Welcome to Family Policy Matters, an engaging and informative weekly radio show and podcast produced by the North Carolina Family Policy Council. Today we bring you an excerpt from Ryan Baumberger's keynote address at NC Family's 2022 Winston-Salem dinner held in mid-November. We hope you enjoy part one of this two-part show. Please note that this was a multimedia presentation and you can view a video of Ryan Baumberger's entire keynote address on our website at ncfamily.org.
That's ncfamily.org. All right. How does everybody feel tonight? It wasn't really convincing.
I heard this side, but I didn't really hear the left side, which does make sense. Everybody feel alive? Glad to be alive?
Good. It is awesome to be alive. It is a gift that none of us should take for granted. Thank you, John and your entire team at NC Family for inviting me to speak. I love your vision statement. I just want to read this again.
A state and nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. You cannot flourish without the truth. And we live in a culture today that constantly tells us, well, that's not my truth. That might be your truth, but there is no such thing as my truth or your truth.
There's just the truth. Can I get an amen in here? We have a culture that is so broken on so many levels. We are all broken, but thank goodness we serve a creator who redeems and rescues all the time. What we have to do is when embracing the truth that every human being is made in God's image, it changed the way that we see people. It changes the way that we react to situations. When you see someone as being made in the image of God, you change the way that you behave.
And so when we do that, instead of looking through the broken lenses of the world, and the world has a lot of broken lenses, lens of race, lens of socioeconomic status, lens of 72 genders, whatever it may be now, but we have to look through the breakthrough filter of Christ. And so what we do through the Radiance Foundation is we love doing that. My wife was an educator for 13 years. I was a creative director in the ad agency world for the same amount of time. My wife taught in both public and private school.
In fact, she's now homeschooling Mama. She's also the co-founder of the Radiance Foundation. But we wanted to combine what God had given us as an educator, as a creative, and do three things. We want to illuminate, educate, and motivate. We want to illuminate the truth that every human life, whether you're planned, unplanned, able, disabled, whatever beautiful hue of skin you have, every human life has God-given purpose. We want to educate on these culture-shaping issues. We talk about the easy stuff, abortion, racism, fatherlessness, poverty, gender radicalism, basically the war on common sense.
Have you noticed that there is a war on common sense? So we illuminate, we educate, and then we motivate. Because what good is your knowledge? What good is your faith if you don't put it into action? How many of you are good at motivating other people just by a show of hands?
Wow, that's kind of depressing. We're supposed to be influencing the world. We're salt and light, right? Maybe you're better at self-motivation, right?
Maybe not either, I don't know. But we want to do these three things because we live in a culture where too often the world's screaming a lie, and Christians cower in a corner somewhere being silent. Or we are the ones who have the truth that can set people free. So I love creating stuff that's fearless, factual, and freeing.
This is some of the stuff if you go to radiance.life, it's the easiest way to get to our website. We have infographics, we have memes, we have weekly op-eds, we have Christian posts in town hall, we have a lot of content videos, and just stuff to equip you to feel confident to engage in conversations. Sarah mentioned earlier, I am a factivist. There's a difference between an activist and a factivist. I applaud those who sense injustice and want to do something about it, but you cannot act without the facts.
It leads to dangerous consequences. And so we want to make everyone factivist. We have other tools too, like books that we've written. Actually, this is written by my favorite author on the planet. It's my wife, Bethany Baumberger, because we spend so much time trying to change the mind of an adult, but we wouldn't have to do that if we taught children an age-appropriate pro-life worldview. And so this is one of the resources that we have.
Actually, it's at the table right outside the door here. And also, I can't even believe that we have to even create something like this, that we even have to say this, but this is our newest book coming out on December 5th. It's called She Is She. It's all about undeniable, biological, beautiful her. That's available at SheIsShe.com or just go to our main website.
Everything that we do, everything that we create, I know that this is the motivation too for NC Family is 1 Corinthians 13, 6 says, Love does not delight in evil, but it rejoices in the truth. How many of you remember where you were on June 24th? Nobody. Wow.
Okay. So I remember because that was the day that the Dobbs decision came out. I was by myself, which was a rare occurrence. My kids were at camp. My wife was at the pro-life women's conference. Our staff was actually with her and all of a sudden the decision comes down.
My wife calls me. She's crying on the phone and I start crying because it was just a reminder from God that even the political climate, even when it seems in the natural that things are impossible, we serve a God of the impossible all the time. And so, although Roe was aborted, yes, and I understand we have to fight state after state. I know this recent election, there were some really disappointing ballot initiatives that were approved in other states, but we can never give up. I thank heaven that slavery abolitionists never gave up because I would not have made a good slave.
I'm just saying never ever give up, which is why I love talking about the beauty of possibility. My family is the tangible representation of that. Sarah mentioned that there are 15 in my family, typical American family.
I have six brothers, six sisters, 10 of us were adopted. And it's interesting because people often ask me, well, what motivated your parents to adopt? What influenced them?
You kind of hear the subtext. It's like, what possessed your parents? Well, two things, love and brokenness. My mom had an alcoholic father. She grew up in a trailer park. She had an alcoholic father who was emotionally, psychologically abusive. And my mom was placed in a children's home for one year at the age of five. We often underestimate young people.
And I love that John recognized the groups of young kids that are here, teenagers that are here, but never underestimate youth. And I'm sure someone probably would have underestimated my mom at five years of age. That's where she got the heart from. That's where she got the heart for adoption. In fact, at this home, there was a little girl who had physical disabilities and no one came to visit this little girl. No one came to hug her. No one came to be with her. My mom had her parents to visit her separately, but no one came for that girl. And that's what broke a five year old's heart.
And as my mom tells us the story, she remembers getting down on her knees one night and just praying to God, God, help me be a mommy to those who don't have one. And I know sometimes people think, well, I couldn't do this. I couldn't do that. I couldn't be an adoptive parent. I couldn't do whatever.
Fill in the blank. Because you feel like things have to be perfectly lined up. But see, life is never picture perfect.
And that's actually what makes it so beautiful. Life is never picture perfect. Human beings come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and abilities. No matter how much we plan, no matter how much we think we're prepared, the unplanned happens all the time.
It's how we respond to the unexpected that shows our true humanity. But many do not see the value of every human life. Too many are willing to discard those who don't fit the picture of perfection.
Abortion destroys the chance to love and to be loved. We never know what will fill the frames of our lives or how empty those frames can be when we allow exceptions. Our society tells us that children are a burden.
But scripture tells us that children are a blessing. See, my family is filled with those exceptions, that the world was so easily right off because we didn't fit the picture of perfection. We weren't planned. We had disabilities.
We had dot, dot, dot. But I thank God for parents who love the mess out of us. I grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Anybody ever been to Lancaster County?
So you know about the Amish, right? Apple dumplings, whoopie pies, good stuff. Stay away from the scrapple.
Although maybe people like scrapple here. I don't know. But I grew up on ham loaf and my wife's from New York City. She's like, what is ham loaf? It's good stuff. What's funny is I travel around the country and I've been asked several times, well, are you Amish?
I'm like, no. I like electronics. No, I'm not Amish. I love the Amish. My grandparents were Mennonite, which is kind of like Amish light.
So I guess that's close enough. But I love growing up where I grew up. You know, there were 13 kids and usually the whole neighborhood was on our farm here. And you see just a portion of our farm.
Oh my goodness. These walls could speak. Well, actually, I'm glad walls don't speak because too much stuff they would reveal. But there was so much love in this home. And I'll tell you, growing up in a family of 15, we had in the beginning one and a half bathrooms. Just let that sink in. I had six sisters. One and a half bathrooms doesn't really work out so well. These are the original Baumbergers, my parents, Henry and Andrea Baumberger and the three biologically related children.
The homemade ones, I'm not sure what to call them, the original ones. But this was, when people look at this picture, they think, well, that's picture perfect. See, God knew better. My mom, thankfully, met a man who shared the same heart because you're going to adopt 10 kids. You should probably be on the same wavelength.
So most amazing man that I've ever known. And they say often that a picture is worth a thousand words. This is actually the first moment my mom was able to hold me.
I know I was cute at one point. But sometimes you still have to explain that picture because you can't tell from this picture what my mom had to go through in order to adopt me. In fact, her father was involved with our family, the original Baumbergers, for those few years. But the moment they talked about adopting me, my mom knew her father was broke and didn't realize he was also deeply racist.
And so he said, if you bring, I'm going to clean up the language, if you bring that black child into your home, you're going to ruin your family. And so my mom literally had to lose a father in order to gain a son. So the moment they adopted me, he had nothing to do with our family. He missed out on 13 amazing grandkids. He could have loved us. We would have loved him back.
He missed out. I will say my parents chose well. They chose me.
Thank you, Mom and Dad. And that just highlights, when I talk about the beauty of possibility, it's impossible to talk about that without talking about the beauty of sacrifice, but not the way that the world understands sacrifice. Because the world understands sacrificing others.
See, that's easy. But self-sacrifice, not so easy. Are there any parents here who have ever sacrificed for your kids?
Some of you, yeah. Maybe sometimes those kids don't fully appreciate those sacrifices. Any of you have a stubborn child, a strong-willed child? If they're here, please don't raise your hand to say, but I would encourage you, because I was one of those children where my parents didn't know exactly what to do with me. I think my first mission in life was actually to test their strength as parents, see how far I could push them. But I would just say, just wait for about 20 to 30 years and that stubborn-willed nature will become something constructive. I'm still on my apology tour, my parents.
Seriously, I don't know how they put up with me. This is my father, the reason why I love being a dad, the reason why I love being a husband. My dad was a man who loved Jesus. And when you love Jesus, that natural outflow is loving people. See, my dad was a father who loved those that other men abandoned.
He was the same man at home as he was outside of the home, and I know not everyone can say that about their father, but I had an amazing father in my life. And this graphic really defines our family's journey. It says here, color isn't what binds us, love is. There are so many people who would tell my parents, well, how are you going to raise a child who isn't the same color as you?
I didn't realize you had to be the same color as someone to love them. And I think, heaven, my parents just defied all the naysayers. And I will say a lot of us probably lost someone that we loved or knew of someone close, a friend we lost during the height of the pandemic. My dad passed away on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, 22nd, in 2021. That was the hardest thing I've ever been through. But I will tell you, that really tragic anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I feel like his death redeems that day for me.
He left behind an incredible legacy of love and faith, and I hope to be a fraction of who my dad was. When I talk about the beauty of possibility, I love shattering some of these myths, and this is actually the DNA of the abortion industry that unplanned equals unwanted equals unloved. It's what they thrive on. But yet, my parents shattered the myth of the unwanted child. This is an old article, and I loved it. They didn't do many interviews, but this was one of them, and I love the title.
The journalist actually understood what they were sharing about adoption. And then you see the title here, it says, quote, unwanted children, unquote, find their wanted. See, there's no such thing as unwanted.
We may have been unwanted by a biological parent or parents, but we are all wanted by someone. And I'm the one in the bottom middle, handful right there. But I was a favorite in the family. Anybody else have that title?
It's a good title to have. My youngest daughter, Aaliyah, is always saying that she's the favorite in the family, and it's hard to respond when she says that, because I have four favorites. I love them all.
They're lovely, crazy. This is all of the siblings, all the Baumburger kids. Like, everybody's got an afro.
Even the white people in the picture got an afro. It's just, these are all of us. We're white, we're black, white and black, Native American, Vietnamese, able, disabled. Everyone in this picture has special needs, just like everybody in this room tonight has special needs, which are to love and to be loved.
And I thank God that we had parents who never, ever gave up, didn't listen to all the naysayers, didn't listen to the world saying, you can't do this. And one of the most powerful things in this picture, have you guys heard the word diversity? Anybody? Okay, just making sure. It's a rare word.
It's hardly ever spoken. This is obviously a picture of diversity, but it's more than just skin color. It's experiential diversity. Some of my siblings came from some horrific backgrounds, but I'll tell you, one of the most powerful acts of racial reconciliation is bringing a child of a different color or ethnicity in your home and loving them.
Simply because they deserve to be loved. And that's why one of the foundational tenets of the Radiance Foundation is this, we are one human race. Can I get an amen in here? This is not a call to be colorblind. God is a colorful God, but he didn't create color for us to separate ourselves by. He created color for us to enjoy and to celebrate.
Acts 17, 26, from one blood, he created us all. And so I love that my family is this representation. Our family is like the reward of abolitionists.
It's the reward of the civil rights movement, where it says we are all equal. You've been listening to Family Policy Matters. This has been part one of a two-part show featuring Ryan Baumberger, who was the keynote speaker at NC Family's 2022 Winston-Salem dinner. Be sure to tune in next week to hear part two of Ryan's keynote address. For more information about NC Family, visit our website at ncfamily.org. That's ncfamily.org. Thanks again for listening, and may God bless you and your family.
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