JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Christian Examiner) – A Christian state senator in Missouri has closed his office after receiving a profanity-laced phone message in which the caller said he and his group wanted to see the senator hung from a tree because of his beliefs.
On Tuesday, a sign was hung on the door of Sen. Kurt Schaefer's office which read, "The office is currently closed due to unforeseen circumstances."
In the forceful threat left on the office voicemail, the caller said:
"You should google 'the decline of Christianity in America.' The results will probably not shock you, but they are absolutely [expletive] wonderful. Christianity is dying in this country. People like you – people with your beliefs – many of us would rather string you up to a [expletive] tree and hang you and [expletive] choke you out and watch the life slip away from you, because you want to ruin the lives of other people."
Listen to the full call here.
Schaefer is a conservative Republican and one leader of the state's pro-life movement. According to local CBS affiliate KMOX, Schaefer said he did not know why he had received the threat, but on his Facebook page the senator said it was likely related to his efforts to stop abortion.
"Thank you all for the prayers and concern for my family, staff, and me in light of the recent threat. The authorities are investigating and are very professional as always; we are thankful for their quick response. On the issues that matter to Missourians, especially protecting innocent life, we will not back down in the face of threats and intimidation. Our efforts to protect the unborn will not be deterred," Schaefer wrote.
Schaefer chairs the Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life, formed after videos surfaced showing representatives of Planned Parenthood negotiating the sale of aborted fetal body parts. The committee is expected to provide its final report on its investigation into Planned Parenthood's activity in the state by Dec. 31.
The senator also wants to block a University of Missouri doctoral candidate's dissertation on the state's 72-hour waiting period abortion law, the Huffington Post reported last week.
According to Schaefer, the project further demonstrates a close alignment with Planned Parenthood and the university, which was forced to cancel 10 contracts with the abortion mill after the videos were made public by the Center for Medical Progress. Prior to those cancellations, the university had reportedly allowed its students to train at local Planned Parenthood facilities for the past 26 years.
"It is difficult to understand how a research study approved by the University, conducted by a University student, and overseen by the Director of the School of Social Work at the University can be perceived as anything but an expenditure of public funds to aid in Planned Parenthood in improving 'its services to better meet the needs of women seeking abortions' in clear violation of Missouri law," Schaefer wrote in a letter to University Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin Oct. 30.
Schaeffer added that the student's work would simply serve as a "marketing aid" for Planned Parenthood.
Schaefer also received a threat from a reader of the Columbia Daily Tribune, who said in April 2013 he wanted to kill the senator in a duel.
"I will duel with him until his or my death, with weapons of his choosing, at a place and time as he identifies," the man wrote in the paper. "Hammers and trashcan lids, knives, pistols, shotguns, no-holds-barred, bare-knuckled eye-gouging, ear-biting, groin-kicking and brawling (on account of I still don't know what it is to really beat somebody to death) are all good."
The newspaper was widely criticized for publishing the challenge.
Missouri state police are investigating the current threat against the senator. Schaeffer is a candidate for Missouri Attorney General in the state's 2016 election.