peaceful actions, unless called to military service or immediate defense to crime. The stuff of Randall Terry is a hundred days of Rosaries at Obama's doorstep, pictures of victims to greet Congressional staffers at 7:30 a.m., fearless rhetoric designed to exit "the box" and see the big picture of a nation that murders without a thought for the victims and absent prosecution for the bloodstained hands of the murderers.

Anonymous said...

You are spot on Tom ! Your article came out at just the right time ! Just when those pro life panty waists,were stiring the pot about Randall's media coverage at the Roeder trial - you come along and put it all in perspective. I loved your article and I love Randall. I have had the honor of being with him on all the manuevers you wrote about and believe me, not only do they get the baby killing in front of the media in the most creative way but we have a
hoot doing it. Those nasayers are jealous,
scared and intimidated by the infamous and
mysterous "Lifeman". He doesn't even have
to have a telephone booth to change in.

TOM O'TOOLE said...

Thanks Joseph -- When Randall called to come to Washington, I thought about becoming Lifewriter to his "Lifeman," but finances and family kept me back. But in the future who knows? The "Write to Life" may need a (financed) front-liner someday too ...

TOM O'TOOLE said...

Simi -- Long Live Lifeman!

Gary Boisclair said...

It is very heartening to read your words; you have the courage to look past what detractors may say, and the courage to see how Randall Terry lays down his life for the unborn. I believe he is what the prophet Jeremiah describes--"a fortified city, a pillar of iron, a wall of brass."

Tom O'Toole said...

Anonymous (Tuesday, February 02, 2010 9:34:00 PM) -- The little time I spent with Randall was a blessing so I envy you to a great extent. True, he twisted my arm at times, but always in a humble, pro-life way!

Tom O'Toole said...

Gary -- I'm not sure about the city part, but perhaps Randall could add the "iron" and "brass" to one of his "Lifeman" costumes ... kidding aside, Terry's one of a (pro-life) kind!

Pat said...

Way to go - so many see Randall as an agitator and a man without a cause - but you have pegged it just right. He is a real hero and your "Lifeman" title fits to a T.

Go Randall!!!!

EP said...

Thank you Mr. Terry!!

Tom O'Toole said...

Pat -- I trust that "fits him to a T" is not for "Mr. T," but for "Truth."

Anonymous said...

Tom -- I liked your article about Randall Terry. To watch him in action is a real treat. He is a fearless crusader for the pre-born. It is nice to see that there are still a few people who appreciate a person that takes this battle seriously. Keep telling it like it is. I have sent you a song I thought you would enjoy. --Carl