MOST of the time, American cultural exports are embraced...

Salmagundi

April 08, 1993

MOST of the time, American cultural exports are embraced with enthusiasm in Britain. Not this time.

Donald Treshman, the anti-abortion activist who is the national director of Rescue America, landed in London last week and wound up behind bars within 48 hours. Now the British government wants to kick him out. The home secretary has decreed that Mr. Treshman's specialty was one American export that should be turned away at the water's edge.

But Mr. Treshman is still in London, along with a few dozen followers from his group -- the same group that staged the Florida demonstration at which Dr. David Gunn was shot dead on March 10. While Mr. Treshman fights deportation, he has managed to inject some old-fashioned American polarization into the staid politics of England.

Portly and affable, in blue blazer and gray pants, he looks like the guy who runs your neighborhood hardware store. Last Friday, he basked in the sun outside his lawyer's office and said, "I would hope that [Gunn] had time to ask for forgiveness before he died. Otherwise, he is damned to eternal hell."

Many Britons openly abhor what they call America's "gun culture." And the government isn't convinced that Mr. Treshman has distanced himself from it.

When asked March 29 to condemn Gunn's slaying, he replied, "We don't condemn it . . . I'm not going to step on somebody else's morals. I'm not going to impose my morality on anyone else."

He was arrested less than an hour later and told that his continued presence in Britain was "not conducive to the public good."

Still, if Mr. Treshman insists he won't condemn killing because he won't impose his morality on anyone else, we can only wonder why that stricture doesn't seem to apply to women who go to abortion clinics.

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