Five “would-see” things at this weekend’s pro-life convention
This Saturday, San Diego State University will be flooded with pro-lifers. Or anti-abortion activists. Or Jesus freaks, moral majority, Christian right, “abortion holocaust” survivors—whatever you want to call them, there will be a deluge of ’em at the self-identified “largest pro-life conference in Southern California.”
Organized by the local Knights of Columbus chapter, the “Mother of Life Conference” (I can’t decide whether to nickname it MoL-Con or Fetus-Fest) starts at 8 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. at the Viejas Arena, SDSU, 5500 Canyon Crest Drive (flyer here).
Not that anyone here at CityBeat will be attending; tickets are $45. If we had $45 to spare, we’d probably spend it on public records or chile relleno burritos.
Actually, we might consider going if the event lived up to the second part of its motto, “Supporting Life from Conception to Natural Death.” There are a ton of anti-abortion vendors and speakers, but noticeably little advocating abolition of the death penalty, an issue that Catholics are usually very keen to discuss.
I doubt I’ll be granted a media pass to the event, considering my recent reportage on County Supervisor Bill Horn’s funding of pro-life causes with tax dollars. Nevertheless, here you’ll find not my “Top 5 Must-See” but “Top 5 Would-See” list:
San Diego-based company Sun-Pro manufacturers “Lip-Pro,” a lip balm made from avocado oil, beeswax and Vitamins A through E. In addition to the standard labels, they also have a “Heavenly Lips” line where you can affix special religious iconography to the stick. It’s referred to as “The Angel Lip Balm” and “The Lip Balm of the Saints.” The costs is only about $3.30 for a stick and $3.99 for a stick keychain. I want the Archangel Gabriel.
Soft Saints markets a large line of 18-inch “soft, huggable saint dolls” that are meant to “befriend our children, to encourage them to get to know the saints as true friends and role models.” Sweet! It’s like Child’s Play meets Brother Sun, Sister Moon! My favorite, of course, is San Diego, even though the city’s actually named after another San Diego. Unfortunately, most cost about $98 so I can really only afford the 5-inch palm-sized Baby Jesus.
3. Lila Rose
At 2 p.m., Life Action president and all-around pro-life darling Lila Rose will deliver her address, which, no doubt, will cover what she perceives to be criminal activity by Planned Parenthood. Rose rose to idol status after she ran a few undercover operations at PP clinics across the country, reportedly capturing on hidden video counselors and doctors engaged in illegal activities. Thing is: Her partner in crime (literally) was James O’Keefe, who also ran similar video “stings” at ACORN offices that were discredited when California Attorney General Jerry Brown reviewed the raw tapes and found them severely edited and misleading. O’Keefe is now being sued for breaking California laws barring secret recordings, something I’d ask Rose about given the chance.
What political reporter wouldn’t snap at the chance to interview former House Speaker and possible 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich? He’ll be speaking at 10 a.m., then premiering his new film, Nine Days that Changed the World, a documentary about Pope John Paul II’s 1979 pilgrimage to Poland. Newt claims the trip led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the break up of the Soviet Union a decade later. I don’t really care about the documentary (Anders Wright might). Instead I’d ask him about the Prop. 8 ruling, his stance on the death penalty and, of course, what the status is on his perhaps-presidential bid.
As we reported a few weeks back, over the last three years, San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn earmarked more than $80,000 in county funds for “Life Walk,” a fundraiser that pays for the distribution of religious, pro-life educational materials to Catholic and other Christian schools. Life Perspectives, the group that distributes the materials, claims that it also provides lesson plans and presentations that aren’t religious to public schools, but we’ve seen no evidence to back that up. The group also engages in a project called “Abortion Changes You,” which includes a book, a web site and a subway poster campaign (the walk is not supposed to pay for this). The questions are: What will their booth look like at the convention and how will they be promoting Life Walk ’10 with tax dollars?