This article from Mick Hunt, on location with the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) in Florida
Genocide Awareness Project 2014 Kicks Off in Florida
by Mick Hunt
Greetings from the only state in the union that didn’t receive snow last Wednesday … Florida. We have brought the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) to Florida for two weeks. The Canadian CBR (CCBR) brought a team of perhaps 30 young people from all over Canada, from Vancouver in the west to Ontario in the east. CBR is providing the GAP kit and truck, plus three of us older gentleman to help set up the display. I’m here with my wife Edie; my specific duty is to make sure all operations are safe.
This week we’ve been one day on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University, way down in the southwest, near Fort Myers. Then we spent two days on the opposite corner at North Florida University. Next week it will be Florida State and Central Florida University. Edie and I are leaving and Lincoln Brandenburg, CBR Project Coordinator for Georgia, will be taking my place for next week.
I’ve been involved in GAP for 10 years on perhaps 50 campuses. Only one of those GAPs approached the kind of personal outreach I’ve seen this week with the group from Canada. In Oklahoma, we had about 100 people come to our training session at a sponsoring church. Then during GAP most of those people came to the display. At any point you could see 50 different conversations going on at any time. It was amazing. GAP this week has been like that on a smaller scale, but with great effectiveness. The CCBR young people are well trained in prolife apologetics. They are outgoing, and many of them have considerable experience in one-on-one debate/conversation. I must say that it is encouraging to me to see young people involved on this level, some of them high school students. The average age on the CCBR team is 23 years, which suggests that even their leaders are young. Stephanie Grey, the Executive Director is only 33. They are zealous and compassionate … both. One of the leaders, Jonathan, told me that they are well aware of the importance of learning from us who have been around for awhile longer. CCBR, I hope, reflects the future of the pro-life movement.
Youth and openness to wisdom are strengths, and their experience comes from going out to high schools on a weekly basis and talking with students on their lunch breaks. You can see this in how they handle themselves. The arguments and style have been honed by many 60-second conversations. I’ve seen this so much this week. Jonathan told me that they have notebooks full of testimonies about how people have become more pro-life on abortion. I hope to be able to share some of those with you in the next few days.
But for now, we have a long drive ahead back home to snowy North Carolina today.
This report was filed by FAB correspondent Maggie Egger, Virginia Project Director, Center for Bio-Ethical Reform.
The Circle of Life at GMU
by Maggie Egger
CBR Project Director
Last week, George Mason University Students for Life held their first Choice Chain of the semester. I joined five Mason students to form a circle with our signs in front of the student center. We were seen from every angle; no one could miss us.
Soon after we got in to position, there was a class change. In the swarm of people, a young man briefly paused and said,
“I’ve seen you guys out here before. You’ve really changed my mind about abortion. Thank you.”
A little later I spoke to a young man who claimed, among other things, that the preborn are not people and don’t have human rights. I asked him “Why?”
He said because they are not alive. After we went through all the scientific evidence supporting the fact that they are indeed alive, he claimed that they aren’t human.
I asked him “What are their parents?” He looked confused.
“What species do this embryo’s parents belong to?” I asked while pointing to my sign.
“They’re human, of course.”
“Okay, then all their offspring are human, right? Humans can’t reproduce non-humans, can they?”
“Well, no they can’t.” I could see the wheels start to turn in his head. I waited a moment and then asked very calmly, “So, if the preborn are alive and human, why aren’t they people with human rights, too?”
He opened his mouth to answer, and then stopped himself. He paused for a moment, still digesting all that we had just discussed. Staring at my sign, again he started to speak, but couldn’t find any answer. Then he said “I’m sorry, I’m gonna be late to class” and abruptly left.
I know he continued to think about it. Maybe next time he will say, as one did earlier in the day,
“I’ve seen you guys out here before. You’ve really changed my mind about abortion. Thank you.”
Until now, we in Tennessee have always believed that the best two things ever to come out of Alabama were (1) Dreamland Ribs and (2) I-59.* But now you can add a third item to that list: Bama Students for Life (BSFL).
BSFL was recently awarded the Students for Life of America (SFLA) Student Group of the Year. Perhaps their biggest project of the year was to host the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) last Spring. The privilege of working with such a committed, intelligent group of young people was truly a gift from God. BSFL’s media work was the best we have ever seen, and we learned quite a lot, just by watching them.
[We have noted that many of the student groups recognized by SFLA have hosted GAP or some other graphic image display. We wonder if there is any connection? But anyway ...]
BSFL has created another firestorm on campus, this one making national news! They went up against the University of Alabama (UA) … and they won! Earlier this month, a UA official removed the BSFL’s pro-life display from a hallway display case after a few students claimed it was offensive.
What was offensive, you say? Abortion photos from CBR.
But now FAB has learned that UA has apologized for removing the display and will allow BSFL to set up their display once again. Praise the Lord for courageous young people!
Here is BSFL’s Claire Chretien on Fox News:
Here is Claire confronting the UA official who removed the display:
*NOTE: FAB has learned that another famous invention originated in Alabama. We’re not sure exactly when or where the toothbrush was invented, but it had to come from Alabama because if it were invented anywhere else, it would have been called a “teethbrush.”
The best way to protest abortion is to let abortion protest itself. CBR’s Gregg Cunningham:
We don’t protest abortion. We expose abortion. Abortion protests itself.
It was certainly true at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) yesterday. Link to TV news coverage/video here. Quote:
The images are so graphic and disturbing some students left school for the day.
Wow. They really can’t handle the truth. But if abortion is such a great thing for women and for society and even for children, why do pictures of it make people so upset?
Interesting student comments:
- Kaley Dietrich: “It makes you feel uncomfortable. It makes you not feel safe on campus.” [FAB: Dietrich feels uncomfortable because she has a functioning conscience. She feels "not safe" because she can't handle the truth and wants it to go away.]
- Mike Malat: ”It’s pretty disruptive … to have these big things shoved in your face all the time. I mean you’re hear to learn objectively on what you want to learn.” [FAB: Malat thinks that truth is disruptive. He's right; truth disrupts lying. Note how effective the pictures are. We go to FGCU every year or two, but in Malat's mind, it's "all the time."]
- Kaley Dietrich: “Were not trying to limit their free speech, … But we do want students to be able to choose whether they see these images or not.” [FAB: In other words, Dietrich wants to choose which images get seen and which do not.]
The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR), Southeast Region Operations, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ruby Nicdao as our newest Project Director in Virginia.
Ruby started pro-life activism as an engineering student at the University of Florida, when she was invited by a friend to pray near a local abortion mill. Soon, she was counseling women on the sidewalk. After graduating, Ruby continued sidewalk counseling on Saturdays while working full-time as an electronics engineer for the Department of Defense.
Ruby moved to Northern Virginia to study theology at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College and worked as a systems engineer on missile defense systems. She told FAB
It’s ironic that while our country spends billions to protect our people from ballistic missile attacks, millions of children are unjustly killed in the womb, under the radar.
Beginning in 2009, Ruby led 40 Days for Life campaigns at NOVA Women’s Healthcare, the largest abortion mill in Virginia. The campaigners at this mill not only prayed to end abortion, they also exposed abortion using CBR “Choice” signs.
As a result of Ruby’s leadership, the number of abortions at NOVA dropped by 28 percent over four years. In 2013, this abortion mill close forever! Her most memorable pro-life experience came in 2014, when she held for the first time a baby she helped rescue from this death camp.
A resident of Fairfax, Ruby will work in close collaboration with Nicole Cooley of Churchville and Maggie Egger of Front Royal, CBR’s other Project Directors in Virginia.
If you’d like to support Ruby (or any of our staff members), it’s quick, easy, and secure to support CBR online. Whatever you can do will make a huge difference. To support Ruby’s work in Virginia, designate your gift for “Virginia Projects (SE-RMN).”
Emma Wiltshire is a pro-life Christian who labors with the fine folks at the Athens Pregnancy Center in Athens, GA. She also attended Passion 2014. In fact, she is the bold young lady who gave an impromptu sidewalk speech to her fellow conference goers, exhorting them to put their faith into action for preborn babies! (Passion Part 3)
Emma penned some excellent observations about our outreach at Passion:
I have worked at a pregnancy resource center for a little over six months. But after this weekend, my heart has never been so broken over abortion.
I attended the Passion Conference in Atlanta where 20,000 college students gathered to proclaim the name and fame of Jesus Christ. I watched people surrender their lives to their maker and accept the love, forgiveness and freedom of being in relationship with Him. It was an unbelievable experience. As we flooded the streets of Atlanta for our evening dinner break, I saw extremely graphic pictures of aborted babies at just ten weeks, posted on signs. The images were disturbing, but what was more disturbing were the reactions of my peers to the people holding the signs. “No thank you, I’m pro-life already.” or “No I don’t want any brochures or papers.” The majority of students didn’t say anything at all; they simply ignored the display and the people all together.
I spoke with one of the [CBR staffers] and he was astonished by the students lack of participation. He said, “Surely students coming out of a Christian conference would be more receptive.” There is a difference between saying you support a cause and actually doing something to support it.
I was tormented for the rest of the dinner break, just thinking of the students who carelessly walked past the exhibit. Were they turned off by the graphic images? Did they not understand that it was a plea for help and not a protest? My mind was spinning as I walked back into the arena for the last session. I looked around the enormous room packed full of 18 to 24-year-olds, 20,000 of them to be exact. Then I had a vision of what it would look like to save an empty seat for every aborted person in the state of Georgia last year alone … 33,000 silenced voices … 33,000 empty chairs. Even though the room was packed full, all I saw was a vacant building.
I haven’t been able to get this image out of my head since Saturday. I know that abortion is seen as as political issue that is highly controversial. But I also know that it robs humans of life and haunts post-abortive men and women. It doesn’t matter how a person was conceived; they still have a right to exist.
Please hear me when I say I am in no way condemning those who have had abortions before. Because I am a Christian I believe there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and that the blood of the cross can wash away any transgression. God’s redemption knows no boundaries, and I know many women who are post abortive that He has healed and made new.
That being said, lets put an end to it. Let’s not tiptoe around the issue anymore, let’s be bold in our faith and our convictions and speak the truth about abortion. Education is the only way we can shed light into a very dark aspect of our legislation.
If you find value in these words or agree with me, please don’t just like this post. Share it. Start a dialogue with friends, classmates, co-workers and family. Don’t condemn those who have had abortions but love on them and show them that their story can help another person from making the same mistake. I know my words are probably going to offend and maybe enrage some people, but I just felt I had to speak up for the 1,388,937 people that would have been my age if they hadn’t been aborted in 1991.
Thank God for brave Christians like Emma! My prayer is that the young people of Passion, like Emma, will rise up and be “in it to end it” for the victims of slavery and for the victims of abortion in their own backyard. Both are important to God’s heart (Proverbs 24:11-12).
Submitted by: Lincoln Brandenburg
Like water gushing around a river rock, herds of young people swarmed past our signs, on their way into and out of the Passion Conference. How would they respond?
“I’ve never seen these pictures before… I didn’t realize abortion was this bad!” Some were arrested by the pictures of abortion victims. They stopped and responded with compassion, wanting to know how they could help.
Our volunteers and staff were glad to speak with them and even prayed with some. We showed them how to win hearts, change minds, and save lives in their own churches and schools. One young woman, herself a pro-life advocate, was very grateful and moved by our outreach. After speaking with us at length, she turned to a group of fellow conference-goers and pleaded with them, “We need to pay attention to this message. This is just as important as human trafficking!”
Some were not so happy to see us, and they told us so! An Atlanta police officer even rolled down his patrol car window and blared through a bullhorn, “You people are doing a great job scaring folks with these disgusting pictures!” His negativity was a positive sign … that he needed to see our message! We pray that his disgust with the exposers of abortion will be transformed into compassion for the victims of abortion.
The most common response we saw was no response. Many of the young students of Passion had not thought much about abortion before. It is likely that many of them internalized their thoughts, rather than speak with us. And that’s OK. They will remember the images of abortion victims long after the conference. God will use what they saw to work in their hearts over time.
Sadly though, many of these young Christians were noticeably apathetic about the injustice they were seeing. One young man, when asked what he thought about the display, replied with disgust, “I’m on my way to dinner right now!” Many tried to ignore us, declining or throwing away our literature. Our volunteers were grieved to tears by the scores of Laodicean responses. How could so many Christians be “neither hot nor cold” about the killing of innocent preborn children?
Was our outreach at Passion effective? Thousands of Christian’s eyes were opened to the injustice. The empathetic were galvanized. The apathetic can no longer trivialize. And at least one baby was saved (see Passion Part 2). Decide for yourself, but your humble corespondant would say it was definitely effective!
“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say that you did not know.” – William Wilberforce
See Passion Part 3 for one of our most encouraging responses!
Submitted by: Lincoln Brandenburg
I didn’t see the debate, but I did see this critique by the good people at the Discovery Institute. As a trained scientist who knows a little bit about the philosophy of science, the scientific method, etc., bad arguments make me angry.
But when people on my on side of a debate give bad arguments, the apologist in me just goes nuts. That’s why I very much appreciate the Discovery Institute. They advance sound science.
Here are three articles that Christian should read:
CBR volunteer Julie Thomas reports on a baby saved at the Passion Conference in Atlanta:
Photo in Atlanta Saves a Baby in Nashville
Two young women saw the abortion pictures on display. They took a flyer as they walked on by. But then they stopped. Why?
Something made them turn around. They looked at each other. What was it? Was it the big bold statement on my sweatshirt? “I regret my abortion.” Was it the 10-week abortion photo? I would soon find out.
Every time CBR displays abortion photos, babies’ lives are saved. But each story is different. So it was with this one. These two ladies needed help, but not for themselves. Their friend “Susie,” a med school student at Vanderbilt, was 7 weeks pregnant. She was a Christian and had told her mother and boyfriend that she was pregnant. The boyfriend had convinced her to have an abortion. Her mother would support her, no matter what decision she made. That baby’s life was hanging in the balance.
Now these two angels went to work. Using cell phones, they took photos of the abortion pictures on display and texted them to Susie back in Nashville. One of them called Susie and brokered a 4-way conference call, right there on the sidewalk. This went on for several minutes. I talked about my abortion regret. Then the two girls and I prayed for the young mother. She said she would text in a few minutes and hung up. We prayed again. Susie texted back, “Go ahead and start planning a baby shower for me. I’m keeping the baby.”
Wow! Praise the Lord! All the time!
What other victories did God give our team? The story continues in Passion Part 3!
Picture this: 20,000 Christian young people, all gathered under one roof. Worshiping, praying and hearing the Word from Louie Gigglio, John Piper, Francis Chan, and others. This is the Passion Conference, an annual gathering in Atlanta.
Passion challenges young people to raise awareness of modern-day slavery, an evil that beggars the imagination. For weeks after the conference, attendees use social media, bracelets, and bumper stickers to “shine a light” on slavery.
But there is a victim whose voice has not been heard at Passion. It is the voice of preborn children. Here is the irony: It is unlikely that any Passion attendee will ever be tempted to buy a slave, but many of them will certainly be tempted to kill their own children (or know someone who will be). According to the Guttmacher Institute, 1 in 5 abortions are performed on evangelical or born-again Christians.
What could happen if these young people were as fired up to “shine a light” on the killing of preborn people as they are about the enslavement of born people? While most of them can do little to actually free human slaves, they can do much to stop the killing of preborn children in their own churches and communities.
With this vision in mind, CBR staff conducted an all-day outreach on the sidewalks near Philips Arena, where Passion 2014 took place. Displaying “Choice” signs at nearly every entrance to Philips Arena, nearly all of the 20,000 attendees would see our signs during the day. We gave out nearly 4,000 of our new “Why This? Why Here?” brochure, which exhorts Christians to take a stand.
How did Passion attendees respond? See “Passion Part 2” to find out!
Submitted by: Lincoln Brandenburg, CBR Georgia Project Director
When you suit up for pro-life work, what would you rather do, feel good or make an impact?
Unfortunately, many of us have adopted a form of ”strategic relativism,” in which any strategy or tactic used to fight abortion is just as good as any other. People say things like, “You fight abortion your way and I’ll fight it my way.”
The inevitable result is that many of us (perhaps most) are engaged in activities that aren’t particularly effective at winning hearts, changing minds, or saving lives, nearly as much as they are good at making pro-lifers feel good about doing them.
While it’s true that our movement has multiple components, just as the body has many parts (I Corinthians 12:12-31), this principle does not mean all strategies/tactics are equally valuable or effective. In business, construction, child rearing, war, and every other field of human endeavor, there are some methods that simply work better than others. We would be mad to choose whatever feels good, when experience and logic demand we employ tactics that actually work better.
Don’t be a strategic relativist! The babies deserve your best.
But that’s not all. The people who give time and treasure to your work also deserve your best. They give sacrificially. Shouldn’t they count on you to invest wisely?
And finally, think of yourself. If you are investing yourself in this work, don’t you want to maximize your own personal return on investment? Let’s put it this way: if you had a 401K, would you settle for a 2% annual return when another investment was paying a guaranteed 25%?
Abortion pictures are an indispensable tactic because they force large numbers of people (literally, everyone in sight) to learn and reflect on the two most important facts: (1) the preborn child is a living human being, and (2) abortion is an act of violence that destroys a living baby. Abortion pictures prevent honest people from denying these facts.
Pro-lifers love to talk about creating dialogue. The record is clear: when you show thousands of passersby exactly what abortion is and does, you create more dialogue (and more informed dialogue) than anything else you can do.
Note: FAB is indebted to CBR Maryland for inspiring and contributing to this article. The good folks at CBR Maryland are definitely making an impact!
“Do you believe in welfare for women who become pregnant?”
Olivia, a student at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) asked this question of CBR volunteer Mark Wolf. Usually, questions like this are simply attempts to change the subject. They don’t want to talk about the decapitation and dismemberment of little human beings, so they bring up every conceivable societal problem known to man. If pro-lifers can’t solve all of them, then abortion must be retained as the solution of final resort (the final solution?). And not just for mothers who face difficult circumstances, but for all mothers.
EKU was our third stop on a 2-week GAP trip through Kentucky. It was our third visit to that campus, the latest being in April 2011. It was cold, but we didn’t let that deter us from winning hearts, changing minds, and saving lives at EKU.
Olivia pressed her point, “Do you support free access to contraception?”
Mark pointed to one of the 10-week abortion photos (a picture of a hand and an arm on a dime) and asked, “Is it ever morally justifiable to do this to another human being?” Her eyes moved to the picture and focused on the remains of the child, and she struggled with the reality of abortion as if she saw it for the very first time.
Mark gave her time to process the image. When she again tried to change the subject, Mark described what happened in a D&E abortion, and asked her if it is ever morally acceptable to do that to another human being. She again stared at the image and struggled with what she saw. Finally she said that she would have to “get [her] sources” and then she walked away.
Of course some people change their minds right there on the spot. But many, like Olivia, need time to consider the facts and weigh the arguments. Let us pray for Olivia and many more like her who are struggling with the truth they saw on campus last week.
Maybe Olivia will become the next Julie:
FAB contributor Newt Gingrich explains how life could soon be much better if we can overcome bureaucracy, over-regulation, and restriction of innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Poised for a Breakout”–from Obamaism
by Newt Gingrich
President Obama must have been cruising Amazon.com this weekend. Or at least so it would seem from his remarks to the Wall Street Journal yesterday.
“In a lot of ways, America is poised for a breakout,” he said. “We are in a good position to compete around the world in the 21st century. The question is, are we going to realize that potential?”
If you’re a regular reader of this newsletter, that idea will sound very familiar. It is the argument I have been making since last spring, and the subject of my new book, Breakout.
The President is right that America is poised for a breakout. Advances in science, engineering, and technology offer incredible opportunities in learning, health, energy production, transportation, and many other fields. These breakthroughs could mean we are on the edge of a dramatically better world in which many of our current problems simply disappear.
President Obama is also correct that the big political question facing Americans is whether “we are going to realize that potential”–whether we will choose to break out.
But what the President apparently doesn’t see is that he represents breakdown–the greatest threat to our potential future. That government as bloated as our current one will inevitably break down may be the chief lesson of Obamaism.
There is a breakdown of big government bureaucracy, a breakdown of competence, a breakdown of common sense and defined purpose in government, and a breakdown of the rule of law.
Practically every day we are reminded that the government is simply incompetent to do all the tasks it has assumed to itself. The disastrous launch of Healthcare.gov is just the latest example. Even with three and a half years to build the website, the key people in charge failed for a variety of reasons–some legal, some bureaucratic, many political–and rather than admitting their failure, they foisted the broken system on the country anyway.
The same breakdown in competence extends across the federal government. It’s the reason 20 to 25 percent of Earned Income Tax Credit payments by the IRS are improper. It’s how the same agency managed to send “a total of 655 tax refunds to a single address in Lithuania, and 343 refunds…to a lone address in Shanghai.” In the private-sector, we have systems to fight this level of incompetence. In the broken down big government bureaucracy, the failure is simply expected, and it continues year after year.
In some respects, the problem is bipartisan. We saw it in federal response to Hurricane Katrina under the last administration. Yet only one party believes we should increase Americans’ reliance on broken systems.
Beyond the breakdown in competence, there is a breakdown of common sense in the federal government. Programs continue decades after they have outlived their usefulness, like the national “raisin reserve” on which the Washington Post reported recently. It requires raisin farmers to hand over large portions of their annual harvests to “a farm program created to solve a problem during the Truman administration, and never turned off.” There are hundreds of similarly pointless programs hidden in the bureaucracy.
Finally, there is a breakdown in the rule of law, as we have seen over and over under the Obama presidency–from the IRS targeting conservative organizations, to EPA officials releasing personal information on thousands of farmers to environmental activist groups, to the Justice Department conducting criminal investigations of journalists, to the President’s unilateral suspensions of parts of immigration law, welfare law, and even his own health care law.
As the champion of bureaucratic, centralized, and often extralegal solutions, President Obama is the leading representative of the breakdown that could prevent America from seeing a breakout like the one he predicted yesterday.
As I argue in Breakout, I do believe life could soon be much better for all Americans, if we can overcome the prison guards of the past keeping us trapped in bureaucracy, over-regulation, and restriction of innovation and entrepreneurship.
There is enormous potential for learning science and e-learning, personalized and regenerative medicine, American energy production, breakthroughs in transportation such as self-driving cars, and even a private space industry.
But this will require big changes in how we organize government–changes that President Obama certainly will not make. In fact, he’ll take us further in the wrong direction. That’s why we won’t know the answer to his question–”Are we going to realize that potential?”–until the elections of 2014 and 2016.
Now that ObamaCare is proving itself to be the disaster we all feared … in fact, even worse than we feared … Ted Cruz is smelling like a rose. People will long remember who stood up and spoke the loudest in protesting this train wreck.
It is good that there were no Republican fingerprints on this piece of criminal legislation. But that is not enough. In politics, messaging and timing are critical. You have to make your case in a memorable way at the right time. If nobody remembers what you said, then what difference did it make?
Ted Cruz was one man who went out and fought hardest in those critical months leading up to the ObamaCare train wreck, while others were content to sit on the sideline and wait for the disaster to come. Now that the disaster is becoming apparent to all, who will they remember fought against it? Ted Cruz. Well played!
Here’s an advertisement from the Conservative Campaign Committee:
Two items from the Center for Science and Culture.
Science and Faith: Are They Really in Conflict? According to a recent survey, 55% of American adults believe that “science and religion [are] often in conflict.” What is your church or private school doing to show parents and their children that science and faith are actually in harmony rather than at war? If you’ve been at a loss about how to engage issues of science and faith in your congregation, consider becoming a host church for “Science and Faith: Are They Really in Conflict?,” a worldwide simulcast event on Sunday, September 21, 2014 featuring John Lennox from Oxford University (who some call a new C.S. Lewis) and New York Times bestselling authors Stephen Meyer and Eric Metaxas.
By registering as a host church or school for this important event before the end of November, your group will receive a 20% discount. Register NOW and SAVE.
C.S. Lewis & Intelligent Design. The Center has produced a new short documentary about C.S. Lewis’s journey to find intelligent design in nature. The film is being released on YouTube in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Lewis’s death this coming Friday, November 22. See it here: