As the abolitionists of earlier times stood up and declared themselves emphatically opposed to the blindly overlooked and sometimes willfully ignored evil that undergirded much of the self-proclaimed superiority of their whitewashed society, we also desire to stand up and be clearly counted in opposition to the legally sanctioned practice of exterminating developing human beings in the name of women’s right and in the furtherance of our culture’s continued sexual objectification of women.
We fully realize that our views are not going to be popular with everyone, and we embrace the fact that they will be rejected and scorned by those who reject a Christ-centered view of reality. But we are not concerned with fitting in, but sticking out. We desire to shine as lights in this present darkness and make ourselves visible in the word as we live in it, but not of it. For, we are against the world, for the world; and though we live in the world, we do not orient our lives around its principles.
Identifying oneself as aligned with a controversial opinion on a controversial topic is viewed by some people as unhelpful or too radical. But we are dead set on ending our culture’s mutual assured silence about abortion and arousing all those who are “pro-life” yet apathetic about the cause of abolition.
We refuse to calmly and quietly agree to disagree on this issue. We are not like most people in our culture today, who are far too concerned with their own personal peace and comfort to even discuss abortion in the public square. Most people, even “pro-life” people, are far too socially insecure, sensitive, and afraid of confrontation, to speak their mind about abortion except when they’re safe within the confines of their church, family, and fellow “pro-life” friends. We are not those people. Our intention is not to create chaos, but it is to create division. Not between those who are for abortion and those who are against it, but those who are willing to stand up and seek its abolition and those who are not.
As the abolitionists of slavery widely disseminated their symbol (the “Am I not a Man and a Brother emblem designed by Josiah Wedgewood) and used it to identify themselves as dissidents living in a world of legalized human slavery, our symbol identifies us as dissidents in a world that legally exterminates its preborn children. As the original abolitionists placed their symbol on everything from fashion accessories to domestic objects used in everyday life, our symbol will appear on anything a present-day abolitionist owns and can use to let his or her world know that they refuse “to call evil good, and good evil” or just sit silently by while unborn human beings are led to the slaughter. We have at minimum, chosen to represent ourselves to the world.
Though more modern and logo-graphic than earlier abolitionist symbols, our symbol (the AHA), is intended to be an icon both of dissent and cultural agitation-alerting people to the presence of individuals in their culture who believe that Aboriton ought to be abolished- but is also intended to mark us out as those who unashamedly destroy the falsehoods that undermine the value of humanity in our culture and actively seek to help victims of this present dehumanization with very real assistance and sacrificial love. The “AHA” is designed to instigate conversation about abortion and the worldview which supports its legalization and practice and alert people to the presence of people ready and willing to help women in need with financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual assistance.
Please watch this short video explaining what the AHA Symbol means, why we use it, why it looks the way that it does, and why we put it on everything we make and do.
It should first be noted that Abolish Human Abortion is not a top-down hierarchical organization and we do not consider the AHA symbol to be our “logo.” It is a symbol to be used by any and all Abolitionists who adopt the ideology and actions associated with Abolitionism. While AHA does hold the copyright to the AHA symbol, we do not wish the symbol to be solely used by us. We do observe the right to enforce this connection between the AHA symbol and the Abolitionist ideology. It wouldn’t make much sense to be an incrementalist secular pro-life and want to adopt the AHA symbol anyways. The AHA symbol means what it means and we invite anyone who truly accepts abolitionism and wants to represent themselves as an abolitionist in this culture of death to adopt the AHA symbol as their own.
Of course, AHA is not directly responsible for the activities of any individual abolitionist, or abolitionist society who adopts the symbol to represent their acceptance of the Abolitionist Ideology. We have developed an ideology that the AHA symbol represents, and embrace moral imperatives that anyone who acts contrary to the ideology and ethics of abolition, while displaying the AHA symbol, is misrepresenting what abolitionism is all about, and would be hypocritical in their adoption and use of the symbol.
One of the primary difficulties in raising awareness about the atrocity of abortion in our culture is the fact that most people are simply too concerned with their own personal peace and comfort to make discussion of abortion part of their daily life. Most people, even “prolife” people, are far too socially insecure, sensitive, and afraid of confrontation, to speak their mind about abortion except for when they’re safe within the confines of their church, family, and fellow “pro-life” friends.
Such bashfullness is a subtle compromise with the continued occurence of legalized child killing that continues in this country.
The world out there is perfectly happy with the fact that you are prolife so long as you keep it to yourself. As they like to say, “You do not have to be pro-abortion so long as you do not seek to take away somebody else’s right to an abortion.” Of course, the pro-choice lobby and abortion industry hates the fact that prolifers seek to defund their commercial killing centers and replace pro-choice politicians with elected officials who desire the repeal of Roe v. Wade or put restrictions on the practice of abortion, but, the prochoice lobby knows full well that they have been winning this political battle for the past 38 years and every day that abortion remains legal is a day that some 3,500 women make their way to so-called clinics and end the lives of the children developing within their wombs. Millions of dollars are made and millions of lives are destroyed.
The pro-abortion culture that we live in is perfectly happy with the fact that you are pro-life so long as all you ever do is check a box from time to time and leave them to influence the culture with their so-called “prochoice.” What they do not want you to do is destroy the steady stream of misinformation about abortion which they produce in order to encourage the continued prevalence of abortion in this country while it remains legal. They do not want you to educate the people around you about abortion. They do not want you to influence others to become opposed to abortion. They do not want you to inform women of the dire emotional, physical, and spiritual consequences which follow the procurement of an abortion. They do not want you to transform the so-called right to abortion on demand from a womens’ rights issue to a human rights violation.
Pro-choicers just want you to keep your pro-life opinions to yourself and leave them alone. This is not good for anybody.We must make ourselves visible. We must point ourselves out.
We desire to more boldly identify ourselves and our position on abortion as a thoughtful, expressive, and engaging presence within our so-called modern society. One of the principal reasons we want to do this is simply to increase the occurrence of meaningful conversations about abortions. Identifying oneself as aligned with a controversial opinion on a controversial topic might be seen by some people as unhelpful or even too radical, but we simply must end the mutual assured silence about abortion in our day to day world and arrest the apathy of many pro-lifers who have chosen to quietly agree to disagree on this issue.
As the abolitionists of earlier times stood up and declared themselves emphatically opposed to the blindly overlooked and sometimes willfully ignored evil that undergirded much of the self-proclaimed superiority of their whitewashed society, we also desire to stand up and be clearly counted in opposition to the legally sanctioned practice of exterminating developing human beings in the name of another person’s right. We do not want to create chaos, but we do want to be seen and heard. To this end, we have developed a modern abolitionist symbol that we can put on our persons, our blogs, our products, and our businesses (among a plethora of other items). In doing so, we are following earlier abolitionists throughout history. The abolitionists of slavery created and employed a well-known image of a slave on bended knee lifting up his chained arms to heaven with the slogan “Am I not a man and a brother?” Perhaps you have seen this in history books, museums, or documentaries on the abolition of slavery.
The abolitionists of slavery disseminated this image widely and used it to identify themselves as those living in a world of legalized human slavery to which they actively expressed their dissent. They employed this symbol widely, engraving it on everything from fashion accessories to domestic objects which they used in their homes and businesses. The symbol adorned gentlemens’ snuffboxes and pocket watches and ladies’ brooches, bracelets, and ornamental hair pins. (They hijacked sentiments of fashionability, which usually confined itself to materialistic self-aggrandizement, made anti-slavery fashionable, and for once, employed fashion “in the honorable office of promoting the cause of justice, humanity, and freedom.”)
This symbol and its accompanying slogan was packed full of expression and argument. The statement, “Am I not a man?” argued that the slave’s bondage was unjust because, as a man, the slave was a fellow human being created in the image of God and possessed of the sanctity and dignity afforded human beings as God’s image-bearing divine creations. The second half of the slogan, “and a brother,” signaled another theological truth which the abolitionists espoused. The African slave was a brother of the European because he had the same Savior and Redeemer, Christ Jesus.
(Yes, the appeal to end slavery embedded in this symbol was deeply theological and religiously motivated. Just read up on the history of the Abolitionist movement).
These abolitionists created a way for people to make their views on the “slavery question” clear: This in turn created a culture of dissent, debate, and eventually, fruitful discussion.
As Abolitionists we do believe in a real morality rooted in a real reality; and that reality is God. This is our theological position and we are perfectly willing, ready, and able to discuss and debate it. Just like the first Abolitionists (of Human Slavery), we stand by our theological presuppositions and adhere to the moral values which proceed from them. Human beings are created in the image of God and cannot be enslaved because they are black or discarded and experimented upon because they are small, “racially inferior” or “undeveloped blobs of cells.”
We are specifically devoting much of our time and energy towards the abolition of a legal system and worldview which undergirds the destruction of human beings. This is our position and we are happy to express and defend it. We feel that we are in great company.
We have created a symbol to be used today for the very same purpose. Just as earlier abolitionists intended the use of their symbol to create discussion and reveal a clear divide in their culture, we are choosing to adopt a symbol for the same purpose. Again, we do not want to create unrest through any of our activities, but we do want to point out the fact that our happy little day to day world in America is a charade. Just as the abolitionist unsettled the thoughts of most people in Britain and America who just went about their lives thinking little of the plight of African men and women who had been stolen from their homeland, piled on top of one another in a ship, and transported to the West Indies where they were worked to a short death, we want to wake up the masses of individuals in our culture whose opinion on abortion follows simply from whether they vote Democrat or Republican.
Our symbol is admittedly far more logo driven than the abolitionist illustration of old. This is fully intentional. We live in a much more text driven, graphic design, and logotype culture; and we like to leave the onus on the person wearing the symbol or signing the symbol at the bottom of a receipt to take the opportunity to explain what the AHA means and why they are an abolitionist.
We must label ourselves and designate ourselves as a a people unified against the legally sanctioned system of death and politically approved practice of human abortion. We must work to abort Roe v. Wade but until this legal triumph occurs, we must work to cut down the number of abortions occurring within our own communities.
When we’re out there in the world going to and fro, from work or class, grabbing a cup of coffee or getting the grocery shopping done, we “pro-lifers”just blend in with the apathetic culture of death that we are supossively opposing. I imagine that many of us do not wear our pro-life opinions on our sleeves for the sake of social cohesion and comfort, but this is crazy. We should be far more concerned with abolishing abortion than we are with sustaining a culture of apathetic indifference.
Most of us never even think about how strange it is that when we are sitting in a Starbucks next to someone we don’t know, there is about a 50% chance that they think that dismembering and removing a ten week old human being from a mother’s womb is morally right because it’s legal, and not unjust because the unborn fetus is “just a part of a woman’s body”, “not a human person”, half the time “unwanted”, and believe that abortion is a “liberating women’s’ right”, and that regardless of what some pro-lifers think, “lots of people do it” so it must not be that bad.
Very likely, the pro-choicer in the coffee shop assumes you share his or her views simply because you do not look like the stereotypical pro-lifer. (Of course, what a pro-lifer looks like is almost entirely constructed by savvy pro-choicers in the media, but what have we done to set them straight?) Keeping unpopular and controversial views to oneself does create a good deal of personal peace and social comfort, but it also greatly numbs and discourages fruitful discussions about social injustices like abortion. While some disagreements are not worth rocking the boat over, others most definitely are. And sometimes, all one needs to do to rock the boat is express their adherence of a controversial position publicly.
Silence, and the agreement to just live beside one another in happy harmony, actually creates deep social polarities which eventually come to the fore during political discussions. At that time, everybody then gets to act all flustered and amazed by the position of their political opponents and murmur things to one another about how they “can’t believe anyone actually believes that.”
Like slavery abolitionists who used the “am I not a man and a brother” image to identify themselves and the organizations and societies to which they belonged, we are choosing to identify ourselves with a modern Abolitionist Symbol. By having a recognizable symbol, and wearing it proudly and boldly, we can make ourselves clearly visible in the city in which we live. You can also use the symbol to identify yourself as an abolitionist online. For instance a good number of folks have incorporated the AHA symbol into their Facebook profile pics and twitter avatars. A number of bloggers in the Abolitionist society have placed the symbol, discreetly and indiscreetly on their blog. You can use this widget to place the AHA symbol on your Facebook pic or Twitter avatar.
You can also use the symbol to identify yourself as an abolitionist in the real world. Visit ahagear.com to find T-shirts, decals, and other items that you can use to place the AHA symbol on your person and property.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please understand that “Abolish Human Abortion” uses the abolitionist symbol ourselves and that it is not our “logo.” The AHA symbol is not anybodies’ “logo.” The difference between a symbol and a logo is quite significant. The way a symbol works is that it can be adopted and used by various individuals and organization who embrace what that symbol stands for and align themselves with others who likewise embrace the ideology which the symbol represents. For example, you would add a symbol to your company or organization’s logo if your company or organization adopted the principles and strategy of abolition, but you would not attach your logo to another companies logo unless you were going through a merger. and that we do not hold the copyright to it. The copyright is held by The International Coalition of Abolitionist Societies. AHAgear.com similarly does not own the rights to the AHA symbol but are licensed by the ICAS to produce abolitionists materials and resources which are marked as Abolitionist by the presence of the AHA symbol.
We are called to be a light in the world. This is not a special calling. This is not something that is relegated to the powers of the clergy. It is not done only by professional teachers in the church, or paid activists. Being a light is not something your denomination does. Being a light in all the world doesn’t require a seminary degree, the laying on of hands, or ordination. This is not what some Christians do, while others do other things. Being a light is an essential part of what it means to be a Christian. Jesus even said that if you follow Him, you WILL have the light of life (John 8:12). What does a light do? A light is not static. A light is not idle. Light does not take part in darkness, and light also exposes darkness.
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Ephesians 5:11
To Paul, the inverse of taking part in darkness was exposing darkness. Exposing darkness is simply what Christians do.
In the fight against abortion, abolitionists hear much criticism, and very little encouragement. Unfortunately, most of this encouragement comes by being told how great it is that we are called to fight abortion. We get plenty of pats on the back, and even a few likes on social media. Obviously there has been a huge misunderstanding. We are not calling a few “super” Christians to be activists. We are calling Christians to act like Christians. We are all called to be light in the darkness of our world. Abortion is the greatest legally done evil in our nation. No other wickedness is even close to the horror of abortion. It destroys the image of God in His creation on a scale unlike anything else. And it’s legal. We must expose this evil. We must shine a light on this darkness, “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),” Ephesians 5:8-9light
Before we were followers of Christ, we did not expose evil. Now that we do follow Christ, we must expose evil. The fruit of light is not passive, it is not idle. It is the act of exposing evil. In John 11:10 we are told “if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him”.
One of the primary goals of abolitionism is to expose abortion for the evil that it is. This includes dropping cards in public, sharing links and pictures on social media, wearing the AHA, engaging friends, family, and strangers, exhorting apathetic pro-life churches to love their neighbors, engaging the culture of death at the government education centers, and finally pleading with mothers and fathers at the killing centers. By doing these things, abortion becomes increasingly exposed for what it truly is. Everyone doesn’t have to do all of these things, although most of these things are tasks all of us can do. I would contend that every believer can do at least some of these things. If we really believed what we say we believe, we would do something, and in fact, much more than we are currently doing as a community of Christians living in Norman. Unfortunately, most believers are doing nothing.
Jesus said that He was the light. We are called children of light, and all aspects of abolitionism must to be rooted in the Gospel. “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.” John 3:20 If your light is not shining forth, if it is not exposing and pushing back darkness, if there is no conflict, if no one is hating you like they hated Jesus, then your light is NOT light. Scripture says that people do not put their light under a stand, but if they are Children of light, the light will shine.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.” Matthew 5:14-15
It is clear that if you are not being faithful in being light, then you are not following after Christ. Most believers think that going to their small group (possibly even leading it), showing up for Sunday morning corporate worship (possibly even preaching or leading music), giving a tithe, raising their family, and working hard at their day job, is what it means to be light in the world. Even though these activities are good and honorable things, they are not being light to the world. You will never find conflict going to a small group, most preachers will never be hated for their exhortations, and even the world at large values working hard and raising families. “Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.” Luke 11:35-36
It is possible that your ordinary, complacent, church-centered, family-centered lifestyle is not light at all. Lights cannot be hidden under bushels. If you are not shining forth, waging war against darkness, and exposing the greatest deeds of darkness in our world, such as abortion, then your lifestyle is simply not light. If anything, It is darkness masquerading as light.
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” Martin Luther