Addressing a Misunderstanding: The History of Operation Rescue

The following article by Nick Gosnell appeared in the Kansas View on July 14, 2016, shortly before the Summer of Justice national event in Wichita.  Nick did a great job dispelling the falsehoods about the origin of Operation Rescue that so many have mistakenly believed:

Kansas View: A Correction And An Apology

Allow me to make a clarification from yesterday’s broadcast.

Apparently, I misunderstood the origins of the group that is engaging in what they call the Summer of Justice in Wichita beginning Saturday.

According to an email received from Kendra Thomas, wife of Operation Save America’s current leader Rusty Thomas, she says, “Operation Rescue National/Operation Save America is the group that organized the original Summer of Mercy 25 years ago. In addition, Operation Rescue National/Operation Save America organized the 15th year anniversary.

[Troy] Newman’s organization is an offshoot of Operation Rescue National. Newman’s group is Operation Rescue West. Newman was not a leader of Operation Rescue National nor was he involved in the organization of the original Summer of Mercy. He adopted the name “Operation Rescue” when he discovered Operation Rescue’s name was not copyrighted. He is not the same ministry as Operation Rescue National. Randall Terry founded Operation Rescue, passed the national directorship to Rev. Keith Tucci, who passed it to Rev. Flip Benham, who passed it to the current national director, Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas.”

I profoundly apologize for misunderstanding the origins of both pro-life groups. It is always my intent to use primary sources whenever possible, and I appreciate Mrs. Thomas’ efforts to reach out and help me set the record straight. It was never my intent to disparage the efforts of Operation Save America, or of the BLM protesters, either, for that matter, but rather to outline their basis for protest, which is the First Amendment to the Constitution.

It’s always difficult when differences in Christian mission cause former friends to diverge paths, ask anyone who has been a part of a church that either split or planted new about that. To be honest, I was hoping to highlight the upcoming protest without touching the third rail of my own opinion on the subject. I believe every child deserves the chance to be born. I wrote about that in April.

As Operation Save America writes on its website with regard to its social media policy,

“Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19).

I appreciate that the response to yesterday’s message was given in that spirit and I am encouraged that the message was read in detail.

I don’t have any intent to bury my mistakes, Lord knows I make enough of them. I just wish I had left out one paragraph of yesterday’s essay. I’d hate for the message to have been blunted by that inaccuracy.

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