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David and Goliath: Radiance Foundation and Ryan Bomberger Defend Children, Stand Up to the NAACP
By Deacon Keith Fournier
December 14th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Racism is also intrinsically evil. The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored people) has a valiant and heroic history of opposing that evil. However, as Ryan Bomberger and the Radiance Foundation have clearly uncovered, the NAACP does not advance the rights of children in the womb. They have lost their way. By stopping their ears to the cries of the child in the womb being killed by procured abortion, they betray their claim to hearing the cries of all of the poor and all who suffer from discrimination.Ryan Bomberger courageously uncovers the facts. He speaks truth to power. Among the numerous campaigns the Radiance Foundation has engaged in to communicate the truth about the dignity of every human life, at every age and stage, is the toomanyaborted.com billboard campaign.
NORFOLK, VA (Catholic online) - I was in Federal District Court Wednesday morning. It had been many years. This time, I was not sitting at counsel table representing a client. I was sitting in the Courtroom, praying for a very good man named Ryan Bomberger, who is a modern day David in a David and Goliath scenario which has important implications for our struggle for Human Rights.
I believe that Ryan Bomberger is one of the bright lights in the great Human Rights Movement of our age, the protracted struggle to restore the recognition of the Right to Life to our youngest neighbors, children in the womb. His efforts are among the most creative and effective efforts of this critical hour.
When I entered the Courtroom I saw Ryan sitting at table with his two volunteer lawyers from the Alliance Defending Freedom. His wife Bethany was sitting behind him. The clerk had just entered the courtroom so I knew I only had a minute. I came dressed in my clerical collar. I am a Catholic Deacon.
I wanted to send a signal that this man, who spends his energy and substantial gifts defending the human dignity of every child in the womb, had the support of my Church in his defense of children in the womb. That is why I wore the collar.
However, I am also a member of the Bar, a constitutional lawyer. So, I could step up to the counsel table to greet him. I wanted to send the signal that he had the support of this aging Pro-Life lawyer should he need further help. I shook his hand and expressed my solidarity.
I had not seen Ryan Bomberger since the March for Life in Washington this past January. However, I have followed his important work in the Radiance Foundation since he and his wife Bethany founded the organization in 2009.
As an old warhorse in the Pro-Life Movement, I have been fighting this battle for a very, very long time on many fronts. However, I find their mission, creative means and manner of carrying forward the work to be refreshing. It fills me with hope and inspires me at this critical moment in the history of our human rights struggle.
I also find Ryan's personal Pro-life testimony personally compelling, convicting and motivating. It is summarized well on the website of the Foundation: His biological mother was raped yet courageously chose to continue the pregnancy, giving him Life. He was adopted as a baby and grew up in a loving, multi-racial Christian family of 15.
With siblings of varying ethnicities, he grew up with a great appreciation for diversity. Ten of the thirteen children were adopted in this remarkable family. His life defies the myth of the "unwanted" child as he was adopted, loved and has flourished.
If you have not visited the Radiance Foundation, please do so. Watch the extraordinary videos they produce. Use them to inspire yourself - and in your own activism. The Foundation uses the immense creative talent of Ryan Bomberger in a multi-media platform which is unique in the Human Rights movement called the Pro-Life movement.
I used a longer explanation of the Pro-Life movement in the last paragraph to convey a foundational truth; a truth which Ryan Bomberg fully understands and makes powerfully clear in his prophetic work. This is a Human Rights movement; without the Right to life there are no other Rights.
Every single human person, at every age and stage of life, has human dignity. They are created in the image and likeness of God. They all have a fundamental Right to Life which cannot be taken away. That Right is revealed in the Natural Moral Law, even if it is not currently recognized in the civil or positive law of the United States.
The taking of innocent human life is intrinsically evil. It is always and everywhere wrong to kill our innocent neighbor. The child in the womb is our neighbor. We all began there. Any movement which purports to call itself a human rights movement, yet promotes, directly or indirectly, the taking of innocent human life in the womb, is falling short in its claim.
Racism is also intrinsically evil. The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored people) has a valiant and heroic history of opposing that evil. However, as Ryan Bomberger and the Radiance Foundation have clearly uncovered, the NAACP does not advance the rights of children in the womb. They have lost their way.
By stopping their ears to the cries of the child in the womb being killed by procured abortion, they betray their claim to hearing the cries of all of the poor and all who suffer from discrimination.
I am old enough to remember Mother Teresa's extraordinary message to the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994. I offer a brief excerpt, but you can read the entire address here. That little nun stepped up to the podium and spoke truth to power:
I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us.
So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.
And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So, abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.
The statistics are clear and irrefutable, the communities which have lost the most lives in this horrid war on the womb, unleashed by legalized abortion on demand, are minority communities. In fact, the Radiance Foundation presents a compelling exposition of the hijacking of the Civil Rights movement.
Ryan Bomberger courageously uncovers the facts. He speaks truth to power. Among the numerous campaigns the Radiance Foundation has engaged in to communicate the truth about the dignity of every human life, at every age and stage, is the toomanyaborted.com billboard campaign.
This is an extraordinarily effective National campaign. It was this campaign which led to the Radiance Foundation being in Federal Court.
It began in 2010 with a website which presented information, news, and videos educating the public about the disproportionate impact of abortion on African Americans. It provided information on adoption, foster care and other life affirming responses to social needs.
In 2011, Radiance and toomanyaborted designed and erected 50 billboards in Georgia which, along with compelling visuals reinforcing the dignity of every life, prophetically declared "The 13th Amendment Freed Us. Abortion Enslaves Us."
The comparison between the older form slavery and the newer slavery of abortion on demand, disturbs some in the Civil Rights community. Yet, at root, they both proceed from the evil idea that human persons are not gifts to be received, but rather products to be used and abused.
Some in the contemporary Civil Rights community are engaged in a sort of schizophrenic rejection of racism and discrimination which fails to hear the cry of the children in the womb whose fundamental Human Right to life is currently denied. They do not like it when people make the connection.
Many in that group get particularly distressed when articulate, impassioned, prophetic and compelling African Americans like Ryan Bomberger strip away the veneer of the duplicitous rhetoric of the so called "Pro-Choice" movement and expose the evil which lies at its roots.
In July of 2011, Ryan wrote an article entitled "Still Not Free At Last: NAACP Ignores Abortion Rhetoric". It can be read here. That article exposed the disgraceful failure of the NAACP to be consistent in its activism and openly oppose the taking of the lives of children in the womb.
Ryan has consistently, accurately and effectively exposed the racism which was at the historical roots of Planned Parenthood. He has also decried the failure of the NAACP to disavow any connection with that organization. In fact, the two organizations collaborate.
His Human Rights activism has included numerous speeches and articles which have been both prophetic and downright disturbing to some in the current Civil Rights establishment. Yet, they are all a part of his protected Free Speech activities under the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.
His efforts have especially upset some in the leadership of the NAACP. In some instances, Ryan satirically referred to the organization as the "National Association for the Abortion of Colored People."
It was this last satirical reference which led to the Court hearing I attended. You can read about it here. To simplify both the timeline and the legal issues, the NAACP sent a cease and desist letter to the Radiance Foundation on January 28, 2013 which can be read here.
It alleged that the organization - and Ryan's - constitutionally protected speech was a violation of their organization's intellectual property rights. They threatened legal action. As was evident in the Courtroom today, the NAACP leadership does not like Ryan's efforts or his message. They also do not like the Radiance Foundation.
As the testimony also revealed today, they have a thirty million dollar budget and an army of lawyers. This really is a David and Goliath scenario.
I have practiced law for thirty three years. Many of those years, I defended the Free Speech Rights of people like Ryan. In my opinion, the letter was a bullying tactic, an effort to prevent him from speaking out.
His response reveals one of the many reasons why I admire this young man. He did not cower over the bully threatening to drag him to Court. Rather, he courageously filed first! On February 1, 2013, a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment was filed by lawyers from the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the Radiance Foundation and Ryan Bomberger.
The case is styled The Radiance Foundation, Inc. and Ryan Bomberger vs. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. It is being heard in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk, Virginia. I attended the morning session.
Ryan and the Radiance Foundation have asked the Court to:
Declare that neither Radiance nor Ryan Bomberger has infringed any of the NAACP's marks, whether the claim for infringement is under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1051, et seq., or the common law; Declare that neither Radiance nor Ryan Bomberger has tarnished or diluted any famous mark owned by the NAACP; Declare that the use made by the plaintiffs did not constitute unfair competition or palming off; and Declare that the use of the marks by the plaintiffs was protected by the First Amendment.
Stay tuned. I will be reporting more on my experience at the hearing and keep our readers up to date on how the case progresses. I will also be reporting more on the efforts of Ryan Bomberger and the Radiance Foundation.
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