Archive for February, 2014
This article from Mick Hunt, on location with the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) in Florida
Genocide Awareness Project 2014 Kicks Off in Florida
by Mick Hunt
Greetings from the only state in the union that didn’t receive snow last Wednesday … Florida. We have brought the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) to Florida for two weeks. The Canadian CBR (CCBR) brought a team of perhaps 30 young people from all over Canada, from Vancouver in the west to Ontario in the east. CBR is providing the GAP kit and truck, plus three of us older gentleman to help set up the display. I’m here with my wife Edie; my specific duty is to make sure all operations are safe.
This week we’ve been one day on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University, way down in the southwest, near Fort Myers. Then we spent two days on the opposite corner at North Florida University. Next week it will be Florida State and Central Florida University. Edie and I are leaving and Lincoln Brandenburg, CBR Project Coordinator for Georgia, will be taking my place for next week.
I’ve been involved in GAP for 10 years on perhaps 50 campuses. Only one of those GAPs approached the kind of personal outreach I’ve seen this week with the group from Canada. In Oklahoma, we had about 100 people come to our training session at a sponsoring church. Then during GAP most of those people came to the display. At any point you could see 50 different conversations going on at any time. It was amazing. GAP this week has been like that on a smaller scale, but with great effectiveness. The CCBR young people are well trained in prolife apologetics. They are outgoing, and many of them have considerable experience in one-on-one debate/conversation. I must say that it is encouraging to me to see young people involved on this level, some of them high school students. The average age on the CCBR team is 23 years, which suggests that even their leaders are young. Stephanie Grey, the Executive Director is only 33. They are zealous and compassionate … both. One of the leaders, Jonathan, told me that they are well aware of the importance of learning from us who have been around for awhile longer. CCBR, I hope, reflects the future of the pro-life movement.
Youth and openness to wisdom are strengths, and their experience comes from going out to high schools on a weekly basis and talking with students on their lunch breaks. You can see this in how they handle themselves. The arguments and style have been honed by many 60-second conversations. I’ve seen this so much this week. Jonathan told me that they have notebooks full of testimonies about how people have become more pro-life on abortion. I hope to be able to share some of those with you in the next few days.
But for now, we have a long drive ahead back home to snowy North Carolina today.
This report was filed by FAB correspondent Maggie Egger, Virginia Project Director, Center for Bio-Ethical Reform.
The Circle of Life at GMU
by Maggie Egger
CBR Project Director
Last week, George Mason University Students for Life held their first Choice Chain of the semester. I joined five Mason students to form a circle with our signs in front of the student center. We were seen from every angle; no one could miss us.
Soon after we got in to position, there was a class change. In the swarm of people, a young man briefly paused and said,
“I’ve seen you guys out here before. You’ve really changed my mind about abortion. Thank you.”
A little later I spoke to a young man who claimed, among other things, that the preborn are not people and don’t have human rights. I asked him “Why?”
He said because they are not alive. After we went through all the scientific evidence supporting the fact that they are indeed alive, he claimed that they aren’t human.
I asked him “What are their parents?” He looked confused.
“What species do this embryo’s parents belong to?” I asked while pointing to my sign.
“They’re human, of course.”
“Okay, then all their offspring are human, right? Humans can’t reproduce non-humans, can they?”
“Well, no they can’t.” I could see the wheels start to turn in his head. I waited a moment and then asked very calmly, “So, if the preborn are alive and human, why aren’t they people with human rights, too?”
He opened his mouth to answer, and then stopped himself. He paused for a moment, still digesting all that we had just discussed. Staring at my sign, again he started to speak, but couldn’t find any answer. Then he said “I’m sorry, I’m gonna be late to class” and abruptly left.
I know he continued to think about it. Maybe next time he will say, as one did earlier in the day,
“I’ve seen you guys out here before. You’ve really changed my mind about abortion. Thank you.”
Until now, we in Tennessee have always believed that the best two things ever to come out of Alabama were (1) Dreamland Ribs and (2) I-59.* But now you can add a third item to that list: Bama Students for Life (BSFL).
BSFL was recently awarded the Students for Life of America (SFLA) Student Group of the Year. Perhaps their biggest project of the year was to host the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) last Spring. The privilege of working with such a committed, intelligent group of young people was truly a gift from God. BSFL’s media work was the best we have ever seen, and we learned quite a lot, just by watching them.
[We have noted that many of the student groups recognized by SFLA have hosted GAP or some other graphic image display. We wonder if there is any connection? But anyway …]
BSFL has created another firestorm on campus, this one making national news! They went up against the University of Alabama (UA) … and they won! Earlier this month, a UA official removed the BSFL’s pro-life display from a hallway display case after a few students claimed it was offensive.
What was offensive, you say? Abortion photos from CBR.
But now FAB has learned that UA has apologized for removing the display and will allow BSFL to set up their display once again. Praise the Lord for courageous young people!
Here is BSFL’s Claire Chretien on Fox News:
Here is Claire confronting the UA official who removed the display:
*NOTE: FAB has learned that another famous invention originated in Alabama. We’re not sure exactly when or where the toothbrush was invented, but it had to come from Alabama because if it were invented anywhere else, it would have been called a “teethbrush.”
The best way to protest abortion is to let abortion protest itself. CBR’s Gregg Cunningham:
We don’t protest abortion. We expose abortion. Abortion protests itself.
It was certainly true at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) yesterday. Link to TV news coverage/video here. Quote:
The images are so graphic and disturbing some students left school for the day.
Wow. They really can’t handle the truth. But if abortion is such a great thing for women and for society and even for children, why do pictures of it make people so upset?
Interesting student comments:
- Kaley Dietrich: “It makes you feel uncomfortable. It makes you not feel safe on campus.” [FAB: Dietrich feels uncomfortable because she has a functioning conscience. She feels “not safe” because she can’t handle the truth and wants it to go away.]
- Mike Malat: “It’s pretty disruptive … to have these big things shoved in your face all the time. I mean you’re hear to learn objectively on what you want to learn.” [FAB: Malat thinks that truth is disruptive. He’s right; truth disrupts lying. Note how effective the pictures are. We go to FGCU every year or two, but in Malat’s mind, it’s “all the time.”]
- Kaley Dietrich: “Were not trying to limit their free speech, … But we do want students to be able to choose whether they see these images or not.” [FAB: In other words, Dietrich wants to choose which images get seen and which do not.]
The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR), Southeast Region Operations, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ruby Nicdao as our newest Project Director in Virginia.
Ruby started pro-life activism as an engineering student at the University of Florida, when she was invited by a friend to pray near a local abortion mill. Soon, she was counseling women on the sidewalk. After graduating, Ruby continued sidewalk counseling on Saturdays while working full-time as an electronics engineer for the Department of Defense.
Ruby moved to Northern Virginia to study theology at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College and worked as a systems engineer on missile defense systems. She told FAB
It’s ironic that while our country spends billions to protect our people from ballistic missile attacks, millions of children are unjustly killed in the womb, under the radar.
Beginning in 2009, Ruby led 40 Days for Life campaigns at NOVA Women’s Healthcare, the largest abortion mill in Virginia. The campaigners at this mill not only prayed to end abortion, they also exposed abortion using CBR “Choice” signs.
As a result of Ruby’s leadership, the number of abortions at NOVA dropped by 28 percent over four years. In 2013, this abortion mill close forever! Her most memorable pro-life experience came in 2014, when she held for the first time a baby she helped rescue from this death camp.
A resident of Fairfax, Ruby will work in close collaboration with Nicole Cooley of Churchville and Maggie Egger of Front Royal, CBR’s other Project Directors in Virginia.
If you’d like to support Ruby (or any of our staff members), it’s quick, easy, and secure to support CBR online. Whatever you can do will make a huge difference. To support Ruby’s work in Virginia, designate your gift for “Virginia Projects (SE-RMN).”
Emma Wiltshire is a pro-life Christian who labors with the fine folks at the Athens Pregnancy Center in Athens, GA. She also attended Passion 2014. In fact, she is the bold young lady who gave an impromptu sidewalk speech to her fellow conference goers, exhorting them to put their faith into action for preborn babies! (Passion Part 3)
Emma penned some excellent observations about our outreach at Passion:
I have worked at a pregnancy resource center for a little over six months. But after this weekend, my heart has never been so broken over abortion.
I attended the Passion Conference in Atlanta where 20,000 college students gathered to proclaim the name and fame of Jesus Christ. I watched people surrender their lives to their maker and accept the love, forgiveness and freedom of being in relationship with Him. It was an unbelievable experience. As we flooded the streets of Atlanta for our evening dinner break, I saw extremely graphic pictures of aborted babies at just ten weeks, posted on signs. The images were disturbing, but what was more disturbing were the reactions of my peers to the people holding the signs. “No thank you, I’m pro-life already.” or “No I don’t want any brochures or papers.” The majority of students didn’t say anything at all; they simply ignored the display and the people all together.
I spoke with one of the [CBR staffers] and he was astonished by the students lack of participation. He said, “Surely students coming out of a Christian conference would be more receptive.” There is a difference between saying you support a cause and actually doing something to support it.
I was tormented for the rest of the dinner break, just thinking of the students who carelessly walked past the exhibit. Were they turned off by the graphic images? Did they not understand that it was a plea for help and not a protest? My mind was spinning as I walked back into the arena for the last session. I looked around the enormous room packed full of 18 to 24-year-olds, 20,000 of them to be exact. Then I had a vision of what it would look like to save an empty seat for every aborted person in the state of Georgia last year alone … 33,000 silenced voices … 33,000 empty chairs. Even though the room was packed full, all I saw was a vacant building.
I haven’t been able to get this image out of my head since Saturday. I know that abortion is seen as as political issue that is highly controversial. But I also know that it robs humans of life and haunts post-abortive men and women. It doesn’t matter how a person was conceived; they still have a right to exist.
Please hear me when I say I am in no way condemning those who have had abortions before. Because I am a Christian I believe there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and that the blood of the cross can wash away any transgression. God’s redemption knows no boundaries, and I know many women who are post abortive that He has healed and made new.
That being said, lets put an end to it. Let’s not tiptoe around the issue anymore, let’s be bold in our faith and our convictions and speak the truth about abortion. Education is the only way we can shed light into a very dark aspect of our legislation.
If you find value in these words or agree with me, please don’t just like this post. Share it. Start a dialogue with friends, classmates, co-workers and family. Don’t condemn those who have had abortions but love on them and show them that their story can help another person from making the same mistake. I know my words are probably going to offend and maybe enrage some people, but I just felt I had to speak up for the 1,388,937 people that would have been my age if they hadn’t been aborted in 1991.
Thank God for brave Christians like Emma! My prayer is that the young people of Passion, like Emma, will rise up and be “in it to end it” for the victims of slavery and for the victims of abortion in their own backyard. Both are important to God’s heart (Proverbs 24:11-12).
Submitted by: Lincoln Brandenburg
Like water gushing around a river rock, herds of young people swarmed past our signs, on their way into and out of the Passion Conference. How would they respond?
“I’ve never seen these pictures before… I didn’t realize abortion was this bad!” Some were arrested by the pictures of abortion victims. They stopped and responded with compassion, wanting to know how they could help.
Our volunteers and staff were glad to speak with them and even prayed with some. We showed them how to win hearts, change minds, and save lives in their own churches and schools. One young woman, herself a pro-life advocate, was very grateful and moved by our outreach. After speaking with us at length, she turned to a group of fellow conference-goers and pleaded with them, “We need to pay attention to this message. This is just as important as human trafficking!”
Some were not so happy to see us, and they told us so! An Atlanta police officer even rolled down his patrol car window and blared through a bullhorn, “You people are doing a great job scaring folks with these disgusting pictures!” His negativity was a positive sign … that he needed to see our message! We pray that his disgust with the exposers of abortion will be transformed into compassion for the victims of abortion.
The most common response we saw was no response. Many of the young students of Passion had not thought much about abortion before. It is likely that many of them internalized their thoughts, rather than speak with us. And that’s OK. They will remember the images of abortion victims long after the conference. God will use what they saw to work in their hearts over time.
Sadly though, many of these young Christians were noticeably apathetic about the injustice they were seeing. One young man, when asked what he thought about the display, replied with disgust, “I’m on my way to dinner right now!” Many tried to ignore us, declining or throwing away our literature. Our volunteers were grieved to tears by the scores of Laodicean responses. How could so many Christians be “neither hot nor cold” about the killing of innocent preborn children?
Was our outreach at Passion effective? Thousands of Christian’s eyes were opened to the injustice. The empathetic were galvanized. The apathetic can no longer trivialize. And at least one baby was saved (see Passion Part 2). Decide for yourself, but your humble corespondant would say it was definitely effective!
“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say that you did not know.” – William Wilberforce
See Passion Part 3 for one of our most encouraging responses!
Submitted by: Lincoln Brandenburg
I didn’t see the debate, but I did see this critique by the good people at the Discovery Institute. As a trained scientist who knows a little bit about the philosophy of science, the scientific method, etc., bad arguments make me angry.
But when people on my on side of a debate give bad arguments, the apologist in me just goes nuts. That’s why I very much appreciate the Discovery Institute. They advance sound science.
Here are three articles that Christian should read:
CBR volunteer Julie Thomas reports on a baby saved at the Passion Conference in Atlanta:
Photo in Atlanta Saves a Baby in Nashville
Two young women saw the abortion pictures on display. They took a flyer as they walked on by. But then they stopped. Why?
Something made them turn around. They looked at each other. What was it? Was it the big bold statement on my sweatshirt? “I regret my abortion.” Was it the 10-week abortion photo? I would soon find out.
Every time CBR displays abortion photos, babies’ lives are saved. But each story is different. So it was with this one. These two ladies needed help, but not for themselves. Their friend “Susie,” a med school student at Vanderbilt, was 7 weeks pregnant. She was a Christian and had told her mother and boyfriend that she was pregnant. The boyfriend had convinced her to have an abortion. Her mother would support her, no matter what decision she made. That baby’s life was hanging in the balance.
Now these two angels went to work. Using cell phones, they took photos of the abortion pictures on display and texted them to Susie back in Nashville. One of them called Susie and brokered a 4-way conference call, right there on the sidewalk. This went on for several minutes. I talked about my abortion regret. Then the two girls and I prayed for the young mother. She said she would text in a few minutes and hung up. We prayed again. Susie texted back, “Go ahead and start planning a baby shower for me. I’m keeping the baby.”
Wow! Praise the Lord! All the time!
What other victories did God give our team? The story continues in Passion Part 3!
Picture this: 20,000 Christian young people, all gathered under one roof. Worshiping, praying and hearing the Word from Louie Gigglio, John Piper, Francis Chan, and others. This is the Passion Conference, an annual gathering in Atlanta.
Passion challenges young people to raise awareness of modern-day slavery, an evil that beggars the imagination. For weeks after the conference, attendees use social media, bracelets, and bumper stickers to “shine a light” on slavery.
But there is a victim whose voice has not been heard at Passion. It is the voice of preborn children. Here is the irony: It is unlikely that any Passion attendee will ever be tempted to buy a slave, but many of them will certainly be tempted to kill their own children (or know someone who will be). According to the Guttmacher Institute, 1 in 5 abortions are performed on evangelical or born-again Christians.
What could happen if these young people were as fired up to “shine a light” on the killing of preborn people as they are about the enslavement of born people? While most of them can do little to actually free human slaves, they can do much to stop the killing of preborn children in their own churches and communities.
With this vision in mind, CBR staff conducted an all-day outreach on the sidewalks near Philips Arena, where Passion 2014 took place. Displaying “Choice” signs at nearly every entrance to Philips Arena, nearly all of the 20,000 attendees would see our signs during the day. We gave out nearly 4,000 of our new “Why This? Why Here?” brochure, which exhorts Christians to take a stand.
How did Passion attendees respond? See “Passion Part 2” to find out!
Submitted by: Lincoln Brandenburg, CBR Georgia Project Director
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