Student Organization Gains University Recognitionby Eileen Scott, Senior Writer
Students with Christian Union's ministry at Harvard Law School are taking their passion for justice from the classroom to the campus community as they promote the most basic of human rights—life.
Members of the leadership development ministry have helped start Law Students for Life with fellow Christians and ministries at Harvard Law School (HLS). Professor Mary Ann Glendon is the faculty advisor for the student-led organization, which received university recognition in November.
For these students, protecting life is about holding sacred the image of God reflected in all persons. That includes the unborn, as well as those at the end of their lives.
"It has been an absolute joy to see the interest students from our ministry, along with fellow HLS classmates, have taken to address and reverse the genocide of our nation's children through legalized abortion," said Jim Garretson, Christian Union ministry director at Harvard Law School.
According to third-year law student and former Army captain Chase Giacomo, "Jim has constantly stood by our mission and encouraged us to remain faithful to our callings. Christian Union has also provided a much-needed forum for many of us to connect outside of class and effectively advocate for unborn persons."
"Nothing seems more important than advocating for the protection of innocent, unborn human persons."
Giacomo noted that there are many pro-life students at HLS who feel they have no voice.
Caleb Wolanek, a third-year student, has been encouraged to take a stand for faith and justice through his participation in Christian Union.
"Christian Union always reminds us to think theologically about law school—about what it means to be a Christian in this environment," said Wolanek. "It also provides resources that make that challenge less daunting."
Wolanek joined the ministry because it offered Christian community and orthodox, rigorous teaching.
"I keep coming back because I have made some of my closest friendships through Christian Union and because the teaching never ceases to challenge and encourage me," he said.
In addition, Wolanek said participating in Law Students for Life has impacted his own faith journey by helping him think more deeply about what it means to be made in God's image.
Fellow third-year student Gregory Escobar agrees.
"My faith teaches me that God made each person – man and woman, young and old – in His image and gives each dignity and value. He commands us to love as He loves. The pro-life movement isn't about supporting the rights of one group over another, it is about how we can best obey God's command to speak truth in love."
Part of that obedience is not to stay silent when it comes to defending life.
"Our purpose is to educate, motivate, and activate our community around the pro-life message," said Escobar. "We want to educate those who may hold stereotypes about the pro-life movement. We want to motivate those who believe in the pro-life movement, but feel voiceless or stigmatized, that they do have support and that they can make a difference. Finally, we want to activate the pro-life community on campus to take steps right now to carry the ball forward and act on their beliefs."
The organization will carry out that mission through lectures and social gatherings.
The students are striving for a holistic approach to faith and law by putting that faith into action.
As Giacomo said, "It is foolish to think that you can go to law school for three years and be silent about things you care about. If you are silent about protecting the lives of innocent, unborn persons because you are busy or because it is unpopular, then when do you ever stand up for what is right? Law school is hard and you will give up a lot to succeed, but you should not give up those things which make you who you are at your core."