Flower

Archive for September, 2011

GAP returns to U of Tennessee at Knoxville

Dialoge with pro-abortion student.  I got the shade; I was there first.

Dialogue with pro-abortion student. (I got the shade; I was there first.)

This is our 8th day of GAP in the last 3 weeks.  If you count our Pro Life Training Academy, travel, and prep work, it’s my 16th day of hard labor in 19 days.  By hard labor I mean up at 6:00 am and to bed at midnight or later on GAP days … with only slightly more sleep on the other days.  There would be 3 more days after this one.

But God is good.  He knew that we were all tired.  He didn’t test us.  After we got the exhibit set up, I propped myself up on a wall underneath a shade tree, right near the poll table.  They would have to come to me.

At the poll table, students answer the question, “Should abortion remain legal?”  A “no” response means pro-life; we sign them up for the Pro Life Collegians.  A “yes” response means pro-abortion; we initiate dialogue with the goal of helping them rethink their position.  For most of the day, I just quietly asked the “yes” responders, one at a time, “May I ask why you responded that way?”  If they answer, we’re off to the races.

For a nice change of pace, God didn’t send any combative people over to the table this day.  The combative types can offer awesome opportunities, especially if they draw a crowd.  But they are rarely thoughtful and it is hard work to be reasonable with somebody who is unreasonable.  I just wasn’t up to it.

So God sent to me (and all the rest of us) a steady stream of people who were willing to have civil discourse.  He also sent a number of pro-lifers who gave us encouragement.  It was very different from most GAPs, including most GAPs at UT.

Of course, a few passersby gave us the “flying buzzard” as they rushed on past, but the drive-by’s can be easily ignored.  We should aways remember that such people are often facing struggles that we probably can’t imagine.  We should also remember that God loves each and every one of them, too.  But God would have had a hard time loving them through us on this day.  The civil ones got all we had to give.

Iran, do not murder Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani

Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani

Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani

You may have heard the story about Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, a Christian in Iran who has been sentenced to death because he is a Christian.  More about it on the Family Research Council (FRC) blog.  FRC encourages everyone to contact the Iranians on behalf of Pastor Nadarkhani, so I sent this terse e-mail to the e-mail address given by FRC (iran@un.int):

Iran,

Do not murder Yousef Nadarkhani. The world is watching to see if you are civilized human beings or just barbarians at the gate.

C. Fletcher Armstrong, PhD
Southeast Director
Center for Bio-Ethical Reform
PO Box 20115, Knoxville, TN 37940
www.ProLifeOnCampus.com
www.FletcherArmstrongBlog.com
www.facebook.com/ProLifeOnCampus
direct: 865-947-0179
mobile: 865-776-1312

I also sent an e-mail to Secretary of State Clinton here.

Day 2 of GAP at UT Chattanooga

No one wants to see that

UTC student Madi Rose Taff stating the obvious. Nobody want's to see pictures of violence. But even fewer people want to be tortured to death.

Day 2 at UT Chattanooga (UTC) was another awesome day of GAP.  Come to think of it, I’ve participated in perhaps 150 days of GAP, and every single one of them was awesome.  Maybe that’s why we want to do even more of it.

It was another hot, hot day at UTC.  Before this week would be over, the heat would take it’s toll.  In fact, I’m typing this a full 2 weeks later, and my body hasn’t fully recovered, yet.  Please pray for healing and recovery.

We were greeted by protesters, which is always a plus.  They attracted the newspaper to come and do a story on our project.  The pro-aborts really don’t know what to do about us.  If they don’t respond at all, then we dominate the landscape.  If they do respond, they look silly.

For example, this group didn’t try to argue that abortion is OK.  No they took a very nuanced view of the First Amendment:

  1. Free speech is important and should be protected.
  2. We shouldn’t be allowed to show abortion pictures because it made them uncomfortable.

Oooohhhh kay.

One guy, who was not even pro-life, came by to protest the protesters.  He was there on behalf of the First Amendment.  Like we always say, “GAP is like a box of chock-lits; ya neva know WATT your gonna gay-et.”

UTC students study the pictures.

UTC students study the GAP pictures in front of the library.

40 Days for Life going strong in Knoxville

Students from Catholic High School gather for opening services for the Fall 40 Days for Life campaign.  No other Christian schools were represented.

Students from Catholic High School gather for opening services for the Fall 40 Days for Life campaign. No other Christian school was represented.

Yesterday morning, about 50 Knoxville pro-lifers joined their counterparts in 300 other cities around the world by kicking off their semi-annual 40 Days for Life campaign. The opening services were held at Tyson Park, across the street from one of Knoxville’s three abortion facilities.

It was wonderful to see a number of teenagers, but it was a bit disheartening to know that they all came from one Christian school (Catholic High School).  How many Christian schools are there in this town, anyway?  How many “pro-life” pastors in Knoxville have ever attended a single 40 Days event?  Ever been at the abortion facility, even once?

We are thankful for the Diocese of Knoxville Peace and Justice Director Paul Simoneau and 40 Days Coordinator Lisa Morris for their tireless work on this campaign.  They really need your help … and they deserve your help.  There are many time slots available for the duration of the campaign.  If you’ve never been to a 40 Days vigil, now would be a great time to sign up!  It’s really very low-stress, non-confrontational.  It’s a time for prayer and presence.  I hope you will take part.  Check it out: http://www.40daysknoxville.com/.  E-mail Lisa at information@40DaysKnoxville.com.

Paul Simoneau and the National 40 Days for Life Director David Bereit will be joining me on WRJZ radio at 5:00 pm next Tuesday afernoon.  They both have inspiring stories to share and I hope you’ll join us!

big crowd

Nearly 50 pro-lifers gather for opening services for 40 Days for Life campaign.

Shouldn’t Christians be taught God’s side?

Liberty students see abortion, many for the first time.

Liberty students see abortion, many for the first time.

We were disturbed but not particularly surprised at some of the reaction from Liberty University students when we took GAP there a few weeks back.  So many of them wanted to live within the fiction that since they are “pro-life,” whatever that means, that’s all they need to know.  Not trying to pick on Liberty here; Liberty is simply a microcosm of the modern American church.

A particularly disturbing comment from “LU” (his pen-name) appeard on FAB.  It read, in part, as follows:

… Abortion has been in the light of public media for years now and I would say that most adults do know what takes place.  You are not showing us anything we haven’t seen or heard before, you only anger the students of this campus with your lack of tact.  Also, it pains me to see the young children with your group being involved in this protest.  These children are way too young to be seeing these images in the first place and are only being brought up into a lifestyle of intolerance; not a true life of love as we as Christians are called to live.  Children need to be taught both sides of an issue and allowed to develop their own opinions once they are capable to do so. … We need to be able to decide for ourselves through skeptical study of the Bible and beliefs we have been taught.  It is sad to see how Christianity is being portrayed to unbelievers through your work.  I pray for you, your family, and fellow campaigners.

Note how illogical his reasoning is:

  1. We shouldn’t show the pictures because everbody has seen them when they were younger.
  2. Younger people shouldn’t see the picture’s, either.
  3. Showing the pictures is intolerant.
  4. Leaving Christians ignorant allows them to figure out for themselves what side they are on.

But wait a minute, if we all followed his advice, none of his classmates would have ever seen the pictures before and the first premise would be invalidated.

I responded as follows:

LU Student, you are mistaken on many points.  Please read my Open Letter to Liberty University, which you can link to from our website, http://www.ProLifeOnCampus.com.

You said that “abortion has been in the light of public media for years now.”  Really? I watch public media all the time.  I see unborn children dehumanized as mere blobs of tissue, masses of cells, products of conception, parasites, etc.  I see abortion euphemized as a reproductive “choice.”  A mere picture would dispel those myths, but the myths are cherished by those in power, so the pictures are suppressed.  With all the talk about “choice,” I’ve almost never seen any attention paid to what is actually being chosen.  The rare exception is when we come into town and some of the local media outlets actually show the pictures we have put on display.  Without any presentation of the reality of abortion in the media, the education system, and even the Church, most people have no idea who the preborn baby is and what abortion does to her.

You say the “shock factor” is not as effective as we would like to believe.  Your argument is not with us.  Your argument is with the countless women and men who have let us know that our pictures changed their minds.  In many cases, they tell us that our pictures saved their own children from destruction at the hands of the abortionist.  You can see many testimonials on http://www.AbortionNo.org and on http://www.ProLifeOnCampus.com.

You say that children should never be shown these pictures, but that you and everybody else at Liberty has already seen them?  How can that be?  If only a few kooks like us are letting our children see the pictures, how can it be that by the time they are 18, everybody has seen them?  We have encountered many, many students who tell us that they grew up in “pro-life” churches, had never seen abortion pictures, had come to believe abortion should be a choice, and changed their minds only after seeing our pictures.

You say that “Children need to be taught both sides of an issue and allowed to develop their own opinions once they are capable to do so.”  Really?  Whatever happened to God’s side?  Whatever happened to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6)?  We are commanded not to kill their own children (Mark 10:19).  We are commanded to protect and defend the defenseless (Proverbs 24:11-12).  And finally, we are commanded to teach other believers to do the same (Matthew 28:20).  These commands are not optional.

When Christians see the horror of abortion, they are more likely to obey God’s command not to kill their own children (Mark 10:19).  Furthermore, they are more motivated to protect and defend the defenseless (Proverbs 24:11-12).  And finally, they more fully understand their duty as Christian leaders to teach other believers to do the same (Matthew 28:20).

[Note: You can read the entire discussion stream here.]

Upper income earners not paying fair share?

Federal income tax distribution

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From an op-ed piece by Obama supporter David Brooks:

In reality, the top 10 percent of earners pay nearly 70 percent of all income taxes, according to the IRS.  People in the richest 1 percent pay 31 percent of their income to the federal government while the average worker pays less than 14 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Federal income tax distribution

Federal income tax distribution from 2005.

Pro-life work is controversial …

Church doing something

Here is a church doing something. It's not as controversial, nor as effective, as showing abortion video in the worship service, but it's something.

The “pro-life” church is massively uninvolved in activities that have any chance at all to end abortion.  When we approach church leaders about doing much of anything, they reel in horror, hands over both hears, as if trying to keep their heads from exploding.  They exclaim, “Why are you bothering us?  We’re already pro-life.  We checked that box years ago.  Leave us alone!”

In reality, they don’t do much because they fear controversy within the church.  They say just enough to satisfy the pro-lifers in the pews—“We are a pro-life church”—but little else.  They know if they actually organize pro-life activities or even show members a brief video of what abortion is and does, they will hear complaints from people who don’t want to be reminded.  Members might leave the church.  Donations might go down.  The building program might be jeopardized.

Controversy is bad for business if your business is to appeal to the widest possible audience.  Which brings us to our “Quote of the Week”, by Gregg Cunningham of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform:

Alas, if only killing babies were as controversial as saving them.

Exposing children to abortion pictures not OK?

God commands us to expose the deeds of darkness.

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We often get comments from people who don’t want us to show abortion pictures in the public square because children will see them.  We get one such message from “Briana Richards”, who saw our trucks operating near Liberty University in Lynchburg.  She wrote:

To whom it may concern,

Let me begin by saying I am completely anti-abortion and support that cause.  However, I do not agree with the manner in which the organization is displaying the signs in areas that are heavily traveled by young children.  I do not think that it is necessary to take away my young child’s innocence by showing them graphic images of fetuses.  The only thing that is going to promote is questions too early regarding what is abortion, why are some babies not wanted and killed.  Why do YOU get to choose when the right time is to talk to MY child about abortion?

I understand making people aware of what abortion truly is so they do not make that choice, I just disagree with the method in which you are getting your point across.  After school yesterday I had to stop short of the stop light and drive up next to 2 cars just so my 6 year old wouldn’t have that image in his mind for the rest of his life!  You are not using a plane this year (from what I’ve seen) but what 18-month-old kid, or 10-year-old, does not look up at the cool airplane going over, only to be accosted with an image they have no idea about but know it’s scary looking?  I mean would you really want to have a conversation with your 6-year-old about abortion?  They don’t even understand all the ins and outs of how babies are born yet but we’re showing them what people do when they don’t want them.

I am requesting that you please take into account the large amount of parents that are driving their young children by these signs daily near the Liberty University campus and that you rethink the location of your displays for the future.  I disagree with your methods but I know it is your right to display them.  It seems there could be better ways to get your point across without effecting our innocent children.

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Briana Richard
Sent from my iPad

I responded as follows:

Dear Ms. Richards,

Thank you for registering your comment about our work at Liberty University last week.

We don’t target young children with our pictures, but with all the institutions of society (including the Church) covering up the truth of abortion, we have no choice but to take to the public square.  Otherwise, the killing will never stop.

Children are exposed to graphic images of violence all the time … on newspaper front pages, on magazine covers that are visible in the supermarket checkout lines, etc.  They even showed Schindler’s List on TV during family viewing hours a few years back.  Nobody objects because nobody feels guilty about their own complicity or complacency with respect to those acts of violence.  Many are guilty of complicity or complacency with respect to abortion.

What is worse, a born child being horrified by a picture of abortion or a preborn child being killed by the act of abortion?

You might ask if Jesus would ever put a graphic image on display where children could see them.  In fact, He did just that.  Jesus controlled every aspect of his arrest, trial and execution.  He arranged to have Himself beaten nearly to death before stumbling through the most crowed part of Jerusalem on the most crowded day of the year.  His bloody body horrified throngs of Passover pilgrims which included large numbers of families with young children.

He then permitted himself to be stripped naked and tortured to death in full view of still more passersby, including more children.  The Romans used executions to intimidate subjugated peoples.  They located crucifixion cites for maximum public exposure.  Our Lord accommodated Cesar by going out of His way to make this disturbing spectacle of His death as public as possible.  And in the process, He chose as the very symbol of our faith, a bloody instrument of torture.  His point was to disturb us with the gravity of our sin but bless us with the grace of His forgiveness, despite the fact that many children would be traumatized in the process.  Did He get this wrong?

Jesus Hand - 500

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Travis Barham of ADF sues universities … We like it!

Travis Barham

Travis Barham explains how the U of Wisconsin was forced to pay $500,000 for discriminating against Christian student groups in the distribution of fee money.

Travis Barham of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) is giving an interesting talk.  He sues universities.  He does this when student pro-life groups and other conservative groups are denied First Amendment rights and/or equal access to university resources, including student fee money.

Pro-life and pro-family groups are missing a huge opportunity to scare the crap out of every university in the country.  Conservative groups must be treated equally to everyone else when it comes to the distribution of student fee money.  It’s big money.  Left-wing groups get it; conservative groups don’t.  It’s illegal.  But the universities don’t have to give the money to conservatives if we don’t apply!

At the U of Wisconsin, the Catholic student group applied and the U of Wisconsin denied.  ADF sued and won!  Now, the U of Wisconsin will have to pay $500,000, because they discriminated against Christian student groups in the distribution of student fee money.

Yikes!  We need to make sure our students are applying to get that money!  1-800-TELL-ADF.

Pro-Life Student Leadership Conference in Knoxville

Amanda Lord and Kortney Gorden of SFLA

Amanda Lord and Kortney Gordon of SFLA describe ways for campus pro-life groups to win hearts, change minds, and save lives.

Yesterday and today, CBR and Students for Life of America (SFLA) are hosting our 6th Annual Student Leadership Conference in Knoxville.  The theme for this year’s conference is Overcoming Common Obstacles to Effective Campus Outreach.  We have students here from Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and even from as far away as Louisiana.

CBR to Liberty Christian Academy

Priest and Levite

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FAB undercover operatives an e-mail that was sent to the parents of Liberty Christian Academy, which was previously posted here on FAB.  CBR Florida Director Mike Schrimsher responded as follows:

Dear Mr. Patterson,

I am the Florida regional director of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform and took part in the recent visit to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. I watched your interview that was included in the abc13 WSET-TV news coverage and read your letter that was sent out to LCA parents last week. Please allow me to provide some details and clarification about our visit.

We agree that the pictures of aborted babies are “very graphic” but I’m not sure what you mean when you refer to them as “insensitive”. I assume you mean that either their public display is insensitive or perhaps that we are insensitive for displaying them publicly. We also agree that our graphic images of aborted fetuses are jarring and offensive to many viewers, precisely because these images accurately portray the horror of abortion, and abortion itself is very offensive, and insensitive, especially to unborn babies. Abortion is an act of violence which kills a baby and wounds his or her mother, and it is worse than many people think, even in the first trimester (first 12 weeks) when 90% of abortions are performed.

Most Americans, including pro-life Christians, are not bothered enough about abortion to stop the killing and they need to be jarred and offended into action to defend those who are being taken away to slaughter. (Proverbs 24:11-12) I hope that the hundreds who complained and sought protection for their born children from our abortion pictures will also take action to protect unborn children from abortion procedures.

While we did not set up any of our displays at entrances to LCA, we know that some parents drove past our display across from Hardees on their way to LCA and that our trucks did pass by the LCA campus on their way to and from the entrances along the east side of Liberty University. Clearly, the focus of our visit was Liberty University as we maintained our displays only at LU entrances and focused the driving of our trucks on the LU perimeter. Undoubtedly, however, people of all ages, young and old, saw our trucks as we drove on Lynchburg roads around Liberty.

You should know that we wrote and called Liberty University, requesting a meeting to work out the details of a visit on the LU campus similar to our frequent visits to secular public universities. This would have enabled us to interact almost exclusively with college students and staff, but we received no response of any kind from Liberty and were left with the choice of doing nothing at Liberty or designing a visit to the borders of Liberty’s campus. We chose the latter.

We know of only one contact with someone who may have been an LCA representative. A lady who parked in the Hardees parking lot came over and spoke to one of our ladies on Tuesday morning and requested that we take down or move the sign(s) near Hardees during the morning drop-off and we did discuss and voluntarily comply with her request that morning. Also, later in the week we dropped that location and focused on the other 2 locations.

Again, I hope that similar time and energy will be invested in efforts to stop baby-killing as were expended to research how LCA and LU might “curb political speech on public property”. On future visits to Lynchburg, I think it would be reasonable for us to coordinate with LCA to limit driving our trucks past LCA’s campus during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times, and LCA parents might choose to avoid our signs near Hardees by using another route while we are there. However, while it is understandable to shield pre-school and elementary school children from abortion imagery, most middle school students and practically all high school students should be made aware of the reality of abortion in America: who the unborn baby is and what abortion ~legally~ does to him or her. Anyone old enough to make a baby or have an abortion is old enough to see abortion.

Please let me know if you have any additional comments or questions and I will be pleased to respond.

Thank you for your service in the U.S. military to help protect America, and for your ministry with students at Liberty Christian Academy.

Michael A. Schrimsher
CBR-Florida Regional Director

Jesus Hand - 500

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Liberty student objects; CBR responds (pt 2).

Refuse

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Earlier, we posted a message from Warren Wilson, a student at Liberty, along with a response written by CBR Florida Director Mike Schrimsher.  Here is my response:

Dear Mr. Wilson,

If you are committed enough to want to end abortion, and I don’t doubt that you are, you owe it to yourself to study the history of social reform. If you look at the work of other reformers (William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson, the American abolitionists, Lewis Hine, and Martin Luther King, Jr., to name a few), you will discover that they all used graphic images to help people relate to the humanity of the victims of injustice and the horror of the crime itself. I would challenge you to name one injustice that was ever eradicated by covering it up.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. brought about dramatic changes in our society, even ending segregation in less than 10 years. Was he wrong when he said this?:

We bring [injustice] out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with an its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

Dr. King also said, “America will never reject racism until America sees racism.”

Was Dr. King wrong? Other civil rights leaders thought so. They criticized him for making people uncomfortable about injustice. But he knew that unless people became uncomfortable with respect to the status quo, there would be no pressure for change. They told him some of the same things you and other Liberty students are telling us. They told him that he was making it harder for them, that he was undoing all the good that they had done, that he was making them look bad by association, that he was an outsider who should not come to Birmingham. But he went to Birmingham, anyway. He was arrested, and he wrote his famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail. I hope you will read it. If you are going to invest yourself in the work of social reform, you ought to read the works of others who have done it before you.

Because some in the civil rights movement would not expose injustice, Dr. King called them “civil rights moderates” and said that they were more dangerous to the cause of civil rights than the Ku Klux Klan.

You said that we were neither winsome nor loving. But how is it loving to cover up the truth so that people don’t know how evil abortion really is? How is it loving to allow people to sin out of ignorance, when showing them the truth can lead them to obey God’s commands? When Christians see the horror of abortion, they are more likely to obey God’s command not to kill their own children (Mark 10:19). Furthermore, they are more motivated to protect and defend the defenseless (Proverbs 24:11-12). And finally, they more fully understand their duty as Christian leaders to teach other believers to do the same (Matthew 28:20).

You call out materials “extremist, hateful propaganda.” Can you give me one example of an extreme or hateful statement in any of our materials?

You mentioned that our people heckled you and your friends, that we yelled, condemned, and shoved posters in your face. I find that very hard to believe. All of our staff and volunteers sign an agreement that they will never shout at people and that they may offer literature but never pressure people to take it. If any of our people violated our very strict rules, then please provide me with additional details (who, what, where, etc.), so that I can put a stop to it.

[Note: since this e-mail was sent, we have determined that one CBR volunteer may have said something like, “I thought this was a Christian university.”  This comment would have been a violation of our rules, but hardly the yelling, condemnation, shoving pictures in faces, etc. that was described in Mr. Wilson’s e-mail. — FAB]

After you have read Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, please read my letter to Liberty University (which you can link to from www.ProLifeOnCampus.com). I look forward to hearing from you.

Fletcher

Jesus Hand - 500

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Conservative or Liberal … Which are you?

Liberal vs Conservative

Liberal vs Conservative

If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a Conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
If a Liberal doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a Conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
If a Liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a Conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a Conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A Liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a Conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberal’s demand that those they don’t like be shut down.

If a Conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
A Liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

If a Conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A Liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

Actually, I object to the way we use the terms “liberal” and “conservative”.  Historically, the liberals are the people like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, etc.  They wanted people to be liberated from the shackles of oppressive government.  Today, the think that we conservatives seek to conserve is classical liberalism.

Liberty student objects; CBR responds.

Trucks and signs at Liberty University Bookstore.

Trucks and signs at Liberty University Bookstore.

We got a message from a Liberty student who objected to our presence outside the campus.  We’ll call him “Warren Wilson.”  Here’s what “Warren” had to say:

I am a student at Liberty University where your organization has been picketing the past week. I need to preface by saying I agree with the message of what you all were saying. I am extremely pro-life. Its an issue I care about. I’ve worked at the Right to Life Booth at the North Carolina State Fair with my family for years. I typically vote for pro-life candidates. I believe abortion is never right and in every situation it is murder.

At the same time, I must express extreme disapointment in you and your organization. Your signs and billboards are disgusting. By using such graphic displays, you are not winsome or loving. Your methods are offensive which cause people to be defensive. If those images were in a film or on a website where you made a warning before showing them, that would be different but thrusting them in people’s faces while they are just walking by is inapropriate. To be convincing, we need to love people and be winsome. The Bible even instructs us to be winsome in our methods of talking to people. You will never shock someone into changing their minds. Perhaps in the future your organization can use more effective methods instead of fringe, extremist, hateful propaganda.

Your people also heckled me and my friends while we were just walking by. Not to mention using their children to hand out your graphic, gruesome pamphlets. We are probably a 97% pro-life campus. It rubs people the wrong way to yell, condemn, or shove posters in their face. I hope you will listen with an open mind and make changes to legitimize your organization in the future.

In Christ,
“Warren Wilson”
1 Tim. 1:15

CBR Florida Director Mike Schrimsher responded:

Dear Warren,

Thank you for writing us about your concerns. We agree with you that our signs and billboards are disgusting and offensive because they accurately portray that abortion is disgusting and offensive, even during the first trimester when most abortions (90% of them) are performed. It is disappointing to us that fellow pro-lifers are just as eager to cover up the horror of abortion as pro-aborts. I’m not aware of any “winsome” way to display abortion, but it is absolutely loving to show young men and women who are the most vulnerable to abortion (18 to 24 year olds) exactly who the unborn baby is and what abortion does to that baby. Folks who are experiencing an unplanned “crisis” pregnancy make life or death decisions over a short time span that are irreversible. Our images regularly save lives and help bring post-abortive men and women to repentance. We hear it and see it again and again. However, when someone knows the truth that abortion is an act of violence that kills a baby, and yet they insist upon making a fully informed decision to have an abortion, or pay for it, or support it, or coerce it, or fail to oppose it, then that individual should feel defensive, and guilty.

You are correct that it is better when we are able to put up warning signs around our displays. Unfortunately, since we were unable to gain access to a more ideal location on the Liberty University campus, our space was limited and so were our options. Please visit our website abortionNO.org to see a film with a warning at the beginning and other examples of our signs. However, it is not correct to say that we were “thrusting them in people’s faces while they (were) just walking by”. Our signs were stationary and our staff merely offered brochures to passersby. It sounds like you might prefer to limit your pro-life efforts to “loving, winsome” methods that focus on the pregnant woman’s visible crisis and ignore the more urgent hidden crisis of the unborn baby, with primary emphasis on post-abortion counseling. I think it would be very enlightening if we could swap Bible verses. You may want to re-read the gospels and be reminded of Jesus’ teaching methods. You may not believe it, but we regularly “shock someone into changing their minds”. Please let us know about your “more effective methods”. We are eager to abolish abortion as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, you know very well that our materials are not “propaganda” and your use of terms like “fringe, extremist, hateful” to describe our work would enable you to fit right in at a Planned Parenthood or NARAL or NOW meeting.

I sincerely doubt that our people “heckled” you and your friends, but I know that it is possible, so please provide as many details as you can remember so that we may correct the individual(s). I certainly hope that you and your friends are more offended by the gruesome death of aborted babies than you were by having live children hand out “gruesome pamphlets” with pictures of aborted babies. I’m sure you know that there may be some Liberty students who will have sex outside of marriage, have an unplanned pregnancy and consider abortion. But even if Liberty is in fact a “97% pro-life campus” then what better place to find activists who will not only choose life for their own babies, but also protect the most defenseless among them and persuade others not to kill their babies either. We did not “yell, condemn or shove posters” in anyone’s face and these unfounded accusations do not help us “listen with an open mind”. Perhaps the graphic images themselves were so powerful that they made you feel heckled, yelled at, or condemned, etc. Or perhaps the contrast between exuberant children enjoying life right next to graphic abortion images was just too jarring for you. In any event, we don’t really care whether or not you think our organization is legitimate. We care what you think about abortion and what you are going to do to help stop it.

Sincerely,
Michael A. Schrimsher
CBR Florida Regional Director

GAP at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Day 1

Class change at UTC

Class change at UTC.

Another great day of GAP, this time at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  Early in the day, CBR Virginia Director Nicole Cooley spoke with Amber, whose mother had wanted to abort her.  Her father intervened to save her life, but her mother was a drug addict and abusive during her entire childhood.  The mother had even told her that she never wanted Amber.

But now Amber has made it all the way to UTC, where she is majoring in theatre.  She told Nicole that seeing the pictures in the GAP display has made her realize that every day is a gift, and she has resolved to make her life count.

Nicole prayed with Amber and told her that even though her mother didn’t plan her or want her, she had a Heavenly Father who both planned and loved her.

Debbie Picarello and Nicole Cooley speak with a UTC student

Debbie Picarello and Nicole Cooley speak with clarity about abortion and about our Savior. They are a light to hurting men and women.