Are fundamentalist parents creating future terrorists for Christ?
Wednesday, March 30 @ 09:55:29 EST
By Allen G. Breed, Associated Press
PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - Scott Heldreth has been arrested numerous times for picketing abortion clinics and blocking sidewalks while praying. Now his 10-year-old son, Josh, has followed in his footsteps.
Josh is one of six children - ages 10 to 14 - arrested in the past week for crossing a police line at the Woodside Hospice to take water to Terri Schiavo.
"God's with me," said Josh, who asked his father to bring him here from Kannapolis, N.C., to join others supporting Bob and Mary Schindler's fight to restore their daughter's feeding tube.
Demonstrators have allowed their children - some too young to truly understand why they are there - to pass out religious fliers and hold signs accusing Michael Schiavo, Terri's husband, of murdering her. The children beat five-gallon buckets like funerary drums and wear shirts declaring them "Youth for Life."
On the grass outside the hospice, 7-year-old Hannah Donahue sat coloring signs while wearing a piece of red tape emblazoned with the word "LIFE" plastered across her mouth and an orange sign on her chest bearing the word "JAIL."
She said the sign was for Michael Schiavo.
"I think they should put him in the jail," Hannah said in a tiny voice. "Because I don't think he knows what Terri wants. He's being the boss."
Her mother, Tete Donahue, of Clearwater, won't allow Hannah to go to jail for this cause. But she thinks it's appropriate to have her on the picket line.
"I'm not bringing her here as a symbol," Donahue said. "She's with me because we believe in life. ... She's learning we give value to life, to human beings."
Scott Heldreth, a veteran of the Operation Rescue and Operation Save America campaigns against abortion, didn't intend to join this fight, until his son asked to be brought to Pinellas Park.
"My wife and I, we felt like if God really put it on his heart, we should come down, to allow him to live out what God had put on his heart," says Heldreth, a carpenter.
His son walked up to sheriff's deputies, carrying a plastic cup, and ignored two requests to turn around. Deputies cuffed his hands behind his back and loaded him into a van with 14-year-old twin girls. At the courthouse, the three youngsters were photographed, fingerprinted and released.
Josh said police were nice, but seemed a bit annoyed.
"We were smiling for Jesus and they didn't like that much," he said.
Allen G. Breed is the AP's Southeast regional writer, based in Raleigh, N.C.
From Associated Press:
http://www.valleyskeptic.com/parents_cr ... orist.html