Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Challenging the American Holocaust

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It’s 1943 and you find yourself in Germany. A Nazi officer is pointing a gun at you and demanding that you hop on a bulldozer and use it to bury hundreds of Jewish families who have been shot and are piled up in a huge pit. But among the dead are some individuals who are still living, crying out for mercy. What would you do, knowing that if you refuse to bury these people alive you will be gunned down yourself?

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This is one of the thought-provoking questions that noted Christian apologist Ray Comfort asks a group of “pro-choice” individuals in the new online video 180, a movie that many in the pro-life movement argue is poised to radically change the debate about abortion.

In the movie, Comfort subtly juxtaposes the Hitler-led horror known as the Holocaust — which, by some accounts, stole the lives of more than six million Jews — with America’s own abortion holocaust, that, conservatively, has claimed the lives of over 53 million unborn babies over the past 38 years.

The responses of the “pro-choice” individuals to the bulldozer question are varied. “I don’t know,” responds one lady with emotion. “That’s a powerful question,” answers another, as she appears to struggle with the scenario and its implications. “I think I would,” she continues, “only because of the fear that I have no other choice.” One man confidently declares, “Absolutely not; he may as well shoot me.”

Another young man answers no, he wouldn’t follow the orders of the Nazi officer, explaining, “That’s not morally right to me.” Comfort continues with the young man, “So you value human life?” To which the young man answers, “Yes.”

With this set-up Comfort shifts gears, asking the individuals, “How do you feel about abortion?” as the movie flashes stark and troubling footage both of dead Holocaust victims as well as the broken and bloodied body of an aborted baby. “It all depends,” answers the morally minded young man. “That’s a tricky subject.” Another mouths the pro-choice mantra that it is “a woman’s right to choose,” adding, “every situation is different.” Yet another woman declares, “I am pro-life,” while struggling with the possibility that abortion is always wrong.

Over the next few minutes of the film, Comfort plies the erstwhile “pro-choice” men and women with questions about just when it becomes okay to kill a baby in the womb, using their principled convictions on the Nazi Holocaust to bring them to the realization that there is no essential difference between the “legal” killing of unborn children and Hitler’s “lawful” murder of millions of Jews and others. There is no getting around the truth: Abortion is wrong in every circumstance.

Amazingly, in case after case on the video, men and women who had declared their support for a woman’s right to choose, suddenly do a complete “180” and find themselves conceding that there is never a circumstance when it is okay to kill an unborn baby.

Comfort told Josh Brahm from Right to Life of Central California that there are inescapable parallels between the Nazi Holocaust and the murder of pre-born babies today. “We want to change people’s minds about the horror of abortion,” he said, “to make it clear that it’s not right to kill children in the womb. We’re like living in Nazi Germany in 1940. We have what has been called the ‘American Holocaust’ by many — 50 million Americans being killed by people who think they can choose to kill babies in the womb, and we want to put a stop to that.”

Since its online launch in late September, the movie has quickly attracted the attention of viewers all over the world. Twenty-four hours after its release 180 had garnered an astounding 30,000 views on YouTube, and within a week it had gone “viral” with more than 500,000 views and counting.

In addition, thousands of people have left comments on 180’s Facebook page about the profound impact the movie has had on them and their loved ones. “I confess, I have committed 7 murders,” commented one viewer. “God forgive me, I will never again trivialize abortion.” Wrote another viewer: “From someone that [has] been pro-choice, this video changed my view on life completely.” Yet another wrote that the movie “changed my mind and made me aware that I’ve got to make a stand on this issue.”

Comfort explained that he had not intended to produce a video on the issue of abortion. However, while conducting “man on the street” interviews for a DVD to go along with a book he had written about Hitler and the Holocaust, he found his questions repeatedly turning toward the abortion issue. “It began with two male university students completely changing their minds about abortion when we asked them this one question,” Comfort recalled, referring to one of his provocative “what if” queries that frames the discussion in the movie. “We realized it wouldn’t be convincing to have only males speaking on the subject, so we took to the streets … and found that six women changed their minds from pro-abortion to pro-life in a matter of seconds. It was amazing!”

Comfort quickly changed the direction and thrust of the film, recognizing its potential to change the hearts and minds of viewers. “I have held up pro-life signs,” admitted the well-known Christian evangelist. “I have printed pro-life literature and spoken against abortion in pulpits and in my books. But I have felt that all my efforts were almost futile — that is, up until now. In 180 we have a nation changer.”

He said that most nominally pro-life people realize they should be involved in putting a stop to abortion, “but the thought of protesting is a little unnerving, especially with the demonization of those who do so.” But with the release of 180, he challenged, “here is something each of us can easily do. We can give this DVD out. We can pass it out on the streets, leave copies on park benches or on seats in malls, or give it to the checkout lady at the supermarket. This isn’t hard to do.” Most importantly, he predicted, “it will save lives — perhaps millions of lives.”

The simple, 30-minute video has the potential to offer something “very unique” in the abortion battle, Comfort said. “If you can change people’s minds about abortion, you can change the way they vote. And if you can change the way they vote, you can change the direction of a whole nation.”

In a political climate where strategies on battling abortion have the potential to divide conservative and Christian activists, 180 has gained some significant endorsements from prominent leaders. Noted pastor and Christian author Francis Chan said the movie was “extremely convicting,” adding, “It made me question my courage. I pray it causes many to evaluate their silence.”

Joseph Farah of World Net Daily called it “brilliant and powerful,” and conservative talk-show host Janet Parshall said she was “absolutely in awe” of the video.

Penny Nance Young, president of Concerned Women for America, called 180 “the most gripping video I’ve seen this year,” while Dr. Kenyen Cureton, head of church ministries for the Family Research Council, said that Comfort’s “bracing questions cut like a laser through all the mind-numbing … compelling those he interviews to grapple with life, death, and eternity.”

Toward the movie’s conclusion Comfort recalls that at the end of World War II, U.S. military officials forced Germans living near the death camps where so many Jews and others were murdered to tour the facilities. “They wanted them to see first-hand what had caused the smoke to billow from the chimneys of those camps,” Comfort narrates, “and to witness what the leaders they had allowed into power had done.” The film includes footage showing the lighthearted smiles of the people as they entered the camps, “unaware as to the horror that had taken place in their own back yard,” says Comfort. “And look at the change on their faces once they realized what had actually taken place.”

Challenges Comfort: “No doubt there’s an abortion clinic near you. Perhaps you should pay them a visit to see what actually takes place behind their walls, so you can witness first-hand what’s happening in your own backyard. Over 50 million human beings have been murdered in America’s holocaust, sanctioned by political leaders who’ve been put into power by the American people.” Pleads the Christian apologist as the movie ends: “Please never, ever give your vote to any politician who advocates the murder of a child in the womb.”

While Living Waters, the Christian organization behind 180, is planning to distribute hundreds of thousands of copies of the movie at 100 top universities, Comfort said that his hope is that millions of others “will freely see it via social media. If the YouTube clip ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ can get over 360 million views, we can do just as well if not better, because a video that can save lives is a little more important than a kid having his finger bit by his brother.”

To view 180 online, log on to www.180movie.com; to order copies of the DVD.