On a cold, wintry day in the early 1980’s, while a student at the University of Michigan, I participated in a pro-life march on campus. As a brand new Christian, I wanted to witness publicly regarding my freshly experienced faith. So as the snow fell, 10-15 of us walked silently and sheepishly across the campus, holding up amateurishly hand-painted signs made out of cardboard. One sign had a picture of an aborted baby stapled to it. The rest had the typical slogans of the day.
“Abortion Kills a Child.”
“Abortion Hurts Women.”
“Adoption the Better Option.”
The next day in the student newspaper, a front page picture appeared of our group. My presence was seen front and center, with a somewhat mocking article underneath. Since the paper was printed on the very day of my January birth date, I kept a copy and took it home to show my parents, thinking they would find it amusing. I remember being a bit shocked at their response. My dad was not happy, and seriously warned me that my photo could be placed in government and employer files, making it difficult for me to find a job someday. I was told that it was okay to have a private belief about this subject, but it was not something decent people spoke about openly.
Now I am a father of a university student. I am thankful for the changes taking place in this movement. Young people are becoming more bold in their stance. Technology, from ultrasound to movies to digital imagery, is being employed to shine the truth in a variety of ways. Strategies are being developed that seek to be more persuasive than polemical. Rather than just bare proclamations of God’s law against the practice of abortion, more open expressions of the grace found in the Christian faith seem to accompany these efforts.
As an example, recently our daughter Emory, a junior at Purdue University, told me of a project that the pro-life group Purdue Students for Life is doing on campus. Young women and men are having their pictures taken on campus. Then, in their own words, they express why they are pro-life. Posters are then printed and the students pin them up on campus in places they often frequent as well as on social media. The idea is for their pro-life stance to be associated with a person, in order to create conversations with their friends.
Below is Emory’s poster. You can see others here. This idea is one worth spreading. Emory has told me she has had several opportunities for conversation with friends because of the poster. Let us encourage this generation, by God’s grace and power, to accomplish what my generation has not been able to do – persuade this nation to repent of this great evil.