Archive for April, 2011
We’re doing the Pro Life Training Adademy in Baltimore today. Each student will learn how to articulate and respectfully defend the pro-life position. We’d love to bring the Academy to your town!
Tomorrow, it’s on to the University of Delaware!
My name is Shirley Moore and I am a recovering dupe, a victim of deception. Are you one too? I pretended for a hopeful moment that Planned Parenthood (PP) was out of the schools when they were removed from the approved speakers’ list on February 25, 2011.
But parents ought to know they have been covertly embedded for years in the education profession through teachers’ associations, PTA and the family life curriculum. They often play the role of “curriculum guidelines” policeman to maneuver their programs into the schools. It seems to have worked three years ago when they won approval from the Knox County Schools (KCS) to present their marketing pitch to the captive KCS audience.
The fly in the school reformers’ ointment was that they tore the cover off PP by putting them on the approved speakers’ list in 2008. It must have seemed the PP brand was acceptable now as it had never been before (even to Dumb Tennesseans, as one Knoxville News Sentinel letter writer recently called us). But was it really? A fracas ensued in the school administration building when parents discovered their presence in the schools in the fall of 2010.
The questions they raised about their fitness to be there showed it still isn’t a reputable brand. (And even Planned Parenthood supporters get squeamish when their association with them is made too public. That’s why the Life Decisions International Boycott list works…given time and persistent boycott participants.)
By removing all outside groups in the area of sex education, the Superintendent has undercut any abstinence presentations. Since no outside groups are presenting overtly, there will be no apparent need to “opt out.” But “opt out” was always a toothless maneuver as Planned Parenthood’s material and worldview can be woven into as many subjects as possible throughout the school day.
A Planned Parenthood trained teacher can serve it up in subtle ways. It’s called “comprehensive sex education.” Be aware: the hidden hand of Planned Parenthood remains in the KCS schools via teacher training seminars. The Superintendent admitted as much in the WATE-TV interview after the April 6 School Board meeting. It was a “yeah but, no but, yeah but” bumbling statement, but it’s there.
But what does our School Board think? We don’t know. They fired themselves from their jobs in 2008 by signing an agreement with the Superintendent promising not to dissent in public. Odd way to go about Racing to the Top. The top of what? The heap? But what’s in that heap? A heap of parents, the community, and our local democracy, for starters. Evidently, we can’t discuss it in public and that should tell us all we need to know about the secrecy and arrogance operating in this matter.
Last chance for Summer Internships. Click here and call Fletcher at 865-776-1312.
Want to win hearts, change minds, and save lives? Of course you do! That’s why you are doing pro-life work in the first place! So please call now!
One of the most curious things said at the debate was Dr. McLean’s charge that pro-lifers are responsible for a network of “fake clinics.” Dr. Mclean struck me as a fair-minded person, so I have to attribute this charge to spending too much time on uber-left websites in the hours leading up to our debate, because this charge clearly originates from radically pro-abortion groups who are committed to only one choice for women, and that’s abortion. There is perhaps no charge that is more comcially hypocritical this that one.
I responded that when we are on campus, people routinely demand to know what we are doing to help women in crisis pregnancies. I tell them we do quite a lot. Pro-lifers run a network of centers where women and families can go to receive guidance, resources, referrals to doctors who will treat them for free, referrals to housing, etc. In fact, pro-lifers spend many, many times more money on these activities than on educational projects like we do at CBR. So, in response to all of this, we are to be condemned for running a network of “fake” clinics? If that’s the game, we can’t win, because were damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
Secular ProLife and Students for Life of America have published a flier, Fake Clinics: Myth vs Fact, to respond to this charge. Some of the text:
Claim: CPCs are “fake clinics.”
Pregnancy centers come in two types. The first is a traditional crisis pregnancy center or pregnancy resource center. They are not clinics and do not pretend to be, although in most states they are able to offer pregnancy tests and prenatal vitamins. They provide numerous social services, including parenting classes, options counseling, baby supplies, and other financial aid. The second type is a Pregnancy Help Medical Clinic. These are licensed clinics working under the direction of an M.D. Medical services provided vary from clinic to clinic, but often include ultrasounds, on-site prenatal exams, and/or STD testing. In neither case can these be considered “fake clinics.”
Claim: CPCs only care about preventing abortions.
CPCs serve a variety of women; not only the abortion-minded, but also women who have chosen adoption or parenting parenting, women whose babies have already been born, and women struggling with a prior abortion.
Claim: CPCs use volunteers, who are unqualified.
CPCs do utilize volunteers– and so does Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider and one source of this claim! All CPC volunteers undergo training to ensure that they are qualified.
Claim: CPCs have religious affiliations.
Some do and some don’t. Many respectable non-profits have religious affiliations. People who make this claim are usually implying something further: religious discrimination. This is patently false. No CPC will refuse a client on the basis of her religion.
Continuing the coverage of my debate at Eastern Kentucky University. Part 3 was here.
As you might imagine, Dr. McLean was big on “choice.” I said in my opening remarks that I was as pro-choice than just about anybody in the room. I believe that every woman and every man should be free to choice her own health care provider, her own school, her own religion, her own career, etc.
What I didn’t say (but should have) is that unlike many on the political left, I even believe people should decide whether or not they will join a union and whether or not they will have money taken out of their paychecks to support union-backed political candidates.
But some choices are wrong, even immoral, like killing innocent human beings simply because they are in the way and cannot defend themselves.
She also objected to being called “pro-abortion” instead of “pro-choice.” I admitted that I often use the more pejorative term, but it can certainly be justified. Stephen Douglas was said to be personally opposed to slavery, but he argued that the states should have to “right to choose” whether to be free states or slave states. We always refer to him as “pro-slavery,” not “pro-choice.”
Following our prepared remarks, we took questions. Lots of questions. At the scheduled ending, the moderator asked if we would be willing to stay longer. I asked when the Cracker Barrel closed. We ended up staying for an extra hour.
One student asked how many churches support our “hate-filled message.” His question was laden with additional pejoratives, but I can’t recall his exact words. I had to restrain my laughter, because if the Christian church in America—I’m talking about the self-proclaimed “pro-life” church—had ever taken abortion seriously, this would have been over long ago.
People frequently ask about my religious views, as if abortion were a religious issue. I pointed out that although my religion demands that I care about others, you don’t have to share my Christian beliefs to know killing people is wrong. We’re not asking people to accept a new system of morality; we just want them to apply their own system of morality to all human beings.
More in Part 5
In her opening remarks, Dr. McLean asserted that the fetus is not a human. She made several other assertions and arguments that I rebutted, but this was the most glaring error of the debate. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
My introductory comments were posted yesterday. In them, I challenged Dr. McLean to prove her assertion that the fetus was not human. I would accept almost all of her points. I would agree that abortion should be legal, that abortion should be covered by insurance, that I would even quit my job and find another career. I would do all of this, if and only if she could present conclusive scientific and/or philosophic evidence to show that the preborn child is not human. As you may be aware, no such evidence exists.
To rebut the myth that the unborn child is not human (or that life doesn’t begin at conception), I quoted both medical textbooks and pro-abortion sources:
Zygote. This cell results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm during fertilization. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo). … [The zygote] marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual. (Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th ed., Philadelphia: Saunders, 2003, pp 2,16)
It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material … that constitutes the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual. (Bradley M. Patten, Human Embryology, 3rd ed., New York: McGraw Hill, 1968, p 43)
We of today know that man is born of sexual union; that he starts life as an embryo within the body of the female; and that the embryo is formed from the fusion of two single cells, the ovum and the sperm. This all seems so simple and evident to us that it is difficult to picture a time when it was not part of the common knowledge. (Alan F. Guttmacher. Life in the Making: The Story of Human Procreation. New York: Viking Press, 1933. p 3.) [Alan Guttmacher is a former president of Planned Parenthood.]
Perhaps the most straightforward relation between you and me on the one hand and every human fetus from conception onward on the other is this: All are living members of the same species, homo sapiens. A human fetus, after all, is simply a human being at a very early stage in his or her development. (David Boonin, A Defense of Abortion, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002, p 20)
In the top drawer of my desk, I keep [a picture of my son]. This picture was taken on September 7, 1993, 24 weeks before he was born. The sonogram image is murky, but it reveals clear enough a small head tilted back slightly, and an arm raised up and bent, with the hand pointing back toward the face and the thumb extended out toward the mouth. There is no doubt in my mind that this picture, too, shows [my son] at a very early stage in his physical development. And there is no question that the position I defend in this book entails that it would have been morally permissible to end his life at this point. (David Boonin, A Defense of Abortion, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003, p xiv)
Case closed, but if you want more proof, check out this article: When does life begin?
More coverage to follow in Part 4.
More on my debate at EKU. See Part 1 here.
These are my opening remarks, sort of. In the interest of continuous improvement, I’m revising them as I go. But this is mostly what I said.
Thank you for coming to participate in this debate.
I’m going to take it for granted that all of us here tonight want to live justly with respect to our fellow man. We disagree about who constitutes our fellow man and who does not.
I want to caution you not to believe anything I tell you. I’m an advocate, and so is my opponent in this debate. You can’t know if either of us is telling the truth or not, unless you check it out for yourself. You can’t know if I’ve left out important facts. My conclusions might be flawed. Even if I have plausible arguments, perhaps my opponent has decisive ones. You must do your own research and ask hard questions of both sides.
In America today, preborn humans have the right to life if and only if their mothers want them. This is true through all 9 months of pregnancy. That’s the status quo. And I’m willing to support it. I’m willing to concede that Dr. McLean is entirely correct in almost everything she will say. I’m willing to say there should be no restrictions on abortion. It should be treated just like any other medical procedure. I’m willing to say that abortion is certainly nothing like genocide. I’m willing to concede all of this, quit my job at CBR, and go into another line of work. I’ll do all of that … if. I’ll do all of that if and only if Dr. McLean can present good scientific and philosophic evidence to show that the preborn child is not human. I look forward to hearing that evidence.
The difference between us is not that she is pro-choice and I am anti-choice. I am vigorously pro-choice, as much as any person here, and probably more than most. I believe that every woman (and every man) should be free to choice her own health care provider, her own school, her own religion, her own career, etc.
Unlike many on the political left, I believe people should have the right to choose whether or not they join a union. They should not be forced to pay dues that will be diverted to political campaigns. Washington leftists disagree. I believe doctors and nurses should be free to choose whether they will perform abortions, according to the dictates of their own consciences. Washington leftists say no. I believe people should choose the charitable causes they wish to support, rather than the government choosing for them. Leftists even demand to decide what light bulb you buy, whether you can use a voucher to send your child to the school of your choice, and whether you buy health insurance under ObamaCare.
Yes, we are all pro-choice about some things, but nobody here is pro-choice about everything. Most choices are really matters of personal morality. Even though I may disagree with your choices, I have to respect your right to make them and vice versa. It’s your life. But some choices can be harmful, even deadly, to others. We don’t allow anyone the right to kill another human being simply because she is in the way and cannot defend herself. We don’t allow people to commit rape or child abuse. In a civilized society, no person has the right to unjustly take the life of another.
To put it simple, if the preborn child is not a human being, then no justification for abortion is needed. But if the preborn child is a human being, then no justification for abortion is adequate (except when the mother’s life is in danger).
To open our discussion about abortion, we need to define what it is. And to know what abortion is and does, we need to see it. I’m alerting you up front that some of you will not want to watch the video I’m about to show. Feel free to close your eyes or look away from the screen.
Some may object to images of abortion because they somehow substitute emotion for reason, but that really misses the point. The question is not whether the pictures are emotional—they are—but whether the pictures are true. If the pictures are true, then they must be admitted as evidence.
Naomi Wolf is a pro-choice author who agrees with us on that point. She wrote,
How can we charge that it is vile and repulsive for pro-lifers to brandish vile and repulsive images if the images are real? To insist that the truth is in poor taste is the very height of hypocrisy. Besides, if these images are often the facts of the matter, and if we then claim that it is offensive for pro-choice women to be confronted by them, then we are making the judgment that women are too inherently weak to face a truth about which they have to make a grave decision. This view of women is unworthy of feminism. (Naomi Wolf, “Our Bodies, Our Souls,” The New Republic, October 16, 1995, p 32)
But Ms. Wolf is a bit off target. With the pictures, our intended audience is not just women, but both women and men, because everybody needs to know. The Elliot Institute says that as many as 64% of abortions are coerced, and it doesn’t take a genius to know who is doing the coercing. Men need to know that irresponsibility comes with a heavy price that others will often have to pay.
I’ll show the video now.
[I then showed the Choice Blues video.]
I yeild back the rest of my time.
End of Opening Statement
In Part 3, I’ll describe the unanswered challenge.
It’s true. Check out this link for the audio.
Yes, Yale University has proven the sexual revolution to be a disaster for women. Chuck Colson tells us how:
For some time now, I’ve been telling you that the Christian worldview is the only worldview that provides us with a rational way to live in the world. It’s the only worldview that we can live with.
We simply can’t live with the logical outcomes of other worldviews like secular naturalism, new age-ism, or Freudianism.
And thanks to the daily news, I’m never short of material to prove it. A group of mostly female students is suing Yale University for allowing a “sexually hostile environment” to exist on campus.
The women, of course, have a point. After all, when frat boys are allowed to parade around the old campus chanting “No Means Yes,” or to hold up signs that read “We Love Yale Sluts,” I guess you could say that’s a sexually hostile environment.
But may I ask a question? What did you expect?
The disgusting, intimidating behavior at Yale — and on many college campuses — is a classic example of the post-modern impasse. For nearly 50 years, academia, the feminist movement, and post-modern society have embraced sexual freedom as the ultimate good.
And the feminists led the way. They wanted to control their bodies; to be free from any consequences of sexual license.
Well, guess what. If you promote sexual license — especially on campuses — what do you get? That’s right. Sexual license. You approve and encourage immoral behavior, and then you’re surprised when young men don’t behave like gentlemen? Are you kidding me?
And as for Yale…What else would you expect at a university when every year its hosts a campus-wide event called “Sex week,” where students get to attend seminars on sexual practices, presentations by sex workers, and plenty of porn films?
As an aside: Parents, before you send your daughter off to college, do some homework about life on campus. Why send your daughter to a school that promotes such promiscuity? [FAB comment: We believe in equality at FAB, so why would you send your son there, either?]
But back to my point: The women of Yale have discovered that they can’t live with the post-modern, sexually licentious Freudian worldview. It doesn’t work. It leads to moral chaos.
Where might you think such students would find a safer, more congenial environment? Perhaps at an institution that still clings to the Judeo-Christian worldview and the ethical principles that shaped Western Civilization. Does the Christian view of sex promote intimidation, harassment, and brutish behavior like we’re seeing at Yale, or does it promote moral and ethical virtue?
Well, it ought to be obvious. All worldviews are not equal. But that’s a controversial thing to say in this relativistic age. But examine any particular worldview, follow it to its logical conclusions, and you’ll discover whether we can live with the consequences.
Today on my “Two-Minute Warning,” which you can watch at ColsonCenter.org, I talk about our new six-part video series, “Doing the Right Thing.” It is a fabulous series, and it makes a compelling argument for rejecting the relativistic, “anything goes” mentality that has led to the kind of unethical behavior we’re seeing on college campuses — and in corporate board rooms and city halls.
“Doing the Right Thing” is impassioned plea — and a roadmap — for restoring a culture of responsibility. At Yale and everywhere else. Please, come to ColsonCenter.org, watch my “Two Minute Warning,” and learn more about “Doing the Right Thing.”
On our recent GAP trip, I debated a pro-choice professor at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). In all of the GAPs we have done, this was only my third such debate. I’ll debate anybody, anyplace, anytime, but few will accept my offer. The Student Government Association at EKU recruited Dr. Meg McLean to answer the challenge.
Dr. McLean got on my good side right away. Early on, she made reference to the Appalachian region, and she said it correctly! Few people from outside Appalachia know how to say it, and Dr. McLean is from Wisconsin. The folks at Appalachian State finally taught ESPN how, but only after their second national championship. For getting it right, we make Dr. McLean an honorary member of the “I know the correct pronunciation of ‘Appalachian’” Facebook group!
Three groups of people show up for debates like this. Pro-lifers come to cheer for our side. Another group comes to cheer for the pro-abortion side. The third group shows up because a teacher is giving them extra credit to be there. The debate was organized too late to attract many of that third group. Of the first two groups, Dr. McLean’s cheering section was noticably bigger than mine. That’s cool, because each one of them got to see the Choice Blues video and hear me make the pro-life case!
My opening remarks (sort of) are in Part 2.
I was on George Korda’s State Your Case radio show earlier today. During a break, Mr. Korda forced himself to watch the video at the CBR website. In the hour we had, we hit many of the standard questions.
One issue that Mr. Korda brought up was the “unfairness” to the father of the child. If the mother decides to abort the child, the father has no say. If the mother decides to keep the child, the father is legally required to provide financial support. In the fog of give-and-take that is live radio, I didn’t get to respond to that comment. I had fielded a similar question in my debate at Eastern Kentucky University—more on that later—a couple of weeks ago.
Fairness to the father is not the issue. If the preborn child is less than human, then the father has no rights to the “blob of tissue” that the mother carries within her own body. Since she is the one carrying the “blob,” it would be her right to decide whether to keep it or not. She has more skin in the game, if I can say it that way. But if she decides to carry, then the father is absolutely liable to support the child financially, not because of her decision to carry, but because of his decision to have sex in the first place.
But if the preborn child is a human being—science tells us he/she is a living human being from the moment of fertilization—then it is the baby’s rights which are at stake, not the father’s. If we treat every human being with equal value and dignity, fairness demands that the baby’s life be protected, regardless of whether or not the child is wanted by the father. If both father and mother freely chose to engage in the reproductive act, then they both share the responsibility to support the child.
Either way, fairness to the father is not an issue. Fairness to the unborn child (and her mother) are of paramount concern. Having your life stolen from you because you are “unwanted” is the ultimate unfairness.
The Students for Life at Eastern Kentucky are a shining light on a hill. Here’s what they are doing:
- Week of March 28: Crosses for the Unborn, including abortion photos on each cross.
- Week of April 4: Genocide Awareness Project, Powell Corner
- April 7: Debate between CBR Director and pro-abortion-choice professor
- Week of April 11: Crosses for the Unborn, including abortion photos on each cross. Passersby will recall the GAP photos on the very same spot during the previous week.
So what have you done this week?
Here is another photo of the crosses display, along with photo of a piece of the GAP display. Can you tell they are on the same spot?
Have you seen this story (ESPN version)? Please watch the video below.
Here’s another account:
A Game of Hope
In the fall of 2008, there was an unusual high school football game played in Grapevine, Texas. The game was between Grapevine Faith Academy and the Gainesville State School. Faith is a Christian school and Gainesville State School is located within a maximum security correction facility.
Gainesville State School has 14 players. They play every game on the road. Their record was 0-8. They’ve only scored twice. Their 14 players are teenagers who have been convicted of crimes ranging from drugs to assault to robbery. Most had families who had disowned them. They wore outdated, used shoulder pads and helmets. Faith Academy was 7-2. They had 70 players, 11 coaches, and the latest equipment.
Chris Hogan, the head coach at Faith Academy , knew the Gainesville team would have no fans and it would be no contest, so he thought, “What if half of our fans and half of our cheerleaders, for one night only, cheered for the other team?” He sent out an email to the faithful asking them to do just that. “Here’s the message I want you to send,” Hogan wrote. “You’re just as valuable as any other person on the planet.”
Some folks were confused and thought he was nuts. One player said, “Coach, why are we doing this?” Hogan said, “Imagine you don’t have a home life, no one to love you, no one pulling for you. Imagine that everyone pretty much had given up on you. Now, imagine what it would feel like and mean to you for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you.”
The idea took root. On the night of the game, imagine the surprise of those 14 players when they took the field and there was a banner the cheerleaders had made for them to crash through. The visitors’ stands were full. The cheerleaders were leading cheers for them. The fans were calling them by their names. Isaiah, the quarterback-middle linebacker said, “I never in my life thought I would hear parents cheering to tackle and hit their kid. Most of the time, when we come out, people are afraid of us. You can see it in their eyes, but these people are yelling for us. They knew our names.”
Faith won the game, and after the game the teams gathered at the 50-yard line to pray. That’s when Isaiah, the teenage convict-quarterback surprised everybody and asked if he could pray and he prayed, “Lord, I don’t know what just happened so I don’t know how or who to say thank you to, but I never knew there were so many people in the world who cared about us.” On the way back to the bus, under guard, each one of the players was handed a burger, fries, a coke, candy, a Bible, and an encouraging letter from the players from Faith Academy .
What an incredible act of Christian witness and kindness and goodness that was. Proverbs 11:17 says, “Your own soul is nourished when you are kind.” Proverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good when it is in your power to act.”
Be kind to someone this week. Be kind to every person you meet. You might be amazed at what God will do with a simple act of kindness.
— Dr. Tim Thompson
We are so thankful for ministry partners like Deeper Still, an outreach to post-abortive women (and soon post-abortive men as well). Two of their volunteers, Debbie Picarello and Sandie Sendall, both post-abortive themselves, joined us for GAP at the University of Kentucky. Debbie shares her experience:
Visiting the University of Kentucky was a wonderful experience. Sandie Sendall, a friend and past Deeper Still participant, helped man the post-abortion healing table. Both Sandie and I have experienced the negative consequences of having the “choice” to have an abortion. We came to offer not only our personal experiences with abortion, but also to offer the hope, healing, restoration, and reconciliation only Jesus can offer.
The Deeper Still table, stationed in between the Planned Parenthood table and the GAP display, gave us plenty of opportunities to speak with college students and older adults. There were two signs on our table. One said, “I’ve had an abortion. You can ask me anything.” The other declared “Freeing the abortion wounded heart…Deeper Still.”
Many students stopped by just wanting to know what Deeper Still was, both pro-lifers and pro-choicers alike. I had numerous opportunities to share that abortion comes with a very high price tag, a price to be paid for many years to come after the procedure that was supposed to help me “get on with my life”.
This table became a place to come and share personal pain. One male student’s girlfriend aborted their baby a year ago and he was hurting very badly. We gave him local info for Rachel’s Vineyard which offers ministry for men. Deeper Still has the vision to offer free healing retreats for men wounded by abortion, yet currently only offers ministry for women.
Another young woman had been raped and was looking for help. We referred her to Jane, a GAP volunteer who also worked at one of the crisis pregnancy centers in Lexington. Jane and Sandy were able to pray with her and exchange contact info.
Another young male college student told us how he was almost the victim of abortion, due to his problematic conception. He was exceptionally glad that we were all out there standing for life. Many pro-life students said they were so glad we were there. We had the opportunity to speak with and challenge protesting medical students, as well as several of the Planned Parenthood students.
We were only 2 of the several post abortive women who volunteered to help with GAP at UK. I am convinced that having post abortive women and men at these GAP’s strengthens the impact it has. There is power in personal testimony that could not be refuted. We left the students with a lot to think about.
While we were on our big GAP trip to Kentucky last week, I embarked on a personal journey of sorts. I became a Catholic.
It was quite unexpected, really. On Sunday, I prayed, “Lord, if you’ll let Notre Dame beat UConn, I’ll become a Catholic.” The rest, as they say, is history.
I know I’ve got a lot to learn, but because of my years of pro life work, I know a lot already. I’m guessing I’ve attended my last Martin Luther birthday party. I’ll have to give up at least 2 points of Calvinism, maybe more. But I’ve got lots of Catholic friends, and I’m sure they’ll be lining up to teach me the new lingo.
By the way, does anybody know where I can find a King-James-only Mass?
We always love our time at the University of Kentucky. It is a very diverse student body, with many students representing every position on abortion. Students are generally respectful and willing to listen.
Our free speech board was a huge draw, as was our poll table. I don’t have exact numbers, but the list of students who identified themselves as pro-life was several pages long.
Media coverage already!
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