Life Has Purpose (Transcript)

Dr. Dobson: Well, hello everyone. This is Family Talk, a production of the James Dobson Family Institute. I'm your host, Dr. James Dobson, thanking you for tuning in to this radio program, and faithfully supporting this ministry. All throughout the Bible, we're taught that human life is sacred to God. Every person, no matter his or her age, background, or skin color, is created in the very image of Almighty God, and we must constantly remember this truth, especially in the light of the hostility that has ripped across our nation in the past few weeks.

This important concept is what we're going to focus on today, with this edition of Family Talk. Back in January, I sent our radio team to cover the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. This was a historic event, with President Trump becoming the first sitting president to address that annual observance in person. It was an exciting moment for all of us who have been fighting for pre-born babies for decades. While there, my colleague, Dr. Tim Clinton, sat down with an up and coming voice in the pro-life movement. His name is Ryan Bomberger. He's the co-founder of a nonprofit organization called The Radiance Foundation. Their goal is to educate the next generation about the meaning and sanctity of every life. You're about to hear a strong message with an incredible testimony, and I'm anxious for you to listen now to Dr. Tim Clinton's riveting and insightful conversation with Ryan Bomberger, on this edition of Family Talk.

Dr. Clinton: Ryan, great to have you stop by for this edition of Family Talk. We're in D.C. We're here at the March for Life. The place has been insane. I mean, it's been fun. It's been real eye opening for me. I don't know about for you. I think you've been here a few times. But hey, what are your thoughts on what's happening with March for Life?

Ryan Bomberger: There are a lot of things happening. And what a lot of people don't realize, March for Life is an incredible event on one day, but it's actually, the organization March for Life does work every day of the year. And what happens, people from all across the country, actually around the world, come to D.C., hundreds of thousands of people, and they march. They encourage each other. They proclaim that we're going to keep on fighting to defend human dignity. It's really remarkable. You could stand on the National Archives steps, and see just the diversity of people. I'm talking in age, I'm talking background and hue of skin, and they're all united for one cause. It's kind of a frenzied sort of time, and it's really remarkable.

Dr. Clinton: You know what was wild for me, was to realize how young, how youthful this movement is.

I think influencing that generation is the only way you're going to deal with this pro-life movement in a meaningful way, where she gets turned. Are you encouraged? Let me say this again. Are you really encouraged? A lot of people get up here and they fight. You know, this has been going on for a while. Do you see this thing moving in a meaningful, coherent way?

Ryan Bomberger: Absolutely. I mean, we're seeing the shift, and the amazing thing is, of course the mainstream media won't cover the fact that there are all these young people. They like to hide that. They typically take the pictures - and I'm not ageist at all. I love my older people - But they will typically do a cropped photo of older people, and pretend that these thousands and thousands of young people... In fact, they make up I would say the majority of the crowd... that they're not there.

But the encouraging thing is, we've got a pro-life generation coming up, because people understand that kids are already naturally pro-life. They're naturally pro-life. They had to be misled into believing that it's okay to kill an unborn child, and to harm the mother. So, it's really amazing to see. At the end of the march yesterday, there were a bunch of young kids just shouting and screaming for life, and they're ages seven, eight, and nine years old. But see, people say, "Well, they won't understand." They do understand. They get it. It's the adults who complicate everything.

Dr. Clinton: Yeah. Met your wife Bethany, your family. You guys have a significant ministry called The Radiance Foundation. Tell us a little bit about what you're doing. I know you have a book out called Not Equal: Civil Rights Gone Wrong. We're going to talk a lot about that. I mean, this is going to be fun. But, Radiance Foundation. Tell us where you're going. What's it about?

Ryan Bomberger: We started The Radiance Foundation about 10 years ago, my wife and I. My wife was an educator by profession. Bethany, my favorite woman on the planet. She taught for 13 years, and then homeschooled for another 15 years, and we're still homeschooling. Pray for us. And I was a creative director, worked for 13 years in the ad agency world. We wanted to tackle the tough issues that we felt like Christians were reluctant to engage in, because they didn't know how to even start the conversation. And so, we started The Radiance Foundation to do three things. We illuminate, educate, and motivate. We illuminate the truth that every human life has purpose. We educate people about a myriad of social issues, in the context of God-given purpose. And then we motivate people to take that knowledge, take that faith, and to put it into action.

Dr. Clinton: You guys are strong pro-life. I mean, it's a big issue. Everybody's got a story. We're going to go back there for a moment. But I want to stay with something. You guys use creative ad campaigns to get your message across. We live in a social media driven world. The majority of young people get their news online, period. They don't read the newspaper, and they're not really dialing into TV, but they're watching short videos online, and then they're looking for content. They're scrolling. They're just going through everything. Where'd this come from? I love. I looked at your stuff. I mean, it's pretty fascinating.

Ryan Bomberger: Well, we understand that we have a society that has a very short attention span, and they're bombarded from every angle possible with all kinds of messaging from a broken worldview. That's why it's important to be in that digital space. It's important to be online. Even though it's a fight, because for instance, social media, Twitter, Facebook, Google, they're suppressing content, of course, that's oppositional to their worldview. But we have to be there. That's why at The Radiance Foundation, we're passionate about creating content for people to look at, whether it's original videos, whether it's the memes. Because as a designer, I understand short attention spans, and being-

Dr. Clinton: [crosstalk 00:06:18].

Ryan Bomberger: And all that scrolling, you have to get somebody's attention right away.

Dr. Clinton: Boom. Now.

Ryan Bomberger: And as a designer, my passion is to create stuff that resonates with people, and this is what we try to do all the time through The Radiance Foundation.

Dr. Clinton: You're wearing a shirt right now that says, "Abort Roe." You've camped there. Let's go back. Everybody's got a story. Everybody's got something that drives their messaging, really, and this is... I mean, this is deeply personal for you. Go back to your mom.

Ryan Bomberger: Oh, my first hero. My birth mom, she's just proof positive that women can be stronger than their circumstances. You know, my birth mom-

Dr. Clinton: That's a great word.

Ryan Bomberger: Yeah. She experienced the horror and the violence of rape, and yet she not only gave me the incredible gift of life, she gave me the incredible gift of adoption. And so, I am that one percent that is used 100% of the time to justify abortion. So, people will ask, "What's your deal in this? Why are you even involved in this?" One, because I'm human. I don't have to actually explain why I'm fighting for other human beings. But my birth mom's decision really just... I mean, it's caused beautiful reverberations for generations. So, I grew up in a small family of 15. I have six brothers, six sisters. 10 of us were adopted. Multi-

Dr. Clinton: For real? For real? [crosstalk 00:07:34]. I grew up in a family of eight; I thought that was big. 15?!

Ryan Bomberger: That's about half the size. No, eight is big. I have four children, and I'm like, "I'm good." We're in a holding pattern right now, but... But growing up... And I put this in quotes. "Multiracial." We're white, black, Native American, Vietnamese, just a mixture. That's really a powerful experience. Loved like crazy by two parents who had no idea what they were getting into. And of course, you don't have to actually adopt 10 children to not know what you're getting into. You can have one child who's biologically related, and wonder whose child that is. But they really, they just defied the world's low expectations. So, this is really my background story. To have been adopted, and now to be an adoptive father, which is really just an amazing experience. But that's why I'm so passionate about those who are written off, the 1%. Those fringe cases. I am that fringe case.

Dr. Clinton: When you look at the issues out there that are like war zones, civil rights and that discussion is at the heart of all of it. Okay? Your book... Let me go back to it. Not Equal: Civil Rights Gone Wrong. What has gone wrong, in your mind?

Ryan Bomberger: There's been such a veering from the original purpose of these organizations that claim to be civil rights organizations, like the NAACP. The NAACP in particular is... Because I grew up revering them. I grew up admiring the achievements. I mean, Brown v. Board of Education was only one of many. But you had a civil rights movement that became a civil rights industry, and that's part of the problem. Because victimhood is a potent thing-

Dr. Clinton: It is.

Ryan Bomberger: ... and it's a powerful, moneymaking thing.

Dr. Clinton: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ryan Bomberger: So, to actually come up against that when we launched one of our billboard campaigns in a very conservative area, the San Francisco Bay Area? Familiar with that? Not so conservative. We placed about 60 billboards that said, "Black and beautiful.," dealing with the hugely disproportionate impact of abortion in the black community, where abortion rates are up to five times higher. Abortion is the number one killer in the black community, outnumbering the top 15 causes of death. So, we were denounced in the billboard campaign by the ACLU, which felt really good. We were denounced by Planned Parenthood. Expected. But we were also denounced by the NAACP, that called the campaign, just highlighting and celebrating the beauty of black lives, horribly racist, and that it gave the false impression-

Dr. Clinton: Why'd they come after you? Seriously?

Ryan Bomberger: Well, because I'm brown, and they don't like the fact that I don't toe the line, that I don't conform to their broken worldview. They're radically pro-abortion. The NAACP partners with Planned Parenthood. So, they came after me because I wrote an article. Being the fact-ivist that I am, I wrote an article entitled, "The National Association for the Abortion of Colored People."

Dr. Clinton: Wow.

Ryan Bomberger: And they didn't like it. So, they sued me. They sued The Radiance Foundation. I mean, just how bizarre? They sued a brown guy for exercising one of my most basic civil rights, free speech. So, two years in federal court we were sued. We lost at the first federal level, because that judge was a lifetime member of the NAACP. And then we had to appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, if I can just say that-

Dr. Clinton: ADF, yup.

Ryan Bomberger: ... because they protected us against a civil rights organization, and we prevailed.

Dr. Clinton: Did you? What was the concluding statement of the case itself?

Ryan Bomberger: We were sued for trademark infringement, dilution and confusion. All bogus charges, of course. And in the end, it was a free speech issue. And so, it was a unanimous decision saying you can parody an organization's name, clearly that is a First Amendment right.

Dr. Clinton: What's trending, I guess, in the black community? For a moment, if you don't mind going there? I think all of us get caught up in the emotionalism of this issue, and facts kind of go away.

Ryan Bomberger: Right.

Dr. Clinton: People don't even want to discuss things. It's cut and dried, done. I'm not going there. But there's a push. There really is. There's a challenge in every direction, to try to get to the facts and the true heart of the matter. What's at the core of all of it? What are you seeing in that community?

Ryan Bomberger: Well, there are lots of beautiful things going on, from an economic standpoint, from a spiritual standpoint. But there's still a stranglehold. There's a political stranglehold, an ideological stranglehold, and so that's why you have an allegiance, for instance, to political things that are continually destructive. For instance, the allegiance to... If I can just say this... To the Democrat party, that is so radically pro-abortion, pro-Planned Parenthood. And where abortion is the leading cause of death in the black community, we hear this refrain, "Black lives matter." Yes, they do matter. They matter in and out of the womb. And so, I think it's helpful to have these discussions. I speak on a lot of college campuses, and we dig deep. Let's go beyond the hashtag, and let's have these deeper conversations about why black lives matter, why every single life matters. Because we're created in the image of God. And let's understand the context. So, I'm just really passionate about bringing that clarity.

Dr. Clinton: Staying with that college campus theme, I read about you and the work you're doing with millennials on campuses and Gen Y. That's who's there now. But Harvard, Princeton, Notre Dame, Penn State, a school I grew up very close to, and more. What kind of reaction are you getting from them?

Ryan Bomberger: It's always different. Sometimes you're loved, and sometimes you're protested, and sometimes they try to shut you down. Harvard was actually one of those situations where I thought, "Wow, I'm unworthy. I'm going to this Ivy League school. I'm going to speak to these incredibly intelligent students. They're going to ask me questions, complete with citations." No. It was probably... It was a little surprising, but there were no citations to the questions. There were a lot of four-letter words, actually. It was a bit tragic, because here I'm trying to talk about abortion's impact on the black community, debating a professor who knew nothing about abortion's impact in the black community, knew nothing about Planned Parenthood, but yet she was the one debating me. And the students who were all getting on their soapboxes, but it was very apparent that they didn't know anything about Planned Parenthood.

But the great thing about events like that is it really gets to expose the fragile nature of a pro-abortion worldview. It's so easy to debunk. Other schools, there were some great conversations, incredible Q and As, where people from both sides or even in the middle are able to hear a perspective and to be able to dig deeper, and hear from someone with a story like mine. You know, conceived in rape, yet adopted and loved, who's passionate about defending every human life. So, it's always different. Sometimes it's hostile. Sometimes it's friendly.

Dr. Clinton: Free speech then becomes a real important issue to you, to all of us, because without it... I mean, especially on college campuses, where are we going? It's an indoctrination, man.

You are listening to Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton, President of the American Association of Christian Counselors and Executive Director of the James Dobson Family Institute. Special guest today, Ryan Bomberger. He's with The Radiance Foundation. Delightful. A lot of passion, a lot of energy. I mean, just an exploding voice in this culture today. We've got to get some reason going on. And Ryan, again, this is fun. You spend a lot of time talking about facto-phobia and more. Okay? Tell us what that's all about, and how it's become kind of a platform issue for you.

Ryan Bomberger: Well, we hear a lot about phobias, all kinds of phobias that our society faces. I mean, you can rattle off a few. Of course, homophobia, and transphobia, and then, you know-

Dr. Clinton: Every phobia.

Ryan Bomberger: Every phobia. You know, some people would throw in their arachnophobia. That's actually, that's a real phobia.

Dr. Clinton: Yeah, man. All these spiders, man. I don't like them.

Ryan Bomberger: I know. They're creepy. But, I mean... And this mentality has of course seeped into our mainstream media. You know, public education, Hollywood, the entertainment industry. But it's also creeped into our churches, this fear of the facts. And so, what we say at The Radiance Foundation is, "Truth ain't hate, let love illuminate." And so, we have Christians so many times who are fearful of engaging in conversation. They don't want to be branded a hater. So, we're trying to really equip and empower people to be able to engage in these tough conversations, and have the confidence that one, they understand the context. They understand... You know, because things have been clarified to them, so that they can engage in a healthy and a constructive way.

But we can't be fearful. I mean, courage... Oftentimes people feel like, "I have to have all this support behind me. I have to have this crowd of people." No, you don't. Courage doesn't need a crowd. It just needs conviction. So, this is what we try to impart with the original content that we create. We want to instill that courage in people, and help them understand that conviction changes everything. So, I would say that my motivation has come from my parents. To see their conviction in raising 13 children in a difficult situation, where you have a transracial adoptive situation, in a society that still can't understand how do white parents raise Native American and black and white children? With courage.

Dr. Clinton: Yes.

Ryan Bomberger: The kind of courage that we should all have.

Dr. Clinton: Yeah.

Ryan Bomberger: And so, I really am grateful to my parents for passing that on to me.

Dr. Clinton: I love it. Less activism is something that's up on your stuff. I'm thinking, whoa, wait. That doesn't seem congruent for a moment.

Ryan Bomberger: Right.

Dr. Clinton: Well, what does that mean to you? Less activism, and more?

Ryan Bomberger: Fact-ivism.

Dr. Clinton: Fact-ivism.

Ryan Bomberger: Yes. I mean, we have a culture that is really engaged. I think social media has kind of exponentially grown that kind of activism engagement. And I laud those who perceive an injustice, and want to do something about that injustice. Absolutely. But as Christians especially, we can't just jump into something because we're just emotionally compelled. We have to understand, what is the message here?

Dr. Clinton: Get the narrative.

Ryan Bomberger: Right. Because what ends up happening is when it's just emotion, there are dangerous consequences that follow. We see the violence that follows. We see the separation and the division that follows. So, we're saying less activism, more fact-ivism. We're still acting, but you need to act on the facts. And so, this is what we encourage.

Dr. Clinton: I mean, you've got a little activism in you. That's pretty apparent. But I see what you're saying, because hey, we're to have a reason for the hope that lies deep within us, Paul said.

Ryan Bomberger: Right.

Dr. Clinton: You know, that. And it's got to be anchored. We got to root ourselves so that we're not tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine. That's what he was saying, or the insanity of the day, and the emotionalism that goes with it. Let me go into this issue of fake feminism that I saw pop up on some of your stuff.

Ryan Bomberger: Yes.

Dr. Clinton: How does that dial in for you?

Ryan Bomberger: Oh, my gosh. I mean, we're surrounded by it. We are bombarded by it at every turn. Every talk of women's rights, and every euphemism that's used by today's so-called feminists. I mean, it's not tied at all to true feminism. You look back at Susan B. Anthony, for instance, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who called abortion... In their periodical called The Revolution, they called it child murder. That's pretty unambiguous. They weren't talking about illegal abortion. They talked about all abortion. And they are unarguably considered founding feminists. But yet, today's feminists see the woman's body as a detriment. I mean, they are beautifully biologically different, and as a father of two girls and two boys, I want them to understand they are equal, but they're different, and beautifully different.

Today's fake feminism, which is really propelled by Planned Parenthood, puts out there that women can only be equal with the violence of abortion, when they engage in the violence of abortion. And so, we call them out. We call them out in creative ways. We call them out in our articles, in the video promo that my youngest daughter Leah joined in in singing just about fake feminism, to highlight the lunacy of what is put out there as women's empowerment.

Dr. Clinton: Yeah. A lot of the signs that I saw at the March for Life were, you know, pro-life is pro-women.

Ryan Bomberger: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Clinton: And when you really get around it, and you catch the essence of everything, you see it.

Ryan Bomberger: Yeah.

Dr. Clinton: I mean, you really see it. How do you guys deal with that? How do you deal with it? How do you deal with it as a family? And more than that, who are you bringing around you that keeps the juice up? I mean keeps you fired up, keeps you dialed in, keeps you saying, "Let's go"? Why do you keep going?

Ryan Bomberger: Loving Jesus. I mean, when you love Jesus, you love people. It is the natural outflow. I mean, we're motivated. I would say one of our foundational verses, Bethany and I, is First Corinthians 13:6. It says, "Love does not delight in evil, but it rejoices in the truth."

Dr. Clinton: Love it.

Ryan Bomberger: And we rejoice, as exhausting and as hard as this is, and with the death threats and the craziness that surrounds us, we understand why we do what we do. And so, if we didn't have Christ at the center of it, yes, we would fall apart completely. And we surround ourselves with people who love the Lord. I mean, you've got to have that kind of support, and we do have that in our church. My brother in law is my pastor. He's my best friend. Love him like crazy. We have strong, solid people around us. And of course, our colleagues in this fight, in the pro-life, pro-family movement... Honestly, these are some of the most amazing people. Demonized a lot by the mainstream media-

Dr. Clinton: Sure.

Ryan Bomberger: ... but these are incredible people, who withstand all kinds of craziness every single day. But we love locking arms with these kinds of people.

Dr. Clinton: "Don't grow weary in well-doing, for in due season, you will reap if you faint not."

Ryan Bomberger: Yes.

Dr. Clinton: And hey, it's really about laboring in Christ, because "greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world."

Ryan Bomberger: Amen.

Dr. Clinton: And God has called us into this moment... I believe this... to step in. I think there's an uprising. I think there's a stirring that's really going on, that's starting to manifest itself, and it's becoming pretty electric. I mean, people are starting to push back now on social media.

Ryan Bomberger: Yes.

Dr. Clinton: It's like when you claim Christ, He is a rock of offense to those who don't believe.

Ryan Bomberger: Right.

Dr. Clinton: I mean, you've chosen a side. And let's stand boldly in Him, to do what we do.

Ryan Bomberger: Yes.

Dr. Clinton: One more little piece on activism that I loved about you and your wife Bethany and more. You guys are bold on the messaging. You do the creative ad work and all that. But you guys are out raising money for pregnancy centers and things like that. I mean, this goes right down into the nuts and bolts of all of it. We need to be salt and light. We need to be in the midst of it all. I know there's a lot of tenderness and passion and compassion for those who are broken, who need people to step into their moment and help them. That's got to be at the heart of what we do.

Ryan Bomberger: Yeah.

Dr. Clinton: Tell us about what you guys are involved in.

Ryan Bomberger: Well, we actually... My wife Bethany and I met at a fundraising planning meeting for a pregnancy center banquet. That's how we met. That's how we fell in love at first sight. So, pregnancy centers actually have been at the heart of what we do, for a lot of reasons. We just love the work of pregnancy centers, the staff. And of course, pregnancy centers are mostly run by women. You're talking about 3,000 or more pregnancy centers coast to coast. I mean, these are the people who pour their lives into those who are facing the fear, and this thought that, "Oh my gosh, my life is over." And they pour into them. And these are women who've been there, too.

So, this is why we love, through The Radiance Foundation, to raise money for centers coast to coast. We do about 25, 30 keynote events for pregnancy centers. We do about 60 keynote events a year, but a lot of those are pregnancy center banquets. You can't go to a banquet, and sit there and not be moved to tears... Which I am all the time, because sometimes I am just a sappy person... And I'm moved by stories of God's transformation. You hear these stories of clients, and one after the other after the other, how their lives have been changed and transformed. Of course, the child's been saved, and the mother's life has been changed, and the father's life has been changed. I mean, how can you not want to embrace that? I wish more churches would understand the work of pregnancy centers and maternity homes from coast to coast, and understand why their role in that could be really pivotal.

Dr. Clinton: Unprecedented is a beautiful word. These are unprecedented times. God's doing unprecedented work. But here's the real deal. God is at work.

Ryan Bomberger: Yeah.

Dr. Clinton: He's using people like you, Ryan, your wife Bethany, your foundation. And by the way, a younger generation. Mom and Dad, get your kids involved. Hey, get them into an event like March for Life or whatever. Let them see what's happening. It'll put gasoline in their heart and life. I'm telling you. Let me give you the last word to our listeners. What's the big takeaway today?

Ryan Bomberger: Just don't give up. I mean, I know it seems impossible. No matter what the fight is, it seems overwhelming. And that's Satan's ploy. He makes you feel like you're the one who's outnumbered. But I go back to words from Frederick Douglass, one of my favorite childhood heroes. He said, "God and me and what's right make a majority against a universe." So, go with that. Understand that you might be the only one. But because you didn't give up, someone's life is changed. Someone's eternity was forever changed. And so, that's why Bethany and I do what we do. We love illuminating that every single life has purpose.

Dr. Clinton: I love that, Ryan.

Ryan Bomberger: God-given purpose.

Dr. Clinton: Love it. Thanks for being with us.

Ryan Bomberger: Absolutely. Thanks.

Roger Marsh: I'm Roger Marsh, and this has been a very enlightening discussion about the sanctity of all life, here on Family Talk. Dr. Tim Clinton has been our host today, and his guest has been pro-life activist and author, Ryan Bomberger. Now, you can learn more about Ryan's organization, The Radiance Foundation, by going to today's broadcast page at Once you're there, you can also request a CD copy of this conversation to revisit again later. Find all of this and more when you visit, and then tap on to the broadcast page. Be sure to tune in again all next week, as we focus on celebrating dads, as we look toward Father's Day weekend. You will not want to miss these special broadcasts, beginning this Monday on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh. Thanks for listening, and have a safe weekend.

Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.
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