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.

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