“Pro-Life Kids!” is a new book created to teach and empower the next generation. Bethany Bomberger, an adoptive mother, educator, and the executive director of the Radiance Foundation, created the book to highlight the value of every human being, before and after birth. We crown Bomberger as a Problematic Woman and interview her on what led to the creation of the book, her experience in the classroom, and her own pro-life journey.
We also cover:
- Emma Watson recently coined the term “self-partnering.” The term refers to being fulfilled in your singleness, and Watson isn’t the only one pitching the idea. Rapper Lizzo’s song “Soulmate” might as well be the idea’s anthem. We also break down a New York Times opinion piece that dissects this idea with Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs” complementarianism, and what this mindset means for marriage and society.
- Appearing in The New York Times, “The Class of 2000 ‘Could Have Been Anything’” revealed shocking statistics and stories that show how personal and devastating drug addiction is in American families and communities.
- Tim Allen speaks up against PC culture in an interview on TV’s “The View.” He says thought police are “an alarming thing for comedians.”
- During the Ohio State vs. Michigan college football broadcast, announcer Gus Johnson shared that star J.K. Dobbins, the Ohio running back, was almost aborted.
Listen in the podcast below.
Virginia Allen: I am joined by Bethany Bomberger, author of the children’s book “Pro-Life Kids!” and the executive director of the Radiance Foundation, a life-affirming organization that is rooted in the belief that we are all created in God’s image and have undeniable purpose. Bethany, thank you so much for joining me.
Bethany Bomberger: Oh, it’s an honor. I’m so glad to be with you guys today.
Allen: So, you wrote the book “Pro-Life Kids!” to explain the value of each life to children, in a way that they could understand. So, how did the idea for the book come to you?
Bomberger: Well, I am so passionate about this new initiative, and for years I have been, I was teacher by profession. That’s my undergrad, my grad work and of course now, I’m a homeschooling mom of four amazing kiddos, adoptive and biological. And between all those jobs, if you will, and being the executive director of the Radiance Foundation, where we are passionate about illuminating the truth that every life has intrinsic value and our heart is to educate folks about a myriad of social issues in the context of God-given purpose.
So, because of those roles in my life, my heart was to really put together a book and an initiative that would also have supporting aspects to it for those that find it really difficult to talk about the human rights injustice of our day with our children.
I have had many, many conversations with parents, teachers, adults across the nation, really across the globe. And although they might have a pro-life worldview, they’re not sure how to articulate to their children what it means to be pro-life.
So, what the choice ends up being is they don’t talk about it. And so, my heart is to take something, being pro-life, children are naturally pro-life. And so, I believe that as adults who are pro-life, it should be our intention to help foster that natural inclination. So, my motivation was to take the fear out of discussing something very difficult, by enabling adults to have tools in their hand that already created, that will be a jump-off to talk about [a] very difficult social issue that is really rooted in creating a culture of life for children.
Allen: So, what has been the response, both from children and adults, to the book? Have you had parents saying, “Wow! This is such a practical tool that I can now use to talk to my children about this issue”?
Bomberger: I’m actually overwhelmed by the response. We were going to do a soft launch during Adoption Awareness Month in November, and we sold out in just the first few days of our first printing. And we have asked, we always put a little thank you in with the book, and so, we’ve said, “If anybody wants to share their thoughts or comments,” and we’ve just had the most amazing pictures that have been sent in of moms reading to their kiddos.
On paper, the book is like for [grades] K to five, but moms and dads that are reading to their preschoolers, older elementary school children. We got this one video, it was so precious, that as the child was just reading it out loud, it was prompting questions, and it was doing exactly what I was praying that it would do, opening up children’s eyes to understand the value of life and to be able to ask the hard questions.
But it’s neat, too, because we sold out in just a few days of our first run, but we’re seeing orders come in from everywhere across the states, but Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Dubai, and we’re saying, “OK, this is something that pro-lifers are hungry for.”
We no longer want to stay silent when it comes to empowering our children. I think we’re seeing across the nation, across the board, the influence of a broken worldview coming into our kids’ hearts and lives, especially in the public schools, in media, and television. And I know that if we don’t teach our children foundational truths from a very young age, a broken worldview will reach them.
Allen: And I want to ask you a little bit more about that broken worldview because you have, as you mentioned, you’ve been a teacher for so many years, both in public and private schools. So, you’ve had the opportunity to, firsthand, watch young children grow up and watch their perspectives form. So, have you seen a shift over, let’s say, the past decade in the way that children talk about the issue of life?
Bomberger: Absolutely. And there is a very pointed agenda that is looking to speak into our children’s hearts and minds from kindergarten and before. There is really a fight for their soul and a desire to influence at younger and younger ages. And over the years, I mean, I’m talking the last 20 years, to see the influence and how things have changed at these younger levels.
It’s amazing what we’re hearing kids say in high school and college, which is a result of the influence of what’s being taught at younger ages.
And it’s interesting, too, because there is such an onslaught of literature being placed in our schools, in our libraries, in kids’ hands.
I mean, of course, we can turn on the television and see the same broken worldview coming out in the programming, but very specifically getting books into hand and having teachers who are misguided in that they think they’re teaching freedom, but they’re really presenting a worldview that’s broken. And as we’ve looked into some of the books that are currently being shelved in school libraries and in public libraries, we’re seeing things like “Feminist Baby,” which is like a … book about a really warped perspective on what it means to be a feminist.
And we’re seeing Amelia Bonow, I believe that’s how we say her last name. She created the “Shout Your Abortion” campaign, and she has these videos that are going viral, where kids are meeting people who have had abortions in order to normalize them, but she’s now talking about releasing a kids book in 2020.
Glad that we beat her to the punch, and I’m praying that those don’t go very far. But there are books on the shelves. For instance one, it’s called “Sister Apple, Sister Pig,” and it is a children’s book that explains to young children why parents chose to abort the child’s sister. And they talk about how great it was that she had been aborted, and she’s now a ghost.
So, I know that when I was a child, we weren’t seeing this in a classroom. We weren’t, when I first began my teaching career, this was not the norm. And now we are seeing that this is the norm. My children are growing up in a world that is an onslaught of a really humanist agenda that allows for sexual identity to be presented in the form of things that will cause confusion.
Abortion is now being touted younger and younger as the savior of their communities. And so my heart is that these children who are so precious and so innocent and so like sponges, just ready to like drink up what we give to them. We can’t overlook the opportunity that we have to speak into their hearts and lives and not just change the trajectory of their life, but of those that are in their sphere of influence.
Allen: What would you say to the mom or to the dad who wants to raise their children with this value of being pro-life and valuing every life? I mean, of course they should buy your book and start reading it to their children, but how do you, in a daily setting, continue that conversation with your child?
Bomberger: Well, my first thing is that, let’s dispel this fear that comes along with the thought of talking about the human rights issue of our day, which is abortion. And let’s understand that foundationally as parents, we need to be intentional about creating a culture of life, which is what so many moms do, right?
We have toddlers. We teach them to share from the ages of like 2, when they’re starting to realize that they want everything for themselves. We teach them, share and be kind. And that’s really part of this foundation of understanding that, why are we teaching them to be kind to others, because we want them to see other people as valuable.
We want them to grow up and understand that treating other people with respect will not only help them be better people, but help them to be better citizens and help us to have a better society.
So, my heart would be that, let’s not over complicate it. We don’t have to go into all of the deep graphic or philosophical reasons why abortion is wrong, but if we just are intentional about highlighting why everybody’s important, why older people are important, and younger, and that truth that says it doesn’t matter your size or your age or your level of development.
And I think there’s a lot of ways that we can create a culture that lays the groundwork for when they begin to understand at a different level, the gravity of abortion, that there’s already a standard by which they’re going to weigh that information.
And so, instead of fearing it as this big mountain that we can’t climb, understand that so many pro-life moms, dads, parents, grandparents have the mindset, but we have to be intentional, like you said, to do this on a daily basis and address how we deal with people and look at humanity in general.
Allen: So good. Can you share a little bit about your own pro-life journey? Have you always been passionate about the pro-life movement?
Bomberger: That’s a great question. Yeah, well, I grew up, and we were, I remember as a teen, being with my mom outside of abortion clinics, holding some signs while they were praying. And so it was ingrained into us from a young age that abortion was wrong.
We didn’t talk about it a lot in the house. It wasn’t something we talked about a lot. And it’s funny, I think back, and we also, we were very pro-adoption, but it wasn’t something that we talked about often either.
And I think part of as I grew and went into college and began to understand how some of my friends were finding themselves in positions where they were thinking about abortion, and I was presented with things that had been an idea in my mind, then became a reality: Now what are you going to do? How are you going to speak into this situation?
I know that from my earlier teenage years, really wanting to walk along the side of friends that were wanting to take what was given to them, what was touted as the easy way out, and really spent time and energy investing in their lives.
Over the years, I have grown to advocate for strong families and for the courageous decision of birth moms who have chosen to place. And as a teacher and seeing just the absolute beautiful impact that adoption can have. All of those things really helped for my pro-life view.
Then, when I was in my 20s, before Ryan and I were married, I conceived out of wedlock, my oldest daughter. And after really coming to grips with my personal choice and the way I had really turned my back on the Lord for a season in life, when I found that I was pregnant, went for an ultrasound at six weeks, I saw this little cute little rice, little piece of rice, it looked, like beating.
It was my daughter’s beating heart, and I did have a defining moment in that ultrasound room, and I just felt God’s heart just come around my heart and this baby’s heart. And I decided that everything I had already said I believed and was challenged when other people were walking through it, now became … personal to me.
And it’s really special because that night I said, “Lord, I’m just going to give my heart back to you.” And I opened an old journal and on the side of the journal, on the side of the page was written Proverbs 34:5, which says, “I sought the Lord. He delivered me from all my fears. Those that look to him will be radiant, and their faces will never be covered with shame.”
So, my oldest daughter’s name is Haley Radiance, because I decided that night that any selfish decisions that I had made that would not be the testimony she knew.
And I knew that from a pro-life perspective that it solidified, it cemented everything I’d ever thought, everything I’d ever shared with anybody else, because the rubber hits the road when you’re in that predicament, and you have to make the decision, and you’re faced with the fear.
And here we are, all these years later, married to my husband whose 1 of 10 that were adopted in his family. We’re adoptive parents, and we run the Radiance Foundation, which is predicated upon the exchanging of shame when you talk about some of these unplanned pregnancies, and you exchange that for glory and for the radiance of Christ.
And so, it’s very much been a journey for me, but it went from abstract to personal. And so, I feel like I just want to live from authentic place. And so, I think that’s partly why I’m so passionate about prolifekids.com and this initiative, because I know that what was spoken to me as a child has really influenced who I am today.
Allen: Yeah, no, and that is so evident by the way that you speak. That is just incredible to hear. Thank you, Bethany, for sharing your personal story. And wow, what an amazing way that the Radiance Foundation came about and that the Lord brought you on this journey.
So, you’ve mentioned a little bit about what you all do at the Radiance Foundation, but I want to give you an opportunity just to expand a little bit more and share, just on a day to day, how are you all journeying with women and walking with them, maybe through their pregnancy process or just spreading that pro-life message?
Bomberger: Awesome. Yes. Well, it’s been 10 years since my husband and I co-founded the Radiance Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization and our motto is “illuminate, educate, motivate,” because our heart is to illuminate that every life has purpose and intrinsic value.
So, we educate about a myriad of social issues, abortion, adoption, parenting, fatherlessness, poverty, all in the context of God-given purpose.
It has taken us to keynoting 50 to 60 events a year: conferences, summits, college debates on college campuses, lectures. My husband is Ryan Bomberger. He’s spoken at Harvard and Columbia Law School and all across the nation and even has flown across the globe in different countries, sharing and educating through multimedia presentations.
We also do this through fearless journalism. That’s what I like to say about my husband’s journalism. We write about these very difficult social issues in our heart, is that we can help people understand biblical, which is also a scientific perspective on these issues, which will empower people to not fear speaking about them from a biblical and a healthy perspective.
And ultimately, what good is all the education without putting it into action? What good is our faith unless it’s put into action? So, really, our heart at the Radiance Foundation is to motivate people to put their knowledge into action.
And so, like I mentioned, it comes out in the multimedia presentations and the journalism. We’ve done media campaigns across the nation, hundreds of billboards that have gone up with messaging and will allow people to go to sites that will give them information and help them to be educated.
And we also have done over the years community outreach. One of my favorites is Sally’s Lambs outreach, which is an outreach to courageous birth moms. We partner with those who have boots on the ground, with adoption case workers, with maternity homes.
We give them maternity clothes and gifts for the mamas that way, because we are each a different piece of the puzzle, and so, our heart is to help those that are doing things locally do them well, and of course, prolifekids.com is our newest initiative, which will prayerfully empower generations of children to be part of this movement.
Allen: And we were so excited for “Pro-Life Kids!” and just to watch the success of that book. It’s just so incredibly powerful. Where can our listeners find that book?
Bomberger: Awesome. Yeah. Prolifekids.com is fantastic. It is the best place to pick them up. And our second print should be here in the next week and a half.
So, our prayers, we can get them out to people in a timely fashion, because they’re great Christmas presents. And on the site, there’s also other things.
There’s a downloadables that make it easy to print off, for mamas to print off and let their kiddos color. There’s other bits and pieces of information that will help parents feel empowered. We have T-shirts and posters that are also available to help reinforce prolifekids.com.
And in the next few months, we have plans to put out some curriculum and some other things.
Our heart is long-term to just help. We see this as a long-term way to really elevate, really, a part of the movement, the pro-life movement; … Not that they’ve been overlooked, but we just haven’t seen them empowered, and so, prolifekids.com is the place to go.
Allen: Great! Thank you so much, Bethany.
Bomberger: You’re so welcome.