Author’s note: This is the final installment in a three part series. Parts One and Two covered the first four points of a six-point lecture I gave on January 20th at the Minnesota Youth for Life Conference in Robbinsdale, MN. The first three points of the lecture provided advice on how nominally pro-life youths can become effective pro-life advocates. The last three points are directed toward students attending secular universities that may be more hostile toward the pro- life message.
5. Set a place at the table.
Years after Lisa Chambers told me about The Silent Scream, and after I converted on the life issue, I became the advisor to the pro- life club at UNC-Wilmington. On two occasions, we sponsored a campus showing of the Silent Scream. The first time, we advertised and got about 100 students there. It went so well that we showed it again to an audience of about 150. But the second time we showed the film, we did something different. We invited a representative from Women's Studies to discuss the film afterwards. In fact, we invited several pro -abortion choice advocates. None accepted our offer. We also invited a pro-life doctor. Predictably, she showed up.
One of the people attending the talk was a pro- abortion choice reporter from the campus newspaper. She wrote an article complaining that the event was one-sided. That was as ridiculous as killing both your parents and asking the judge to show you mercy for being an orphan. Of course, the event was one-sided. The reporter's side didn't show up!
I would recommend replicating this at your local secular university. Sponsor a showing of The Silent Scream or In the Womb – or any good film that accurately depicts abortion or life in the womb. Then ask a pro- life doctor to describe what is taking place in the film. But also set a place at the table for other side. Make a placard with the invitee's name on it. If they don't show up then put out the placard and explain that the opposition has no answers. It will be effective. Trust me. We've done it before here at my university.
6. Cross racial lines.
Cross displays can be effective. Just ask Sally Jacobsen, a Professor Emerita of English at Northern Kentucky University (NKU). Back in 2006, she was walking across the NKU campus when she saw hundreds of crosses set up as part of a pro-life display. Each cross represented 100,000 abortions since Roe v. Wade. At the time, the total was less than fifty million. That meant there were four hundred-something crosses set up on campus property.
Sally didn’t like the crosses. So when she went to her night class later that evening, she told the class they were going on a little field trip. Unbelievably, the field trip she planned was a walk over to the pro-life display in order to destroy it. Thankfully, someone who thought the idea was sheer lunacy called the student newspaper. They showed up with a camera and took pictures of the learned professor as she both destroyed and attempted to steal crosses, which, obviously, didn’t belong to her. As a result, she was called into the NKU president’s office and promptly placed on administrative leave.
I like these cross displays. But I have an idea for an even more provocative and effective one. One could simply place fifty-six crosses on the campus lawn in order to honor the lives of fifty-six million aborted babies. But I have a modified plan. Under my plan, thirty-six of the crosses would be painted white and twenty would be painted black. Some of you already know the logic behind my plan.
Somewhere between thirty-five and forty percent of the babies aborted in this country are black. This is despite the fact that blacks constitute only twelve percent of the population. By painting twenty (or 36%) of the fifty-six crosses black, you will be more likely to draw people to your display – but hopefully not deranged professors bent on destroying it! When they ask why some of the crosses are painted black, you can hand them literature on the racist origins of Planned Parenthood. It will be a good opportunity to tell them who Margaret Sanger was and how abortion is a eugenicist’s dream come true.
Two years ago, when I gave a speech on abortion at Clarion University in Pennsylvania, the faculty advisor for the pro-abortion-choice club was gracious enough to attend and to respectfully listen to my arguments. When I talked about Margaret Sanger and the racist roots of Planned Parenthood she was taken aback and wanted more information. Fortunately, one of my friends from the Leadership Institute (they sponsored the talk) was there with a computer and a printer. She printed off a picture of Margaret Sanger standing on a flatbed pickup truck while speaking at a large gathering. That large gathering was a meeting of the Ku Klux Klan.
I’m sure the picture had an effect on the faculty advisor. But it would be more effective if shown to people before they join the pro-abortion-choice cause. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I think the black and white cross display would be a good way to prevent your fellow students from unwittingly joining a racist cause.
I hope this advice is helpful. I hope it’s all been helpful. Now, I just want to close by thanking all of you for inviting my back for the second annual Minnesota Youth for Life Conference. It’s an honor to speak at the same event with my good friend Dave Sterrett and my personal hero Lila Rose. I hope I’ve convinced some of you to focus on one important word over the course of the next year. That word is not “nominal.” That word is “activist.”
When I ran into an activist named Lisa Chambers back in 1993, it only took her ten minutes to plant a stone in my shoe. And look what happened. That’s why I travel the country speaking to beautiful people in beautiful places on behalf of beautiful children. Doesn’t that sound like a cause worth joining?
Thank you for having me, thank your parents for having you, and God bless you all.
Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.