One of the More Godly Women
in Our Nation Today
("Christians don't do that sort of thing do they?")
by Cliff Walker with Jerry Billings
(Derived from the September 3rd, 1995 issue of The Oregonian)
Andrew Bates, Shelly Shannon's lawyer, said, "The true and complete picture of Ms. Shannon is one of a dedicated mother and wife who acted out of a deeply-held religious belief that she was saving unborn babies." Other followers describe her as "a woman of faith and love" and also "one of the more godly women in our nation today."
In her own writings, Shannon addressed convicted murderer Paul Hill as "Dear Brave Soldier and Child of the King." Her letters continued, "Whatever you do, don't talk about how I influenced you to do what you did ... most especially the particulars (gun, etc.) unless ... you use our code words."
She wrote in her diary, "The biggest hurdle was being willing to even consider that God could indeed require this work of anyone. Christians don't do that sort of thing do they? But prayer and God cleared that up. Then I realized that I needed to stop the killing, too. I prayed, 'God if you really want me to do this, you're going to have to show me how because I can't even get the fire started in my fireplace ... I also told God I needed a five gallon gas can. One day I got back from court ... and found in my garage a five-gallon gas can! My husband had said they were throwing it out at work, so he brought it home. God worked out every other detail as well." Later, fleeing after setting the Ashland, Oregon clinic afire, she "Praised God all the way home."
Before she set fire to the Lovejoy Clinic in Portland, Shannon worked out a plan to throw milk jugs of gasoline onto the roof of the clinic and torch it with fireworks. She entered into her diary, "Was reading my Bible and God clearly said, 'I'm going to require a little more of you, Shelly.' And the Scripture I read just then was, 'The way of the righteous is made plain' in Proverbs 15:19, and an idea came to me of tossing jugs of gas on the roof of Lovejoy and lighting it with a firework ... [I] practiced and found I can't throw whole gallons high enough." Substituting half-gallon jugs, Shannon went to the clinic on August 1, 1992. She carried a suitcase containing five half-gallon jugs of gasoline, papers to stuff in the tops after she screwed the caps off, plus various lighters and fireworks. She wore a disguise of a fake beard drawn onto her face with charcoal, a stocking cap, and frumpy men's clothing.
Shelly Shannon went on to burn several other clinics around the country and also to inject a foul smelling chemical (butyric acid) into the walls of two others. In 1993 she attempted to murder, but only wounded, George Tiller, a clinic physician, in Wichita, Kansas.
Apparently, it never occurs to these zealots to wonder: If there really is a god who needs to get rid of these abortion providers, then why doesn't "He" do something about it himself instead of exploiting a woman who says she can't even light a fire in her fireplace?