Chattanooga, Knox pro-life events highlight gains in battling abortion

SUPPORTING LIFE Former NFL player Chris Godfrey met Dominican Sisters (from left) Mary Celeste D’Souza, Marie Monique Upgaard, Mary Evelyn Potts, and Margaret Mary Salwasser before the Celebrate Life Benefit Banquet in Chattanooga Oct. 18. Photo by Dan McWilliams

CHATTANOOGA—The ninth annual Celebrate Life Benefit Banquet, held by Chattanoogans for Life, this year added a co-sponsor in the Chattanooga Deanery Office of Youth Ministry.

The event was held Oct. 18 at the Pier 2 banquet hall on Chattanooga’s riverfront. Guest speakers were singer-songwriter Kara Klein and former NFL and USFL player Chris Godfrey, founder and president of Life Athletes. Jim Bello emceed the banquet.

Ms. Klein sang a cappella versions of three of her songs, including “Beautiful Still,” dedicated to Terri Schindler Schiavo and her family.

Ms. Klein was attending The Catholic University in Washington, D.C., when Mrs. Schiavo was in the news, which prompted Ms. Klein to seek inspiration from God.

“One day I was praying on the Metro on the subway, and I wrote this song just from my heart to God, and I don’t think I was necessarily thinking about Terri Schiavo,” she said. “The truth is that he loves every one of us. We were all made in the image and likeness of God, and Terri Schiavo was as well. I didn’t realize it, but when I was writing that song, that exact moment, her feeding tube was being removed.”

Mr. Godfrey sported his Super Bowl XXI ring that he earned as a football player for the New York Giants. Life Athletes started during his playing days “and has since grown to be an organization of over 300 professional and Olympic athletes who teach and inspire our young people to live lives of virtue, abstinence, and respect for life,” he said.

The ex-pro football player said his group focuses on four values in its work with young people: “we’re made in the image of God,” “human life is sacred,” “we’re valuable,” and “God has a plan for our lives.”

Tennessee Lieutenant Gov. Ron Ramsey spoke at the Knox County chapter of Tennessee Right to Life banquet on Oct. 11. He and TRL leader Stacy Dunn spoke about legislative gains made that led to the closing of a Knoxville abortion clinic and a change in the legislative balance of power favorable to pro-life bills.

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