There is the story of the old politician, who watched as one of his aides came running up to him with eyes in shock, holding a newspaper. The politician eyed the aide and said calmly, “Is there a problem?”
“Yes, yes!” The aide told him. “The paper,” he said breathlessly, “They are calling you every name in the book; a crook, a fake, a fraud!”
The politician gave his young aide a wry smile. “Did they spell my name right?”
The aide nodded forlornly. “Yes, sir.”
“As long as my name is spelled right, we’re fine,” the politician replied.
As pregnancy help organizations, we are not in politics. And while there are some who disparage us regularly, we have truth and integrity on our side.
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And as the recent Cosmopolitan article regarding Heartbeat International’s 2014 Conference in Charleston, S.C. surprisingly points out, some with whom we disagree are not only spelling our name correctly (figuratively speaking); we are beginning to win hearts as well.
I have a sense of where the writer, Meaghan Winter, stands on the life issue. If I were to sit down with Meaghan I’m sure we would have disagreements. Reading the article one can sense her views.
But . . .
Ms. Winter closes her article with a conversation she had with several attendees. She quotes one conferee as saying, “No one will ever love you the way Christ loves you.” And, Winter writes, this particular person “spoke with quiet and firm conviction. She didn’t emphasize any one of her claims—that premarital sex is a mistake or abortion is murder—but presented a whole worldview where all beliefs are interlocked.”
That’s good writing. That’s fair reporting.
Heartbeat International’s Jay Hobbs (also Editor in Chief of this site) wrote an open letter to Ms. Winter, where he both praises her reporting and objectively discusses areas of clarification that needed addressing.
The Cosmopolitan article has direct quotes from many of us involved in the conference, including Heartbeat International President Dr. Peggy Hartshorn. From what I can tell, while some of us may quibble about context at times, we were quoted accurately.
On a personal note, I was labeled an “anti-abortion fundraiser,” which left me with some logistical questions, but no real complaint. I understand where Ms. Winter is coming from; if she had a pro-life viewpoint, her wording might have been different.
But here is the point: Ms. Winter came to the conference basically undercover. One does not go into an event like this covertly unless one does not want anyone to know why you are there. This does not regularly lead to glowing articles. And yet, while I may have questions on some minor points, overall it appears Ms. Winter—and therefore, Cosmopolitan—came away with a new picture of who we are and what we do.
Did you read that correctly? Cosmo sees good in what we do. There is a new respect evident between the lines of this article.
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No, we have not “won the day” on winning hearts. But take a look at this article and you will find some dedicated, loving conference attendees who cared enough to love someone who they did not know, who cared enough to not let disagreements get in the way of reaching out to someone else.
What you will find is a perfect picture of what we are doing through pregnancy help organizations in the United States and around the world. We are reaching hearts. And step by step, hearts are moving in our direction.
Keep up the good work. Through love, we are taking new ground for life every day. Just read Cosmo. It’s right there for anyone to see.