“Aren’t you just preaching to the choir?” my friend suggested after I told him I had begun working as a pro-life journalist for LifeSiteNews.
“You know,” he continued, “the only people who read pro-life news are pro-lifers,” implying that my work would be practically useless and largely ineffective.
I admit, his comment totally took the wind out of my sails.
It had always been my desire to do something for the life-and-family movement that would make a difference, effect change, restore the culture.
Yet, here was my friend telling me I had just signed up to do something basically futile. He walked away shaking his head, and I began work wondering if he was right.
Now, three years later, I can tell you that am I glad I didn't listen to him. Being new on the job back then, I really had no idea just what kind of a punch a pro-life journalist can actually throw.
I have since learned that it’s an awfully powerful one!
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It always surprises me where some of the reports I have written end up traveling to, as they journey through the unchartered waters of the Internet. I usually only find out where some of them have gone by chance.
A friend will e-mail me to say he enjoyed seeing my story highlighted on this blog here, or that news outpost there. Or an opponent will contact me expressing outrage after picking up my report from a website on the other side of the fence.
Here are a few stories about some of the strange (and not so strange) places I have seen LifeSiteNews reports:
Once when I was researching the harms caused to children adopted by homosexual couples I found myself traveling online to Puerto Rico.
My search engine had pulled up a document from that country that had been submitted to the government in 2013 arguing against allowing homosexuals to adopt.
It was a remarkably well-written piece. I scrolled down to the 65 footnotes at the end of the piece linking to scholarly articles and research papers. It was then that I noticed 13 of those footnotes linked to some of our own LifeSiteNews reports on the matter.
“Well, what do you know,” I said to myself at the time, “our reports are being used by people from distant lands and languages to fight for life and family. How awesome is that!”
Who knows how many government officials read that document that was partly influenced by our reports?
Major Mainstream News Outlets
I remember the excitement I felt when my first story found its way to The Drudge Report, the massive U.S.-based news aggregation website.
The story was about sex-selective in vitro fertilization services being offered by a fertility clinic in the U.S. to Indo-Canadians in British Columbia.
I don’t know why Matt Drudge thought it worthy to post the story on his site, but I do know that tens of thousands of people who read the story learned the shocking truth about how girls in their earliest beginnings are being eliminated because this fertility clinic panders to ethnic groups with a preference for boys.
The story spread far and wide, eventually being picked up by other news services, including The Daily Mail.
My second story that was linked on the Drudge Report was about the waste-to-energy facility in Oregon that incinerated the remains of babies aborted in Canada to power the grid. Public outrage was swift and effective. Before 24 hours had gone by the facility declared they would put a stop to the program.
When a journalist sees his story picked up by major international news websites, he feels like he has won the lottery, or like he has just received a huge promotion.
There is excitement, exhilaration, and a sense of accomplishment. Journalists write reports to be read. When their reports are read by tens or even hundreds of thousands of people, he congratulates himself for a job well done. When the reports effect real change, he becomes humbled by the power of the word.
You just never know who’s going to pick up a story.
We’ve had Rush Limbaugh use our reports in his programs, mentioning that they came from our site.
I’ve had a Canadian Member of Parliament tell me how widely read our news service is among MPs who are concerned about the moral implosion of our formerly Christian nation.
Resource for Opponents
Here’s one of my favorite stories.
You know you’re doing something right when your ideological opponent is forced to use your own reports because nobody else has the same goods.
Last May we covered the ongoing trial of Mary Wagner, jailed for entering an abortion clinic and peacefully handing out roses and literature to abortion-bound women.
The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada literally apologized to its Facebook fans when it posted a link to our story on its page.
"Sorry for the anti-choice source, but no-one else is covering this,” they said.
Reading this, I could not help but smile to myself. “When your opponent starts depending on you for information, can the end be too far off,” I remember thinking at the time.
My work as a pro-life and pro-family journalist has never been so dramatic as the time I wrote a series of articles involving a fellow who did social justice work with school children during the day, while moonlighting as a gay stripper at night.
The series resulted in him losing his day job a week and a half after the first report was published.
Not only will the children be mercifully spared his presentation on “shameless idealism,” but they will no longer be under the influence of someone who delights in feeding the impure sexual fantasies of adults.
It was humbling to witness once again the power of fact-based reporting.
My co-workers and I could tell you numerous stories like these that highlight the huge difference one good report can make.
If my friend were to make the same comment to me today about ‘preaching to the choir,’ I know what I’d tell him now.
I’d say that I know that many of our reports are read by the choir, but the choir surely needs to know what’s going on if they’re going to ‘raise the roof’ with their singing.
I know some members of the choir who read our stuff regularly are influential leaders and decision-makers who hammer out pro-life-and-family strategies based on our reports.
Secretly I believe it’s faithful members of the choir — all the hardworking, uncompromising, and faith-filled moms and dads — who will one day be credited with saving the world.
So many read our reports for trustworthy news on the most crucial issues facing our times. They read so they can learn to effectively form the upcoming generation to combat the evils of our times.
They read for inspiration in the fight for a culture of life.
I’d continue to tell my friend our reports reach way beyond the confines of the choir loft, making their way into the political chambers of government agencies across the world, into the homes of mainstream families in Canada, the US, and other parts of the world, and even slipping into the think-tanks of those opposing everything we fight for and believe in.
I’d tell him our reports pack a punch way beyond their weight, that they’re having an impact and changing the world for the good.
“Our reports are helping change the course of history,” I’d say.
“Preaching to the choir?” I’d say incredulously. “You really have no idea what goes on here, do you!”
Dear friends of LifeSite, we’re now in the midst of our fall fundraising campaign.
We need these funds to continue infusing our culture with factual truth-based reports from the only perspective that really matters, that of life-and-family.
(To make an online donation, click here.)
The ‘choir’ needs these reports.
Leaders and decision-makers need these reports.
Even our opponents need these reports.
The rebirth of a civilization of love depends upon dispelling error with truth. Please help us today to reach our goal. Make a difference that will last.
Thank you so much for standing with us!