Flower

Archive for November, 2011

Hail, Favored One! The Lord is with you!

Hail Favored One! The Lord is with you!

There’s nothing more pro-life than the Christmas story.  It’s when Jesus came to Earth to save us all from certain death.  You imitate Him when you work to save children.  Is there any better way to imitate our Messiah?

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. (John 13:15)

also 1 Peter 2:21, 1 Corinthians 11:1, Matthew 16:24, and 1 John 2:6

If you live within a 3-hour drive of Pigeon Forge, this one song is well worth the trip and the ticket to Dollywood.   We saw it again over the weekend, and it was very moving.

Several people have put this up on YouTube.  Here’s one:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqGyvwqI8K4

Other recordings differ in audio and video quality, but each one is magnificent:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5icadzuoLyo

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POjhuQDC5-M

.

Thanking God for lives saved … and for YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from FAB!

As the Thanksgiving holiday winds down, check out President Reagan’s Thanksgiving greeting from 1985.  It will be a real blessing to you.  I promise!

Hope you had plenty to be thankful for this year.  We sure did!  Even in a terrible economy, we’ve had one of our best years of pro-life activism on campus!  We visited 11 major universities in 7 states, reaching nearly 180,000 students.  I am so thankful for all that God is doing through your generosity.

But I’m not the only one who thanks you.  A few months back, Angel called me to say, “I was going to get an abortion today.  I saw your pictures, and I changed my mind.  You saved my baby’s life.  I guess you saved mine, too.  Thank you for those pictures.”

Anna thanks you too.  She’s displaying CBR “Choice” and GAP signs a few hours each week at George Mason U (GMU).  She wrote me, “Let me tell you, it is moving!  Truly the best part of my week. … Thank you for all you do, and for finding me at GMU last summer.  This has all changed my life.”

I am thankful for so many blessings!  Here are just a few:

  • For Anna at GMU and Lisa at Virginia Commonwealth U, who are starting pro-life student groups so they can host GAP at their schools this coming March.
  • For GAPs at 11 major universities in 7 states, reaching nearly 180,000 students.  Nationally, we visited 23 schools that enroll more than half a million students!
  • For Cracker Barrel. I’ve been to every one along I-75, I-40, and I-81.  I can work that silly peg puzzle blindfolded (which is a surprisingly awesome way to embarrass your wife).
  • For Gary Johnson, our “super-duper” volunteer, who made every GAP trip and saved Angel and her baby with the “Choice” signs you provided.
  • For hundreds of pro-life students who we trained in pro-life activism.  We are preparing the generation that will overturn Roe v Wade.
  • For the Pro-Life Training Academy (PLTA) in 9 cities across 7 states.  Biggest year ever.
  • For discounted hotel rooms at Hotwire.com and chicken soup at 35 different Panera Breads.
  • For our new promo video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8Rk44gn824.
  • For post-abortive women who are Silent No More at every GAP event.
  • For Ole Betsy, my 2005 Buick, and every one of her 115,839 miles.  She’s taken me from Pensacola to Providence and all points in between.
  • For dedicated staff and volunteers, whose passion is winning hearts, changing minds, and saving lives.
  • For you, because God has used you to touch so many lives.
  • For all of the great work ahead.

It’s really quite remarkable to add up what you’ve done through your prayers and support.  We thank you for that, and we thank God for you!

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.
The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. (Psalm 95:1-6)

Thank you,

Fletcher

P.S. I wasn’t going to ask, but if you must, click here. Thank you!

What football did to me this year

Better days

Better days

This year, I feel just like this little girl in the video below.  My whole October was like this.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUGq8hIBuhQ

College sophomore would overturn First Amendment at URI

First Amendment in action at U of Rhode Island

First Amendment in action at U of Rhode Island.

Eric Casey, a sophomore at the U of Rhode Island (URI), is circulating a petition to overturn the First Amendment at the University of Rhode Island (URI).  Story here.  To make matters worse, Mr. Casey identifies himself as a history major on his Facebook page.  YIKES!  I posted this online response:

Mr. Casey’s conception of the First Amendment is fundamentally flawed.  More about that, but we must first acknowledge that his petition is partly accurate. Abortion pictures are “highly disturbing” (his words). That’s because abortion is an act of violence that kills a baby.

Mr. Casey says that he doesn’t want to violate the free-speech rights of the College Republicans (CRs), yet his petition demands that URI prevent speech that he finds non-compliant with “the principles of respect and human dignity.”  Of course, he says nothing about those whose speech promotes the dismembering and killing helpless preborn children whose only crime is to be unwanted.  Would Mr. Casey sign a petition to remove that speech as well?

Do you see where this is going?  Once it is determined that non-compliant speech may be censored, then it becomes a matter of whose speech is non-compliant whose is not.  You can be certain that Mr. Casey will insist that people like himself be in control of whose speech may be disallowed and whose may be heard.  In this kind of environment, you can count on hearing the full range of political thought, from the far left to the extreme far left.  Fortunately, the First Amendment protects us from his kind of tyranny.

Our founders said that “all men are created,” that “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” and that “among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  The First Amendment doesn’t “give” us the liberty to speak freely, because that right was ours already; the First Amendment merely recognizes a right that is “unalienable” because of our status as human persons.  Whether you believe in a Creator or some kind of natural law, it is clear that the same foundational principle that protects our speech from arbitrary power also protects our lives.  Mr. Casey shouldn’t be so quick to give that up.

In his petition, Mr. Casey demands that URI withhold funding from the CRs as one mechanism to regulate speech.  He should be aware that the University of Wisconsin (UW) recently earned the opportunity to pay $500,000 in legal fees because of similar viewpoint discrimination (www.adfmedia.org/News/PRDetail/4328?).  At issue was discrimination in the allocation of student fees.

Back to the subject matter of the GAP display, I have a question for Mr. Casey: If abortion is such a great idea, why do pictures of it make you so angry?  And how can it be that showing a picture of a dead child is extreme (your word), but killing the child is not?

Our purpose is never to condemn anyone who has had an abortion. If you need healing from a past abortion or help with an unplanned pregnancy, visit www.OptionLine.org. For more information on abortion, www.AbortionNo.org.  For more on freedom of speech, www.theFire.org.

Victory or Death

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich recalls Christmas Day 1776.

This Country was created by people who were willing to say “Victory or Death” while marching in berlap bags [on their feet, instead of shoes] in the middle of a snowstorm.  We are going to have to …

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtjfMjjce2Y

Milton Friedman talks about “greed”

Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman

As true today as it was 30 years ago.

For all you younger people out there, Phil Donahue was a left-wing TV talk show host back in the 1970s and 80s, before the Americans discovered AM talk radio.  Of course, there were no conservative voices on TV.

I recall Donahue often being a much more argumentative sort than is shown in this clip, kind of like a left-wing version of Sean Hannity.  In fact, my disdain for gotcha interview techniques, from either the left or from the Americans, dates back to The Donahue Show.  However, this interview appears to be one of the few times he actually let his conservative guest speak.

Milton Friedman was a great American.

Knoxville’s own superstar!

Einstein

Einstein

Einstein is Knoxville’s own superstar.  Check it out!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbrTOcUnjNY

Thinking Freely at James Madison University

CBR's Jane Bullington poses for Rodin at JMU.

CBR's Jane Bullington poses for Rodin at JMU.

On my way back home from the Rhode Island, I attended last night’s meeting of the James Madison U (JMU) Freethinkers. They were discussing abortion. I arrived early and introduced myself to the President of the group; she was most gracious to welcome me to their meeting.

Result of GAP.  Their selection of this topic was a direct result of our GAP there last week, and it was exactly the kind of discussion we hope to stimulate with our project. Members of the JMU Dukes for Life were in attendance, and they did an excellent job of articulating and defending the pro-life position.

Sound Bytes.  I tried to keep quiet, responding only when a critical point needed to be made. The pro-abortion arguments were just as easily rebutted as ever, but in this kind of large group discussion, you have to speak almost in sound bytes.

A faux pas.  The discussion was respectful, for the most part. There was only one ad hominum attack launched at the meeting, that by a professor who attended. He said it was contemptible (I think that’s the word) of me to mention slavery in the context of an abortion discussion. I responded badly. I should have just addressed his allegation, but I rolled my eyes. (In my defense, I had been working on a response to a Rhode Island professor who had accused us of “hate speech,” whatever that is.)

Fair-minded.  It was a small transgression, but I apologized to the group, anyway. As the discussion went on, this professor revealed himself to be a fair-minded person—he verified the accuracy of our photos—and we shook hands at the end of the meeting. On my way to the car, I had to laugh, because in a room full of college students, the only people who acted out were the adults.

On the road again?  Please support our work. I love going home, but I need to be on the road, winning hearts, changing minds, and saving lives. Click here to send me back out!

Encouraging responses at James Madison University

Jane Bullington winning hearts, changing minds, and saving lives at James Madison University

Jane Bullington winning hearts, changing minds, and saving lives at James Madison University.

“Thank you for being here.”  On the morning of Day 2 at JMU, Mick Hunt read from Ephesians 6, to encourage the team to “put on the full armor of God” in preparation for another day at JMU.  Their discussion was interrupted by a female student who approached the group.

She said, “Thank you for being here. Christians really need to see this. I know this is a spiritual battle.  Can I pray for you?”  Nicole and Jonathan approached her and thanked her for her timely encouragement.  They held hands while she prayed for God’s blessing on our team and for the students who would see images, asking God to move their hearts.

Breast cancer link.  One of our GAP signs presents the connection between abortion and breast cancer.  The hard-core pro-aborts dispute this, but there is plenty of statistical evidence to suggest that abortion increases the probability of breast cancer from the ambient 10% to about 13 or 14% (an increase of 30 or 40 percent).  This is not a trivial increase; it likely results in 10,000 fatalities per year (source).

As two female students looked at the sign depicting this link, Jane began to explain the cellular changes in breast tissue that begin to happen when a woman becomes pregnant.  One of them interrupted, “I am a biology major and I see where you are going with that.  That’s the most convincing argument right there for not having abortions!  You need to be telling women this!”  Jane laughed and said, “We’re doing our very best, please help us!”

You can help us with your gift to sustain this work.  If only 8 people would give $100 per month, we could go back to JMU every single year.  Click here to make it so.

GAP sign depicting causal link between abortion and breast cancer

GAP sign depicting causal link between abortion and breast cancer.

GAP at University of Rhode Island, Day 2

Abortionists profit from human trafficking

"Abortionists profit from human trafficking." This is a reference to recent revelations about Planned Parenthood.

Media.  It was another awesome day.  Unbelievable coverage on the front page of the student newspaper.  You can’t see it online, but they published a whole 2-page spread of photos that included some of our best GAP signs.  On the paper’s website, I noted that this was the first mention of abortion since 2008!  Yikes!

Southern Hospitality, in the North?  We were really struck by how polite everybody at Rhode Island has been, regardless of whether they agree with us or not.  Not sure why.  Perhaps the people of Rhode Island are just naturally polite.  Perhaps Rhode Island promotes a small-state, small-town culture.  Perhaps the presence of 4 police officers put everybody on their best behavior.  Perhaps Rhode Island is so blue (left-wing), they viewed us as more of a curiosity than a threat to their “rights.”

Opportunities.  Regardless of the reasons, we had many, many opportunities to present the pro-life message to students.  We had 10 or 15 staff and volunteers who never stopped handing out pro-life literature and speaking with students all day long.

Calm down?  The pro-abortion protesters gathered, but were relatively quiet.  Still, I overheard one student complain as she walked between their group and our display.  She said, “Why can’t both sides just calm down?!”  I had to laugh as I thought, “This is as calm as it gets!”

Don’t forget us!  As usually happens, some Jewish people complain because we compare abortion to the Holocaust.  On the other hand, a Ukrainian employee of the University approached me and suggested we add the Ukrainian genocide to our display.  A few years ago, a gentleman who was interested in the history of Native American oppression actually praised our inclusion of the Wounded Knee massacre.  Go figure.

More to come?  We’ll do more of this, but only if you help.  If only 8 people give $100 per month, we can add another major university to our schedule every year.  Perhaps you can’t give $100, but you can give something.  The best way to maintain the status quo is to do nothing.  Please do something.

Silent No More at University of Rhode Island

Silent No More at the University of Rhode Island

Silent No More at the University of Rhode Island: "I regret my abortion; Please ask me about it."

At the University of Rhode Island (URI) yesterday, 4 women and 1 man wore t-shirts identifiying themselves as “Silent No More” (SNM).  This outreach has a powerful effect on students.

URI student “Adam” asked if most abortions are performed very early in pregnancy.  GAP/SNM volunteer Hannah explained that she didn’t even know she was pregnant until late in the first trimester.

Nicole added that after being raped and convinced by her pastor to abort, she called an abortion clinic.  “When I called, I was at 3-1/2 weeks.  The clinic told me to wait until 6 weeks because it would be safer for me.  What they didn’t tell me was that in 3 more weeks, my baby would have arms and legs.  What made the abortion ‘safe’ was their ability to count body parts.  When I learned this after the abortion, I was devastated.”

Adam winced as Nicole told her story and took our literature to read more about the genocide comparison.  He also returned later in the day to talk to Hannah further.

The most dramatic witness came later in the afternoon from another rape victim who taped the words “RAPE VICTIM, PRO LIFE” on a black shirt, stood defiantly in front of the abortion pictures, and faced the protestors across the street.  They gaped at her, and half of them immediately abandoned their protest.

Marie was a stunning witness for life at URI

A dramatic witness for life at URI.

Reaching Christian students at James Madison University

Bubba Gene Garrett explains prenatal development to a student at James Madison University

Bubba Gene Garrett explains prenatal development to a student at James Madison University.

Where can Christians learn the message not to kill their own children?

Not at church, apparently.  That’s why 1 in 5 women who have abortions identify themselves as “born again” or “evangelical” Christians.

The secular campus is a great place to reach these good people with the truth that the pro-life church is covering up.  This was also true at James Madison University.

Joe had recently become a Christian, but had never considered abortion in any form or fashion.  He spoke with CBR GAPper Bubba Garrett.

As they looked over the pictures and discussed the implications of abortion in terms of the genocide comparison, his heart was deeply moved.  Bubba helped him to understand that authentic Christianity must include protecting the helpless from systematic slaughter (Proverbs 24:11-12).

Joe asked Bubba to pray with him that more Christians would get involved in stopping abortion.  Afterwards, he told him that his spiritual mentor was nearby and also needed to learn about abortion.  As a result both young men experienced a change of heart concerning the consequences of abortion and a newfound determination to do something about it.

Pro Life Training Academy in Kingston, Rhode Island

CBR Maine Director Leslie Sneddon opens the PLTA at the University of Rhode Island

CBR Maine Director Leslie Sneddon opens the PLTA at the University of Rhode Island. More than 25 people participated in this training program.

The Pro Life Training Academy (PLTA) trains you to articulate and respectfully defend the pro-life position.  Today, we were at the University of Rhode Island (URI).  Tomorrow and Tuesday, we’ll display our Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) at URI, Lord willing.

Featured PLTA speaker was Jay Watts, the VP of Communications at the Life Training Institute (LTI).  As a former pro-choice atheist, Jay is uniquely prepared to show you how to deal with people like … well … his former self.

Let us know when you want to bring the PLTA to your city!

Pro Life On Campus at James Madison University

Jonathan Darnel speaks with students at James Madison University

Jonathan Darnel speaks with students at James Madison University,

We just wrapped up our Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) at James Madison University (JMU).  Story here.  All the usual responses from pro-aborts.  They were angrier at us for showing the pictures of dead children than at the abortion doctors for killing the children.  About 20 of them showed up to protest on each day.

The JMU pro-life student club did not sponsor our presence on campus and pretty much kept their distance.   Observing the pro-aborts rally against us, one JMU pro-lifer wrote, “This response is one of the main reasons we decided not to sponsor [GAP] in the first place.  They seem to be missing the argument against abortion entirely.”

But consider the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who wrote:

Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being “disturbers of the peace” and “outside agitators.” But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were “a colony of heaven,” called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God intoxicated to be “astronomically intimidated.” By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests.

Slave-trade advocates didn’t like Thomas Clarkson, abusive child labor advocates didn’t like Lewis Hine, and segregationists didn’t like Martin Luther King, Jr.

It is true that hard-core pro-aborts missed our arguments against abortion, but they are going to miss every argument against abortion.  They are committed zealots.  That’s not our audience.  We are trying to reach those who are still open-minded and who still have functioning consciences. 

Many students were combative when they first approached one of our party.  But once they realized that we were not going to respond in kind, many of them were willing to engage in civil discourse.  Several students said they very much appreciated our presence.  Many were obviously disturbed by the photos, which is a first necessary step toward change.

Members of the Catholic campus ministry stopped by to talk, including their dog Trinity.  Trinity is a beautiful Labrador Retriever who was born with only three legs.  Despite her disability, however, it was obvious that she enjoys her life very much and does not at all consider herself to be sub-canine!

Several good stories to follow, including changed hearts and minds.

Radford Democrat: Facts about abortion are disrespectful, shouldn’t be seen.

Many, many students at Radford were NOT closed-minded; Virginia Director Nicole Cooley speaks with two of them.

Many, many students at Radford were NOT closed-minded; Virginia Director Nicole Cooley speaks with two of them.

The President of Radford University’s Young Democrats took exception to the presentation of abortion pictures on his campus.  Of course, he agrees with us that abortion is ugly, disgusting, distasteful, etc.  But he believes abortion is perfectly acceptable to do, even though it’s too horrifying to see.  You can read his letter here.

Here is my online response:

Fletcher Armstrong here. I am the Southeast Director of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, the human rights advocacy group that brought the Genocide Awareness Group (GAP) to Radford University.

I am heartened to see that you agree with us on the most important aspect of our display. You describe abortion pictures as ugly, disgusting, distasteful, etc. Those are your words and we agree. Abortion is all of those and more. But here is a fundamental question: How can pictures of abortion be too horrific to see, but the act of abortion is OK to do? Please explain that to all of us; we can’t wait to hear your explanation.

I should perhaps clarify for you what we were doing on the Radford campus. You refer to it as a “protest.” Not really. We were merely showing you the violence that you advocate. The Democratic party has for many years advocated that rights of personhood be denied to preborn human beings.

You say that our display was “hate-filled.” You should know that name-calling and ad hominem attacks are no substitutes for reasoned arguments.

You say that Radford University was a “victim” of the pictures, and that we were insulting and disrespectful to show them. Please explain how it is that Radford is more of a victim by seeing pictures of abortion than are the children who are being killed by the act of abortion. Who is more disrespected, the born person who is being confronted with a picture of abortion, or a preborn child who is being killed by the act of abortion?

You ask for dialogue, understanding, and a willingness to respect differing viewpoints. I have to wonder where you were hiding while we were on your campus. For two full days, I observed people on both sides of the abortion debate engaged in civil discourse all around the GAP display.

It is clear that you did not want us to be on the public spaces outside the Student Center. You wanted us to choose another time and place, presumably a location that you and other abortion advocates can avoid. In that regard, you are like those who wanted Dr. Martin Luther King to confine his activities to the Black church. They didn’t mind if he spoke about racism, but he should speak about it only in the Black church, among people who cared about racism. They didn’t want to be bothered with it. But Dr. King knew that in order to effect change, it was necessary to expose evil and thus make people uncomfortable with the status quo. He intended to bother them as much as he could.

Your letter suggests that abortion pictures bother you plenty. Congratulations, you still have a functioning conscience. Prepare to see these pictures over and over again, because we won’t stop showing pictures of abortion until the killing stops.

You say that “less controversial slogans could have been chanted.” I can assure you that we have no interest in chanting slogans. But please tell me, why is saving babies so controversial, and killing them is not?

You say that we should have found less troublesome ways of “adequately express[ing]” our views. Please let me clarify one point. Our views about abortion are really of little importance. What is much more important are the facts about abortion. The photos of abortion demonstrate for all to see that the preborn child is really a baby, even in the first trimester, and abortion is an act of violence. It is these facts about abortion that will lead many people to change their views, and that is much more important than us simply expressing our own views.

Regarding the First Amendment, you are correct that Radford University fully respected the First Amendment rights of the College Republicans. But it would be incorrect to say that Radford understands the First Amendment “better than a majority of other institutions of higher education.” We have displayed this project nearly 200 times at more than 50 public universities around the country. Only 2 universities resisted, both were sued, and both were forced to back down.

Liberty University is a unique case because they are a private university, and the students give up some of their expressive rights by attending a private school. It is true that the Liberty administration did not allow us to set up on campus. The students invited us and the administration cancelled our visit. CBR comes in many different sizes and shapes. There’s the 5-minute version, the 2-day version, and the “we-never-quit-coming” version. Liberty has chosen the “we-never-quit-coming” version, which is their prerogative.

If you really seek dialogue and differing viewpoints, may I suggest a debate on your campus?

For those of you who did not see the display, may I suggest you visit http://www.AbortionNo.org.

By the way, I will retract everything I have said and abandon my pro-life postion if you can provide compelling scientific and philosophic evidence to show that the preborn child is not human.  I look forward to hearing that evidence.