IPYC – Day 3

International Pro-Life Youth Conference
November 11 – 13, 2011

After learning more about the injustice of abortion on Friday and Saturday, it was time to put our beliefs into action on Sunday afternoon! We headed down to the Santa Monica Promenade for our die-in after attending mass on Sunday morning.

Wondering what a die-in is? Well, a die-in is a form of pro-life activism, and a great way to get people involved in the revolution!!

We first spread out in a public area. When the leader shouts “die” the participants drop to the ground. Others quickly come and use chalk to outline the bodies, like a murder scene. The people on the ground are covered with long red cloths symbolizing the blood of abortion. While all that is happening, someone announces to the public what’s happening and others pass out literature to passerby. The great thing about die-ins is that there are many ways you can participate – definitely a way for everyone to be involved!

                      
                          Getting everyone organized
The supplies!

 

As my first die-in experience, this went pretty well. I passed out literature, and was greeted with countless sour facial expressions and people who were too busy to give a care about those being affected by abortion. I got plenty of exercise darting around the sidewalks, keeping a big smile on while handing out the literature, and praying for the people who swore at us and made false claims about what we were doing.

Like I said earlier, this was my first experience with this kind of pro-life activism. It was incredible how many people were disgusted by our non-violent presence that day. I mean, what’s so offensive about random teenagers laying on the ground? I was left a bit incredulous at some of the responses to the activism, but I guess I shouldn’t have been. When you do not have truth on your side, how could you possibly respond with anything but empty lies and false claims based on more lies?

I was told throughout the day that I was stupid, and too young to know anything. A father walking with his about 7 year old daughter told her “They’re not making a difference”. Many expressed how disgusting we were, and that it was so ridiculous because you can’t even get an abortion until you’re 18. One person took the literature and tore it, throwing it at my feet. I could write a whole novel about just these reactions, and the people at the promenade!

These responses were rather hateful, but it made me realize that when you do not have truth on your side, you do not have any other way to respond. When scientific facts and not so common sense do not agree with your point of view, you are left with lies, and nothing logical to back your point of view. I am not discouraged by these responses, and I know I’ll hear a lot more and more hateful comments in the future. They motivate me to continue working to expose the lies of the culture of death, and bring light to our darkened world.

Are you ready to stand up and bring light to our world even if it is uncomfortable and you are ridiculed? 

A Note From Laura

Dear Readers,

I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t blogged about many recent adventures I’ve had. I have so many exciting escapades to write about, and information to give you! This next week I’m finishing up school, so look on Saturday (the 10th) for my next post. I’m looking forward to writing regularly after that! As always, thanks for checking in.

For the Respect of All Human Life,

Laura 🙂

IPYC – Day 2

International Pro-Life Youth Conference
November 11 – 13, 2011

After a great kick-off on Friday, we started Saturday with more wonderful speakers, and the same energy that carried us through the first day of the conference.


Our first speaker on Saturday was Warwick Pascoe from New Zealand. A geologist by education, Mr. Pascoe spent years traveling the world marveling at rocks (as he put it), but then came to the conclusion that we are the greatest masterpieces of creation. Yes, we are even more amazing than Mr. David here, because under our incredible outer appearances is an incredibly designed network of bodily systems which keeps us alive! We are more beautiful and intricately designed than any rock or sunset.

His speech covered the beauty and magnificence of human development from conception until birth. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made, and “it doesn’t matter where you come from,” he said “we have our humanity in common.”All you have to do is look at one cell of the human body, and you can’t help but marvel at our lives. God is the ultimate artist, and we are His handiwork. Mr. Pascoe ended his speech with this quote: “The buildings are just buildings, the roads are just roads, but our people are irreplaceable.”

Next we heard from a panel on Advocating life on your campus. Kristina Garza of Survivors encouraged us to “create our ripples”, referencing Mother Teresa’s quote: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water and create ripples.” Joe Langfeld of Human Life Alliance said that activism will help solidify your beliefs. Rebecca Roughneen from Youth Defence , and Allison Aranda from Life Legal Defence Foundation  also spoke, and encouraged us to be where the people are at.

Jill Stanek talked about using new and social media as HUGE frontiers for the pro-life revolution. You should really check out her blog! She covers recent happenings in the pro-life arena, so make sure to check out her blog for yourself!


Walter Hoye from Issues4Life Foundation talked next about Abortion in Black America. The culture of death targets minorities, as shown by horrifying statistics Mr. Hoye shared with us. For example, about 3% of America’s population (african american women of childbearing age) is responsible for at least 30% of abortions in our country. Why? Because the abortion industry targets them. “Time is out,” Mr. Hoye said “We need you now. We cannot afford to wait another 38 years.”

The panel show on the left: Tim Herrmann from C-FAM, Andy Moore from Pro-Life Planet, and Ide Nic Mhathuna from Youth Defence shared information with us about Advocating Life Internationally. Abortion is a global issue because it effects human everywhere. All of us have been effected by it. We’ve lost 1/3 of my generation: my friends, your friends, our brothers, sisters, cousins, grandchildren – The list goes on. Let us fight harder every day until the life of EVERY human being is protected from conception until natural death!

Troy Newman from Operation Rescue talked with us about the Gatekeepers of the Abortion Industry. Twenty years ago, there were about 2,176 abortion facilities in America, and almost no Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Think that’s changed? Yeah, it has!! Today there are about 657 abortion facilities (a 70% DECREASE!!), and Crisis Pregnancy Centers outnumber them with a 4:1 ratio. We’ve come a long way, but the road continues…

Our next panel on Effective Tools for Successful Events was really informative. This is a post in and of itself, so look for that in the future 🙂


Saturday ended with Bernadette Smyth as our last speaker. There is only one word that describes this “warrior for the babies” (and the whole conference), and that is: AWESOME. Bernadette was ‘just’ a regular young mom when she heard a pro-life speech about 13 or 14 years ago. Since then, she has taken on the pro-life movement in Northern Ireland, and started the organization Precious Life. Bernadette’s story is inspirational. “When the Lord calls you, He equips you” she said. “We must rise up to protect these babies because they don’t have anyone else.” “We have to rise up because when we’re silent, babies die.”

“One day, history will look back and say: not only did they win the battles, they won the war.” “Get your armor on, and run into battle” she said.

God tells us in Ephesians 6:11 –

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Are ready to stand up, equipped with the armor of God, and protect those who have no one else to speak for them? 

IPYC – Day 1

International Pro-Life Youth Conference 
November 11 – 13, 2011

I told you about how the conference started, so now I’ll fill you in on the speakers. After rocking out to “Party Rock Anthem” and getting the crowd cheering, we heard from our first speaker – Lila Rose from Live Action.

I love how Lila encourages us, as young people, to stand up for life. It doesn’t matter how old we are, we can still make big differences. At IPYC, Lila pointed out that we’re often called the “future” of the pro-life movement, but we’re here to be the leaders TODAY. You bet! There is no need to wait till we’re older or until someone gives us permission to be advocates for life. The time is now! We are sick to death of evil prevailing, and we are committed to ending the evil of abortion.

Leadership (especially in the pro-life movement) can be lonely. Lila can attest to that because her friends didn’t always show up to meetings when she first started Live Action. She shared with us what her mom told her when she was discouraged by this lonliness: Leadership is lonely, but we have to forge the way and people will follow.

Next we heard from a panel (Bryan Kemper, Jill Stanek, and Lila Rose) on Using New Media to Advance the Pro-Life Message. They had some wonderful tips on how to effectively spread the pro-life message online. One point, that visual media speaks louder than just words, has certainly been shown time and time again in the pro-life movement. So true! Seeing pictures and videos “inspires us to action” because we see the truth, and it can’t be denied. Looking at an aborted baby, we can’t say “Oh, that’s just a blob of tissue”. Visual media forces us to face the truth about abortion.

Next we heard from Austin Ruse of C-FAM. He talked about his pro-life involvement with the UN. He said that “Abortion will not end until we change the public sentiment.” It was really interesting, and definitely something I hadn’t heard much about before!

Next was Eoghan De Faoite of Youth Defence. Can I just say that irish people rock?!?!?!? And not just because of their accents 😉 Ireland is one of the only countries that remains abortion free today, much to the credit of Youth Defence. They are an incredible group of motivated young people dedicated to educating, demonstrating, campaigning, communicating, and lobbying the pro-life message. They have successfully kept abortion out of Ireland for 20 years – and counting! This speech was great – I wish I could have written faster to record more quotes! I think we can learn a lot from what Youth Defence does, since they’ve obviously been successful.

Our last speaker of the night was Bryan Kemper of Stand True Ministries.  “Every day we lift our heads off our pillow,” he said “is one we’re not promised.” Remember the story of the Good Samaritan? A terribly injured man was laying beside the road, and a Priest and Levite both passed him without lending a hand. Neither of them thought it was his business, so both left the man for someone else to take care of. The Samaritan passed by next, and even though he did not have to help the injured man, he did. This care for our fellow human beings is at the heart of the pro-life movement. We care about our brothers and sisters from the point of conception until natural death, and that’s why we are fighting for their lives.

I challenge you to think about this: Are you more like the Priest and Levite, or are you more like the Good Samaritan?


Are you ready to stop on the side of the road, and help your brothers and sisters?

Taking Sides

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

This was the theme of the International Pro-Life Youth Conference, and how we kicked off the conference. Well actually, we started it by blasting “Party Rock Anthem”, rocking out onstage, and getting the crown up cheering 🙂 Who says pro-lifers aren’t fun?!?!?! 

This energy carried us through the weekend. The conference was a powerful, inspiring, and exciting experience for me. 

I knew before the weekend that I wanted to dedicate my life to this movement, but afterward I am confident that God is indeed calling me to be a voice for the voiceless, an advocate for life, and a warrior in the battle against evil. I believe that this is the most worthy cause to dedicate my life to, because no other injustice claims as many lives, or impacts our world like abortion does. Because of this horror, over 53,000,000 babies have been aborted since 1973, and around 4,000 are added to that number EVERY DAY. That means that about 1/3 of my generation is missing.

It is time to take sides. It is time rise up and END abortion. 

Are you ready to take sides and stand up for what you believe in, even if you stand alone?

Dear Readers,

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and took time to thank God for everything He has given you. We are truly blessed. I am working on many changes to my blog right now, so please bear with me 🙂 It shouldn’t take too long. In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful autumn weather!

For the Respect of All Human Life,

Laura 🙂

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

We Give Thanks

Our Father in Heaven,

We give thanks for the pleasure

Of gathering together for this occasion.

We give thanks for this food

Prepared by loving hands.

We give thanks for life,

The freedom to enjoy it all

And all other blessings.

As we partake of this food,

We pray for health and strength

To carry on and try to live as You would have us.

This we ask in the name of Christ,

Our Heavenly Father.

 

– Harry Jewell

Mother Teresa

I love Mother Teresa. She is an amazing example of self-sacrifice and love we can all learn from. This is one of my favorite quotes of hers (a poem she wrote).

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.” 

Our Father

As a Catholic, sometimes it feels like I’m just reciting words when I say the Our Father or Hail Mary. If you’re familiar with these prayers, you’ve probably felt the same way. It is only after studying the words you’re saying that you can truly appreciate the deeper meaning behind these prayers. Below you will find a breakdown of the Our Father, and the seven petitions it contains.

One of the most recited prayers said by believers, the Our Father runs deeper than words repeated over and over. This unique and beautifully versed prayer teaches us what we should desire in our lives, in the order they should be desired.

We begin with the first petition, “hallowed be thy name” in which we recognize God’s name as holy. As God’s creation, we human beings cannot bless the name of God, but we distinguish it as holy when we call his name “hallowed”. This teaches us to desire the holiness of God, since this holiness plays a pivotal role in God’s mystery. “Asking the Father that His name be made holy draws us into His plan of loving kindness for the fullness of time.”

The second petition “Thy kingdom come” proclaims the second coming of God’s kingdom. As Saint Cyprian stated in reference to Jesus “For as He is our resurrection, since in Him we rise, so He can also be understood as the Kingdom of God, for in Him we shall reign.” This petition reminds us of the imminent coming of Our Lord, and teaches us to desire our future reunion with Christ.

In the third petition “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” we recognize that God has a perfect plan for our lives, and we ask that we are guided to follow this divine plan. This reinforces the teaching that Christ has a supreme goal for each of us to follow. Our trust should always be found in our heavenly Father, as we are obey Him, and do our best to follow His will with His loving help.

In the fourth petition “give us this day our daily bread” we acknowledge that God is our Father, and we pronounce this by trusting Him as His children. With this trust, we ask that we are given the nourishment life requires, both spiritual and material. This petition does not exclusively refer to our hunger for bread, because we are told that “Man does not live on bread alone, but…by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Not only do we ask God for our own daily bread, but we also desire to have this Bread of Life: the body of Christ received in the Eucharist.

In the fifth petition “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” we boldly ask that God forgive us in the same way we forgive others. By uttering these words, we acknowledge the fact that we are sinners, and express our desire to be forgiven. We must first learn to forgive those who sin against us before we ask the same of God, since we will be forgiven in the same way we show forgiveness to others.

The sixth petition “and lead us not into temptation” goes deeper into the last one. God cannot “lead us” into temptation since we are told that “God is not subject to temptation to evil, and He Himself tempts no one.” This petition teaches us to ask God to lead us down the path of righteousness, and to not allow us to give in to temptations thrown in our path by Satan.

The seventh petition “but deliver us from evil” asks God to protect us not only from evil itself, but also from the Devil, the source of all evil. This teaches us to trust in God as our redeemer, and our protector from harm.

“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen”

These words of the Our Father are a shining example to us of how we should live our lives. The petitions contained in this prayer teach us what we should desire: everlasting communion with God in heaven, which can only be merited through our living out these petitions during our time on earth.

For more details on these 7 petitions, check out the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You can search here for paragraphs on specific topics.

Stay Tuned!

This past weekend, I attended the International Pro-Life Youth Conference. Lots to write about, so stay tuned for all sorts of interesting posts in the near future 🙂