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Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina’

Poetry is War (Part 1)

Valerie Macon, former Poet Laureate of NC and author of Sleeping Rough, a collection of poems about the homeless

By Mick Hunt

In mid-July the Republican governor of North Carolina dropped a bombshell, or so you’d think if you read any quotes from his natural opponents, the Lions of the Literary Left.

The Democrats of our state are still roaring because of the demise in 2012 of their 140 year dynasty, during which they controlled one or more of the two legislative bodies and/or the office of Governor. Since then we’ve been barraged by “Moral Monday” marches and rallies and other truly meaningless events across the state that captivate the attention of a discriminating media, discriminating against what’s really important.

For instance, a handful of abortion activists left a box of broken cookies at the gate of the governor’s mansion last week.  If his “war on women” wasn’t bad enough, Governor McCrory offended additionally when he “face slapped” the world of literature by appointing an unknown writer to be the Poet Laureate of our state. Valerie Macon, whose writing credits primarily included two self-published books of poetry, had not been vetted by the NC Arts Council, as per long standing custom, had not been recognized over time by the established poetic community, and she might even be a Republican, some said.  A writer for Slate Magazine commented on a certain poet’s response:

“Vitiello concludes by pronouncing Valerie Macon “Pat McCrory’s middle finger, pointed at North Carolina’s literary tradition.”…However, something about Vitiello’s brutal response doesn’t sit well. I can understand his frustration, and his sense of the stakes, but public dismemberment is never fun to witness, particularly of someone who means no harm.”

The Governor so allegedly insulted the dignity of the Office of Poet Laureate, that four past Poet Laureates wrote him a joint letter of protest . When I first read the news stories about this, the name of their chief spokesman, Kathryn Stripling Byer, seemed familiar. I haven’t been able to find it yet, but I’m almost certain Byer wrote me a letter back in 1994 objecting to the newspaper advertisements I took out about a pro-abortion female candidate for Congress. A little internet research however found these sample comments from her left on our then Democratic congressman Heath Shuler’s website in February of 2011:

Kathryn Stripling Byer
Yes, Mr. Shuler, how can you have voted against the women of WNC? You make me ashamed to say you represent our district.
February 18, 2011 at 6:26pm

Kathryn Stripling Byer
Stand with Planned Parenthood–go to this link:http://www.ppaction.org/IStandWithPP
February 18, 2011 at 6:44pm

Her issue was the rather innocuous HR 358 of 2011, called the Protect Life Act, which was intended to keep abortion out of the equation of the Affordable Care Act, (ObamaCare.)

So, even though I would agree that McCrory’s process overlooked many highly qualified, gifted, hard working poets, I’m guessing the opposition to the governor’s appointment of Valerie Macon was more about harming him politically than it was about poetry. The Poets Laureate said nothing about the quality of her poetry. And Macon might very well have been an outstanding Poet Laureate, making poetry an art of the people rather than, as one commentator suggested, of the realm of the MFA baristas. To her credit, and hinting at the cruelty of her opposition, Valerie Macon resigned after less than a week.

The whole situation offered rich entertainment value, tinged with pathos in witnessing the crushing of one enthusiastic voice. If anything, during her brief days in the office she helped poetry more than all the past NC Poets Laureates together did with all their hundreds of publications, honors, and awards. Because, I and many others didn’t even know we had a Poet Laureate until the protests about her appointment began.

The situation also taught me that poetry is political. I wonder now how much poetry is suffused with the abortion culture, how much undercurrent, how much subtext. It also helped me realize that poetry can work the other way, that we should infuse life into words and craft them into weapons for truth.

Let’s fight poetry with the fire of poetry.

Mick Hunt (Meredith Eugene Hunt) is a FAB contributor.  He has helped organize more than 50 Genocide Awareness Projects (GAPs) all over the southeast and elsewhere.

 

Echo Tourism

The Coliseum in Rome, from inside the walls

The Coliseum in Rome, from inside the walls. (Click to enlarge image.)

by Mick Hunt

If you’re quiet and listen, you might hear their voices.

When I looked across the arena at the Roman Coliseum during a torrid August afternoon in 2009, I tried to imagine the scenes of death from so many centuries ago. I tried to hear the echoes of blades on shields and the mobs cheering as blood flowed into the sand.

I imagine people feel the same somber wonder and horror when they visit other certain historical sites around the world, death camp sites such as Dachau, Auschwitz, and Mauthausen, and the transport camp, Terezin.

At least two such tragic historical sites are located within Asheville, and the city is about to add another to its recommended tours.

One: The corner of 900 Hendersonville Road is now only a parking lot for a spiffy office building, but during the ‘80’s and into the early ‘90s, they aborted pre-natal children there in a low, squat building. Thousands of pre-natal children died in this sleazy, sordid place. The state of North Carolina tore it down to widen the road, and the business moved to the edge of Biltmore Village.

“Birds sang, the sun shone, flowers grew, and prayers rose up, but the laws of nature were not violated.”

Two: Train tracks surrounded the new building that was located in an industrial zoned area. It featured a narrow waiting room on steel girders spanning a dirty, limpid creek. Weeds grew up the walls of the building, and on one side, old roofing material made the siding. Steel bars guarded broken window. The abortionists drove in from Tennessee and South Carolina. It was a back alley abortion mill with a sign hanging in the front alley.

On a Saturday afternoon in November, 1998, I showed up as usual with my “Let Your Baby Live. We Will Help!” sign, but no one else came. No other pro-life people, no abortion workers, and no victims. I was alone. A sheet of white paper had been taped to the front window. For the first time ever, I walked onto the property and to the front porch. The note said the place had closed permanently.

I remember months later seeing a monster garbage truck parked in front, rocking back and forth. An industrial shredder on wheels. A few years later another business moved into the building, a non-profit called Save the Children. That’s right. I stopped once just to look around inside, and I asked the people there a few questions. I wanted to, but didn’t ask if they ever heard the echoes of screaming children. Sometime later, the owner tore the building down, leaving rubble, and piles of weed-covered earth, now in view of nearby spiffy office buildings.

Three: Apparently, the abortion center on Asheville’s Orange Street is closing now. A volunteer escort recently said so in an article titled “The Last Shift” that appeared June 15 in an online publication called The Asheville Blade. So, by the end of this month we’ll have another historical site of sorrow and death to add to the itinerary. Maybe “Save the Children” will buy the building and move in. Maybe someday this terrible place will end up like all the others, in rubble and fading memories.

My late acquaintance, Kentucky poet laureate James Still and I once ate lunch together nearly every day. I could never find his source, and I may not have the quote down perfectly, but he one day he said, “Birds sang, the sun shone, flowers grew, and prayers rose up, but the laws of nature were not violated.” He was talking about Dachau, which I know he visited. Maybe the quote was his own, a fragment of an incomplete poem.

My friends and I spent many, many hours on the sidewalk in front of Femcare–when thousands of people ignored, dismissed, ridiculed, or cursed our offers of help and appeals to moms and dads to let their babies live. Thousands of mothers carried their children passed us into the doors to be killed.

An independent observer watching the passers-by might suppose the middle finger to be an international sign for “choice.” But many people expressed support, too, as they walked or drove by. Our presence was always, usually, more a quiet vigil than a protest. I’ve watched and listened to starlings, crows, doves, pigeons, and hawks. Last Saturday, a noisy mocking bird entertained and annoyed us with his crazy song list, more of cacophony than symphony.

Prayers rose up. But not enough prayer and not enough people praying. On occasion a mother changed her mind and left with her baby alive.

Femcare is closing. A better name for it is Femkill. Though, what you call it is irrelevant now because it’s closing. What’s important is the killing probably is moving to another place—to a building on McDowell Street owned and operated by Planned Parenthood.

North Carolina law says it’s a felony to “destroy” “unborn children” unless the act is done by a licensed physician “in a hospital or clinic certified by the Department of Health and Human Services to be a suitable facility for the performance of abortions.” We often bring posters to the sidewalk depicting a 10 week child who was destroyed by abortion. This is what Planned Parenthood intends to do in its new building. It’s bloody, violent, and evil. There is no suitable facility for this.

So, are we nostalgic about our upcoming last shift at Femcare? Are we jubilant? No. Just feeling sadness and resignation. We’ll be shifting to McDowell Street, if necessary. Unique human beings, persons in embryonic or fetal form, will be destroyed in that place. And someday even it will be a ruined historical site where, if you’re quiet and listen, you might hear their voices.

Echoing in your conscience.

 

Mick Hunt is an FAB contributor.  He has helped organize more than 50 Genocide Awareness Projects (GAPs) all over the southeast and elsewhere.  This article is a response to “The Last Shift,” which was written by an abortion escort. Read the story here.

 

Pro-life presence at abortion fundraiser

FemKill Fundraiser

FemKill Fundraiser

Abortion industry fundraising events are a great venues for pro-life activism.  Here is a story from Mick Hunt of Life Advocates in Asheville, NC, describing his work at a Femcare (abortion clinic) fundraiser.  You can read the complete story and see more photos on his blog (Part 1 here and Part 2 here).  Mick is a faithful CBR volunteer and uses CBR Choice signs in his work in North Carolina, as seen in the photo at right.

FemKill Fundraiser
by Meredith Hunt, Life Advocates

Yesterday evening, fourteen of us stood in front of the entrance of the Millroom to greet financial donors of the Asheville business that aborts prenatal children on Orange Street.

Amy Renigar, Executive Director of Girls on the Run of WNC (GOTR) attended the fundraiser.  The GOTR website says, “Amy Renigar joined the GOTR team in June 2012 because of her interest public health and passion for creating a world where all girls (and women) are empowered to become their best selves.”  Ann Pfaff, an outspoken abortion supporter, is on their Board of Directors.  This organization runs programs in elementary schools all over the region, including at Veritas Christian Academy.  Go to it’s website to learn of its numerous local sponsors, many of whom would not wish to be connected with the violent deaths of prenatal children.  Groups such as Rotary Club of Asheville, Earth Fare, Diamond Brand Outdoors, and so on.

City Councilman Gordon Smith passed by me with an acknowledgement, “How are you, Meredith?”  I nodded.  Then he turned back and said with a grin, “You have raised so much money for them in there.”  Something like that …  Money.  This got me thinking.  The people at this event were pretty committed and not likely to be influenced.

But not everyone is this way.  Many people still have a functioning conscience when it comes to abortion.  Or at least they can have a normal reaction.  When we were winding down, I took Eric and Starla with me around the block to the other side of the building, which is the front of Asheville Pizza and Brewing, the business that owns the Millroom, which was either rented or donated for the Femcare fundraiser.  Asheville Pizza has an outdoor dining patio that is right next to the sidewalk and last night it was full of people eating.

We had faced the large posters of a mangled, bloody 10 week pre-born child toward the customers no more than two or three seconds before we had a diner in our face, confronting us.   None of the Femcare supporters acted like this.  People are more upset over an impediment to their appetite then they are about children being slaughtered and about a fundraiser for such atrocities in the same building in which they are filling their stomachs.  They demand that we behave decently when this horrible outrage goes on day after day, year after year (out of sight, out of mind).  But at least they react.  One of the managers called the police and when an officer came we chatted a few minutes.  I wonder how much money we could raise for Asheville Pizza and Brewing.  It would be a new twist to “Brew and View.”

Notorious celebrity Cecil Bothwell’s contribution to dialog was to practically shout that one of the protestors should “repent of your self righteousness!”  I wonder if he can explain ”self-righteous” in a way that doesn’t include his own attitude?  This accusation dodges talking about what’s really right or wrong.

New Facebook Page – Center for Bio-Ethical Reform Carolinas

Preborn child

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Check out our new Facebook page for CBR Carolinas!  It’s only been up less than 2 days, and already there are 460 likes!

Kudos to Brooke McGowan, our Project Director for the Carolinas!

CBR Appoints Brooke McGowan as Project Director for the Carolinas

Brooke McGowan

Brooke McGowan will be leading pro-life projects across the Southeast, particularly in the Carolinas.  In part because her mother chose life despite dire personal circumstances, Brooke has long been devoted to pro-life activism as a protester, sidewalk counselor, and prayer warrior. 

The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR), Southeast Region Operations, is pleased to announce the appointment of Brooke McGowan of Charlotte, North Carolina, as our newest Project Director, primarily responsible for projects in North and South Carolina!

Brooke is a recent graduate of New Life Theological Seminary in Charlotte, where she majored in urban ministry, with a concentration in Christian counseling.

As a child of a teenage mother who chose life for Brooke, despite a failed first marriage, she understands how easily she could have been another abortion statistic.  Raised by her mother and stepfather to always protect those who cannot protect themselves, she sensed a calling to devote herself to pro-life work in response to God’s command, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones.  For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven … In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:10,14)

Brooke has been an active protester, sidewalk counselor, and prayer warrior in Charlotte.  She even ministered to visiting attendees of the Democratic National Convention in September. She is already seeing fruit in the responses of those to whom she has ministered in the past several months alone.

Originally from Choctaw, Oklahoma (near Oklahoma City), Brooke has lived in Charlotte for 8 years.  Before joining CBR, she was a clinic director for an infectious disease medical practice and an assistant real estate acquisitions manager.  She is the mother to two girls, Shelby and Savannah.  Brooke’s husband Sean is an accomplished author, schoolteacher, and chaplain.

Welcome aboard, Brooke!  We’re expecting GREAT!

Kortney Gordon … still inspiring and saving others

Kortney Blythe Gordon, 1983-2011

Kortney Blythe Gordon, 1983-2011

I attended Kortney’s funeral in Matthews, North Carolina, on Friday.  I wanted to share with you a story about a couple who witnessed the crash Saturday night and later e-mailed the family.  It was a real encouragement, even in the middle of unspeakable grief.  These e-mails were handed out to all in attendance at the funeral, but we will change the names of the couple who originated the exchange.

About the middle of last week, the family received this e-mail:

Hello,

My name is Jason Bice. I was there last night at the scene of the accident. My wife (Amber Bice) and I came upon the accident no more than thirty seconds after it happened. There were five other people there that witnessed the crash. They were all waiting for help to arrive. Knowing the area and knowing how long it would take emergency crews to get there, my wife and I stopped the car and got out to help.

The accident was bad, one car was on top of the other. I immediately found myself out of my comfort zone, but I went ahead and climbed into the car on the bottom to check on the driver. I exited that vehicle and went to check on the one on top. The vehicle on top was in a dangerous position. It could have slid off and rolled over at any minute. As my wife and I thought about what to do, I noticed that the other drivers had come out of their comfort zones and offered help.

We pulled one young man out of the vehicle and away from the car to safety. We went back for the other who had apparently crawled out himself and we moved him away from the wreck. My wife who is an ER nurse and thirty weeks pregnant cared for them while we went back for the others. We couldn’t get to the other two people due to the position of the vehicle. One of them was Kortney, someone you all loved dearly. Someone that passed away doing something she cared so deeply for and devoted her life to.

Ten minutes after it happened, police and firemen were there and took over.

My message is this, I came out of my comfort zone to help the 5 people that were involved in the accident. The other bystanders, seeing my wife and I trying to help, came out of their comfort zones and started helping too. There were 15 of us working to care for the hurt before EMS and police even showed up. We put ourselves in harms way to help them. There were men holding the car steady while we pulled people out and away from it. It’s time for all of us to come out of our comfort zones. Kortney came out of hers a long time ago. In a world where it seems a lot of people think abortion is OK, she stood against it and gave it her all. There is one thing we can do to keep her awesome spirit alive, and that is for all of you who read this to come out of your comfort zones, to help and support those in need and to stand strong for what is good and right.

The 20 minutes I was at the scene of the accident and then reading Kortney’s story today have changed me forever. I hope her story lives on and does the same for more people.

Jason Bice

Kortney’s uncle Don Blythe, who is a long-time pro-life activist and an early inspiration to Kortney, responded for the family:

Jason,

In the midst of our deepest of grief and overwhelming sorrow, my brother, Kortney’s father, and I were having trouble working our way through our brokenness, even though we had an inner confidence of the hope of our coming reunion someday, when it would be our turn to meet our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Then your email came in and the power of your careful words and testimony ministered to us and all of the family and friends we shared it with. I thank you with all of my heart for you and your wife, and the divine appointment God set for you that evening. Your information has further confirmed in us that our Lord was still there and many concerns were answered by your actions for Kortney.

We began the process of recovery of our spirits after reading your email.

I hope you have also placed your trust and faith in Jesus Christ for your souls, so we can meet you in Heaven too someday. May the God of Heaven bring an outpouring of love and grace on you and your precious baby as you live out your lives in this world.

I will never forget you and what you did for our Kortney.

In His Steps,
Don Blythe

Here was the reply from Mr. Bice:

Don,

Those words came from my heart and what I am about to tell you is, too.

My faith in God was almost completely gone before that night. I don’t think I had prayed in over five years. If I did, it was probably for something so selfish that it wasn’t worth remembering. I have prayed more in the past few days than I have at any other time in my life. God was really weighing down on me Saturday and Sunday. I felt like I had to find out who the people in that accident were. When I did, I felt like I had to send that email and to share Kortney’s story with everyone I met. I continue to tell people the story of her life and how that night changed me forever.

To say that she and the rest of the people in that accident changed my life is an understatement. They saved my life.

My wife and I have cried tears over the pain that this must be causing you and the rest of her family. I am glad that sending these emails has helped ease that pain. I love all of God’s people and hate to see anyone in pain. I hope you all find a way to make it through this tragedy.

I can safely say now that my wife and I will have that chance to meet her in heaven.

With love and hope,
Jason Bice

More pro-abort nonsense & my response

hope resource center

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Got up early this morning.  Read the paper.  More nonsense from Ina Hughs.  It’s the same old stuff she normally writes.  But I did post a response you might find interesting.

Comment responding to Ina Hughs op-ed piece in Knoxville News Sentinel:

Ms. Hughs raises a good point. In fact, I’m going to agree with many of the points she made.

First of all, perhaps we should include fathers in these sessions. The Elliot Institute reports that as many as 64% of abortions are coerced, many of them by irresponsible men, family members, employers, etc. Anything that will reduce the pressure on women to abort would be a step in the right direction. More people need to know about the development of the baby inside, the physical and emotional hazards of abortion, etc. But as Ms. Hughs noted, finding some of the more corrupt miscreants who impregnate women would be difficult. And, according to existing law, it is the mother only who has the final say whether the baby lives or dies, so that might explain some of the limitations of the North Carolina law.

Ms. Hughs is also correct when she says that compared to men, women do bear the greater burden for the consequences of sexual “freedom.” By any measure (pregnancy, the health effects of STDs, and abortion, just to name a few), women pay a heavy, heavy price so that irresponsible and predatory men can have whatever they want. People who buy into the lie of “sexual freedom” find out later it ain’t quite so “free.” That’s why we work so hard to keep the sex merchants like Planned Parenthood out of the schools our children attend.

Ms Hughs says, “no woman should be told by her government that she must have a child anymore than she should ever be told she cannot have a child.” No disagreement here. I don’t think anybody favors forced sex nor forced birth control. But in a civilized society, every human being deserves respect. No person should have the right to unjustly kill another.

Ms. Hughs says that pro-lifers should help women in crisis. Right again! That’s why the overwhelming majority of pro-life resources (money, volunteer time, etc.) go to support pregnancy resource centers like the one across the street from one of the abortion clinics here in Knoxville. The Hope Resource Center (www.hoperesourcecenterknoxville.com) arranges for medical care, housing, adoption, help with parenting, and more. In addition to that, we pay federal, state, and local taxes to create a safety net for people who need it. It’s unfortunate that so much of the money we pay goes to bureaucrats and people who don’t need it, but we still pay.

I’ll grant you that we should have more pregnancy centers, maybe one for each abortion clinic. But is it productive, Ms. Hughs, to ignore most of what we do and belittle the rest?

And the failure of pro-lifers to do enough (in Ms. Hughs’ estimation) for moms and babies in crisis does not make it OK to kill a baby … any more than our failure to do enough for battered women makes it OK to beat your wife.

Ms. Hughs falls victim to one of the most common logical fallacies when she implies that our only two choices are to either (a) provide cradle-to-grave welfare or (b) keep it legal to kill children before they are born. It’s called a “false dilemma.” In a civilized society, we protect the weak from the strong. That’s why we have laws against murder, rape, fraud, etc. That does not obligate us to create Ms. Hughs’ version of a utopian welfare state.

Ms. Hughs wants to know what are the pro-lifers going to do about all these children if they are allowed to live and not be killed. It’s the same silly argument used to justify the continuation of slavery 150 years ago, “If we turn all these slaves loose, who is going to take care of them?”

Ms. Hughs says she is not pro-abortion, she is pro-choice. That’s essentially what Stephen Douglas said about slavery. He said that he was not in favor of slavery, but he believed that the Southern states should have the right to choose whether to be slave states or free states. I would argue that by the same token we say Mr. Douglas was pro-slavery, we can assert that Ms Hughs is pro-abortion.

And finally, Ms. Hughs engages in the most glaring ad hominem attack when she asserts that because some pro-lifers happen to be men, it is OK to kill a preborn child. How silly. Either (a) the preborn child is a living human being whose life must be respected, or (b) the preborn child may be killed at will. My gender has nothing to do with it. But if you have some kind of hangup about that, there are many, many women who will make the same arguments I make. Would Ms. Hughs listen to them? No. It’s just a cheap way of changing the subject and avoiding the issue, “Who is the unborn child and may we kill her?”

North Carolina Becomes Third State to De-Fund Planned Parenthood

Yes we can!

Yes we can!

Here’s the story.  First two were Indiana and Tennessee.  Only 47 more to go!

Notice that two of three (Tennessee and North Carolina) are the very closest states to Knoxville, the home of CBR Southeast.  You think there’s a connection?

Wait a minute.  Knoxville hero Peyton Manning plays football in Indiana.  There must be something to this!  Does this make Knoxville and CBR Southeast the center of the pro-life universe?