Monday night was the Fredericton stop for the #No2Trudeau campaign. I was a little bit apprehensive because I was the local organizer and no one was really committed to actually showing up. I was certain it would be just me and 3 other people in attendance.
The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness amongst the silent and not-so-silent pro-lifers that, in Canada, it is no longer possible to vote in good conscience for a federal Liberal member of parliament. Why? Because:
(Justin Trudeau has also said a number of other disparaging things about Canada. There is an entire website dedicated to his habit of putting his foot right into his mouth. But I digress.)
The focus of last night’s event was clear: pro-lifers need to rally and actively and vocally let people know that in Justin Trudeau’s Canada, pro-lifers are persona non grata. Thousands of children are being killed in utero. Children with beating hearts, unique DNA and human dignity are being slaughtered, torn limb from limb, and suctioned out of what should be the safest place for them.
The tactics used by the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform & Campaign Life Coalition – Youth in their End the Killing Campaign are controversial. To be perfectly honest I was extremely on the fence about using graphic images of aborted children to further an agenda. (I’ve discussed this a little bit before after I assisted in the postcard campaign against Brian Gallant in New Brunswick in September).
These children have dignity. They have worth. They did not deserve what happened to them. No one deserves to be treated like this because every person is equal and worthy of life and love, but does that make the use those pictures appropriate or necessary?
In short, I would say “yes”.
These images force people to reconcile the idea of abortion with the reality of abortion. It forces people to see what they support. It forces people to confront the humanity of these children and their own culpability in legalized abortion, and most importantly, it forces a discussion. Change is ultimately made through discussion and public outcry.
At the campaign stop last night, Jonathon Van Maren, talked about how graphic image campaigns have been successful in the past. It takes perseverance, tenacity and ultimately, just constantly reminding people that every year in Canada 100 000 preborn children are killed.
He spoke of William Wilberforce and his mission to take down slavery by using images of slaves and their treatment on slave ships. Wilberforce was ultimately successful because he changed hearts and minds of the public by awakening them to the reality of what slavery looked like and how slaves were treated until the public outcry grew so loud it could no longer be ignored.
Jonathon spoke of Lewis Hine and his use of photographs of children in child labour situations. He showed images of children who were maimed because they were using machinery meant for adults. Like Wilberforce, Hine was ultimately successful because he refused to give up. People were, rightly, horrified by how these children were treated.
Thirdly, Jonathon spoke of Emmett Till, and how the photographs of Emmett’s dead, mangled body sparked the civil rights movement which ended segregation in the United States. After Emmett was killed and his mother saw what had been done to his body, she insisted the casket be left open and those images spread through news publications across the United States. Those actions inspired Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycotts.
Jonathon then spoke about how graphic images are used in the Amnesty International Campaign entitled, “It’s not happening here, but it’s happening now“.
These images enlighten and educate. No change has ever happened by people remaining comfortable. At a certain point everyone of us will be forced to see something we’d rather ignore.
Once we are confronted with these horrors, we can no longer say we don’t know. Sure, some people ignore them and explain them away; others can pass them off as someone else’s problem. Or we can start to raise our voice and make a change.
Viewing these images and the inevitable discussion that they cause can be used to engage in civil discussion. This will, in turn, change hearts and minds.
Prolifers cannot afford to stay silent; sometimes we have to force the issue. The longer we stay silent, the longer we assume that others will eventually come around to the idea that abortion is a violation of basic human rights and the longer the bodies of abortion babies will continue to pile up as medical waste.
The #No2Trudeau campaign’s goal is precisely this: to educate, inform and to push people to act on behalf of the victims of abortion, to signal to the federal government that pro-lifers will not be silenced and that we will rally; that we deserve fair representation. Justin Trudeau is not offering that to the Liberal Party and the Liberal voters.