Posts Tagged ‘James Madison University’
“Frederick,” a James Madison University (JMU) student from Germany, was ashamed of his peers. He said to CBR’s Jane Bullington,
“It is so closed-minded to decide you guys have nothing worth hearing and just sit on the sidelines protesting.
I am studying genocide and human atrocities. These photos are not disturbing; the actions are disturbing. Folks need to get out of their comfort zone and engage others so they can expand their world views. It is pitiful that my peers are so pansy and childish.
I don’t know how old you are, but I do know that you know more than I do and I need to listen and learn. And whether this is genocide or not, I see the reasons for the comparisons and it is an atrocity.
You have made my Tuesday. My comfort zone has been stretched once again. Thank you for coming, and thank you for taking with me.”
He’s right about one thing. Jane is pretty old.
by Lincoln Brandenburg
At James Madison U, I spoke with a young Jewish lady who had heard about GAP and came out to see it. She was Jewish and was offended by the comparisons of abortion with the Holocaust.
She opened by declaring that “Abortion is not genocide!” I responded, “You are absolutely right … if the preborn are not human. Were that true, the comparison would be inappropriate and the right to abort would be established.
“But if the preborn are human, as science tells us they are, then we kill over a million humans every year. Then there’s no better word to describe it.”
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but you’re causing me to change how I think about this.” (protester at James Madison U)
She brought up many examples of when abortion might be “needed,” such as for a woman who is in college and cannot take care of a baby. Again, I agreed with her that abortion would be acceptable in those cases (and, indeed, in every case) … if the preborn were anything less than human.
She began to grasp the concept that the humanity of the preborn is the central question to the morality of abortion.
Some of her friends have had abortions and she didn’t want to believe they are guilty of murder. I assured her that we are not here to condemn or judge her friends; they may be good people who didn’t realize that abortion decapitates and dismembers a baby. I pointed out that, like many who have seen these images, they might not have aborted their children had they known how evil abortion really is.
As we spoke, her demeanor changed. She glanced at the pro-abortion protesters and said, “I don’t want to say this out loud, but you’re making good points. You’re really making me shift in my view.”
I told her how I personally became a pro-life activist after connecting abortion to the Holocaust. I knew that I couldn’t say I would have stood up for Jews (her ancestors) in Nazi Germany back then, if I didn’t stand up for preborn children right now.
As we continued to discuss the logic of standing up for all human beings, she hesitantly said, “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but you’re causing me to change how I think about this.”
Some respond to GAP with a closed mind, but others are willing to blindfold their own prejudices. At first, she opposed our use of abortion pictures, but she had to admit that our conversation (and many others) would not have happened without the tension created by the photos. Dr. King was right:
“I am not afraid of the word ‘tension.’ I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth.” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Lincoln Brandenburg is a Project Director for CBR in Georgia. He iis with the GAP team in Virginia this week.
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.
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“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!”
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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.
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.