To repeat something said on Breakpoint last month, kids deserve better books than the ones currently being written for them. Too many children’s books today are activist books, not really written to kids (and certainly not for them) but to and for grown-ups who want to be the kind of parents who would give this kind of book to their kids.
I must admit, however, that I recently received an “activist” kid book that I really like, and so does my son. It’s age appropriate, written to kids, and designed to help them think well about something that they, sadly, need to understand.
Pro-Life Kids is authored by Bethany Bomberger. She and her husband Ryan, who recently spoke at the 2022 Wilberforce Weekend, are committed pro-lifers, creatives, and Christians. An experienced educator and mom, Bethany understands where kids are developmentally. Pro-Life Kids teaches them what’s most true about themselves and others, that every person is made in the image and likeness of God, and introduces them to an issue that’s really difficult to talk about—abortion—in an appropriate and engaging way. And, of course, it rhymes! Here’s a sample:
Sadly, there are those who don’t understand
… that life has purpose whether planned or unplanned.
Throughout history many believed a lie.
“You’re not a person!”
“No way!” they cried.
Today many think that lie is still true—
that babies in wombs aren’t people too.
Abortion is when some say it’s okay
to take that baby’s precious life away.*
The illustrations are instructive, but also appropriate. For example, the image on the page that introduces abortion is of an ambulance leaving an abortion clinic. And, my favorite page spread shows the value of every human life with a charming set of illustrations sharing the stages of development from baby to elderly, including people of multiple races, male and female, abled and disabled. Near the end is an elderly woman with gray hair and a walker.
After the book’s main text, there are tips on how kids can stand for life at any age, contained in 15 colorful text blocks. Suggestions include everything from loving their adoptive siblings, to praying outside abortion centers, to marching in D.C., to writing an essay about being pro-life, to showing their friends this book.
Bethany Bomberger and her husband Ryan lead the Radiance Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to “create a culture that believes every human life has purpose.” They’ve raised millions for pregnancy resource centers, and they have a special stake in their cause.
Ryan was conceived through rape, but his mom was courageous enough to proceed with his pregnancy. He was adopted into a loving, diverse family of 15. Bethany was a single mom who chose to have her baby after seeing an ultrasound of her daughter and encountering Psalm 34:5: “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” That verse has been the basis of the Radiance Foundation since its founding.
Ryan and Bethany have also adopted two children. In fact, one of the most compelling illustrations in Pro-Life Kids is of their own diverse family.
Bethany’s story will be featured on the Colson Center’s Strong Women podcast in August, and Ryan’s message from our “Life Redeemed” Wilberforce Weekend can be heard online right now. In it, Ryan calls himself a “factivist,” instead of an activist. According to Ryan, many people act without facts, but factivists act with facts. They know that truth is unchanging because God is eternal. His message includes how to identify the lies of secularism “when it comes to human value.”
Bethany has a baby book version coming out soon and is launching an initiative called Put It on the Shelf, aimed at getting her book on library shelves to counter the “massive influx of books with destructive ideologies.” In fact, when you order a copy of Pro-Life Kids, pick up an extra copy to donate to the library. It’s a way of living out something the book says quite clearly, “Like many before us who stood for what’s right, we’ll never give up as we fight for life.”
To hear Ryan’s message, and also messages of others, such as Os Guinness, Nancy Guthrie, and Rachel Gilson, go to WilberforceWeekend.org. And check out Bethany’s book Pro-Life Kids. I believe it’s another way, paraphrasing Psalm 145:4, for one generation to commend God’s works to another.
*Excerpt used with permission.
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