The Saga of Paul Hill
I'd not been too familiar with Paul's story until he went on trial.
The event in question occurred in 1994 when I wasn't paying much
attention to what was happening in the pro-life movement. I vaguely
remembered reading something about it several years ago, that left
me with the impression Paul might have other, personal problems,
too. And I didn't want to get involved in something that wasn't
purely abortion related.
The regular media didn't given it much attention; and, strangely,
neither did my pro-life news sources. But, in the end, it came down
to Paul conducting himself well when he was executed for gunning
down a Pensacola, Florida, abortion purveyor and his bodyguard.
Now, here's some of the reaction to that event:
Larry Spalding, an ACLU lawyer, had this to say: "There are crazies
in the anti-abortion movement who are susceptible to this type of
message, that in order to save the unborn it is necessary to kill
doctors." Excuse me for interrupting Larry's story, but the crazies
are really the handful of abortion doctors who slaughter approxim-
ately 3300 children a day, in this country alone, for profit, and
pump some of that money, as a cost of doing business, back into
organizations like Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Feder-
ation, the ACLU, and to buy politicians to keep abortion legal; and
people like Larry without moral principles, who've been duped into
helping them run this scam. What this is really about is protecting
a very profitable industry - the multi-billion dollar abortion in-
"His actions set the pro-life movement back years and made pro-life
people who believe killing is the wrong answer to a difficult sit-
uation look like hypocrites. Joe Scheidler, director of the Pro-
Life Action League, says no more than a handful of people out of
millions of pro-life advocates believe Hill is a hero because of
what he did. 'We see the babies as martyrs, but not Paul Hill,'
Scheidler said." Steven Ertelt LifeNews.com Editor August 20, 2003.
You're right, Steve, pro-life people do look like hypocrites. But
you've bought into the politically correct liberal argument as to
why. Well spoken Joe. Joe has saved a lot of lives from abortion
over the past 30+ years; but one at a time. And I can understand
his nonviolent perspective since one of his main activities is
peaceful pro-life demonstrations. But the reason abortion is still
around today is reflected in these two attitudes. They believe
abortion is morally wrong, and see all the harm and grief it causes.
What they seemingly don't grasp or fully appreciate is that the
person being killed by an abortion is just as much a person as the
abortionist doing the killing - with just as much right to go on
living. They've been lulled into the "fetus" mentality. Joe should
take a minute to reflect, look at one of his abortion pictures
again, and ask himself what what sees, and if it is any different
from one of his own children, or what was done to it any less of an
outrage. Just because a baby is inside its mother doesn't make it
any less a person than one on the outside.
Because I'm one of that "handful" he spoke of, and I think that
statement sends the wrong message - that you don't really believe
that the child being aborted is an actual person - and that hurts
the pro-life movement even more than Paul's double murder, because
we're supposed to lead and not be victims of the popular culture.
I read a statement by a clergyman, who I thought expressed it best,
that to think otherwise is to be "inconsistent", and many pro-lifers
have been lured into the logical trap of wanting to not appear pro-
violence while ignoring the horrific violence in the womb.
Joe devoted almost half a page in his Fall 2003 Action News to
eloquently arguing that homicide is not morally justifiable. But
like Fr. Pavone below, he leads with the conclusion he wants to
make, and his arguments end up proving the opposite for anyone who
objectively analyzes them.
My government spent 4 months eagerly preparing and training me to
kill, then took four years out of my life and sent me halfway
around the world, so I would be there ready to kill to protect the
lives of people back home, from the likes of Osama Bin Laden and
the attack on Pearl Harbor. What Paul Hill did was no different than
that - defending the lives of his countrymen because he understood
it was his duty to do so. He made that ultimate sacrifice, so that
others could live, just as our troops continue to do in Afghanistan
"'What he did is definitely not anything that anyone I know of
supports." Tom Glessner, director of the National Institute of
Family and Life Advocates, said Hill deserves the death penalty.
'He's not a pro-lifer, as far as I'm concerned,' Glessner said.
'Osama bin Laden acted out of conviction, too.'" Washington Times,
STARKE, Fla., Sept. 3 (UPI) Now you know of someone, Tom. You just
desecrated the memory of a fallen comrade and hero. I suggest you
direct yourself into a different line of work, since you seem unable
to determine which side you are on.
"Obviously, some people are trying to make Paul Hill out to be some
kind of martyr. He's not; he's a murderer who deserves whatever
punishment the state deems appropriate." American Life League Vice
President Jim Sedlak
I can't help but be angered by your statement, Jim. Just stick to
shutting down abortion clinics in the future. Are you on vacation,
"Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life tells LifeNews.com that
Hill's actions also were not Biblical. 'Scripture, particularly in
the writings of John, teaches that we love one another by laying
down our own lives, not by laying down the lives of others,' Pavone
explains." Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com Report, Thursday, September
That's exactly what Paul Hill did, Father Pavone, he laid down his
life for the 32 children scheduled to be murdered that day. Where
would the Israelites have been if David hadn't stepped up and slain
the Philistine? Perhaps you should go back to the Seminary for a
Because Paul Hill was abandoned by major pro-life organizations, he
was executed. Perhaps saddest of all, none of the truly fine public
interest law firms that protect pro-life advocates and activists
stepped forward to take his part. I can sort of understand Jeb Bush,
and George Bush, not acting, when not confronted by any real pres-
sure to do so. If we don't provide the conviction we can hardly
fault our politicians for following their political advice. But I
believe that someday they will regret not having acted. He didn't
have to be set free - just preserved until the day he could be.
But I do feel that John Ashcroft did not live up to my expectations
for him when he took office. Once again, does power and personal
gain overshadow decisions with rationalizations, even for a very
religious man? As we have just seen, the rule of law can be carried
to the point where injustice is inevitably done. Praying in your
office isn't going to offset the fact that you failed to act in
defense of life.
I don't advocate doing what Paul Hill did, as I explained in my
lengthy write-up on James Kopp. If you haven't read it, you can do
so in my book: Abortion ! Pros and Cons. For one thing I agree that
it is counter-productive. I just believe that it is morally justif-
iable. To give your life to save those of others should get a medal
- not an execution. In the Marines, if you were a Congressional
Medal of Honor winner, it was no longer necessary for an enlisted
man to even salute an officer. They honored you - not vice versa.
But there are people who go even further than my position:
"Pro-Lifers Clash Over Paul Hill: Martyr or Murderer
(CNSNews.com) - The spiritual adviser to convicted murderer Paul
Hill, who killed an abortionist and a clinic escort, criticized
pro-life organizations for their unwillingness to support the
former Presbyterian minister as he awaited a Wednesday execution.
The Rev. Donald Spitz, who has met daily with Hill, said many
people in the pro-life movement consider Hill a hero for killing
abortionist John Britton and his escort, James Barrett, at an
abortion clinic in Pensacola, Fla., on July 29, 1994.
Spitz said Hill would become a martyr when Florida executes him by
lethal injection Wednesday. As director of Pro-Life Virginia, Spitz
has long been an advocate for using force to stop abortions. He
chided groups that call themselves pro-life but don't share his
'They're absolute hypocrites,' Spitz said. 'If an abortionist walked
into their house and was going to murder their children, they're not
going to take a human life to protect their own children? I think
they would. Yet they don't feel the lives of those 32 babies were
'They prefer dead babies to the dead abortionist. If you have to
choose between live babies or a live abortionist, I'd choose the
live babies. They choose dead babies and a live abortionist,' he
added. 'They seem to have a total disregard for the babies they're
trying to protect.'
Spitz contends that Hill's actions saved the lives of 32 unborn
babies who would have been aborted on the day he carried out the
Spitz, for instance, said the Bible contains multiple references to
protecting the innocent. He said it's completely justifiable to
intervene when someone's life is at stake.
Hill has other defenders as well, including the Rev. Michael Bray
of Bowie, Md., who has written a book justifying the murder of
abortionists." By: Robert B. Bluey Source: CNSNews.com Publish Date:
September 03, 2003 Online at: http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?
So what our legal system is telling us is that it was allowable for
John Britton to kill 32 people a day, but a crime for Paul Hill to
kill him to stop it - because the government wouldn't do anything
about it. Everybody is just supposed to ignore those 32 people per
day, and pretend it wasn't really happening? So to kill people, you
just have to manipulate the law to your advantage. Like in Nazis
Germany where they passed laws designating Jews as non-persons. Of
course the 6,000,000 Jews killed by the Nazis can't come close to
the 45,000,000 people we've exterminated in this country since Roe
v. Wade in 1973.
What kind of justice is this, that allows people innocent of any
crime to be executed by the millions, but protects the killers, and
then additionally executes those defending the defenseless? This is
clearly not justice, or a justice system that is working.
Charlie Daniels asks the right question in his book "Ain't No Rag:
Freedom, Family, and the Flag". "Why do we stand so firmly against
giving the death sentence to some wanton killer and not say a word
about the death sentence given to innocent unborn babies by whole-
An incessant drumbeat of propaganda, political pressure, indoctrin-
ation of our youth, legal actions, intimidation, and misguided,
ignorant judicial decisions, have so twisted and manipulated public
opinion on this issue, throughout, and at all levels, of our
society, that, incredibly , many people still fail to see what is
overwhelmingly obvious - that it was what the abortionist was doing
that was wrong - not what Paul Hill did to the abortionist!
Even the people who are supposed to be leading the opposition to
abortion have been pummeled into psychologically safe positions and
molded by the societal pressures brought to bear around them.
In the past I've been a supporter of the death penalty - as a
deterrent to crime. More lately, that position has slipped to being
absolutely certain you have the right person - after a long series
of cases where DNA evidence has been used to overturn previous con-
victions. Now we have a case where we know they had the right man,
but they gave him the wrong penalty. I'm not going to say there
shouldn't have been some penalty, to deter people from breaking the
law. But this was basically a political execution - for not acqui-
escing to the "lemming-like group-think" on abortion, and a sacrif-
ice to the political pressure and dilemma created. I can no longer
support the death penalty, after seeing it so grossly misused. In
the fashion of Jesus Christ's Crucifixion, he was put to death by
people more ignorant and less righteous than he. If our government
can choose not to enforce our immigration laws, our codified elect-
ion laws, the child predator laws in 50 states, and our homicide
laws, then they didn't have to kill Paul Hill. Now what we need, is
a change in the law, and to put the abortionists on trial in a
Nuremberg fashion. And not just the abortion doctors; but also those
that conspired with them to run this highly profitable abortion
racket. Then we can sit back, and watch the judges and juries, all
over this country, decide their fate. And, if the death penalty
hasn't yet been rescinded, then they are certainly deserving of it.
After all, since we're a nation of laws, we're supposed to kill
through the courts.
This is not unprecedented. In Germany, in the 1940s, it was legal
to murder Jews, Gypsies, the handicap, the depressed, and on and on.
This didn't make it any less murder. When the National Socialists
(Nazis) were defeated in World War II, the people who perpetrated
these crimes against humanity were put on trial and convicted and
punished for their crimes at the Nuremberg Trials.
It appears that even the FBI is still confused on this issue, and
has to take some of the blame for this situation. And I'm not exag-
gerating. It's all in how you look at it; and they've let the pro-
abortion people twist their perception of it. You can't change the
reality of homicide with legislation and court decisions. Just en-
force the laws on homicide. In the final analysis, this is how the
tenure of these individuals will ultimately be judged: "And you did
Because what we have here are serial killers who just happen to
have what seems to be infinite legal resources, and extraordinarily
deep pockets from the crimes they commit. Unlike organized crime,
which gets rich by doing things that are outlawed; like running
liquor during prohibition or drugs today; they have gotten rich by
changing the law and doing something that decent, intelligent people
won't do because they realize it's murder; even though it's not
outlawed. This means, that to put an end to it, about the only way
we have to match their funding is through the Attorney General's
office - unless we're going to wait years for our courts and Congr-
essional "representatives", who are being paid off through campaign
contributions, to catch up with their constituencies.
So what the FBI should do is conduct simultaneous raids all across
the country collecting body parts, etc., as evidence, and shut down
the abortion business nationwide, thereby eventually choking off
the flow of financial support to the industry's legal and political
activities. It won't even take any forensic experts to identify the
body parts as being human; especially from those slaughter houses
specializing in late term abortions. Think real - not this imagin-
ary world abortionists and our courts are fabricating for us.
The fact is the pro-life movement missed an opportunity by not
showing the courage of their convictions. Had they all gotten
behind Paul, and won a complete pardon for him, which wouldn't have
been a complete impossibility with the Bushes - at some point -
there would be abortionists closing up shop all over the country.
Just putting up a strong, unified, fight, would have been unnerving
to the abortion industry; and helped open the eyes of others to the
reasoned pro-life view of the matter. But, there's still a way for
them to show some backbone, instead of being gutless equivocators.
A way for them to at least partly redeem themselves. They can go
talk to James Kopp - instead of treating him like a pariah. If Paul
died for the cause, the least we can do is to continue his fight.
"Paul was allowed to choose an organization to interview him on
camera the day before he was to die. Paul chose Life Dynamics."
"During his 'trial,' the judge silenced Paul by denying him the
chance to present his theory of defense: the lawful use of deadly
force to defend another. Paul was not allowed to show the court
what he truly believed - that his actions were necessary to prevent
mass murder. At the conclusion of the government's show trial, Paul
was found guilty of murder...".
"Paul seemed very much at peace. He was composed and calm and no
anger or bitterness was evident in him. He smiled frequently and
laughed easily... For the last time, he and his family had a couple
of hours together."
"The sky over the prison began to grow dark, very much like it was
scripted in an Old Testament movie. A rainbow appeared right over
the prison, then disappeared. As 6 o'clock approached, lightening
began to strike all around the prison. One lightening strike hit
the ground about 50 yards from the media satellite trucks, causing
dirt to fly up into the air. A news crewman said, 'that's a warning
shot.' Regardless of people's belief in God, everyone present seemed
to have a sense that something very out of the ordinary was happen-
ing, and people were very rattled by it. The media organizations
were unable to go live as they had hoped to do at the time of Paul's
execution. Right at 6 o'clock, lightening struck just behind the
death house. At that moment, the lights flickered inside the execut-
"Outside, people prayed out loud, some wept, some sang, and a bugle
played taps over the backdrop of the thunder and crackling lighten-
ing. The prison guards...lowered their heads respectfully as Paul
passed from this world. Thunder gave way to a soft rain, and the
hearse pulled away from the prison." Life Dynamics News October 2003
"His last words were a call to arms for abortion opponents. 'If you
believe abortion is a lethal force, you should oppose the force and
do what you have to do to stop it. May God help you to protect the
unborn as you would want to be protected.' Hill's final statement
was prefaced by a thunderclap outside, which echoed just as the
curtain in the glass-plated death chamber parted. Outside the razor-
wired prison...a crowd of about 80 abortion opponents and anti-death
penalty advocates gathered...enduring drenching thunderstorms...Gov.
Jeb Bush on Wednesday denied last-minute appeals from those who
urged that Hill's sentence be commuted to life." John Kennedy and
Bob Mahlburg, Orlando Sentinel.
From the thunder, one could speculate that I wasn't the only one
You can't call it justice or a fair trial when he wasn't even allow-
ed to defend himself. It's also interesting to note that the Florida
court system that sent Paul to his death is the same one that killed
Terri Schiavo! Justice would be throwing these judges in jail - not
acquiescing to their decisions.
Paul Hill, a Presbyterian minister, believed that he would go to
heaven, and find his reward there. Not being knowledgeable in that
area, I suppose I should defer to his expertise. If so, I imagine
him there now, with a tiny hand in each of his, and all around him,
as far as the eye can see, a sea of innocents, a sea of humanity,
with Paul at its center. If not in this world, he will have found
love, and justification, in that one - as Saint Paul.
As for this one, I think that Conrad Wojnar, one of the most
religious people I know - and certainly not a wimp; expressed it
best when he said "martyrdom - true martyrdom - is the complete
giving of self for higher ideals. While we may think of true martyrs
in terms of long-dead saints, we'd be wrong to overlook the examples
of genuine martyrdom today." Certainly, the Roman Empire didn't
initially see Jesus as a martyr either.
"mar·tyr (mär“t…r) n. 1. One who chooses to suffer death rather than
renounce religious principles. 2. One who makes great sacrifices or
suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle." The
American Heritage Dictionary. So, we see that Paul Hill, has,
indeed, attained martyrdom for the pro-life cause.
Perhaps, someday, we can build a monument to Paul Hill, and place
it in one of the cemeteries for the unborn. Or a statue, and put it
outside the Supreme Court building, facing the Washington Monument,
as if beckoning to the pro-life marchers on January 22nd.
As a fellow soldier in the army of the unborn, I pledge to you,
Paul, that I will continue to work on things from this end,
believing that I can do more good here, alive, speaking for those
who can not speak for themselves, than making the ultimate sacrifice
as you did. After all, you already did that, and I think one is
probably enough. I didn't get into this to do what others had al-
ready done, or to be told what to think or do, and I will continue
to try to make a unique contribution, to free our country from the
imprisoning thought of political correctness and abortion for all.
Well done, Paul. Rest In Peace, Paul Hill.