Ryan Bomberger, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at the Radiance Foundation, an educational and life-affirming nonprofit organization discusses the issues of abortion, adoption, race, fatherlessness, and his new book Not Equal: Civil Rights Gone Wrong.
Thanks for joining us this week for Family Policy Matters. Today we have the great privilege of speaking to a man who is a national leader on the issues of human life, equality, dignity and justice. Ryan Bomberger is co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at The Radiance Foundation, a somewhat unconventional, educational and life-affirming nonprofit organization.
An adoptee himself and an adoptive father, Ryan is proof that triumph can rise from what many would consider to be human tragedy. He now uses his talents in media, journalism and public speaking to share about the cultural dynamics of abortion, adoption, eugenics, fatherlessness, natural marriage, racism, poverty, free speech, religious liberty, and many other issues. He has also just released a new book, which we’ll be talking somewhat about today, called Not Equal: Civil Rights Gone Wrong.
Ryan Bomberger, welcome to Family Policy Matters. It’s great to have you on the show again.
RYAN BOMBERGER: It’s great to be here. Thanks so much.
JOHN RUSTIN: Ryan, for our listeners who may not know you, at least not yet, share a little bit with us if you will about your life journey to this point?
RYAN BOMBERGER: Absolutely. I am that one percent, you could say, I’m the one percent that’s used 100 percent of the time to justify abortion. My birth mom experienced the horror and the violence of rape, yet she still chose life. And not only that, she gave me the incredible gift of adoption so that I could grow up in a small little family of 15—10 of us were adopted. So people were asking: Why are you passionate about this? Why do you even care? Well, it really starts with my own story, and thanks to my mom’s courage— my birth mom’s courage, and thanks to the love of my parents, I was adopted and loved. And because of that I’m able to be who I am today. So that’s why part of the Radiance Foundation’s story, the organization my wife and I began, has to do with my own personal story.
JOHN RUSTIN: Thank you for sharing that. Your new book is entitled, Not Equal: Civil Rights Gone Wrong. How did you choose this title, Ryan, and from your perspective, what has “gone wrong” in our country when it comes to civil rights?
RYAN BOMBERGER: Oh, a lot has gone wrong. Part of this came from my experience doing research about civil rights organizations like the NAACP, National Urban League, and I realized, wait a minute, they’re pro-abortion; they’re actually literally partnering with Planned Parenthood. And I couldn’t understand that. And I delved deeper into that. During the time I was doing this research, we launched a billboard campaign in the very conservative San Francisco Bay area. You may be familiar with it; not so conservative for those who don’t know! We placed 50 billboards, along with a good friend of mine, Walter Hoye, Issues4Life Foundation, and we placed 50 billboards that said, “Black and Beautiful, toomanyaborted.com.” And we were denounced by the ACLU, denounced by Planned Parenthood, and denounced by the NAACP. Not only were we denounced, they called our billboard “horribly racist” and created the illusion that Planned Parenthood kills black babies. So I wrote an article about them just detailing their radical pro-abortion position and I called them “the national association for the abortion of colored people,” and they sued me. And so two years in federal court, we did prevail, thanks to Alliance Defending Freedom. Thank God we prevailed, but it took two years to fight against them. And that’s really where all this came from. How are they not on the right side of this fundamental issue? And so that’s basically where Not Equal: Civil Rights Gone Wrong was birthed.
JOHN RUSTIN: Ryan, I know that you have said, “The whole concept of race is a human construct?” Describe what you mean by that.
RYAN BOMBERGER: We made it up! Human beings have a proclivity to separating each other based on the most arbitrary things, the most arbitrary characteristics. If it wasn’t skin tone or pigmentation, it would be the shape of our earlobes, or whether they’re attached or unattached. We have this propensity to constantly separate ourselves by class, by color, or whatever. We made up race so we could somehow fit people into a category and what we have seen by that is far more destruction than anything else. And because of that human construct, we separate ourselves needlessly. And as someone whose bi-racial—I’m half white, half black, I’m American, I don’t want to go into some human defined category like that—I think it’s detrimental for us as a society. And when we look at history, we see how much damage has resulted by this inclination to fit ourselves into some sort of racial category.
JOHN RUSTIN: Speaking of history, Ryan, from your perspective as a bi-racial man and an abortion survivor, so to speak, how would you compare the historical racism that we’ve seen in America to the racism we see in our culture today?
RYAN BOMBERGER: Oh it’s the same. It is the same. It’s a worldview that believes that some of us are less equal than others; and it’s goal is the same. The goal of racism is to dehumanize, and once you dehumanize, it’s much easier to treat someone with such horrific violence. It’s easier to treat someone with verbal violence, to treat someone differently. And so, I look at it as one and the same; it’s a continuum. And today’s racism I think, is so firmly embedded in our abortion industry where you have in New York City, the birthplace of Planned Parenthood, more black babies are aborted than born alive. And yet the same people who cry racism in every other facet of American life, and every other institution, will deny that it’s in the one institution that kills for a living. Racism is just the same, it’s a depravity of the human heart and it’s unwilling to actually see that we truly are one “human” race.
JOHN RUSTIN: Talk about that a little bit more. We recently commemorated the sad anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade. Many refer to abortion as the civil rights issue of our day. You’ve already spoken about this a little bit, but in the context of Roe v. Wade, and the context of the politicization of this abortion issue, what are your thoughts about this, Ryan?
RYAN BOMBERGER: Roe v. Wade, which of course is based on a lie—Norma McCorvey is actually Jane Roe and she initially lied about how she became pregnant. She used the excuse of being raped—I hate even saying the word excuse. She used that horrible scenario. It wasn’t true but yet that’s how that case got propelled to the Supreme Court. Roe v. Wade: it’s always touted as this empowerment of women, but what it really did is it empowered men to have sex and run. And that is why the residual affect of Roe v. Wade has been a culture of abandonment, a culture of fatherlessness. And the demographic hardest hit is the black community. So you’ve got literally abortion and poverty taking the place of fathers, that has been the result of Roe v. Wade. An abortion industry that preys on the vulnerable, understands that when you take the father out of the picture, you create a vulnerable family and a vulnerable community. That’s exactly what they want.
JOHN RUSTIN: How do you think we can best remedy that in our culture today? I know we talk a lot about fatherlessness and trying to address it. What do you think some of the remedies for that?
RYAN BOMBERGER: Unfortunately, it’s not talked about enough, certainly. You get these friends of these awards shows where all these celebrities go and they’re pontificating about all the issues that our society is facing. But they never bring up fatherlessness. Because, in order to bring up fatherlessness, you have to talk about what the ideal is, and that is for the mother and the father, who have created the child, to actually be the ones to take care of the child. And they can’t because that talks about natural paradigms and they don’t want to do that. Fatherlessness is devastating. You mentioned the higher rates of drugs, higher rates of suicide, high instances of teenage pregnancy, incarceration rates—I mean the list goes on and on—higher rates of abortion. And the reason for that is because mothers, who are amazing, weren’t meant to be both mother and father. And so, we have to celebrate fatherhood. We have to encourage young men. There are so many guys who don’t understand what it means to be a man, let alone what it means to be a father. And so, that’s why part of what we do at the Radiance Foundation is encouraging mentoring. Fathers step into a young man’s life and help him understand what it means to be a man because so many of them don’t grow up with that role model. It changes everything. We, as a society, cannot move forward without fathers in their proper place. Mothers and fathers were meant to work in harmony to raise the children that they’ve created, and when that’s our focal point, children benefit the most from it—our society benefits.
JOHN RUSTIN: Amen and amen. Now Ryan, I know adoption is a very personal topic for you and your family, as you’ve shared, with respect to your own person history and your family situation. What can we do to encourage mothers in crisis, first, of all to consider adoption, and then, what can we do to support those families who open their homes to children through adoption?
RYAN BOMBERGER: One, there are pregnancy resource centers—over 3,000 across the nation—that are there to be that resource for women facing unplanned pregnancies—for mothers and fathers I should say, because it takes two to create a life, and they are amazing resources. And so, if adoption is—it’s obviously one of the two life-affirming alternatives to abortion—and those pregnancy centers will lead and guide these women to those decisions, and show them beautiful examples of what adoption is. We work with a lot of adoption agencies as well, including friends like Bethany Christian Services. Adoption unleashes purpose. It is there to restore what was broken. And my encouragement is especially for churches, who should understand that adoption shouldn’t be second-nature to Christians at all, it should be first-nature, because there’s no salvation without adoption. And so there are different thing that different elements of our society can do, but if we aren’t willing to talk about adoption on the same level as choosing to parent your child, instead of looking at it as some sort of last resort. Adoption—people don’t think of it this way—but it is such a beautiful act of justice. Yes, it’s an act of love, but it’s also an act of justice in that, when you have a single mom raising a child, that child is five times more likely to grow up in poverty. And so, adoption’s not the answer to poverty, but it’s part of that answer: putting a child in ideally two-parent married home with a mother and a father. So, as an adoptive father myself—I have four children, two of whom were adopted and being an adoptee myself—I have lived what it means to be transformed by adoption. And it doesn’t just transform the child, by the way, it often transforms the world.
JOHN RUSTIN: One of the most powerful statements in your book, Not Equal: Civil Rights Gone Wrong, was when you said: “I’ve always been taught to love others, to be compassionate, and to speak and live the truth, and to be prepared for people to hate [me] anyway.” And I know that those are experiences that you’ve had throughout your life, and especially as public as you have chosen to be. How do you continue to stay motivated, to love and speak the truth, in the face of what inevitably will be controversy?
RYAN BOMBERGER: It really is my faith, it’s my love for God, and I thank my parents for instilling that in me. That’s what keeps me motivated because, otherwise, you would lose your ever-loving mind. We live in a world that’s so upside-down. But a lot of what drives me, this particular verse, I Corinthians 13:6, says: “Love does not delight in evil, but it rejoices in the truth.” When you see someone getting a hold of something that they finally discover is true and you can almost see the visual transformation, it’s amazing. I speak at college campuses and I see something going off, a light going off in young students eyes. It’s an amazing thing. Being set free is an amazing thing. It’s why my wife Bethany and I do what we do, because we truly believe we were put on this earth to help create content, to help people experience freedom. So that’s why we do what we do.
JOHN RUSTIN: That’s awesome. Ryan, where can our listeners go to learn more about the work of The Radiance Foundation and also to get a copy of your new book, Not Equal: Civil Rights Gone Wrong?
RYAN BOMBERGER: They can go to our website, www.radiance.life and they can check out all the content that we create. And our book, Not Equal: Civil Rights Gone Wrong? is available through our website.
JOHN RUSTIN: Great. With that, Ryan Bomberger, I want to thank you so much for being with us on Family Policy Matters and just thank you so much for your courageous and life-affirming work! God bless you and we wish the best for you and the continued success of your organization.
RYAN BOMBERGER: Thank you. God bless you too.
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