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The Festival Against Bigotry at City Hall, Friday, July 23, 2004. View this photomontage full size
This huge flag was unfurled across the street from OSA's final rally in Battelle Park.

They took their and went!

OSA departed City Hall Friday afternoon, and held their last rally at Battelle Park Friday night. The Festival Against Bigotry was a success! Saturday morning at Capital Care was uneventful, and as far as we know OSA participants never showed up at other locations on High Street including Stonewall. Details to follow soon, along with video and other website updates. A followup meeting for activists and others who've had to deal with OSA in the past week is also in the works.

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On this page:

First, a few thank yous:

Thank you to everyone who came out to City Hall during OSA's "controversial weeklong campout," or to the Saturday morning presence across the street from Capital Care. Simply coming out to say "NO" to Operation Save America helped to undercut any support OSA could have gained from local individuals or churches for their bigoted and hateful rhetoric.

And thanks to those police officers and city officials who have exercised extraordinary restraint and patience through a very difficult and unprecedented situation.

Also, thanks to all those Columbus businesses that put a big yellow "NO" sign out in their front window during the week. Please visit and patronize these shops - they really deserve your business!

Latest News

Last updated Tuesday July 27, 2004, 1:15 am

  • Sunday July 25: The Toledo Blade Reports Disruption Of Church Service Attended By John Kerry

    According to the report, this morning's church service at First Church of God was visited by a number of people who are likely OSA participants who stuck around for an extra day to protest John Kerry's visit to Columbus. OSA leaders earlier confirmed that a few people would remain through Sunday for this purpose. From the article:

    Abortion opponents, with graphic photos of aborted fetuses, shouted at Mr. Kerry as his motorcade arrived at the 4,000-member church, which is predominantly African-American.

    Bishop Timothy Clarke, the senior pastor, introduced Mr. Kerry. "We have our senator here today, but most of all Jesus is here today," he said.

    As Mr. Kerry stepped to the podium to speak, a man near the front stood up and shouted "Quit killing babies, you phony."

    Church security personnel escorted the man out of the church.

  • Thursday July 22: OSA Formally, Publicly Transitions to Hate Group; Burns Koran, Rainbow Flag and Copy Of Supreme Court "Roe v. Wade" Decision At City Hall

    Not much else to say, other than that along with OSA head Flip Benham, Central Ohio former high school football coach, and talk show host on Columbus radio station WRFD, Dave Daubenmire, was an active participant in this event.

  • Tuesday July 20: OSA Rally Devolves Into Expensive, Police-Taunting Farce

    As of 12:15 AM Wednesday morning (Tuesday night) OSA's rally at City Hall, which had started around 6:30 pm, was still in progress, with a twist: a group of OSA participants was carrying what looked like a steel kettle around the streets of Columbus and stopping at various landmarks to pray, while being tailed by at least two police officers on bicycles.

    This is part of an apparent strategy to provoke Columbus Police, which stems from an apparent dispute over a burn permit for Tuesday evening that OSA alleges they applied for but was rejected.

    Police were out in force this evening. OSA is costing the city a lot of resources and playing silly games, and they apparently think that this "martyr me harder" strategy of provocation will bring more churches on board with them.

  • Tuesday July 20: OSA Head Benham Calls United Way a "Dark Filthy Cesspool" and "Terrible Horrible Organization"

    Operation Save America showed up in front of United Way of Central Ohio headquarters on South Third Street this morning at about 11 am. They targeted United Way because it has dropped its relationship with the Boy Scouts of America.

    View video and partial transcript of Flip Benham's comments about United Way

    Benham also commented about the yellow signs that have appeared along High Street and elsewhere in the city, proclaiming his expectation that they would lead to persecution, jail and eventual death for Christians.

  • Sunday July 18: Two Un-Welcoming Events A Success

    Both the Un-Welcoming Rally Saturday afternoon that greeted OSA after they came walking down Broad Street to City Hall, and Sunday night's "opportunity to say NO to OSA," were a great success, with as many as 100 people on Saturday and 30 on Sunday. Pictures from Saturday are on our event photos page.

  • Sunday July 18: OSA Says They Visited Xenos Christian Fellowship and Rod Parsley's World Harvest Church

    Following OSA's assembly Sunday night, it was announced that OSA participants had visited Xenos Christian Fellowship and World Harvest Church earlier today. Allegedly, police were called to remove OSA participants from private property at Xenos.

  • Thursday July 15: OSA Issues Press Release, Openly Calls for "Second American Revolution"

    Today's OSA press release can be found on the US Newswire site. The following is quoted from that release and was attributed to OSA director Flip Benham:

    "It is time for a second American Revolution! We are fed up! We are absolutely fed up with the United States Senate and the elected officials who vote their own prejudice and narrow-minded causes rather than the will of God and the people who elected them! Mainstream America is not in favor of and will not accept homosexual, unnatural unions. Marriage is the bond between one woman and one man before Almighty God. No action or inaction of politicians, who are basically evil, or too weak to stand up for what is right, will change this. WE ARE FED UP! We are through with waiting for our government to do what is right. Now, we will act!

    "Our nation has been turned upside down by the enemies of Christ (abortion, homosexuality, Islam, etc.) With the help of Jesus Christ, Ruler of the universe, we will turn it right side up. No more waiting for politicians who stand for nothing and fall for everything! It begins in Columbus, the heart of the nation, and will spread to every point across America."

  • July 14: OSA Announces They've Lost Columbus Host Church (Smyrna Baptist); Event Still On

    From an article on the OSA website posted early this morning:

    We've lost the Columbus church that was going to host our nightly rallies. Flip asked to have the saints pray about this and to remind everyone that this is not our battle but the Lord's. He said, "We planned our way, but it's up to the Lord to direct our steps." (Proverbs 16:9 paraphrased.) More and more old friends are coming to their camp to visit. John Reyes is there. So is the Heldreth family. Flip said more are due to arrive today. He sounded eager to see everyone and said, "Tell the folks to come on, we're waiting!"
    See more about OSA's Columbus host church that came and went in the course of about 9 days.

  • News Archive

Feature Articles

Last updated July 15, 2004

How Operation Save America and their supporters talk about Columbus

By Mike Doughney and Lauren Sabina Kneisly

More than you'd ever want to know about what Operation Save America and their local supporters say about the city of Columbus, and why the say the awful things that they do.

Full Story

Dog, pony and ass marching to Columbus to "Save America"

By Mike Doughney and Lauren Sabina Kneisly

From The Columbus Free Press, July 2004

Vigilante enforcers of the so-called "culture war" will be targeting the city of Columbus this summer. Operation Save America, the organization that once called itself Operation Rescue and was infamous for its actions targeting abortion clinics, has named Columbus as the target of its week-long national event beginning July 17.

Full Story

Media Coverage

Last updated July 27, 2004

Stories marked with a include video.

Summary of Columbus Area Churches Supporting OSA

Last updated July 27, 2004

Smyrna Baptist Church, 1650 Wilson Avenue, Columbus, Ohio, 43227. Pastor: Fred Marshall
Was advertised, for about a week, as host church for OSA national event, July 17-24, 2004. See OSA Announces They've Lost Columbus Host Church.

Aerial Photo, click to enlarge

High Street Baptist Church, 7399 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43235. Pastor: Charles E. Mainous III
Hosted breakfast with OSA head Flip Benham, July 6, 2004; was allegedly contributing a bus for use by OSA which didn't show up during the event week.

Aerial Photo, click to enlarge

Potter's House Church of God, 3220 Lowell Drive, Columbus, Ohio, 43204. Pastor: Tim Oldfield
Site of OSA organizing meeting, March 26, 2004

Aerial Photo, click to enlarge

Also, the bus that was used to transport OSA participants was lettered "Church of the Nazarene, Obetz, Oh."

What you can do right now

Write to the Columbus Dispatch in response to their July 20 article on OSA's visit., particularly if you've been present to say "NO" to OSA and can comment first hand on what they're saying about Columbus

Sign up for our public e-mail announcement list. We'll be announcing a followup meeting, possible future events, further site updates and the availability of online video and other new content in the future. Be sure to reply to the "Mailing list subscription confirmation notice for mailing list Theanswerisno-announce" e-mail message, with the subject line of "confirm," that you should receive shortly after submitting your e-mail address.

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