The Advocates – Fighting History’s Broken Record

3 years ago Triangle 0

Written by: 

Bryan Knowles, Co-Leader for Students for Life

U.S. History I convened at 9 a.m. as usual at the beginning of last August. After contrasting the American ideals of liberty and justice against oppressive totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, History Professor Travis Ricketts showed an illustration that I can’t forget.  

The U.S. violently resisted two such totalitarian regimes in World War II. That conflict remains the most catastrophic war in history, costing more than 53 million lives. On Dr. Ricketts’ slide, the 405,000 American casualties were represented by a graph, in which part of a single square (each square representing 455,000 lives) was shaded white.  This graph was dwarfed by 120 white squares shown next to it.  

These represented the 54.5 million abortions performed in the U.S. alone since 1973.

Many soldiers gave their lives, but more non-combatants had theirs stripped away. Hitler and Stalin combined to kill more than 14 million noncombatants because of their ideological agendas of consolidated central power and racial purity. They sought to purge those they deemed “undesirable.”

“Undesirables” included the elderly, those with birth defects, those diseased, peasants, racially mixed, and anyone whose ideology differed from the state’s prescriptions. When the world discovered the extent of the Holocaust, it vowed “never again.”

What I realized that August morning was this: our nation has killed more people in the name of choice and individual rights than were killed by all causes during the Second World War.

Most know of the high death toll, but few realize that in late 1930s Germany, some unmarried women were part of a Nazi program designed to facilitate the production of racially pure children for the state. Some Nazi officials encouraged their men to pursue illegitimate relationships with these women that would result in state-indoctrinated children to perpetuate the Nazi vision. This is as close of an example to state-sponsored human trafficking as any that history has to offer.  

As with the concentration camps, the post-war discovery of these birthing facilities aroused indignation and resentment. Despite this, neither human trafficking nor eugenics have disappeared—they have merely changed forms.

As many as 17,000 enslaved people enter the U.S. each year through human trafficking networks. Thousands of these are held for commercial sex acts. American cities such as Atlanta have become known for their extremely profitable trafficking industries.’s “Abortion Clock” has counted 59,775,888.7 abortions in the U.S. alone since Roe v. Wade in 1973.  That number has increased by more than 14 (and 300 worldwide) within the short time since I loaded the page.  Many of these are blacks or those with Down syndrome or other complications (similar to those considered “undesirables” in 1930s Germany).  

Human trafficking and abortion, both disregarding God’s wondrous and beautiful purpose for human life, are issues that affect all of us and hit close to home.

As students at a Christian institution such as Bryan College, we recognize that these are truths we cannot ignore.  Christ calls us  to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31) and to represent Christ “unto the least of these” (Matthew 25:35-40).  That means reaching out in love and compassion to our fellow men and women in physical bondage (the victims of others in spiritual bondage), to individuals as yet unborn, and to those who believe they have no choice other than to subject themselves to enslavement or to abort their unborn child.

That is why the Advocates exist on your Bryan College campus.  Our mission is to foster advocacy for the voiceless and vulnerable by cultivating conviction and compassion, both in the hearts of students and the community.  We consist of two initiatives, both SSTOP (Students Stopping the Trafficking of Persons) and Students for Life.  Our teams volunteer regularly at Blazing Hope Ranch ( and the Care Center of Rhea County (, helping the staff keep facilities clean and open to offer care to anyone seeking help.  These volunteer hours count toward those needed for the Dean’s Leadership Service Award.  Additionally, we host multiple on-campus events and regular group meetings to discuss and learn about human trafficking, abortion, and bioethics issues so we can dialogue with others, “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).

Who are The Advocates?

To find out how you can be a part of the Advocates, or to learn more about upcoming events, please contact Emily Brown (SSTOP), Emma Garland (SFL), or Bryan Knowles (SFL).  We would be most happy to answer any questions you may have.

Bryan Knowles (

Co-Leader, Students for Life at Bryan College

Emma Garland (

Co-Leader, Students for Life at Bryan College

Emily Brown (

Leader, Students Stopping the Trafficking of Persons