Posts Tagged ‘University of Tennessee’

Pro-Life on Campus: Double Feature at University of Tennessee Knoxville

Bullies use bed sheets to oppress the rights of ideological minorities.

CBR brought the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK), not just once, but twice, in the Spring semester!

UTK earned this exclusive double feature thanks to its unlawful interference with our free-speech rights and those of our student hosts, the UTK Pro-Life Collegians. Encouraged by virulent Trump Derangement Syndrome tactics in other parts of the country, a small group of students held up colorful fabric barriers to block our signs.

We insisted that these banners be removed, but UTK took a cue from other schools that nurture left-wing violence through institutional passivity. They allowed this childish and unlawful behavior to continue. As a result, the bullies thought they had won.

But not so fast! This ain’t our first rodeo, and we have many tools at our disposal.

Immediately, we brought out our hand-held Choice signs and stood in front of the bullies.

Next, we planned our return trip for later that semester. This is exactly what we did at the U at Buffalo in 2014. The Buffalo administration sided with the bullies, so we sued them for civil rights violations. After a year of trying to defend the indefensible, Buffalo got religion and restrained the law-breakers on our return trip.

We informed UTK of our intention to seek a legal remedy if they allowed their students to veto speech rights again.  That seemed to do the trick.

On our return trip, the fabric barriers were nowhere to be found.  According to rumor, UTK warned the bullies of disciplinary action if they erected their barriers. UTK officials even established a 20-ft buffer zone around the display and prevented any student from holding a sign within that buffer.

Yes, it was some trouble to stand up to bullies, but as Thomas Jefferson (or somebody) said, “Eternal vigilance is the price we pay for liberty.”

Thank you for standing up to bullies with your $upport!  And make no mistake, your $upport makes all of this possible.  Without you, the bullies win.  Click here and don’t let the bullies win!

Press Coverage:


Uncensored. Bullies lose.


Pro-Life On Campus at University of Tennessee

Brandon Hambrick (orange sweater) joined the UTK Pro-Life Collegians after seeing abortion photos on his campus.

Brandon Hambrick (orange sweater) joined the UTK Pro-Life Collegians after seeing abortion photos on his campus.

by Jacqueline Hawkins

Adam Lovejoy is an all-star pro-lifer at the University of Tennessee (UT).  In December, we had encouraged Adam to join the Pro-Life Collegians at UT.  A few weeks later, he was made co-president!  His first priority was to invite CBR to bring GAP back to UT.

GAP at UT is always fun.  By that we mean froth with protest.  This time, they set up just on the other side of the sidewalk, which actually pushed the passersby over toward our display as they walked to and from class.

Pro-life students came out of the woodwork to thank us and even help.  Pro-life senior Federico Di Luzio was so impressed by our work that he signed up for the PLC, attended the meeting that night, and showed up the next morning to help set up.  Brandon Hambrick was there from the start, with his gentle but strong presence.  Solid as a rock in his Christian faith, he was an example to all his male peers.


You have to laugh as WVLT-TV falls all over themselves to say abortion is too horrific even to see.  It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.  Abortion is so insidious because it actually hides behind its own horror.

Jacqueline Hawkins is a CBR Project Director and a regular FAB contributor.

Baby saved in unexpected way, story heard in unexpected place

Kate Kennamer uses abortion photos to confront students with the truth that abortion is a horrifying act of violence.

Kate Kennamer uses abortion photos to confront students with the truth that abortion is a horrifying act of violence.

We know that babies are saved.  But God tells us their stories in unexpected places.

“I know that guy from somewhere.”

Kate Kennamer is a former staff member and long-time CBR volunteer.  She was having lunch in a local eatery with her family not long ago.  She kept looking at the waiter.  Why was his face so familiar?

Abortion pictures at the U of Tennessee gave this young man the resolve to be that champion for his little sister … and her baby.

Finally, she couldn’t take it any more.  “Do I know you from somewhere?”

Turns out, he had been thinking the same thing.  “I was thinking that we have met somewhere.”

But where?  Finally, Kate remembered.  “Did you talk to somebody about abortion over at UT for about 3 hours one afternoon?”

Yes, that’s where we met!  I was hoping I would run into you somewhere, but I didn’t know how to reach you.”

Soon after their encounter on campus, this young man’s 17-year-old sister had revealed to the family that she was pregnant.  Big brother was ready.

“I don’t want you to think that I’m pro-life or anything … but I couldn’t let her get that abortion.  I kept thinking about those pictures and I couldn’t let her do it.”

Of course, big brothers don’t have ultimate control over these matters.  But so many  young women are desperate for somebody to give them some option other than death.  So often, a woman in crisis just wants somebody to be her champion, not only for herself but for her child as well.  Abortion pictures at the University of Tennessee gave this young man the resolve to be that champion for his little sister … and her baby.

CBR and Deeper Still together: Saving lives and healing abortion-wounded hearts

Sandy Sendall and Debbie Picarello minister to abortion-wounded hearts

Deeper Still’s Sandy Sendall and Debbie Picarello minister to abortion-wounded hearts. What a blessing to see them share the love of Messiah Jesus!

A 20-something male student approached the Deeper Still table at the U of Tennessee.  He was ready to share his story.  His girlfriend “at the time” — few relationships survive abortion — decided to abort their child against his wishes.  He offered to support her and the baby fully, but she would not be deterred.

The abortion, the loss of his child, had wounded his heart profoundly.  He took some information on Deeper Still and said he would share it with the mother of his aborted child.  Let us pray for this young couple … that they find healing and forgiveness in our Messiah Jesus.

Denial is the biggest obstacle to healing men and women from abortion.  Until people can understand the sin, they can never repent and heal from it.  Overcoming denial is the first step.  That is why we are so blessed to be partnering with the good people from the Deeper Still post-abortion healing ministry in our on-campus outreaches.

As an example of how this works, please read Judy Townsend’s story.  She saw our photos at a GAP in downtown Knoxville.  Deeper Still was also working nearby, offering hope and healing to any and all who would ask for help.

Deeper Still’s Karen Ellison and Kay Smith at Market Square

Deeper Still’s Karen Ellison and Kay Smith at Market Square.

Father, speaking of 3rd child: “We had been thinking about [abortion], but …”

CBR Project Director Lincoln Brandenburg explains how civilized people choose life, not death.

CBR Project Director Lincoln Brandenburg explains how civilized people choose life, not death.

Another baby saved.  A 30-something father of 3 children spoke with CBR staffer Jane Bullington about his 3rd child, yet to be born.  “We had been thinking about [abortion], but I didn’t know it was like this,” he said,  “I know we can’t do this.”

GAP at the University of Tennessee always allows us to win the hearts of men and women like this one, saving their children and also their familes.  He is not evil as much as he is ignorant.  Or should we say, “as much as he was ignorant,” before we showed him the truth.

Thanks to all who support our work and help save babies and families like this one.

Confused Christians.  We always encounter Christians who believe showing abortion pictures is too extreme.  It never occurs to them that the complacency among Christians is the real extremism.  The good news is that some are willing to learn.  One such student said, “I think you should take the pictures down and just talk to folks.”  But we were able to speak with this young man about the need to pierce through denial, the recognition of sin, forgiveness, healing, and repentance (changed behavior).  After hearing more, he finally admitted, “I hate the pictures, but you have a valid point.” “”

Another was not so open-minded.  She wrote “Micah 6:8” on a huge piece of cardboard, and used it to shield the pictures from passersby who requested the “service.”  Micah 6:8 says “He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  Not sure what she thought is just about baby-killing, or what is merciful about complacency, or what is humble about disobeying God’s commend to hold back those headed to slaughter (Proverbs 24:11-12).

Christian protester hides herself and others behind Micah 6:8.

Christian protester hides herself and others behind Micah 6:8.


Thumbs up at the University of Tennessee!

Kate Kennamer speaks to two students at UTK

Abortion pictures pierce through denial about basic facts, and thereby open the way for Kate Kennamer to have a rational dialogue with passersby. Rational dialogue is impossible when people deny the basic fact that every abortion is an act of violence that kills a baby. (Note: this caption was corrected on 5/16 because one of the students in the photo has commented below, and as best we can tell, he was NOT willing to have a rational dialogue on this occasion. We routinely have civil discourse with people who are pro-choice, so apparently we jumped to the wrong conclusion in this case. FAB regrets the error.)

Earlier this month, 4 CBR staff and volunteers spent the day at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) with hand-held “Choice” signs.  “Choice” signs are 3-ft-by-4-ft, light-weight, hand-held signs that depict aborted babies in the first trimester.  These signs simply show students what “choice” really is.

CBR volunteer Debbie Picarello spoke with a male graduate student who said his mother had 2 abortions before giving birth to him and his living brother.  He learned of her abortions a year ago.  He believes much of the dysfunctionality his mother has displayed toward him and his brother was a product of her abortion-wounded heart.

His own father is also the father of one of the aborted children, and their marriage is not a good one.  One of the symptoms of an abortion-wounded heart is relational difficulties. 

A pro-life male student wondered how effective graphic pictures are.  Debbie explained the historical significance of images, that reformers have been effective when they used images to expose the humanity of the victims and the inhumanity of the crime.  Debbie doesn’t ‘like’ these pictures, but she could talk about how effective they have been.  He seemed more open to the need for the pictures.

A male student said, “Eww, a hand!” as he walked by.  Several students, both male and female proclaimed loudly, “Those are disgusting!”  Yes, that’s the point.

We got lots of encouragement.  Quite a few students, both male and female, either thanked us for being out there, or gave a thumbs up as they were walking by.  Many students took our Unmasking Choice handout.  Many others gazed intently at the pictures as they walked by.  Mission accomplished!

Most universities have spaces where citizens can hold signs and speak with students, even without an invitation.  In this case, we were invited by the UTK Collegians for Life.  The president of Collegians for Life is Clint Kennamer.  Clint became pro-life when he first saw abortion at our GAP display at the University of North Florida (UNF) in 2009.  Clint was at UNF because he came with his wife Kate, who was a CBR staff member at the time.  Now, Clint leads pro-life activism at UTK and Kate still volunteers for CBR projects!  Yes, the pictures work!

Folks, if you want to have a GREAT day, get a couple of your own Choice signs and visit your local college.  You will be teaching powerful truth that people are desperate to know.

Debbie Picarello is able to share hope and healing

Because of her own personal story of abortion and forgiveness, Debbie Picarello is able to share hope and healing.

What football did to me this year

Better days

Better days

This year, I feel just like this little girl in the video below.  My whole October was like this.


“I never thought of them as siblings before.”

CBR Project Director Jane Bullington speaks to a student at UT Knoxville

CBR Project Director Jane Bullington speaks to a student at UT Knoxville.

I found out for sure what I had always known — my mom aborted 2 children before me.

CBR staffer Jane Bullington met a young man at the UT Knoxville GAP.  Steve had a cocky look on his face.  Jane asked him what he thought — it’s our standard way of breaking the ice.

Steve started out with all the same stuff we’ve heard before:  shock value, misused use of the term genocide, pictures don’t change minds, you are turning people away from your cause, etc., etc., etc.

But then they actually started talking and Steve began to verbalize some of the bad consequences of abortion, the damage to women, the effects on families, the mental stress on women, etc.  He got tears in his eyes.  He said, “In recent months, I have been drawn to everything I see or read about abortion.  I found out for sure what I had always known: my mom aborted 2 children before me.  She treated me … well … different.  She and my dad had troubles.  My home was tense.”

Jane asked him, “Do you have other siblings besides those 2 your mom aborted?”

Steve looked at her with surprise, “I never thought of them as my siblings, but they are.  Yes, I have an older brother.”

Later in the conversation, his position began to move, “I still think women should have a choice, but so many other people get hurt that I want them to know the truth, the truth about what they are doing, and the consequences they will endure, they and their families.  I guess education like yours would be good for women.”

Jane asked Steve if his mom would go to a post-abortion healing ministry like Deeper Still.   He chuckled and said, “Absolutely no.  She believes the ends justifies the means, and she wanted what she wanted.”

Jane suggested he might want to talk to someone else later on in his journey and told him that Deeper Still could be of help to him, as a son, too.

At the end of the conversation, Steve thanked Jane for her time and she gave him a hug — Jane is a mom and moms like that sort of thing.  Steve left, but as he walked away, his eyes never left the pictures.

GAP returns to U of Tennessee at Knoxville

Dialoge with pro-abortion student.  I got the shade; I was there first.

Dialogue with pro-abortion student. (I got the shade; I was there first.)

This is our 8th day of GAP in the last 3 weeks.  If you count our Pro Life Training Academy, travel, and prep work, it’s my 16th day of hard labor in 19 days.  By hard labor I mean up at 6:00 am and to bed at midnight or later on GAP days … with only slightly more sleep on the other days.  There would be 3 more days after this one.

But God is good.  He knew that we were all tired.  He didn’t test us.  After we got the exhibit set up, I propped myself up on a wall underneath a shade tree, right near the poll table.  They would have to come to me.

At the poll table, students answer the question, “Should abortion remain legal?”  A “no” response means pro-life; we sign them up for the Pro Life Collegians.  A “yes” response means pro-abortion; we initiate dialogue with the goal of helping them rethink their position.  For most of the day, I just quietly asked the “yes” responders, one at a time, “May I ask why you responded that way?”  If they answer, we’re off to the races.

For a nice change of pace, God didn’t send any combative people over to the table this day.  The combative types can offer awesome opportunities, especially if they draw a crowd.  But they are rarely thoughtful and it is hard work to be reasonable with somebody who is unreasonable.  I just wasn’t up to it.

So God sent to me (and all the rest of us) a steady stream of people who were willing to have civil discourse.  He also sent a number of pro-lifers who gave us encouragement.  It was very different from most GAPs, including most GAPs at UT.

Of course, a few passersby gave us the “flying buzzard” as they rushed on past, but the drive-by’s can be easily ignored.  We should aways remember that such people are often facing struggles that we probably can’t imagine.  We should also remember that God loves each and every one of them, too.  But God would have had a hard time loving them through us on this day.  The civil ones got all we had to give.

GAP at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Day 1

Class change at UTC

Class change at UTC.

Another great day of GAP, this time at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  Early in the day, CBR Virginia Director Nicole Cooley spoke with Amber, whose mother had wanted to abort her.  Her father intervened to save her life, but her mother was a drug addict and abusive during her entire childhood.  The mother had even told her that she never wanted Amber.

But now Amber has made it all the way to UTC, where she is majoring in theatre.  She told Nicole that seeing the pictures in the GAP display has made her realize that every day is a gift, and she has resolved to make her life count.

Nicole prayed with Amber and told her that even though her mother didn’t plan her or want her, she had a Heavenly Father who both planned and loved her.

Debbie Picarello and Nicole Cooley speak with a UTC student

Debbie Picarello and Nicole Cooley speak with clarity about abortion and about our Savior. They are a light to hurting men and women.