Wednesday evening, anti-abortion activist and Christian Domionist Mark Harrington and his latest knock off organization, Created Equal, protested a private fashion show fundraiser for Planned Parenthood of Central Ohio held at the Shadowbox Theatre on S. Front Street. .While any excuse to picket Planned Parenthood is a good excuse for Harrington, this event billed as "Condom Couture"--condom-inspired fashion with a cause" has driven the usually stay-at-home Harrington into the street. (As this piece was going to press I learned that some kind of altercation occured with Created Equal, Planned Parenthood security, and Columbus police. I am trying to suss this out and will report on it later if I learn anything.)

Maybe it's because this isn't' just some rubber chicken banquet. It's $ponsored by the marketing research firm One Point Contact, Continental Real Estate Companies, the Crane Group, and Teva Women's Health. I have no idea who showed up this year, but last year’s local luminaries included Mary and Bob Lazarus, Howard Sirak, and Channel 10's Andrea Cambern. Not a rubber chicken in sight.

I have been unable able to locate a press release about the protest on the Created Equal website or major Christian wire services, but the Dispatch quotes Harrington in two short separate articles:

Condom rage: Despite the fact that the event is a private fundraiser, many taxpayers don't want to support the outrageous funding of sexual promiscuity under the guise of "safe sex."

Condoms on the catwalk: This is an outrage to Ohio taxpayers and should not be tolerated.

We doubt that taxpayers much care if somebody wants to hang condoms from their hems, but we do know that Harrington's real outrage is not for the Ohio taxpayer who has nothing to do with the event, but that somebody somewhere is having sex for non-procreative reasons.Marriage license or not. Private donations be damned!

Commenters on the Dispatch site are treating Harrington like he's an ill-educated lout who opted out of sex-ed,. They point out that condoms prevent pregnancy, not to mention abortion. They do.of course, but that's not the point.since our local theocons oppose birth control on Biblical and moral grounds, something the liberal mind can't phantom, and nine out of ten times clicks into pander mode when confronted by it. Abortion is simply the hook, something to grab the public, which still needs to be "educated" on birth control.. In the longterm, abortion is just one of many secular misstep in need of a Domionist repair. It's just sexier than the others.and gets the blood roiling.

I've covered Mark Harrington and his activities for the Free Press and my own research for at least six years. While others in his camp are passionate, hotheaded--even intellectual at times, Harrington has always seemed cynical, Even in 2004, when I started to pay serious attention to him, Harrington appeared to have gone beyond Domionists like Coach Dave Daubenmire and Dr. Patrick Johnston. He struck me as a community organizer gone sour after looking into the soul of The People and finding it lacking. Somebody pulling the strings behind a candidate. Somebody who is happy behind a desk plotting it all out, or drawing up a flow-chart. (He's got a degree from OSU in Marketing and Economics.) Not somebody standing in the street with a dumb sign or arguing with an OSU student over which holocaust is worse. Not that Harrington doesn't do these things. He just never seems too happy about it. When I covered the Roy's Rock event (national tour of Alabama Judge Roy Moore’s 10 Commandments) for the Free Press in 2004, he was clearly bored and cut the event short by a couple hours. All the songs were sung, the last shofar blown, Coach Daubenmire, Hollis Summers, and Harrington had said their piece, and State Rep Linda Reidellbach and the president of the Ohio Christian Coalition were no-shows. Even the cops had left. Standing in the rain, tandem with a rickety wooden trailer and a couple big shiny rocks wasn't making his day.

Nonetheless Harrington knows an opportunity when he sees it, even if it's only for "the mission." The Dispatch picked up the story fast enough and now it's all over the wire. He knows the stunt is silly, but he's sucking it up for the "greater good."

Mark Harrington is the long-time director of the Center for BioEthical Reform - Midwest (CBR), under which numerous projects were launched. The two best known are the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) which I wrote about in 2006 and truth trucks with their baybee blender bits pictorials, which you've probably seen driving around town annoying the mothers of young children. He also developed Obama Nation/Christians for Social Justice which posits Barack Obama as "the face of black genocide."

Harrington left CBR earlier this year to open up shop with anti-abortion group, Created Equal. In his press release announcing the opening, he says that its name comes from the Declaration of Independence and Martin Luther King's famous I Have a Dream speech, a quote which he neatly jereryrigged into something King did not say and the casual reader may miss. (italics is actual quote.)

Men should be judged not by the color of their skin" -- nor whether they are born or preborn-- but "by the content of their character.

Harrington's press release description of Created Equal fell right in line with my previous thinking about him: a behind-the-scenes man.

Created Equal's goal is “to train the next generation of leaders to take on the culture of death and win. We will specialize in youth training and outreach at the high school and college level.” (He' is currently holding training sessions on the OSU campus)....

Using new media and cutting edge technology, he says "Our projects will be easily transferable to students all across America so they can win the abortion debate on campus now and into the future."

Created Equal is endorsed by Scott Klusendorf, president of, Life Training Institute; Lila Rose, president Live Action, and notorious "undercover videographer"; Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life; Dr. John Willke, co-founder of National Right to Life, Ohio Right to Life, and founder of the Life Issues Institute; prominent anti-abortion blogger Jill Stanek; Troy Newman, director of Operation Rescue, Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values; Mike Gonidakis, director of Ohio Right to Life; and WRFD talk show host, Bob Burney.

These are not insignificant names.

I have written about some of them for the Free Press and on my blog, Theoconia. Willke and Buress are board members of Janet Folgler Porter's new Pro Life Action Ohio, which may blow Ohio Right to Life right out of the game. Jill Stanek and Troy Newman have appeared on the platform with Folger Porter recently and have ties to other Central Ohio Domionists. These supporters drag in a busload of like-minded friends in-state and out.. With the convergence of so many Domionist forces in Ohio (which I'll be writing about over the next few weeks), it appears the state is being sent up as a flashpoint.


Marley Greiner is a member of the board of the Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism. She began writing for the Columbus Free Press in 1980 as a general assignment reporter. For the last few years she has specialized in the activities of local Christian Dominionists. A slightly different version of this article with links can be found at her blog Theoconia: A Central Ohio Theocon Report. Marley is the Executive Chair of Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization,the largest adoptee civil rights organization in North America.