by Leslie Tignor
American Life League
Volume 9, Number 45
Monday, November 19, 2012
Regional Conference Calls & Pro-life Activism in the Digital Age
During the month of November we’ve had as a guest on our Regional Conference Calls ALL’s videographer and social media manager Dwain Currier—and the conversations have been quite interesting!
Approximately one half of all groups in the Associate Program have and maintain a website; a smaller number have a Facebook presence; even fewer are on Twitter, Instagram or Pintrest (although the latter is probably of least importance). Dwain has shown us that involvement in social media is a must in today’s technology-connected society and, when done well, is a huge asset to the pro-life movement. He further explains that “social media” isn’t just Facebook. Social media includes websites and mobile phone applications that are used to initiate an interactive dialogue, often in real time, and affect changes to communication between organizations, communities and individuals. In other words, social media involves getting out your message—in this case, a pro-life message—to people, prompting them to spread it further and creating a ripple effect to change hearts and minds. It’s a great way to reach volunteers, supporters, donors, potential donors, opponents, media and those “sitting on the fence.” You can make people aware of fundraising events, prayer vigils, protests and needs. You can share stories of conversions, lives saved, and other events that might otherwise go unnoticed or unreported.
Websites are important in that they allow people to find your organization on the Internet. Websites can and should contain everything anyone would want to know about your organization as well as basic pro-life educational materials and current events. However, websites that are stagnant, out-of-date, unappealing aesthetically, or difficult for visitors to navigate are of little use and will be, most likely, quickly dismissed by new visitors. Pro-Life Wisconsin (www.prolifewisconsin.org) and Children of God for Life (www.cogforlife.org) are just two examples of Associate websites that are extremely well done. (If you’re looking for someone to enhance or even start a website for you, contact Ben Zumdahl at firstname.lastname@example.org!)
Blog sites provide another form of Internet presence and frequently contain numerous news articles or opinion pieces that readers can comment on. The drawback to web and blog sites though is that they are not really interactive—and definitely do not operate in “real time.” They may also be difficult to read and/or navigate from a mobile device.
YouTube is not interactive either, but it is a good place to post videos. It is particularly useful for inspiring stories or testimonials and previews or trailers for DVDs. These types of videos can be shared by pro-lifers to increase awareness of the dignity of human life. Once a video is posted, creators can use other forms of social media to spread the word of the video’s existence.
Social networking platforms are smaller, more concise and easily accessible from mobile apps. They are more interactive, operate in real time and usually generate a following. Facebook is currently the most popular social networking site in the world and is an excellent way to spread information quickly, share information with other pro-lifers and post news that is not found on mainstream media outlets. Twitter is an even smaller form of social media, often referred to as “micro-blogging,” in that messages are limited to 140 characters. Instagram is much like Twitter, except that the message delivered is a picture rather than text. Pro-lifers are decidedly more active on Instagram than are pro-abortion supporters. Pintrest is a form of visual bookmarking for sharing items of interest with others.
It should also be noted that social media is extremely popular with today’s youth and it is vitally important that we reach our youth with the pro-life message. Today’s youth are the tomorrow’s leaders!
We have one more conference call in November—on Thursday, November 29 at 3:30 pm EST. While this call is designated “Region E,” we invite any Associate group members who have been unable to participate in their own regional call to join us this time around.
Regional conference calls will not be held during the months of December and January so that everyone has time to prepare for and enjoy the Christmas holiday with their loved ones and then to prepare for March for Life events.
In February, we will change our schedule from five regional monthly conference calls to one monthly conference call that will be open to all Associates nationwide. The conference call will also be recorded, posted to our website and accessible to those who missed the live call. We certainly need your participation though to make the calls successful! We look forward to new guests and topics in February, so watch for announcements about dates!
Bad advice for our girls
The week before Sandy hit, a 15-year-old Staten Island girl threw herself in front of a train, after a video of her having sex with four football players was passed around her school. Two students got suspended for mocking her. But apparently the football players weren’t disciplined — because, according to police, the sex was “consensual.” Felicia was a victim of a culture that tells 15-year-olds that sex is fun at any age, that being a virgin is uncool, that sex is the same for boys and for girls and that casual sex can be “empowering.”http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/bad_advice_for_our_girls_UVZeh8U9UjLq1WOqXLIq0N
Media group encourages pregnant women to consider adoption
The Austin-based pro-life media group Heroic Media has released a new video for National Adoption Month to encourage women with unexpected pregnancies to consider adoption. “Most women don’t understand the feeling of empowerment adoption brings,” Marissa Cope, Heroic Media’s Director of Marketing, Communications and Research, said Nov. 12. “We believe this video will alert women to a possibility they may not have yet considered and ultimately save the lives of unborn children.” Cope said fewer than one percent of women with unplanned pregnancies choose adoption, even though there are 30 to 40 couples desiring to adopt for every adoptive baby.http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/media-group-encourages-pregnant-women-to-consider-adoption/
New reality show to feature post-abortive mothers
Surrender the Secret is a new reality television series that will premiere on Knock TV beginning January 22, 2013, on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. A description: Surrender the Secret tells the real-life abortion stories of 5 women, and follows them as they go through post-abortion recovery. Together, these brave women embark upon a healing journey using an 8-session bible study specifically written for women who have had an abortion. See how they work through different healing exercises which help them get free from the bondages of pain, guilt and shame.
The erosion of ethics in organ transplantation
Organ donation can certainly be a supreme act of generosity. Pope John Paul II endorsed organ transplantation in both his encyclical Evangelium Vitae as well as his 2000 address to the 18th International Congress of the Transplantation Society as a way to build up an “authentic culture of life”. However, Pope John Paul II was also careful to insist that this lifesaving technology must be governed by critical ethical principles in order to fulfill its life affirming potential.http://www.zenit.org/rssenglish-35951?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+zenit%2Fenglish+%28ZENIT+English%29
Year-end is a great time to gather in your supporters’ charitable gifts. In part, this is due to the expiring opportunity to earn an income tax deduction this year. Don’t overestimate the importance of tax deductions, however. Many people do not itemize their income tax deductions, so they won’t really get any tax benefit from the gift. Instead, they are like most of us in the tendency to procrastinate and year-end is simply an emotional deadline that reminds donors of their desire to give charitably. For many charitable organizations with a religious theme, Christmas time is also particularly magical in generating emotions of joy and caring. So, be sure to get your mailings and other communications out there so that you can take advantage of (and compete in) this giving season—but don’t cheapen your message with too much talk about tax deductions.
I must learn that the purpose of my life belongs to God, not me. God is using me from His great personal perspective, and all He asks of me is that I trust Him. I should never say, “Lord, this causes me such heartache.” To talk that way makes me a stumbling block. When I stop telling God what I want, He can freely work His will in me without any hindrance. He can crush me, exalt me, or do anything else He chooses. He simply asks me to have absolute faith in Him and His goodness.
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highesthttp://utmost.org/fellowship-in-the-gospel/
NOTE: Referral to web sites not produced by American Life League is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement of the sites’ content.