Donald Spitz

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Donald Spitz
Rev Donald Spitz
Born Norfolk, VA

Donald Spitz is a controversial Christian anti-abortion activist in the United States. He lives in Chesapeake, Virginia, where he runs the website and is a spokesperson for the anti-abortion group Army of God. [1]

Beginnings[edit]

Spitz was born in Norfolk, Virginia into a military family.[1] He joined the Navy at 18 and served for two years during the Vietnam conflict.[1][2] In the early 1980s Spitz moved to New York City where he ran a street evangelism ministry in Times Square.[1]

Spitz was ordained in Manhattan by evangelist Leander Bolhoarst, with The International Gospel Crusade, a Christian healing ministry located in New York City.[1][2]

In 1993, Spitz moved to Chesapeake, Virginia where he formed Operation Rescue Chesapeake[3] then Pro-Life Virginia. He currently operates the Army of God website.[2]

Controversy[edit]

Donald Spitz was friends with Paul Jennings Hill both before Hill killed Dr. John Britton and also afterwards, up to the time Hill was executed.[2] Spitz was Hill's spiritual adviser during the last week of his life and was with him when he was executed.[4] Spitz posted a "Defensive Action Statement" on his Army of God website arguing that Hill should be acquitted of murder because Hill's action was justifiable to protect 'unborn children'.[5]

Spitz was ordered to appear before two separate grand juries. The grand juries were held in Alexandria and in Philadelphia during separate investigations into Paul Hill and Clayton Waagner, the man who sent hundreds of anthrax scare letters to abortion providers in 2001.[2]

After John Salvi III attacked two abortion clinics in Massachusetts, he drove to Norfolk VA where Spitz lived at the time. It was reported by the Boston Globe, at the time of his arrest in Norfolk, Salvi had Spitz's name and unlisted phone number in his possession.[6] Spitz held a prayer vigil outside Salvi's jail cell.[3] Spitz was so outspoken in defense of Salvi, he was asked not to come to Massachusetts and would be unwelcomed.[7][8]

Spitz was ejected out of Operation Rescue. Spitz formed Operation Rescue Chesapeake, but after a year and a half, when Flip Benham took control of the national organization, Spitz was ordered to separate himself and his organization from Operation Rescue name because of his support and friendship with Paul Hill. Spitz changed the name of his organization from Operation Rescue Chesapeake to Pro-Life Virginia.[3]

Spitz raised controversy in 2001 when he stated that he supported anthrax letters sent by Clayton Waagner to several abortion businesses.[9]

In response to the 1998 shooting death of Dr. Barnett Slepian, Spitz said: "What would I say to the family of Slepian? They live in a $500,000 house that was paid for with blood money - the blood of those babies that Barnett Slepian murdered... He knew what he was doing, he was murdering children. That's too bad if he was killed in front of his family..."[10]

Spitz has been watched by the FBI for nearly 20 years and in 1994 the FBI suspected that he and other anti-abortion figures might be developing "a conspiracy that endeavors to achieve political or social change through activities that involve force or violence."[1][11]

Spitz has published prison writings of Paul Jennings Hill, Eric Robert Rudolph,[1][12][13] Shelley Shannon, Rev. Michael Bray, Paul Ross Evans, and Clayton Waagner on the Army of God website.

Sptiz was in contact with Scott Roeder while he was awaiting trial for the murder of George Tiller.[14]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Harrison, Don (November–December 2012). "Soldier of God". Coastal Virginal Mag. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Hopkins, John (30 April 2008). "Chesapeake minister is a man on a mission". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Extremist groups: information for students, Volume 1 - Thomson/Gale, 2006
  4. ^ "Condemned Florida Killer Speaks Out". CNN.com. 2 September 2003. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Spitz, Donald. "Defensive Action Statement". Army of God. 
  6. ^ Risen, James (1998). Wrath Of Angels: The American Abortion War. Basic Books. p. 368. ISBN 978-0-465-09272-7. 
  7. ^ scanned letter located at http://www.armyofgod.com/JohnSalviMassachusetts.html
  8. ^ Women: images and realities : a multicultural anthology - Amy Vita Kesselman, Lily D. McNair, Nancy Schniedewind - McGraw-Hill, Nov 2, 2006
  9. ^ "US Abortion Clinics in Anthrax Scare". BBC News. 19 October 2001. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Unborn in the USA, 00:45:00, First Run Features 2007
  11. ^ Johnston, David (August 4, 1994), "F.B.I. Undertakes Conspiracy Inquiry In Clinic Violence", New York Times
  12. ^ Associated Press (15 May 2007). "Extremist taunts his victims from prison". USA Today. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  13. ^ Lohr, Kathy (16 July 2007). "In Prison, Anti-Abortion Terrorist Taunts via Web". NPR.org. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  14. ^ Hegeman, Roxana (3 July 2009). "Suspect in Kan. Abortion Doctor's Shooting Advocates Cause Via Mail". The Ledger. Retrieved 23 December 2013.