By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
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"A club is fine," Sergeant Cushman says, sidling up to him conspiratorially. "Now, we're on this side by the media encampment because the jury room is on the other side, and we don't want to have a mistrial. I think you and I both agree with what's going on in there."
No commitment from Enyart. What was going on in there was far too slow for him, but Sergeant Cushman didn't need to know that.
"How long are you going to be?" Sergeant Cushman wants to know.
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"We'll be gone by two, I'd guess," Enyart says. "I want to get back. My wife is having a baby." Indeed, Cheryl Enyart, Bob's third bride, is due to deliver a son within days, and he's got a pager in his pocket in case the Lord decides to work in mysterious ways.
Sergeant Cushman says that'll be fine and rejoins several other officers standing near the demonstration zone. Enyart quickly huddles with McBurney and the rest of the crew. "Stay focused," he tells them. "Everybody knows their job."
They do. Ken, John, Marc, Matt, Doug and Josiah quickly remove a batch of white tubing, most pieces still sporting their universal price-code stickers, from the trailer, whose interior is blocked from view by recycled "Clinton is a Rapist" standards. The squad efficiently assembles a section of fence that closely resembles the one to which Shepard was affixed. For their parts, Eric and Jo disappear for a few minutes, and upon their return, Eric is wearing a conservative suit whose hue more or less matches the globs of shoe polish matted into his hair. When Jo points out that Eric remade himself in a public restroom, Enyart jokes, "I hope you didn't go in there with him, or we'll have to beat you, too."
All of this activity is a magnet for the media contingent, which has had squat to report the entire day. In a matter of minutes, they're headed over: staffers from CNN, Court TV, numerous Denver television affiliates, the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post, Wyoming publications such as the university's newspaper, the Branding Iron, and assorted stragglers such as Graham Baxendale, a UK-based researcher putting together an academic study on American hate groups, and Chryss Cada, a stringer who says the Boston Globe is interested in a story from her only if there's an acquittal (fat chance).
Enyart watches them amble toward him, and so do several cops in SWAT gear who stand atop the courthouse and another nearby building, fingering their rifles. But the press has nothing to fear from Bob. He loves it when they shower attention on him. Because not all that long ago, they wouldn't have spared him a drop.
How do you make a Christian fanatic? Follow this easy recipe:
Bob Enyart emerged from his mother's womb in Paterson, New Jersey, on the uncool end of the George Washington Bridge, and after eight years of Catholic grammar school, where at least he learned the rudiments of the Word, he went to a public high school and was inculcated with lust, stupidity, pornography and, maybe worst of all, secular humanism.
From there he bounced to a couple of colleges, most notably Arizona State University at Tempe, where he specialized in computer science. Even before graduation, he'd landed a job in the industry, and in the years that followed, he climbed corporate ladders at several technology temples, including McDonnell Douglas and US West in Denver. But in the late Eighties he started to feel empty whenever he thought about the evils prowling all around him -- especially legalized abortion, which was killing thousands upon thousands of the unborn every single year.
"I asked myself, 'If I'd been in Nazi Germany and had known about the Holocaust, would I have done something?' Because this was just as much of a holocaust as that was."
Operation Rescue was the most outrageous anti-abortion outfit of the day, which made it perfect for Bob; he chucked the whole computer genius thing in 1989 to head up the Colorado branch. He soon became a regular visitor to area jails owing to protests at women's clinics and the like, but even as he was standing tall for the sanctity of life in general, he was screwing up his own.
That same year, his wife, Krista, who gave him Josiah and a younger sibling, Nathaniel, now fourteen, walked out after eight years of marriage, fed up with a husband more devoted to adultery than to her. (You read right: Enyart repeatedly committed an act punishable by the death penalty under the Mosaic system -- "but I wouldn't have done it if the Mosaic code was in place.") By Enyart's telling, he ultimately gave up his Operation Rescue post out of guilt: "I had no right to be in that position if I couldn't keep my own house in order."
But that didn't stop him from telling people right from wrong over the local airwaves. In 1991 he went from a tiny AM signal, KLT, to KQXI, now owned by Disney ("We don't like Disney very much," he says). He eventually built a significant enough audience to attract the attention of KWHD-TV/Channel 53, a station that was part of a smallish chain of Christian-oriented signals owned by LeSea Broadcasting of South Bend, Indiana, and starting in April 1993, he began to turn heads and raise hackles. Some highlights: