Donald Spitz

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Donald Spitz
Rev Donald Spitz.jpg
Personal
Born
Norfolk, Virginia, United States
ReligionChristianity
NationalityAmerican

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 organization Army of God.[1]

Biography[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 'best friends'[4] with Paul Jennings Hill both before Hill killed abortion doctor John Britton and also afterward, up to the time Hill was executed.[2] Spitz was Hill's spiritual adviser during the last week of his life and was with Hill when he was executed.[5] Spitz was one of the original 29 signers of the Defensive Action Statement and then posted it on the Army of God website.[6][7] The Defensive Action Statement argued that Hill should be acquitted of murder because his action was justified to protect 'unborn children' from being killed.[8]

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 Virginia 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.[9] 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 he would be unwelcome if he did. [10][11]

Spitz was ejected out of Operation Rescue. He 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 with his support for one of the FBI's ten most wanted, Clayton Waagner [12], who sent hundreds of anthrax letters to abortion businesses throughout the United States..[13] [14]Spitz was also suspected of harboring Waagner and receiving phone calls from him while Waagner was on the lam. [15] [16]

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..."[17]

Spitz has been watched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for over 20 years.[18] 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][19]

Spitz has published prison writings of Paul Jennings Hill, Eric Rudolph,[1][20][21] Shelley Shannon, Rev. Michael Bray and Clayton Waagner on the Army of God website. Sptiz was in constant contact with Scott Roeder while he was awaiting trial for the murder of George Tiller.[22] The first call Rachelle Shannon, who shot late term abortionist George Tiller, made when she was released from federal prison was to Donald Spitz. It is reported they had been in close contact the whole time of Shannon's incarceration. [23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Harrison, Don (November–December 2012). "Soldier of God". Coastal Virginal Mag. Archived from the original on 2013-12-24. 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. Archived from the original on 2012-10-01. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Extremist groups: information for students, Volume 1 - Thomson/Gale, 2006
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-09-25. Retrieved 2018-09-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Condemned Florida Killer Speaks Out". CNN.com. 2 September 2003. Archived from the original on 2013-05-31. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-02-11. Retrieved 2018-09-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-09-27. Retrieved 2018-09-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Spitz, Donald. "Defensive Action Statement". Army of God. Archived from the original on 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
  9. ^ Risen, James (1998). Wrath Of Angels: The American Abortion War. Basic Books. p. 368. ISBN 978-0-465-09272-7.
  10. ^ scanned letter located at http://www.armyofgod.com/JohnSalviMassachusetts.html Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Women: images and realities : a multicultural anthology - Amy Vita Kesselman, Lily D. McNair, Nancy Schniedewind - McGraw-Hill, Nov 2, 2006
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-23. Retrieved 2018-09-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "US Abortion Clinics in Anthrax Scare". BBC News. 19 October 2001. Archived from the original on 2013-12-24. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-09-25. Retrieved 2018-09-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-12-10. Retrieved 2018-09-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-09-25. Retrieved 2013-12-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ Unborn in the USA, 00:45:00, First Run Features 2007
  18. ^ "5 domestic terrorism threats you haven't thought of in a while, but are still here". Archived from the original on 2017-02-11. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  19. ^ Johnston, David (August 4, 1994), "F.B.I. Undertakes Conspiracy Inquiry In Clinic Violence" Archived 2017-02-03 at the Wayback Machine., New York Times
  20. ^ Associated Press (15 May 2007). "Extremist taunts his victims from prison". USA Today. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  21. ^ Lohr, Kathy (16 July 2007). "In Prison, Anti-Abortion Terrorist Taunts via Web". NPR.org. Archived from the original on 2013-12-24. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  22. ^ Hegeman, Roxana (3 July 2009). "Suspect in Kan. Abortion Doctor's Shooting Advocates Cause Via Mail". The Ledger. Archived from the original on 2013-12-24. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  23. ^ https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article221194600.html

External links[edit]