Soldier of God

A cheerleader for murder, Rev. Donald Spitz says his anti-abortion message is finally getting through

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Being branded a terrorist, an extremist, a Holy man with an unholy mission, doesn’t seem to bother the founder of Pro-Life Virginia. “It’s actually what the bible says would happen, it says you will be persecuted ... I mean, it’s not like they’re killing me, but it’s like they are trying to catch me at something and put me in prison. There isn’t anything to what they are looking for.”

When he first brought his message to Chesapeake 26 years ago, the reverend says that “everybody was against us, including the Christians, most ministers, everywhere. They wouldn’t mention abortion in the pulpit. But now, through time, the last 20 years, there’s been much more acceptance that, yes, these are babies being killed, and it’s an abomination and a horrible thing.”

He claims that his anti-abortion message is becoming more mainstream. “It’s a total attitude change. For awhile, it seemed like we were the only voice out there. But now we have more and more people who are realizing that these children are being killed. We don’t seem so extreme anymore. We seem more normal.”

Spitz is also the mouthpiece and head propagandist for a group called the Army of God, an entity that sometimes seems interchangeable with Pro-Life Virginia. “He runs the Army of God website,” Potok says, adding that this group is much more of a concept than a real organization. “It is comprised of anyone who rises up and murders the abortionists. That’s the basic idea. Once you, as an individual, have done the act, you are a member of the ‘Army of God.’”

If one logs on to the Army’s website, the first image displayed is that of an aborted fetus. The next is that of convicted killer
Scott Roeder, standing at trial in a suit and tie. A note under the photo thanks him for murdering Kansas doctor George Tiller in 2009. From there, one is treated to an obsessive hagiography filled with news articles and essays about Army of God “heroes,” including their prison writings, their thoughts and obsessions, all packaged with crudely animated cartoons of red blood dripping down the computer screen. Peppered throughout the website are more grainy fetus photos, situated near selected bible verses, like this one from Psalm 58:10: “The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance, he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.”

“There’s a mistake that there’s revenge in murdering abortion doctors. It’s not revenge,” Spitz maintains. “I mean, many abortionists have quit and nobody is going after them. If they quit, nobody’s going to bother them. People think it is revenge, but it is not.” It’s worth noting that, since the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973, there have been more than 2,400 incidents of violence against doctors and clinics. One thing that is rarely mentioned on the Army of God website: The commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill.”

“Many places in the old testament God puts people to death,” the older man argues, referring to passages in Exodus and Leviticus “I mean, we went over to Afghanistan and we’ve had the Civil War, things like that ... ‘Thou Shall Not Kill,’ yes, but if somebody breaks in and is going to kill your wife, you are going to protect them. It’s justifiable homicide. Just as it is here—people are taking lives to protect unborn children.”

“There are many reasonable people who are against abortion,” SPLC’s Mark Potok says. “Donald Spitz is not one of them.”

When asked what he does with his free time, the 65-year-old, slightly overweight man with the bullhorn in his trunk laughs before speaking.

“My wife says I don’t know how to have fun,” he says.

The reverend’s LinkedIn page describes his outside interests this way: “Saving souls from eternal damnation by turning people to the LORD Jesus Christ” and “Saving babies from being murdered by babykilling [sic] abortionists.”