Monday, February 02, 2009

Speakout Illinois

I've posted these photos in previous posts, but now I will put them into context for the day. My Mom took some short videos from the conference which I will mix in.


Saturday morning we got up early and made the trip out to Lombard for the 2009 Speakout Illinois Conference. When we arrived at the beautiful Westin Hotel, we joined hundreds of other pro-lifers. After checking in each person received a bag of materials including a Pro-Life Passport. At each table you visited you got a sticker, after filling up all the spots on the passport you turned it in and at the end of the day names would be pulled to win prizes. We walked around to different tables to see the different materials that the groups had available. In my experience Catholic groups are always heavily represented at pro-life events and this was no exception, but also in attendance were other religious groups including Lutherans for Life, Orthodox Christians for Life - Chicago, and others.

As I was walking around collecting stickers and I ended up listening to a representative from Word of Hope the post-abortion healing ministry from Lutherans for Life. She was saying that since Sarah Palin was chosen as John McCain's VP, and sshe was out front with her son Trig, they have received many more calls from women who aborted Down Syndrome children who were suffering.

I finished up my passport and went and sat down at the table. We were way in the back, which accounts for the number of heads you will see in my photos. The first speaker was Fr. Euteneuer of HLI. We saw him in the front getting ready so I went up and asked him to bless a few rosaries for me. He did, and even though he was busy it was still a very nice blessing. I've gotten a lot more rushed ones in the back of churches after mass than the one he did. I felt a little bad about it afterwards because I'm sure he was trying to prepare himself for the talk, but I am glad he did bless them.

Rosary Blessed by Fr. Euteneuer

Fr. Euteneuer
Fr. Euteneuer gave his presentation. He spoke mostly about abortion throughout the world. He said that many times people think that either the whole world has abortion, or we're the only ones with abortion. Truly however it is a mixed bag. Most of Africa does not have abortion or abortion on demand. Most of Asia does. Most of Europe. South America is doing pretty good at the moment holding its own against abortion. He also showed the birthrates for the different continents around the world and he highlighted some countries specifically. Its shocking to see in Europe, particularly Eastern Europe, how many countries are not only below replacement levels they are far below. Some of the countries do not even have a birthrate of 1.
Fr. Euteneuer

He also touched on how abortion is often brought into a country with a 3 prong approach. First birth control is brought in, however when some in the older generation resist it, the second step is to bring sex education into the schools and prepare the future generations. The next step is abortion when birth control doesn't work. At the end of his presentation he had this slide, which got a pretty good laugh from the crowd.

Alveda King

After a short break Alveda King came to give her presentation. She spoke about how her mother almost had an abortion when she was pregnant with her. She spoke about how she had two abortions herself, one voluntary and one involuntary, and the effects that those abortions have had on her life and relationships. She played for us a video that is still being edited but is a video letter to President Obama, with the causes that the group she is in is asking for him to enact. She also showed another short video of her explaining abortion, which will soon be up on the priests for life website.

She also spent some of her time taking questions from the audience. The questions ranged from what one woman who has written a book about her experience from abortion could do to get her message out there, to the eugenic nature of Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood, and abortion. It seemed to me from the questions that people were asking that many people are worried about where the pro-life movement can go with an Obama presidency.

Dr. King teaches us a new song for the pro-life movement.

Alveda King

After Dr. King finished we had to leave the room for a half hour for the staff to set up for lunch. On my way out I stopped to view the Little Soles display in front.

Little Soles

Little Soles

Little Soles

After we came back for lunch the Henry Hyde Leadership Award was presented to Phyllis Schlafly. She didn't speak very long because she had a flight she needed to catch, but she spoke about what the feminist groups want President Obama to do for them after all the support they gave him.

Phyllis Schlafly

After her speech, the prizes were called for the passport contest. There was going to be a memorial for the unborn next, but we left. We wanted to go to 5pm mass at church and we needed to go home and get ready to do that. It was a really great experience. Its so easy in the pro-life movement to feel alone, so it was great to be there with 400 other people who are all in it together with you, and have had many of the same experiences as you.

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About Me

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Catholic and politically conservative, I graduated with a BA in History (concentration in American) and Political Science. I'm between two parishes; one in Wisconsin that is fairly traditional, and one in Illinois that is fairly liberal. I teach CCD. I work in the food service industry, which basically means I'm working in fast food until I find a better job. I'd like to work for the church somehow. Right now I'm working on getting my teaching certification, although I'm unsure thats the correct path for me. This blog is as random as I am. I hope you enjoy.