Politics at JMU

Today, students heading to the Commons at JMU were greeted by a warning sign.IMG_2696  Last seen in November of 2011, the Genocide Awareness Project hosted by the Center for Bio-ethical Reform had returned to Harrisonburg.  Like then, one major purpose of this group is to display graphic pictures of abortions to college students with the goal of altering perceptions on the issue.  As their thinking goes, it is far easier to support abortion until you come face-to-face with images of the practice.IMG_2700

IMG_2701Although spur of the moment, one student took issue with the display and staged a quiet counter protest nearby.

IMG_2697In addition, Students for Sensible Drug Policy also tabled at that location.  Offering students free hot chocolate and a more upbeat message, they attempted to draw attention toward their concerns; whether G.A.P. aided or hindered their activities is uncertain.

CBR will be moving on this evening but SSDP will return to the Commons again tomorrow afternoon, this time offering students lemonade.

Love it or hate it, it was another interesting day of politics on the campus of JMU.

The G.A.P. At JMU

On Thursday, I received a rather negative comment on this blog regarding an event going on at James Madison University.  After reading such news, I decided to head over to the university to see what all the fuss was about.  Well, it seems that the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform had put up their Genocide Awareness Project (or G.A.P.) in the middle of campus.

For those who haven’t heard of G.A.P. before, it is a colorful display that contains graphic images of both abortions and various mass murders through the ages such as the Holocaust and the Rwandan butchery.

Now, I can understand why these pictures would upset most people, like the person who sent me the comment yesterday.  After all, when I first started working for Students for Life of America, I had a rather negative impression myself.  Who wants to see such horrible pictures?  Of course the answer is no one.  Won’t they just serve to turn people off from the movement?

But then I got to thinking about my own experience.  Back in high school, what motivated me to be a pro-life activist?  Wasn’t it the same terrible pictures adorning literature from Heritage House 76?

Dukes for Choice Protest

But don’t these images serve to weaken the pro-life cause?  Well, how many people do you suppose are either so disgusted (or so pleased) by these pictures that they decide to have an abortion as a result?  I doubt anyone could make such a claim.  Abortions aren’t pretty, nor are the images that result from this choice.  Some pro-lifers may reject these tactics, but if any choose to abandon the movement when confronted with them, then I doubt they had a very strong commitment in the first place.

No one likes to see these pictures, nor should they.  They are meant to show the real-life consequences of abortion.  You can argue the philosophic merits or detriments of abortion all you like, but when you face the brutal images of the deed, you cannot help but feel revulsion.  It is both natural and human.

After touring the Buchenwald concentration camp outside of Weimar and seeing the photos of what went on there during the Nazi regime, I gained a new-found understanding of the barbarous ways that a man can treat his fellow man.  It wasn’t a journey for fun or pleasure, but it was nevertheless important.  Hopefully, by making such knowledge public we can decrease the likelihood of such events happening in the future.

So too is the goal of the G.A.P.  The organizers don’t like these pictures anymore than you or I.  So then why do they do it?  Well, as a result of this gross panorama the life of even one unborn child is saved, is it worth it?  I believe the answer is yes.

Below are several thumbnail pictures of Thursday’s event.  You are free to look at these graphic images or not.  If you have never seen pictures of the results of an abortion, I encourage you to do so.  Consider yourself warned; you won’t like them, of course, but they do serve as a valuable tool.

So what will your reaction be the next time G.A.P. and the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform comes to your campus?  Will you protest, like one reader and Dukes for Choice, demanding restrictions and squelching the 1st Amendment right of free speech?  Or will they motivate you to take a stand for those who cannot speak for themselves?  I suppose that there is only one way to find out.

The Tennessee Conservative

Good morning readers and welcome to my latest piece.

You’ll notice the name of this post is the “Tennessee Conservative”.  I suppose a more accurate name would be “The Virginia Conservative in Tennessee”, but for sake of brevity, I chose the former.  No, I haven’t permanently left Virginia.  Shortly after my last post, I packed my bags and headed west, stopping beside Cherokee Lake in eastern Tennessee.

Cherokee Lake in Eastern TN

This adventure is nearly over as I’ll be returning to the Old Dominion tomorrow.  It has been good to see Tennessee again as I haven’t spent much time here since 2007.  Back then I traveled the state (as well as in southern Kentucky), spreading the Pro-life message across college campuses:  The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, UT-Chattanooga, Vanderbilt, Union, Belmont, the list goes on.  At that time, I was working for Students for Life of America.  The reason for my work was simple.  As freshmen are considerably more pro-life than their senior counterparts, we must fight at our colleges and universities to claim and reclaim the hearts and minds of tomorrow’s leaders.

Once in TN, you could imagine my surprise to discover that Students for Life of America (or SFLA as it is known), along with the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform and several other organizations, was holding a conference at the Johnsonville Bible College in Knoxville.   Although it is difficult to precisely gauge the effect of my efforts back in 2007, like a surrogate parent, I felt that that I played some small part in aiding the pro-life movement in this state.  Therefore, I attended the event on Saturday; interested to see how the cause had advanced in my three-year absence.  I’m glad say that the room was jammed with numerous students and organizations eager to continue the fight against the gross injustice of abortion.

SFLA Director Kristan Hawkins and CBR Southeast Director Fletcher Armstrong

Regardless of what state we may find ourselves, we must continually fight for our principles of life and liberty.  Our task is to summon the courage to seek out friends and never surrender to the temptations of apathy and modern liberalism.  Not only can we win, we must win for our own sake and the sake of those who come after us.

Best wishes for the fight ahead.  I look forward to talking to you again soon.