While organizers were happy to see more than 3,000 children participate in last weekend’s Trick or Treat on Main Street in Loganville, a few parents left disturbed by a pro-life effort at the child-oriented affair. 

“It was a great event with one exception: There was a pro-life group of some kind handing out 12-week-old fetus toys to the children. A man handed one of the so-called toys to my 3-year-old grandson. He asked what it was. The man that handed it to him told him, ‘This is a 12-week-old fetus. This is what you looked like in your mommy’s belly,’” Loganville resident John Ramsey said. “There is a time and place for everything. This event for handing out candy to small children was not the time or the place to be handing out toys about pro-life. 

“I strongly feel that this was not the right thing to do at a children’s event. Again, this was a great event except for the people that were handing out toy fetuses to small children. At an adult event, OK, at a small children’s event, I think not.”

First year attendant Marti Wood was also upset. 

“We got halfway through and there was a pro-life type group that was handing out 12-week-old rubber fetuses. Before I could grab my son, he was picking one up and asking what it was,” the Monroe resident said. “I can understand having an opinion and wanting to help people understand, but was this really the right venue? This was a trick-or-treating event for children 7 and under. There is a time and place for everything and this was neither. First, this was an event full of children, so the proof is in the pudding. Second, this was for children. Not really the right audience to be explaining what a fetus looks like at 12 weeks and so on. 

“I was both shocked and appalled that this was allowed at such a function. Hopefully this is something that will be considered for next year so the children won’t worry about someone putting a fetus in with their candy.”

At the center of the controversy is Joshua Edmonds, senior minister of Project:Ignite, what he described as a nonprofit social justice organization in the metro Atlanta area. This was the second year the group participated in the event. The models handed out were life-size replicas of a child at 12 weeks with a card which explains the development of a child from week one through 12, according to Edmonds, who added “the children love to look at these models and hold them.”

“This ability to see how complex, fragile and precious life is, even at 12 weeks, is an amazing experience for children,” Edmonds said. “We were told by two people this year that they enjoyed the displays but did not want to have other discussions about early life development with their children for another few years, and one person did voice concern to a city council member who was at the event. Other than that, we had a wonderful response from all of the attendees.

“The message we were sharing with children at this event was about the development, complexity and uniqueness of life as it develops in the womb ... With so much violence and disregard for life being portrayed in the world today, which then reflects into the tragic bullying epidemic in our schools, it is of immense value for children to walk away with an understanding of how precious and fragile life is.”

This was the fourth year Laura Ellis organized the event.

“From what I understand, the models were not handed to children unless the parent approved,” she said, noting the group was also handing out candy at the event. “I do want to point out that I am pro-life. I find nothing offensive about the 12-week fetus models. In fact, I find them a rather beautiful reminder of life. I do, however, understand that some parents did not wish for their children to have them and I respect that.”


(52) comments

harleyman44

This was totally in appropriate. For a special interest group to try to inject their political and religious views into an event for small children is inexcusable. Like Mr. Ramsey said there is a time and place for everything and this wasn't it.

xyz

Wow, what a completely jerky move by this group. There is a time and place for everything, and this isn't it. To inject kids with your political agenda at what is supposed to be a fun and light-hearted event just shows how incredibly low they're willing to go.

Paul Finch

These are the types of organizations that are giving Christianity a black eye. These types of events are fueling a global secular movement.

Westboro Baptist Church would be proud.

The irony is that the people at the Halloween event made the decision to have children, and they were the targets of the organization.

Majorluv

I wonder if this is the same "Laura Ellis" that manages the BB&T in Loganville. What a great representative the local bank has! Darwin is not doing his job.

Mwood

I don't want one group to ruin the event for everyone, especially the children. Other than this group we had fun trick or treating and seeing all the children dressed up and enjoying themselves. I think Laura Ellis did great job coordinating it and having all the local businesses come out (i think this is her 4th year). I just think we need to stick to handing out only candy to the children next year. [smile]

Grantri

Dear Joshua Edmonds,

Attempting to use children as a vehicle to spread your message is disgusting. Please go away and never come back .

Jr

I would like to thank Laura Ellis for all the work and effort for staging an event like this for young children. I know that she and others had to put in a lot of work and personal time. For this they need to be commended. I still feel that this was a great event with the exception of giving out toy fetuses to small children.

gogetem

I am saddened that the adults replying are so judgemental toward the venue that was being discussed here. I worked the entire event and it was not until we were packing up to go home that any negativity was raised. ONE person spoke up. If it were such a problem how come so many other parents stood in line for hours with their children to enjoy this wonderful event for our community.

What a great teaching tool this was for your child and as mentioned in the article, the parents were asked before the child received this little doll. There was NO abortion position being blantantly crammed down anyones throat. The baby doll was not gross or in any way inappropriate, not any more than any baby I ever bought my child at WalMart.

I honestly say that the costumes that were worn by the adult women at the festival were more offensive to me than anything. I didn't leave though and I surely didn't call the Walton Tribune to air my opinion. The children had a blast and got buckets full of candy. The adults that were trick or treating with their infants that couldn't even drink anything but a bottle of milk, did too.

Laura Ellis has more character in her little finger than many of us have in all ten of ours. This is not a personal view of our friend BUT a member of our community that was giving out treats to our children. So instead of shooting her in the foot maybe a thank you would be in order.

ashlingc1

I think giving the dolls is a great idea! It dismisses the whole blob of cells argument. It is important to educate children on human development and to respect life. These dolls are a great way of showing this and make it real for them! Education is key hopefully the adults there learned something too!

thankful

I'm with "gogetem" and "ashlingc1"----there is absolutely NOTHING offensive about these little model babies, and the information that comes with them is beautiful. They are obviously intended to be an educational tool---NOT at toy! If you haven't seen one, please try to get one!!!!!

I also worked the event, and as "gogetem" said, there was no mention to these children of abortion at all. No "baby-killing" accusations. No political stance was taken. From what I encountered, it was simply an outlet used to educate children on the beauty of life. The detail in our development is often missed, and I believe it is fantastic that our children be introduced to those facts.

No one was forced to hear any opinions, and as Laura said in the article, the children were not given a model without parental consent.

I heard countless good things about these models--from parents and children alike! I believe it was a wonderful idea, and I think that Laura Ellis made a great decision in asking this group to return to the event this year.

xyz

So if I understand correctly Ms. Ellis has set the precedent that whoever is in charge of organizing this even in the future can inject any personally favorite causes?

So if it the next person was pro-choice, you'd be ok with Planned Parenthood? (as long as they give out candy too, of course). What about an atheist? A Tea Partier? An Occupier? Republican? Democrat? Libertarian? Green? Mormon? Catholic? Muslim? Hindu?

Or perhaps it's best to let this be the event it was intended to be, an enjoyable evening for families and kids.

Mwood

Well said xyz.

BBES

Absolutely there is a time and place for everything and this was neither the time nor the place. According to Joshua Edmonds facebook page it looks as if this is a personal endevor of Laura Ellis also. No one should use an event for childrens pleasure to push their personal agenda. As an atheist you wont find me passing out a monkey chain of eveloution along with a bag of candy. No way should this group be invited back next year,

thankful

xyz, were you there? If so, you must have missed the table at which Mike Jones (running for city council) was sitting, passing out all of his campaigning information (I saw countless little pumpkin baskets with his political parephernalia in them). So, yes, I'm sure we (in respone to your "you'd") would be fine with that---since we obviously were. So why are you not taking shots at him for "how incredibly low [he's] willing to go" by " inject[ing] kids with [his] political agenda"?

xyz

I'm not taking shots at him because that's not the point of the article, but since you asked...... Yes, I don't think that's needed at a kid oriented event.

But nice redirection there, I still think Ms. Ellis has set the precedent, based on her statements in the article, that any future organizers can have the right to inject his/her personal issues into the event.

If you think a family event should morph into a political agenda smorgasbord, that's your right.

BBES

I dont think passing out 12 week old fetus toys was so much a political agenda but more so a personal agenda. Whether or not Mike Jones makes city council will not affect my family as much as explaining a toy fetus to my son who has not even heard about the birds and the bees. Make no mistake, this was a religious group with a personal agenda to influence children not someone running for city council.

thankful

Fair enough. Just please keep in mind that nothing political was ever talked about. It was about educating the children. They didn't talk about abortion, they didn't talk about abortion laws, they didn't talk about political candidates or legislation. They talked about science--basic biology about the development of a baby. That's not politics, honey. That's education.

Mwood

Education is fantastic, honey, but target the right audience.

BBES

I dont disagree the education aspect, but like we have said there is a time and a place and they have no place trying to educate a toddler about how life begins at a holloween trick or treat event. Again, I have a scientific view toward how life began we call it evolution and you wont find me trying to "educate" peoples children about the evolution af man at a trick or treat event. Not the time or place!

Paul Finch

Passing out fetus dolls to children is not education. It's idiotic.

This is education. Not sure if it will play for you unless you are logged in to facebook.

copy and paste into browser

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=189587944391595

Grantri

Seriously?

"Hey look mommy, free fetuses!"

A bunch of kids go to what is supposed to be a fun event and come home with plastic fetuses and Mike Jones political garbage? Total failure ....I'd rather my kid came home with a bag of fresh vomit.
How about we keep in mind that this event is supposed to be for the kids and keep the religious freaks and wannabe politicians on the sidelines?

xyz

Education? So when I take my kid to a fun event, the agenda of the organizer should be inviting a group s/he supports in order to "educate" my kids?

So you're ok with atheists, planned parenthood, or other groups to educate your kid at these events? Good, I have some emails to make.

xyz

Education? Seriously? Why is "time and place" hard to grasp?

Or are you ok with other groups "educating" your children? If Ms. Ellis is so supportive of education, will she be inviting a wide variety of groups to educate? Or then will you be claiming it's just supposed to be a fun family activity without an agenda?

xyz

Sorry about the doubles, my first one appeared lost.

cy

Love the Fatboy Slim, Paul Finch. XYZ, you're right on the money.

cy

Another thought, Thankful, this was not meant to educate, it was meant to be provocative. The ironic thing is now the message Project:Ignite was supposedly trying to spread was corrupted by their asinine tactics.

Sara856

It's amazing how threatened people are by a little doll!! What is so wrong with handing out a doll to children? What if it was a doll of an infant, would that have been so upsetting? As far as I can tell the word abortion was not even mentioned. Why is it so scary to acknowledge that a baby in the womb at 12 weeks has fingers and toes and looks like a miniature baby? Why do parents want to hide that from their children? Isn't it just the truth, presented in a nonviolent, nongraphic, even cute way? Since when is education wrong? And yes, Planned Parenthood teaches children with their curriculum and often guest speakers in almost every public school. Why don't you complain about that?

Sara856

I wonder what the cause of the paranoia is. Maybe the parents have a guilty conscience and don't' want their kids seeing the reality of the babies they support killing. They figure if their children realize the truth that these aborted babies have little arms and legs, and learn that their parents support ripping off those arms and legs in an abortion, they will be upset. I bet the parents in Nazi Germany would have been just as upset about people handing out dolls of little Jewish kids to their children.....

xyz

28 posts to a Nazi reference! Invoking Godwin's Law!

harleyman44

The point is in my honest opinion, is that there is a time and place for everything and this deals with subject matter that is best left to the parents to discuss with their children. An event for children that young is not the time nor the place for an organization to try to force their politial/ religious views. If the pro life, pro choice, Political candidates, skin heads or whatever want to have a childrens event and force their views then its their right to do that, and parents taking their kids to the afore mentioned event would know what they were going to be exposed to. Using a community event to thinly veil a religous/ political agenda is wrong. I say again, it is not up to the pro life group to inform children that young of their views its up to the parents.

JEllis

Sorry Sara you missed the point of the story. I have read the story and the comments and I wish it were as innocent as handing out a toy doll to children but it was more than that. This was a group using propaganda to instill a message of abortion, whether you like it or not that is exactly what it was, into children that are busy coloring and learning their their ABC's! Did you really compare this to the Nazi and the Jews? Wow!

xyz

Actually, I'm not surprised by the Nazi reference. It fits right into the over the top rhetoric of the group handing out the plastic fetuses.

It's also funny that none of the defenders want to talk about appropriate time and place. I

Mwood

Ok, I think this has gone too far. This will be my last conversation of this and then I am done. I do not believe in abortion. Through my years of working in the healthcare field I understand the growth and development of a child in the womb. This was something that I began being educated about in high school and more in detail when I became pregnant with my son. I have no problem with educating those that are old enough to understand. My parents taught me of the "birds and bees" and explained all I needed (and wanted) to know about pregnancy, childbirth, development and so on. My whole complaint is that I did not feel this was the right venue. It was said that the dolls were only given out to those with permission, but the words never came out of my mouth and when we got home I realized there was a doll in the bucket. I do not agree about the political figures that were there either. This is an event for children. I would have thought that since parents were there that they know of the development of a baby from day one (since all the educatonal materials given my doctors etc.). This is something that I want to teach my child. Not someone else. I am not simple minded or one sided. But this is something that the parent should teach their child. I think the trick or treat event was great fun for my son and we enjoyed seeing all the kids dressed up, but this is all it should have been. A fun trick or treat event for the kids to get CANDY. Let the kids remain kids as long as they can. They are growing up way too fast these days. Halloween has always been a hoiliday to dress up, have fun and gorge on candy. Leave the rest out of it. To those that think this was about abortion...HELLO, I have a beautiful three year old. I just wanted this to be a candy event...let me teach my child when the time is right. We were all in a receiving line to get candy, it was hard to avoid the table anyway. There, what is said is said and I am done.

Grantri

Those of you defending this thing seem to be missing the point entirely...

It's not the dolls themselves that are offensive. It's the unmitigated gall that these religious freaks have . They seem to believe that their beliefs are "important" to everyone and they choose to use children as a method to spread their garbage. Worse still they (and some of you) find this sort of thing completely appropriate , but only because you happen to share the same religious beliefs.
It's a simple lack of respect . If these folks had been passing out Muslim paraphernalia to YOUR kids would have been calling for their arrest .

Again, how about we let the kids be kids instead of attempting to use them as vehicles for our political/religious agenda?

gratisbunch7

I love life, when I was pregnant with my daughther 36 years ago, I was thankful I had the options I did. I had thought about this. Made an appointment for an abortion and went to counseling that was part of the process then. I choose not to. However, when I gave birth to my daughter I was thankful that she would have the same choice as I.
At the time I had two sons and my husband was really heavy into partying and drugs, I did not think I could do this alone again. I could not see a good future in sight. Through counseling (not pressured one way or the other) I made up my mind what I wanted to do. No one knows how it feels until you are there. I wanted to die. I do not think abortion shoud be done one after another. It should not be where girls think they can do anything they want knowing in the back of their mind they can "get rid of thier responsibility. Everyone who goes to have an abortion needs counseling. Making the right decision for the person is so important.

Samysmum

I'm a pro-lifer, and I feel this was completely uncalled for at a children's trick or treating event. I don't push my personal (key word there...PERSONAL) beliefs on anyone. As a society, we really, really, need to wake up and smell the coffee when it comes to common sense. I simply can't believe that this group chose a children's event to push their religious agenda. There are other more acceptable places to do that!

maggies

A children's trick-or-treating event was not the place for Mr. Edmonds to educate others about his personal belief. This was an event for CHILDREN and a 7 year old does not need to know or think about anything other than how much candy they're going to get their hands on. Nothing should have taken place at this event other than the children having a good time in their costumes.

People get so wrapped up in their own agenda and they don't realize what is really important. When I was 7 years old, I didn't even know what a fetus was. Now, children are being exposed to things way before they should be. Save your personal beliefs and political campaigns for the adults. Leave the children out of it. If Mr. Edmonds group wanted to pass out a fetus, they should have went to a high school or college and directed it more towards the sexually active age group.

ashlingc1

Why do you all assume a religious or political agenda? Not all people who are pro-life are religious! Being against abortion is not religious or political it is a human rights issue. Maybe some of you need to be more tolerant to other people views without making assumptions and calling them 'religious freaks'. As for the dolls again I don't see the big deal! What are parents worried about? That a child will see the doll and see a baby? Yes it's easier to deny this fact if you are not shown the truth. As for time and place, if they had of been showing pictures of aborted babies, I would agree it wasn't the time or place. But a baby doll come on hardly the same thing. I'm sure there was no complaints from the children.

Grantri

ashlingc1... Might I suggest you actually READ the article?

No one is "assuming" a religious agenda, the group handing out free fetuses IS A RELIGIOUS GROUP attempting to foist their beliefs on our children .

How about NO?
How tolerant would you be if I was handing out condoms to the little tykes and telling them all about the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

liz

I don't think my five year old son gets the "life is beautiful" message since he was bouncing it around our living room like a rubber ball. At first he asked his dad to eat it because he thought it was some kind of gummy candy, which was all kind of horrifying. But, I'd rather he react like that than for me to have to explain that the reason people were handing out the dolls was to keep people from "killing babies."

I am pregnant now and I actually had a miscarriage in 2009. I was 12 weeks pregnant at the time. Although I appreciate life before it is born, the doll was particularly disturbing to me since it was a reminder of what my baby looked like when it died. If you agree with the message or not, the people involved need to be aware that this is a very touchy issue to for a lot of people.

A lighthearted, fun event like trick or treating should not be a venue to talk about one of the most controversial, polarizing political issues that exists today. Local politicians handing out brochures that kids won't even read is a lot different than people handing out fetus dolls that do nothing but confuse the kids that are curious enough to ask questions.

ashlingc1

Perhaps I should have been clear Gantri it was not the article I was referring to it was you- 'Worse still they (and some of you) find this sort of thing completely appropriate , but only because you happen to share the same religious beliefs.' You assumed that anyone who thought this appropriate did so because they gave the same religious beliefs!! So there you go I have READ the article and all the comments! As for handing out condoms did planned parenthood not already do this to kids trick or treating on Halloween!

Grantri

I cant find any reference to Planned Parenthood handing out anything to 7 y/o kids... That sort of thing remains in the realm of religious freaks who fail to respect others and prey on children .

ashlingc1

I stand corrected not planned parenthood but another abortion facility handed out condoms etc to kids aged 6-9 on halloween http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=362993.

xyz

Ash, so then I'm sure you're ok with that? After all, doesn't it have to do with "education?"

Grantri

A link from World Net Daily ash? Really?

xyz makes a good point. If your story is to be believed ash it would seem the material was educational just like your fetuses so you're OK with this right.. After all condoms are a pretty good way to keep fetuses from appearing ...

Of course the incidents are hardly similar ..

In your scenario a bunch of religious freaks demonstrating in front of a private business with the intention of causing the business owner financial loss. Apparently these freaks chose to bring their crotch goblins to the demonstration..

Yeah , thats EXACTLY like a bunch of innocent kids having plastic fetuses stuffed in their bags on whats supposed to be a fun oriented event.. Right

ashlingc1

Yes handing out condoms is educational but hardly think it is the same as baby dolls! I think the difference is so obvious I will not waste my time explaining. Why so much anger Grantri? You are coming across as a very weird! 'Crotch goblins' ?? If you are referring to children of prolife parents then what makes them any less innocent than the children at the event. You have so much hatred that you are not even making sense. It is pointless having an intelligent debate with someone so hateful you obviously have issues you need to deal with!

xyz

Ah, so you "think" it's not the same. I get it now, you've decided you are the decider for what everyone's child must learn. What other issues do you feel you have the right to override the parents' wishes?

ashlingc1

Come on you know as well as I do that explaining and educating a child on condoms and the sexual connotation is not the same as educating a child on child development in the womb of course the latter is more innocent. That's common sense! You are arguing now for the sake of arguing!

xyz

As I said, apparently you think you're the authority to decide what a child learns, not the parents. And apparently you think this event is the appropriate venue for you to circumvent the parents' decision on how/when/what on deciding these issues.

Thanks for confirming that.

ashlingc1

Yes I think there are things that are ok for a child to learn at certain ages and other things which are not appropriate. Everyone has their own opinion. You appear to have your opinion on the topic. Why don't we just keep our children at home for fear that they might learn something in the outside world [smile]

Grantri

Ash...

First off the sort of idiot that involves their child in a protest must be prepared to deal with whatever that kid might be presented with by the opposition. So if you drag your crotch goblins out to a protest you may have to deal with the unpleasantness that comes with that.
On the other hand one would NOT expect to have to ward off religious freaks passing out fetuses at a halloween fest for 7 year old and younger kids.. Pretty simple and a HUGE difference
Far as I'm concerned explaining to kids about condoms , fetal development and abortion is in the realm of those kid's parents , not random religious freaks armed with plastic fetuses..

xyz

I never said to keep one's child at home so they won't learn. What I said was when I dress my kid up to go to a Halloween event, I don't need to have to decide to explain to my child why or why not I will let them "learn" about some pet issue of the organizer. If I wanted my child to learn about fetal development I'll pick my own time and choosing, and that would not be by some agenda driven group at a Halloween event.
You seem to think this kind of event is the proper forum for these issues.

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