Archive for October, 2012
A 20-something male student approached the Deeper Still table at the U of Tennessee. He was ready to share his story. His girlfriend “at the time” — few relationships survive abortion — decided to abort their child against his wishes. He offered to support her and the baby fully, but she would not be deterred.
The abortion, the loss of his child, had wounded his heart profoundly. He took some information on Deeper Still and said he would share it with the mother of his aborted child. Let us pray for this young couple … that they find healing and forgiveness in our Messiah Jesus.
Denial is the biggest obstacle to healing men and women from abortion. Until people can understand the sin, they can never repent and heal from it. Overcoming denial is the first step. That is why we are so blessed to be partnering with the good people from the Deeper Still post-abortion healing ministry in our on-campus outreaches.
As an example of how this works, please read Judy Townsend’s story. She saw our photos at a GAP in downtown Knoxville. Deeper Still was also working nearby, offering hope and healing to any and all who would ask for help.
Julie Borowski parody of Lena Dunham ad for Barack Obama (Your First Time). It would be more funny if the truth it exposes weren’t so creepy.
Another baby saved. A 30-something father of 3 children spoke with CBR staffer Jane Bullington about his 3rd child, yet to be born. “We had been thinking about [abortion], but I didn’t know it was like this,” he said, “I know we can’t do this.”
GAP at the University of Tennessee always allows us to win the hearts of men and women like this one, saving their children and also their familes. He is not evil as much as he is ignorant. Or should we say, “as much as he was ignorant,” before we showed him the truth.
Thanks to all who support our work and help save babies and families like this one.
Confused Christians. We always encounter Christians who believe showing abortion pictures is too extreme. It never occurs to them that the complacency among Christians is the real extremism. The good news is that some are willing to learn. One such student said, “I think you should take the pictures down and just talk to folks.” But we were able to speak with this young man about the need to pierce through denial, the recognition of sin, forgiveness, healing, and repentance (changed behavior). After hearing more, he finally admitted, “I hate the pictures, but you have a valid point.” “”
Another was not so open-minded. She wrote “Micah 6:8” on a huge piece of cardboard, and used it to shield the pictures from passersby who requested the “service.” Micah 6:8 says “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Not sure what she thought is just about baby-killing, or what is merciful about complacency, or what is humble about disobeying God’s commend to hold back those headed to slaughter (Proverbs 24:11-12).
CBR intern Seth Gruber is now officially our new hero at FAB.
For 3 years, Seth had petitioned to bring the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) to Westmont College a “Christian” college in Santa Barbara, California, where he is a student. For 3 years, they said “No.”
Finally, Seth took matters into his own hands and brought some hand-held abortion photos to campus and put them on display. He and fellow pro-lifers Todd Bullis and Timothy Eaton took a position right outside the dining hall.
Two college officials tried to shut them down. They were successful in throwing Todd and Timothy off campus, but not Seth, because he is a student. Here is video of one student whose heart was converted when seeing the graphic photos and part of the exchange with the college officials:
Here is a link to Seth’s account of the experience. Stay tuned for more updates.
For more on God’s admonition to Christians regarding abortion, see my letter to Liberty University’s Dr. Jerry Falwell.
Fascinating interview with Camille Paglia, Professor of Arts and Media Studies at the University of Arts in Philadelphia. (Link also here; you may have to register and login, but it’s worth the trouble.)
A true maverick with something to offend everyone, Paglia has been described as “a writer in a category of her own … a feminist who hates affirmative action; an atheist who respects religion” and “a Democrat who thinks her party doesn’t get it.”
Camille Paglia on education (particularly art education):
[Because of sneering liberalism], students are emerging from our schools mal-educated.
On the loss of art education programs in schools:
American school children losing their art programs are paying the price for the art world’s delusional sense of entitlement.
Camille Paglia on ObamaCare:
Of course we need health care reform in this country. What a mess! Everyone agrees about that. But ObamaCare is, to me, a Stalinist intrusion into American culture. …
I don’t understand how any veteran of the 1960s who’s a Democrat could not see the dangers here, that Obama is a statist. It’s exactly what Bob Dylan was warning about in Subterranean Homesick Blues.
You don’t want government agencies being empowered to intrude into people’s lives like this. The controlling force in ObamaCare is the IRS! This flies in the face of what the Free Speech Movement was about at Berkeley or about any of the values of my generation.
On the Democratic Party:
I don’t see progressives. All I see is white upper-middle-class liberals who speak in this unctuous way about the needs of the poor. They have no connection whatever with the working class. It’s the professional class gone amok. And that’s why they don’t notice what a bureaucratic nightmare ObamaCare is.
Entire interview: http://www.pjtv.com/s/GEYDSNZS
FAB is coming to you today from Macon, Georgia, where CBR is co-sponsoring a pro-life student leadership training conference. Pro-life students have come from all over Georgia and Alabama for a day of leadership training and networking. I’m here with Lincoln Brandenburg, our new project director in Georgia.
As one of the speakers for this conference, your humble correspondent addressed the students on the history of social reform and how that history can guide us as pro-lifers. We are not the first social reform movement, and we can learn a great deal from successful reformers like William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson, the abolitionists in America, Lewis Hine, and Dr. Martin Luther King.
I’ll be participating in a round-table later today.
Thank you for making it possible for CBR to sponor this conference. You are training the next pro-life generation. Help us do more of this: click here.
On September 18, 2012, District Judge Stephen Nicholls (Brighton, UK Magistrate’s Court) issued a strong defense of CBR’s speech rights in the landmark criminal prosecution of CBR-UK director Andrew Stephenson and his assistant Kathryn Sloane. Both activists were acquitted of charges related to three alleged violations of Section 5(b) of the Public Order Act (POA), for displaying graphic abortion images outside abortion clinics. More here.
We had forced their arrest to set up a test case in which to establish the right to expose the horror of abortion. The judge explained that he “had not been persuaded” that our signs were “threatening, abusive, or insulting,” as required for convictions under Section 5(b). Abort67 is the abortion photo display project of CBR-UK and the case could have implications for expressive rights across Europe. In the remarks below, our British attorneys and Andrew and Kathryn comment on the role played by CBR Executive Director Gregg Cunningham:
Solicitor Michael Phillips, lead defense counsel in the Stephenson/Sloane case:
Gregg’s assistance in the trial of Andy Stephenson and Kathryn Sloane was absolutely invaluable. This was only the second prosecution (that we are aware of) in the UK against people holding graphic images of abortion. This was virgin territory for all those involved, including the court. When in the midst of a case and focusing on the details of law and procedure, it is easy to lose sight of the woods through the trees. This was the benefit of having Gregg; he was able to bring clear insight to the Public Order Act, which helped the defense to construct a clear and cogent defense theory. This was used throughout the trial and helped to secure Andy’s acquittal (Kathryn was acquitted at the end of the crown’s case) before any other defense witnesses were called (including Gregg) and before closing speeches! This was a highly unusual move that was in part due to our defense theory.
The acquittal received was on the best possible basis: That the images were not abusive or insulting (this being the first part of the public order offence test), the question of intention etc. therefore did not need to be considered. Therefore Andy and Kathryn could walk out of the court with their heads held high without a spot on their records, free to continue their good work.
Barrister Paul Diamond, defence co-counsel in the Stephenson/Sloane case:
I want to personally thank Gregg for coming to the UK to be a witness in the trial of Andrew Stephenson and Katherine Sloane at Brighton Magistrates Court. Additionally, I want to thank Gregg on behalf of Christian Concern.
I want Gregg to know that it was vitally important that he attended at court and I may have need of his services again. His presence, wealth of knowledge, historical understanding enabled both Mike and me to fully comprehend the case. I found the interaction between the First Amendment and our limited free speech laws fascinating and informative. As I kept telling Gregg, he would be an asset to the British bar with both his knowledge of the subject and the eloquence by which he expressed himself (eloquence that I shamelessly appropriated in my submissions to the Court!)
I was re-assured by his presence; and I doubt the case would have been thrown out without his input. I am sure we will work together again and many thanks.
Andrew Stephenson, CBR-UK director:
It is fair to say that without Gregg’s involvement in this defense, we most likely would not have heard the judge throw out the case yesterday in Brighton. Gregg has been the architect of the work we do here in the UK and he has been closely involved in adapting it to current UK legislation, which gave us such a strong case. He has ensured that the issue in the public mind and media is focused on what abortion does to an innocent and defenseless unborn child.
Gregg’s presence here for the court case has not only given Kathryn and me confidence that wouldn’t naturally occur given the circumstances, he has guided the process by which we have won this case against injustice. Gregg has a unique way of looking at a problem and turning it on its head. Our very excellent English lawyers have appreciated the direction that Gregg’s wealth of experience has brought.
His ability to put our current situation within the historical context of extinguished injustice has excited everyone and given focus for the future.
Kathryn Sloane, CBR-UK staff:
Since our struggles with the police started years ago, not only in Worthing but Brighton and London too, Gregg’s advice has been the key to developing a strategy to overcome the restriction to freedom of speech we experienced.
If anyone else had suggested we travel the criminal route in court to fight for our right to expose abortion, I would have been extremely cautious, but Gregg’s wealth of legal experience instilled confidence in our display team to question the police in their attempts to silence us (and rightly so it would appear). This strategy has been most fruitful in exposing inadequacies in our police force as well as effectively exposing abortion to the nation through the media coverage that has so easily come our way following the arrests.
It has been clear during these days in court that Gregg’s advice, planning and tactics for the trial, shared with the legal team in every lunch break and recess, has shaped the arguments brought in each session. Gregg’s insight concerning the objective first part of section 5(b) of the POA, and subjective second part of the test, changed the face of the case and wrote off the evidence brought by the prosecution entirely. A stroke of genius!
We would have seen a very different result this week if Gregg hadn’t been here (and I didn’t quite fancy going back into hand cuffs), so thank him for his wisdom. In fact, these displays may well have been halted long ago if Gregg had not created this long term strategy we are now seeing come to fruition. It is already changing the way we save babies as we sat in our team meeting today listing all the new places we could display and all the new banners we could print now we have the freedom to do so. This is because abort67 have been blessed by Gregg’s presence here with us during this trial. Thank him for his dedication to this case and to our work. He made it all possible.
John & Pam Rodger, CBR-UK staff:
After meeting with Gregg Cunningham the other day, Pam and I were encouraged more than ever to press on with this great work, and realised that it really is the images that do the work to expose the truth outside these abortion factories. The recent victory in the court case in Brighton of Andy and Kathryn, with incredible help from Christian Concern and Gregg Cunningham, should also encourage us to push on, and to not be intimidated by the police.
CBR has deployed three Key States Initiative (KSI) truck teams to Ohio, to make sure abortion is part of the political debate in that key state. Lord willing, they will operate in northern Ohio until Election Day. More about KSI here. Media coverage here.
Here is an encouraging word from Tom Herring, one of our volunteer drivers:
Driving a CBR truck was one of the most fulfilling pro-life activities I’ve ever done. … The likelihood of those teens [who saw the trucks] choosing abortion, or choosing abortion advocates to represent them in government, has been radically diminished.
We desperately need drivers in Ohio. We’ll get you there, we’ll house you, and we’ll feed you. No special license required. We’ll train you to drive! You must be at least 21 years old and have a good driving record. Please join our tream. Contact Leslie Sneddon Call 207-607-3488 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you can’t go to Ohio yourself, would you send us a tank of truck fuel ($350)? Because of our matching donor, your gift will double as soon as you confirm the online gift! That’s two tanks of fuel for the price of one! Who else will give you that deal today? Please give now. Then e-mail us at Fletcher@ProLifeOnCampus.com to confirm the match. Thanks so much!
This op-ed piece in the Wisconsin Daily Cardinal was one of the most striking endorsements of our Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) that I have ever seen. In one of the ensuing comments, Milgo Robbins repeated many of the common objections to GAP: GAP stimulates emotion, not reason; GAP polarizes the debate; abortion is tragic; women face dire consequences; and, of course, abortion is not genocide.
Here’s my response:
Dear Mr./Ms. Robbins (sorry, I don’t know if it’s Mr. or Ms.),
Thank you for your thoughtful comments.
Yes, you are correct that it’s important to build consensus, but it’s impossible to build a meaningful consensus when so many people are confused about basic facts. Most people have no idea who the unborn child is nor what abortion is and does. It’s our job to prove that the unborn child is a baby and abortion is an act of violence, because nobody else will.
Once we have built a consensus about the facts of abortion, then and only then is it possible to have an intelligent discussion about the morality of abortion. People who deny basic facts about the humanity of preborn children and the brutality of abortion cannot come to a rational consensus about the morality of abortion. To have a rational discussion of abortion with people who deny the facts is like discussing our solar system with members of the Flat Earth Society; it can’t be done.
Some may object to images of abortion because they believe the pictures 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 theses 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.” (Source: Naomi Wolf, “Our Bodies, Our Souls,” The New Republic, October 14, 1995, p. 32)
Yes, people who wish to ignore or trivialize injustice don’t want reformers to show pictures, because pictures make people uncomfortable with the status quo. About 100 years ago, Lewis Hine displayed pictures of children working in coal mines and textile mills. He wrote in his memoirs that people would look at his pictures and get more angry at him for showing the pictures than at the industrial bosses for abusing the children. About 50 years ago, people looked at pictures of Black men and women getting attacked with dogs and water cannons and got angry at Martin Luther King, Jr. for leading the marches. Dr. King knew, however, that people had to be made uncomfortable with the status quo; otherwise, there would be no pressure for change. He said he didn’t care what people thought about him; he cared what they thought about injustice. We stand with him.
As regards the “tragedy” of abortion, people who advocate the status quo are quick to say that abortion is tragic. But what could possibly be tragic about it? If each abortion is tragic because it kills a human person, then how does it make sense to commit this tragic act more than 1 million times a year. If someone thinks the status quo is OK, then how tragic does he really think it is? On the other hand, if each abortion does not kill a human person, then how can we say that it is tragic?
With regard to the mother considering abortion, what does it say about our society that so many people are lying to her and withholding critical information from her, information she needs to make an informed decision? Of course, the abortion industry is hiding the truth of abortion. But so is the government, the national media, the entertainment industry, and even the “pro-life” church. This woman often faces enormous pressure to abort, and sometimes even faces threats of abandonment (or worse) by irresponsible or predatory males who should be supporting her. Some “choice.” Maybe if more people understood the reality of abortion, they would be more likely to help her in her crisis pregnancy, instead of just pushing her to abort.
As regards the dire circumstances that women face when considering abortion, how can circumstances (other than an imminent threat to the life of the mother) justify killing another human person? I can tell you that a plantation owner in the deep South would face dire circumstances if he were to free all of his slaves and have to pay workers’ wages to pick his cotton. But did his circumstances justify slavery?
We never condemn anyone who disagrees with us or has participated in abortions in the past. In fact, many people who work in the pro-life movement, including our Virginia Director, have had abortions they now regret. We don’t condemn people who have participated in abortion, any more than we condemn slave-owners George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. These were great men who made a grave error about a serious issue. We do, however, condemn slavery and abortion, because these practices unjustly steal the lives of innocent human beings.
Regarding our use of the term genocide, we agree that abortion is not genocide . . . IF. If preborn children are not living human beings, then abortion does not kill humans and there is no relevant similarity between abortion and genocide. But if preborn children are living human beings—science tells us they are alive and human—then abortion kills 1.2 million humans every year in the U.S. If not genocide, what else would we call it?
UN Resolution 96, adopted in 1946, defined genocide as “a denial of the right of existence of entire human groups, as homicide is the denial of the right to live of individual human beings . . . ” Resolution 96 goes on to say genocide is a crime “whether committed on religious, racial, political or any other grounds . . . ” (emphasis added). With abortion, the “entire human group” being denied the right of existence is unwanted, preborn children.
But more important than the UN definition of genocide are the conceptual similarities between abortion and other forms of mass killing. For example, in every case of genocide we present, personhood was redefined by those in power in terms that excluded the intended victim class. The Dred Scott decision of 1857 denied personhood to African American slaves. The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 denied personhood to Jews. The Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 denied personhood to unborn children.
Common to almost all forms of genocide is the depiction of the victim class as subhuman. Nazis referred to their victims as rats, pigs, vermin, and “untermensch” (German for “subhuman”). We all know the language used to dehumanize the Black slave. What of the preborn child? If it’s a wanted preborn child, we call it a “baby.” But if it’s an unwanted preborn child, it’s never a baby; it’s a parasite, blob of tissue, mass of cells, potential life, etc.
As with abortion, genocide is often framed in the language of “choice.” When Stephen Douglas debated Abraham Lincoln over the issue of slavery in 1858, he said that although he was personally opposed to slavery, the southern states should have the right to choose whether to be slave states or free states. That sounds reasonable, unless you are a slave.
By the way, we did not invent the comparison of abortion to genocide. Martin Luther King compared racial injustice to the Holocaust. Later, using the same rationale that we use, Rev. Jesse Jackson extended the comparison to abortion: “That is why . . . whites further dehumanized us by calling us ‘n*****s.’ It was part of the dehumanizing process. The first step was to distort the image of us as human beings in order to justify that which they wanted to do and not even feel like they had done anything wrong. Those advocates of taking life prior to birth do not call it killing or murder, they call it abortion. They further never talk about aborting a baby because that would imply something human. Rather they talk about aborting the fetus. Fetus sounds less than human and therefore abortion can be justified.”
Others who compare abortion to the Holocaust include Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Yehuda Levin of Brooklyn: “Each form of genocide, whether Holocaust, lynching, abortion, etc., differs from all the others in the motives and methods of its perpetrators. But each form of genocide is identical to all the others in that it involves the systematic slaughter, as state-sanctioned ‘choice,’ of innocent, defenseless victims – while denying their ‘personhood.’”
In your rebuttal to our assertion that abortion is genocide, you mentioned the fact that the mother was of the same ethnicity as the child. True, but consider the Cambodian genocide. In that case, Cambodians were killing other Cambodians. UN Resolution 96 says genocide is killing any group of people, whether the group is chosen based on “religious, racial, political or any other grounds . . . ” (emphasis added). Ethnicity is often a factor in genocide, but not always.
Our purpose is never to condemn anyone who has had an abortion. Our purpose is to clarify the confusion so that people can make better decisions in the future, both individually and collectively. If any reader needs healing from an abortion in his/her past or help with an unplanned pregnancy, check out the resources listed here: www.prolifeoncampus.com/crisis-pregnancy-help.
Peace to you as well,
October 11 marked the first International Day of the Girl Child, as recognized by the UN General Assembly. To coincide with this event, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers (WRWF) has launched its “Save a Girl” campaign to end gendercide in China. More here.
CBR staged a real coup last week by “truthing” both Presidential candidates, Pres. Obama in Wisconsin and Gov. Romney in Virginia!
In Madison, Wisconsin, Pres. Barack Obama’s motorcade passed within 30 feet of one of our abortion billboard trucks in Madison, Wisconsin (photo at right). The driver was our super volunteer Jim Davis. Both before and after Pres. Obama’s rally, thousands of Obama supporters were forced to walk past our enormous GAP display. We immediately seized the opportunity and flanked the corridor with handheld “Choice” signs, which we held aloft on both sides of the walkway leading past the GAP display. Story here. They were furious at us for raining on their parade.
At almost the same hour on the same day, another abortion billboard truck, driven by CBR super volunteer Bubba Gene Garrett, was parked along the access route to a campaign rally for Gov. Mitt Romney and Cong. Paul Ryan in Fishersville, VA (photo below). Thousands of Romney/Ryan supporters passed this truck. In fact, so did the Romney/Ryan motorcade. Cong. Ryan had his window open, waving and gaping at the abortion photos on the truck.
Thank you for supporting our work. Your gifts make it possible to reach our culture with live-saving truth. Please pray for our nation. And please keep on giving, because the more you give, the more people we can reach. People who need to know.
At the U of Wisconsin, one of the campus papers gave us the most stunning endorsement of GAP I have ever read. There were three articles written about GAP:
- Badger Herald: Pro-life protests fill Library Mall
- Wisconsin Reporter: Candidates avoiding ‘A’ word in presidential campaign
- Daily Cardinal: Abortion protests gut check passers-by with abrasive displays
Excerpts from the Daily Cardinal op-ed, written by Noah Phillips:
My reaction—and many of my friends’ reactions—was very visceral and very rudely rooted in the body. There were tears and vomit. I myself shook, grimaced and avoided Library Mall almost subconsciously for days. …
[Comparing CBR to environmental activists:] The critical difference is that the GAP will not tolerate our apathy. … If you cried or vomited, their tactic worked because they reached you. They didn’t persuade you, they didn’t please you, but they reached you. They think that abortion is revolting, vile and obscene, and for a minute they made your stomach curl too.
It’s a dangerous tactic because of its efficacy. …
[If you are an activist concerned about injustice:] No doubt you know what it is to be made aware of something, something you find horrifying and egregious. Something to which people walking down the street are oblivious. You want them all to know what you know. You resent that they don’t feel the way you feel. You want them to feel it in their guts, to strike them dumb, to shake their souls. In short, you cannot convey the enormity of your awareness. And so, whatever your perspective on the Genocide Awareness Project, the Center for Bioethical Reform or abortion, I want you to appreciate what it takes to reach someone so viscerally.
Wow. This guy obviously has a functioning conscience, so we have hope for him!
Yes, we want to make injustice impossible to ignore. We show pictures of abortion because abortion is everything Mr. Phillips claims: disgusting, shocking, and grisly, Pictures of abortion are shocking because abortion is an act of violence that kills a baby. The abortion industry, aided by much of the culture, is trying to cover up that fact, just as other purveyors of injustice have tried to cover up their evil deeds. We are committed to exposing injustice, so that people can see it for themselves.
Mr. Phillips says that we are dangerous, becasue we are effective! We absolutely reject violence, of course, but I suppose we are a threat to business as usual. Perhaps we are a threat in the same way that abolitionists were a threat to the slave trade, Lewis Hine was a threat to abusive child labor, and Martin Luther King, Jr. was a threat to segregation.
As it turns out, President Obama decided to hold a campaign event near the GAP display. We reached thousands of political activists on their way to and from the campaign assembly!
You are currently browsing the Fletcher's Blog blog archives for October, 2012.