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Interview with George and Marlys Johnson

P: As we have told you many times, there are many ways to save lives from the tragedy of abortion. But perhaps you may never have known that by writing a check you can save a life. Not a check you would not have written already, but simply by using pro-life bank checks. I have invited George and Marlys Johnson to explain to us how we can spread the message of life and actually save a lives by this very simple method. George and Marlys, welcome.

G&M: Good to be here.

P: Tell us about pro-life bank checks.

G: Well, it was about 1985 when Marlys and I decided to go on a boat cruise in the Caribbean. We had separate dining each night and the gentleman across our table was wearing a precious feet pin. And Marlys is the kind of person who picks up on this sort of thing -- tell us what happened.

M: Well, he gave me this precious feet pin and of course I wanted to hear the story about the precious feet. I was all excited about the pin and when we got home my husband began to work on a way that we could promote pro-life with the bank checks. That is how it began in 1985.

P: What are the pro-life bank checks?

G: Pro-life bank checks are checks you can buy which promote pro-life messages. And each time you write a check, it can be seen by 15 or 16 people before it comes back to your bank. You order 200 checks at a time, that is about 3,000 people who get the message from your check that life is precious.

P: Wonderful, and it is a simple, effective way isn’t it. And we have evidence of ways that this has changed peoples minds and hearts.

G: A lady in Chicago, a few years ago bought a toaster and she wrote and said she was in a discount store buying the toaster and the cashier noticed the check. And the cashier made a positive comment about the message in the check and that opened up a conversation between Pat Morrison and the Cashier. This gave her an opportunity for to tell me, Pat says, that the clerk had already had an abortion some years back and wanted to talk privately. So Pat gave her a phone number. It turned out that she was pregnant and was under pressure by her parents to abort the child. She says she is going to carry her child to term and it was your check enabled me to help her. I have many experiences similar to this one and find that people take a second look when excepting the check. I know that hearts are changed and who knows how many unborn are saved and who knows how many hearts are changed by that silent witness.

P: You know one of the things I always liked about this particular way about spreading the message is that it gets the message to people who are not necessarily looking for it. And this is so essential. The checks are circulating and they have to be circulated, and as this example shows, they are going to save lives. Who knows how many others that we don’t know of have been saved.

G: We like to pick up on the yellow pages thing, let your fingers do the walking; we say let your checks do the marching. Your checks can march passed locked doors and into peoples lives that you could never get to when they lock the door on you.

P: If people want to order these checks can we give them a phone number?

G: Just call Heritage House at 877-472-0907 or see

P: Great. We collaborated with you here at Priests for Life on a brochure that I would like to mention as well. Three Simple Activities. And the three simple activities were wearing the Precious Feet, the use of pro-life bumper stickers, and of course, pro-life bank checks. Once again, these activities work even while the individual using them is asleep. Others can see these simple reminders of the powerful but simple message of life. So we are so grateful to the both of you for not only initiating but carrying though this project and nurturing it. It’s been growing and spreading, and I’m confident that it will continue to do so and save many, many lives. Tell us practically, what happens when someone orders these checks? Some people would be concerned for example about arrangements with their bank, or whether their service will be interrupted. Give us a little overview of that.

G: Your bank orders your checks from a printer. It can be anyone of half a dozen check printers in the country. And when your order arrives at our place, it is analyzed, and they study it. It has your name of course, it also has the name of your bank, and all of the secret numbers at the bottom of your check that relate to your bank. And because a lot of banks are changing and merging we have two full time employees all day long just verifying that your bank information is current, and keeping track of all the banking changes that are going on in our country. We also need the deposit slip because some banks have a different code sequence on the deposit slip, and actually copy all the information that is on the check, except we return your checks that have a pro-life message rather than what we refer to as a generic check.

P: So literally all the person needs to do is to call and then send you a blank deposit slip and a …

G: A check. And when you call that number you will get some information on the checks and probably one of our new fliers. And all the information is in there. It’s basically four steps: the sample check, check for the amount of the order, the deposit slip and the starting number. Four simple things.

P: Excellent. Well that is wonderful. I encourage everyone to use the pro-life bank checks. I encourage pastors and clergy to promote this as a project for their parishes, their churches. I encourage all of you who are leaders in the pro-life movement to promote this activity in your groups, in your various outreaches to the population. Let’s work together with confidence to spread this marvelous and simple message of the sanctity of life. Thank you once again George and Marlys. We look forward to working together even more.

G&M: Thank you.



Priests for Life
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