Then, in the broadening dawn, David Ritz begins to videotape the crowd--which is videotaping him--because the police are trying to take Seamars out to the road in a cruiser.
Perhaps there was something ordinary and amorphous in the lives of some members of this crowd milling around outside Paul Seamars's house, something unshapable, as there is in most lives.
For among the biblical fundamentalisms cherished by that crowd standing in Seamars's driveway in the rain, none seems more important or more seductive than the sense of being a persecuted minority, common to Jews in the Old Testament and to Christians in the New.
The day after my first visit to Paul Seamars, I drove to madison, Wisconsin, seventy-seven miles west, to visit another abortion provider, a physician named Liz Karlin.
Unlike Paul Seamars, whose essentially private nature has been intensified by antiabortion protests, Karlin has used the anti-abortion controversy against the extremists themselves.
One of the most vehement, strangely, is a partner in the law firm that represents Paul Seamars. Several are saying Hail Mary's and several are indulging in imprecatory prayer--praying for God to curse Seamars.
Some of these children have been arrested hundreds of times for blocking clinic entrances, and at least one of them was part of the early-morning blockade at Paul Seamars's house in October.
I recalled something a friend said when I showed her the videotape of the predawn blockade at Paul Seamars's house.
"A lot of options aren't open to you," Paul Seamars told me.
"See, in a sense I feel I'm more vulnerable," Broekhuizen said, referring to individual practices like Seamars's and Liz Karlin's.
Seamars. There was no one protesting in the parking lot, along the sidewalk, or on the grass that borders the highway.