Saturday, 05 November 2011

Pro-Life Movie 180 Goes ‘Viral,’ Changes Hearts & Minds

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180Since its launch on YouTube on September 26, the pro-life documentary 180, produced by Christian apologist Ray Comfort, has gone “viral,” receiving nearly 1.4 million views in just a little over one month. The 30-minute video features man-on-the-street interviews in which Comfort manages to change the minds of several “pro-choice” young people as he confronts them with undeniable parallels between Hitler’s Holocaust, which claimed the lives of over six million Jews, and America’s own abortion holocaust, which has killed more than 53 million babies in nearly 40 years.

But the video, which is garnering attention worldwide for how effectively it reveals the murderous truth about abortion, is not only a YouTube phenomenon. Comfort said that his ministry is using it on college campuses, and pro-life activists have been purchasing DVDs to distribute to others. “It’s not only being watched online, people are buying it to give away,” Comfort said in a recent press release. “We have sold more than 150,000 copies in a matter of weeks. One small church purchased 16,800.”

In late October Comfort’s Living Waters ministry organized a one-day campaign during which volunteers distributed 200,000 DVDs of the video on more than 100 college campuses across the U.S. Comfort said the university giveaway “was very special because it put the physical DVD into the hands of the youth of America, and engaged many in healthy dialogue.”

One of the schools selected was the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), where the project’s coordinator, Tony Miano, helped Comfort and others distribute some 2,000 copies of the impacting movie. “We are receiving all kinds of reports and e-mails from students who received the documentary,” Milano told the Christian Post of the distribution effort. “The types of responses run the gamut of everything from high praise to the worst kind of vitriol you can imagine. The majority of the responses, probably 10 to 1, has been positive towards the documentary.”

One student who received a DVD e-mailed: “I just was on campus and a friend of mine and I watched this video and in a matter of seconds both of us realized how important the topics in this document truly where. I never really put things into focus until I watched this video. I have a lot of questions and now I’m taking the time to seek answers.”

Another individual recalled receiving a DVD while walking to class. “It made me not only think of the issue in a way I hadn’t before, it made me think of the issue to begin with,” she said. “Identifying as ‘pro-life’ was one of the last things my thankful heart could commit to. Now that I’ve watched this simple DVD, I’m finally able to say I’m Pro-life and really mean it!”

With the positive reception the movie has gotten on college campuses, Comfort said that he has now set his sights on high school audiences, noting the dearth of knowledge young people in the United States have on the historic Holocaust. Comfort told LifeSiteNews that he came back to the studio after filming footage for 180 “with 14 interviews with people who thought that [Hitler] was a communist, or an actor, or they had never even heard of his name. These young people are rather ignorant as to perhaps the darkest period of human history, because the American education system has failed them.”

He expressed concern that the United States may become like the U.K., “where some schools dropped teaching about the Holocaust for fear of offending Moslems, some of whom deny that the Holocaust even happened. So we are giving hundreds of thousands of kids a free documentary.” While some have criticized 180 for its comparison of abortion to the Holocaust, the “amazing thing is that people who watch it change from pro-abortion to pro-life,” Comfort said.

One high school student in West Virginia sent an e-mail to Comfort’s ministry telling how the video had helped change her entire class’s mind about abortion. “This past week in our civics class we were writing essays about laws that we wish would change in America,” the girl wrote. “After seeing this video I chose to do mine on abortion, and how I wished it would be illegal. After I had finished reading my essay, a discussion arose in class ... about how they thought abortion should be a choice, especially if the child is unhealthy or was caused because of rape. But once we started to compare it to Hitler and the Jews everyone’s minds started to change.” She said that 180 helped her to “turn around the entire class opinion about abortion and by the end of the class, 25 of the 25 students and my teacher as well had all raised their hands agreeing that abortion should be illegal.”

Pro-life activists have also expressed their appreciation for the movie. One sidewalk counselor related how she showed 180 to two women she met at an abortion clinic. “One was four month’s pregnant, the other was three,” the counselor recalled. “They were both going there for an abortion; they were both in tears, hugged my neck and decided to give their babies life and choose adoption instead. I cried too.”

Such responses energize Comfort in his campaign to see an end to abortion. “I will not rest as long as the horror of killing babies is a legal reality in our nation,” he promised. “But political change will only come if those who care about the unborn speak up.” He emphasized that 180 was created “to help those who care talk confidently about the subject in a way that makes sense. Anyone can change someone’s mind about abortion as I did on 180, if they have a loving heart and if they are willing to learn a few simple principles.”

Comfort told OneNewsNow that in order to help facilitate the distribution of the movie, he is making it available for purchase in bulk quantities at the low price of one dollar per DVD at HeartChanger.com. There is also a 64-page “180 Course” booklet that will help individuals learn how to effectively present the message on the video.

Comfort explained that people can “either get the physical video, learn how to share these principles yourselves, or get on the Internet and use social media by sending the link all over the world.”

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