Volume > Issue > The Case for Reviving the Rescue Movement

The Case for Reviving the Rescue Movement


By Jonathan Darnel | September 2023
Jonathan Darnel has been fighting abortion since 2009 as a sidewalk counselor, educational activist, apologetics trainer, rescuer inside abortion mills, and, most recently, grassroots political strategist. He runs several websites, including GetSeriousChurch.com and SmashTheFACE.life, and produces social-media content for the Revelation 3:2 Project and DC Area Anti-abortion Advocacy. He is available to speak on the repentance of the Church, personal interposition, and the doctrine of the lesser magistrate as applied to ending abortion. He can be contacted on Facebook or via the GetSeriousChurch.com contact form.

It was early in the morning on March 30, 2022, and I had just risen and was walking quietly about the darkened hallways of the Northern Virginia suburban home I shared with several other renters. The sun had yet to dawn, and everything was quiet. Suddenly, this peaceful atmosphere was broken by a loud bang on our front door and an aggressive voice demanding entry. I was still disoriented from sleep, but fearing it might be the police, I hurried to the room of my housemate who had recently had a run-in with the law. I reasoned it would be better for him to surrender willingly than to be surprised in bed. As he stumbled toward the door to confront whoever was there, I activated my phone’s camera and began to record everything. This turned out to be a wise decision.

It was indeed the police, or rather the FBI, and they hadn’t waited for us to answer their summons. In the short time that I’d delayed, the officers used a battering ram to break our locks and open both our front and side doors. Armed SWAT teams, brandishing their rifles as if storming a den of terrorists, entered from those directions and from a third: an unlocked door leading to the basement where our other housemates slept. Bright spotlights shone directly into our living-room windows, making it impossible for us to see who was outside. But we dutifully followed orders and, one by one, exited our home with our hands above our heads. We were each handcuffed. After a few minutes of listening to the officers’ conversation, it became apparent that they had come not for my housemate but for me.

The FBI conducted a sweep of our home as I was ushered into a police vehicle and driven to an undisclosed location. As you can imagine, being abducted in this manner by our nation’s covert security agencies is a nerve-racking experience. I was never shown a warrant or read my rights, and the agents would not answer my questions or explain why I had been arrested (though after much prodding one did break silence and give me an inkling about what was happening). I spent this time calmly chastising the officers for participating in what they must have known was an unjust operation and telling them to get right with Jesus.

Hours passed while I was photographed, fingerprinted, and processed at one facility, then another, and finally at a third, where I was kept for a long time in a private cell. At last, I was allowed to speak with a magistrate by phone, who explained the terms of my release (but not the reason for my arrest). Finally, I was jettisoned onto the streets of Washington, D.C. Stumbling about in pajamas and shoes without laces, I somehow found my way home.

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