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National Campus Life Network > Blog > summer semester

Mind Matters, Love Conquers

Written by Ashley Bulthuis, NCLN Summer Intern

Last week NCLN and Advokate joined efforts to co-host our final BC Summer Semester event: training in how to engage others in open, loving conversation, followed  by Clipboarding combined with Student Life Chain. Through our combined efforts, over 40 participants were able to lovingly share the pro-life message with the local community in Abbotsford, showing them that every life is worth living.

Youth from the Gospel Roads Retreat

Our volunteers were primarily composed of high school students in grades 10-12. Most of them were decked out in purple shirts, with the name of their affiliate organization, Gospel Roads, plastered on their backs. These youth joined our event as part of their social justice retreat; the retreat was geared towards helping high school students serve their local community while raising awareness about various social injustices. The students were excited for the opportunity to put their passion for social justice into action as they showed the Abbotsford community that pre-born humans have rights as well!

“Whom you would change, you must first love. And they must know that you love them.”

To help prepare the youth for engaging the community, Joanna, NCLN’s Western Campus Coordinator, presented about the need to speak out in truth and love, sharing the words of Martin Luther King Jr: “Whom you would change, you must first love. And they must know that you love them.”  She shared personal stories of how conveying the pro-life message with a loving, gentle approach is the most effective way to engage our culture. She provided tangible ways the students could put their passion and convictions into action, encouraging them to do all they can to share the truth. As St. Augustine of Hippo said “The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.”

Students participating in the Life Chain part of the event

The participants then spent a fruitful hour of activism on the street. Most held Life Chain signs, conveying the messages that “Abortion Hurts Women” and “You’ll never regret loving this much.” Those who more directly engaged passersby through clipboarding carried themselves with great compassion, empathy and courage; they listened patiently to those they were conversing with and responded in a gentle, loving manner, acting as great ambassadors of the message of truth and love. Their enthusiasm bubbled over from their wide smiles and shining eyes and their joy was contagious.

Clipboarders ready for action!

After the event, every single participant enthusiastically said that they would do this again. Educating our minds with pro-life arguments matters, but ultimately, it is love that wins people over.  In the words of Maya Angelou,

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

 

Photo credit: Fr. Jim Zettel, SDB

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see – think – act

Written by Anastasia Pearse

“The way we view something changes the way we think about that thing, which changes the way we act towards that thing. Therefore, if we change the way people see abortion, then we can change the way they think about abortion, and we can change the way they act towards abortion.”

Yesterday pro-lifers from the Vancouver Lower Mainland had a chance to educate and transform themselves as they explored the pro-life position and how they can be a voice for the voiceless victims in our country. They were able to see the logic of the pro-life position and understand the reality of what this means for the children who are killed through abortion, for the men and women who suffer because of abortion, and for themselves personally who are called to bring about an end to abortion.

Emily Ryznar provided the presentation, equipping pro-lifers to change and save the culture as they reach out as a Voice for the Voiceless.
Emily Mraz provided the presentation, equipping pro-lifers to change and save the culture as they become an active Voice for the Voiceless.

Afterwards, the pro-lifers reached out and impacted the culture through ‘Choice’ Chain.
“A woman standing at the bus stop walked over and thanked us for being there. She said she was pregnant at age 16 and “it’s because of people like you that I have my son today!””

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“A man was riding by on his bike and stopped to talk when I asked him what he thought about abortion. He said that he didn’t think it’s a good thing, but that if a woman was raped it would be okay. I asked him if he thought it’s okay to kill a child because of the crimes of their father and he stopped to think about it, then broke into a great big smile and said “Where do I sign?!” When he left he said, “I totally support your cause!””

Visit NCLN’s Summer Semester page for more information about upcoming pro-life outreach events!

“If more people can see that abortion is a violation of human rights, more people will act to stop it… No injustice has ever been ended by hiding the injustice that happens and covering up the victims.”

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#CommodityCulture in Vancouver!

Rescuing Our Campuses from Rape Culture, Porn, and Abortion

Sunday, August 24th at 7:00pm
St. Regis Bar & Grill
608 Dunsmiur St., Vancouver
Cover is $5 and there will be free food and a cash bar.
 

Rape culture, porn, & abortion have a lot in common. Recognizing and combating the relationship between all 3 is integral to bringing a culture of life to our campuses and communities. Join National Campus Life Network for our end-of-summer pub night, featuring James Borkowski (Signal Hill), who will speak to us on how to combat this Commodity Culture.

Learn more about opportunities to make a difference in your community in the next academic year, and enjoy the company of the student and young adult pro-life community in the Vancouver area!


Click below for the Facebook event & invite your friends! 

Commodity Culture Vancouver web

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Summer Semester Stories!

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Toronto volunteers creating conversation!

“Do you know what the current legal status of abortion is in Canada?”
“Umm… I think its 12 weeks?”
“Actually, a woman can legally have abortion in Canada through all 9 months of her pregnancy – for any reason or no reason at all.”
“Are you serious??”
“Do you think that abortion should be restricted more than this?”
“Definitely!”

This is the common conversation we have with people during our surveying events. This summer, NCLN has taken our campus tactics to the streets. Using resources from We Need a Law.ca, we are able to present the facts to Canadians about our lack of abortion law, and give them something to do about it. Most Canadians are entirely unaware of the lack of protection for the pre-born in our country, and are shocked to know the truth.

Abortion Law meme“Since we open the conversation in a survey-style, people know that their opinion is valued from the start. From there, we are able to have an open and honest conversation about the issue of abortion in Canada,” said Jesse LeBlanc, president of TWU’s pro-life club. “It’s very encouraging to see that once people know the facts, most are uncomfortable with the legal state of abortion in Canada, and are willing to contact their MP to make a change!”

Once informing a person of the current legal status, students are able to carry the conversation deeper, asking questions like, “At what point do you think abortion should be restricted?” and “Why?” By challenging the participant to articulate their position on abortion, they are able to help people to logically see that the pre-born are equally human and deserving of human rights, through all stages of pregnancy.

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Langley volunteers!

Rebecca Richmond reported, “I spoke to one young man who was pro-choice and thought there should be no abortion restrictions in Canada. By the end of the conversation he wanted to get involved in our efforts to END abortion and gave me his email!”

Conversations are happening and hearts and minds are being changed. We are so excited to continue these events throughout the summer and into the next school year!

We Need a Law survey events are easy to host – all you need is a few friends, We Need a Law resources, and some clipboards to record the survey answers. Contact NCLN today to receive resources and instructions to host your own survey event!

To participate in more of NCLN’s summer activities, visit our Summer Activism page for dates and details!

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What Commodity Culture Means To This Pro-Lifer

Clarissa Canaria, Central Campus Coordinator
 

What comes to mind when you first hear the word “commodity”?  I am sure that a wide array of products or natural resources that are bought and sold come to mind.  In any case, what should not come to mind are human beings.  Sadly, our culture reflects otherwise.

Commodity Daniel JVM

A few weeks ago, NCLN hosted an event in Toronto called “#CommodityCulture: Rescuing our Campuses from Rape Culture, Porn & Abortion” in Toronto.  Before the evening, I had never thought about these topics together, believing that because each had their own roots and reasons, it would be a bit challenging to link them.  However, two things I heard that evening from our wonderful guest speakers stuck with me, forever cementing the interconnectedness of the topics in my mind.

“When we can objectify the person right in front of us whom we can see, we can very easily objectify the pre-born child that we cannot see.”

This point made by Jonathon Van Maren (CCBR) around the beginning of his presentation was as clear as day to me.

If the acts of rape and watching pornography are performed by persons who justify the objectification of another human being as a means to satisfy their lustful desires, then why should we expect a pre-born child, whose humanity is hidden within the womb, to be seen with any sort of dignity?  The child is merely an impediment to pleasure, and because we can pretend that it’s “not really there yet,” our own desires take precedence.

Discussing the issue of abortion with the culture would be much easier if everyone we talked to understood the concept of their value as a human being.  But this task becomes much more difficult when our culture accepts or ignores the use and abuse of so many.  It became much more obvious to me that because of the way certain born human beings are being used, the pre-born child could easily be forgotten and dismissed.  Where do we go from here, then?

“The pro-life movement is the answer to fighting commodity culture.”

I heard these words stated at the end of Daniel Gilman’s presentation and it was a concept I needed to grapple with.  I thought to myself, “Wow, that was a bold statement – how can that possibly be true?  We have such a big task already with just dealing with how rampant abortion is.”

I think the problem was that in my mind, I was still categorizing the three issues separately.  We have to remember that the people we speak to about abortion may be hindered from seeing the truth of its destruction because of our commodity culture.  These are people who are exposed to, subjected to, and/or have participated in the commodity of human beings, whether by being addicted to porn, having been a victim of rape, or taking part in pornography or the rape-culture.  So those of us who do see the truth of abortion in spite of the commodity culture need to know what we are up against.

This event emphasized the fact that rape-culture, porn, and abortion contribute to a commodification of human beings for the purposes of pleasure and convenience in any of its disguises.  These three cultural poisons are infecting university and college campuses across the country in great numbers.  Being aware and educated on what we are exposed to is a sure way to remind ourselves that trying to change hearts and minds is about more than trying to save the next generation from abortion, but also to save our own generation from the lies of our commodity culture. 

Check out “Porn Fuels Rape to read more about Jonathon and Daniel’s work.

If you’d like to get involved in Summer Activism in the Toronto and Vancouver areas, visit our Summer Activism page or contact central@ncln.ca !

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Summer Intern: Meagan Nijenhuis!

We are so excited to welcome Meagan Nijenhuis as our summer intern! Full of passion, spunk and unwavering defense of the preborn, Meagan has served as the VP of University of Guelph’s club, Life Choice. She will be assisting NCLN with a number of projects, including Symposium planning and Summer Activism! In honor of her first day in the office, we thought we’d ask her a few questions…
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How did you first get involved in pro-life activism?

Completely and unexpectedly thrown in. I met Hanna Barlow, U of G Life Choice’s past president at a pro-life event and next thing I knew I was at an NCLN training session on campus. A month later I was the up and coming vice president. “Voluntelling” seems to be a thing in this world of activism.

Who inspires you and why?

Queen Esther. She defended the cause put before her, at immense cost to herself.

What are you most excited about doing during your internship with NCLN?

I am really looking forward to helping with research and planning for the Symposium in the fall. NCLN as an organization helps to save lives across the country so I’m super excited to join their office staff in the fight for life these next couple weeks.

What do you hope to do when you graduate from Guelph?

As it currently sits? I’ll hit up MacMaster University for a master’s so I can do physiotherapy while squeezing in pro-life work wherever possible. The most abortion-prone women are university age so it’s the people around me who need to hear the pro-life message. Maybe I should just stay a student forever…too bad my wallet doesn’t agree.

If NCLN staff came to your house for dinner, what kind of an evening would you plan?

Guelph has such great food, I’d have to take them out for dinner- probably at the Works, a fantastic burger place downtown. Then we’d get some ice cream at the Boathouse (yumm…Moosetracks!), go for a walk in Royal City Park and I’m sure they’d all love to see Church of Our Lady.

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