I used to be pretty confrontational when I was young.
Technically, I’m still confrontational, but I’ve matured a great deal since my early days.
I’ve learned that “winning the argument” isn’t as important as I used to think. The only benefit it gives is an ego boost. It rarely wins people over. It rarely sends people a decent message about who I am.
Hopefully, you’ve come to this same conclusion.
Arguing just to argue is a waste of time.
Being confrontational is a waste of time.
This has sadly led me to drop out of the abortion debate.
I hate it. I hate talking about it.
No one can have a decent discussion about it anymore. It’s turned into a glorified yelling fest, with the pro-lifers on a one side, and the pro-choicers on the other.
Both sides think the worst of the other side. You’re either a right wing nut Christian who wants to control women’s lives. Or, you’re a liberal secularist who condones the killing of babies and destroying the family.
This kind of ignorant dichotomy is what has pushed me away from the abortion arena.
I rarely talk about it, much less respond to it when it’s brought up.
It’s not worth the harassment, ignorance, and hatred to get involved. I’d rather focus on more palatable issues; issues that are easier to change people on.
Abortion is too much of a hail storm to get anything productive done.
The March for Life was last week. Two of my roommates decided to go, as did other Patrick Henry Students. I decided not to go because of classes and the weather. But honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to spending an entire day marching and listening to speakers agitate the crowd.
When my roommates got back, one of them voiced his disinterest in the march. “We just walk around DC with signs, listen to speakers and then go home for the rest of the year and forget about it all.”
And I can’t blame his disinterest. I’m someone who wants to make a difference, but is marching around DC really the best way to do that? Are signs, protests, and speakers what will change the culture?
I’m inclined to say no.
I’ve discussed the role of social change before and how it’s superior to government change. You also know I’m a big fan of individual relationship building (i.e. evangelism).
It’s no secret that I value that above all other forms of change. It’s also no surprise why I’m writing this article…
To help you better evangelize, particularly when it comes to abortion.
The current abortion arena sucks when it comes to crafting the right message. Since you’re reading this, you already know that. And, you know that the pro-life movement needs to change how they spread their message.
In light of that, here’s some points to avoid when discussing abortion.
Don’t be “that guy” by making these 5 mistakes. Here’s the first mistake you should never make…
1. Vilifying Doctors Who Perform Abortions
This is a classic case of confusing the sin with the sinner. Abortion doctors are not the problem.
“But without doctors to perform the abortions there wouldn’t be any abortions!” you say.
Wrong. The problem is the demand for abortions. Doctors just provide the supply.
Yes, you can get rid of the supply, but that won’t curve the demand for abortions. People will get their abortions one way or another.
The other problem with painting abortion doctors as the enemy is that you create a victim. Once abortion doctors are made into a victim, it’s a tool for the pro-choice movement.
“See, those pro-lifers are crazy. They want to stop doctors from performing abortions. Soon we’ll have women getting back alley abortions.”
The pro-life movement doesn’t need this. Pro-lifers need to make it clear they’re against abortion, not the people involved with it. (Click to Tweet)
2. Vilifying Those Who Have had Abortions
This goes along the same lines as the first point. Love the sinner, hate the sin.
You will get nowhere hating on women who have had abortions. That’s sick, low and wrong. There’s plenty of women who have abortions only to regret it later. There’s plenty of women who were shamed into getting an abortion.
They don’t need more crap from you. They don’t need to be told over and over again how immoral and disgusting they are for aborting their child.
You don’t win people over by shaming them.
Again, the pro-life movement is against abortion, not people who have abortions.
3. Failing to Understand the Pro-Choice Argument
The Pro-Choice movement isn’t some baby hating family destroying group of liberals. Plenty of respectful Americans identify as pro-choice. Some are even anti-abortion, yet refuse to use government force to prohibit it.
Pro-choicers aren’t stupid, evil, or killers. They have a defined and logical set of beliefs.
Do I agree with them? No. Does that mean I have to be disrespectful to them? No.
Understanding your opponent is key to crafting a message that will connect with them.
Don’t write them off, don’t stereotype them.
4. Being Self-Righteous/Passive Aggressive
This is one of my biggest pet peeves. The self-righteous pro-lifers who loudly proclaim their support for the unborn. Personally, they’re no better than the Pharisees in the Bible. They just want the attention and the ego stroke.
They also love being passively aggressive.
“Well, at least I don’t support murdering babies.”
I’m sure the pro-choice individual you’re talking to is really conflicted about their views after that statement…
Self-righteousness only pushes people away. And passive aggression only makes enemies.
Don’t be that “I’m taking the moral high ground” person. Don’t do it.
5. Thinking Abortion can be Fixed with Legislation
The current thought in America is that Congress has an enormous amount of power. And that, that power can be effectively used to reform social ills.
Both sides hold to this view, regardless of whether you’re talking about gay marriage or income inequality.
The idea of fixing any social ill with a few bills is alluring, but in the end, misplaced and dangerous.
Regardless of whether you support a federal ban on abortion, you need to realize that the biggest weapon you have is person to person evangelism. (click to tweet)
My roommate said that the best way to stop abortion is to spread the gospel. This is what the pro-life movement should be focusing on.
Personal evangelism is the key to stopping abortion. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be a Christian message. If you’re a Christian go for it. If you’re not, then argue for the life of the unborn.
Passing bills is great and all, but it’s not the panacea. It’s just a bandage.
You want the cure.