An unwilling audience at Western Kentucky University

GAP commands the attention of all who pass by

GAP commands the attention of all. Only by reaching the unwilling audience can we ever hope to reform culture. When the culture embraces our message, our work is done.

by Lincoln Brandenburg

Pro-life students at Western Kentucky University (WKU) were trepid about using victim images, so we brought the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) under the university’s vendor policy.

Rather than participate in GAP, they set up a free-speech board about 100 feet away, with the question “How can we help pregnant women on campus?”  According to their president, they wanted to gauge the responses of students to GAP before committing to using victim images.

We acknowledged that many students would not be thrilled about it!  But we also guaranteed that GAP would be more effective than anything else they have ever seen.

But they didn’t have to just take our word for it.  They saw it with their own eyes and heard it with their own ears.  Near the end of a fruitful first day of GAP, one of the SFL members approached.  He said, “We’ve had a lot of people tell us they changed their mind on abortion because they saw your pictures!”

During our conversation, I mentioned that the most outspoken students tend to be those who are upset by abortion victim images.  He assured me that, “Oh, the students who’ve talked to us were upset, but they realized that abortion is wrong.”  They had been upset because they realized that abortion, by it’s very nature, is upsetting.

Social reformers are never popular until after they achieve their goal.  Martin Luther King got thrown in jail.  But reformers don’t wait for the culture to approve; they act against the evils that society tolerates and celebrates.

According to Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, “Perhaps the most important principle … for the pro-life movement to adopt at this point in time, is that pro-life activity which relies on the voluntary consent of the audience is insufficient. … To put it rather bluntly, effective social reform requires forcing the message on an unwilling audience.  It means confronting the culture with what it does not want to hear.”  (Source: The Unwilling Audience)

Lincoln Brandenburg is a CBR project director and a regular FAB contributor.

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