Monday, September 10, 2012

Update on the Maryland Project

Progress in Maryland
Dear Volunteers,
Thank all of you who have taken an interest in the Maryland Project.
We have been providing information about John Clemens because he attacked the clinic workers at Dr. Carhart's office. I am pleased to say we can discontinue the project, at least for now.
Voice of Choice has a goal to lower hate and rhetoric. While we may disagree with the beliefs and opinions of those on the pro-life side, we respect their rights to have their opinions. We stand up for those who are being bullied and harassed by people who do not respect the rights of others who disagree with them.
In my interviews and blogs I continue to ask the same sarcastic question, "Don't you want the unsolicited opinions of strangers?" Of course no one does. That is what makes the phone calling campaigns effective. The people doing the harassing learn that what they are doing is uncomfortable and unchristian like. They also learn that they will not be able to bully people with impunity.
I had a very civil dialog with John Clemens yesterday. John is passionate about his beliefs, like many of us. However, until Voice of Choice started to contact him he did not fully understand that not everyone feels the same way he does. I think that when you are totally involved in a cause you find a peer group that shares your passion and agree with you. That is John's peer group and people he spends his free time socializing with.
The efforts of Voice of Choice have opened his eyes. He now understands how people outside his circle perceive his behavior and he may be able to communicate that to others close to him.
John has promised not to contact or bully any clinic workers. He has promised to stay within socially acceptable limits while fighting for his cause. I am prepared to take John at his word, at least for now.
Please stop calling John Clemens. We will keep track of John and everyone else who acts aggressively and ask for your participation in stopping unwanted behavior when it is warranted.
Please consider this a victory for Voice of Choice. We were able to stop the attacks and bring down the level of hate.
I look forward to your comments.
Thank you all again for your continued support. 
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