Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Is it possible to have a civil, productive debate about abortion?

I saw this post on Josh Brahm’s blog and had to blog on it. It shows the kind of relationship that leads to a changed mind.

Excerpt:

I want to bring relational apologetics to the pro-life movement. I’ve written and spoken previously about my dear friend Deanna Young. I’d encourage you to check out one of those two links to get the beginning of the story that I’m going to continue here. I’m so excited to tell you why Deanna now calls herself pro-life.

In case you didn’t click either of those links, Deanna was a pro-choice, atheist lesbian in Canada who befriended me in February 2013, through a YouTube message. Deanna was one of the most intelligent pro-choice bloggers I’d ever read. We exchanged nearly 120 philosophical emails, then started Skyping together.

I’m eager to share with you how my relationship with Deanna has progressed and the ways that her thinking has changed, but there’s a danger in this. It’s possible that some people would read this and interpret it as me telling you about a project of mine. It’s very important to me that you know that Deanna is not an object to me, a mind to be changed so that I can get another notch on my pro-life belt.

I have no shame in telling you that I love Deanna.

[…]When I say that I love Deanna, I mean what Jason Lepojärvi means when he defined love this way:

Love says that it is good that you exist and insofar as I am able I will contribute to your happiness, your existence, your flourishing.

Some of my pro-choice friends have not changed their thinking about abortion very much, but Deanna has. I want to share with you some of the changes in her thinking. Don’t read these as the reasons I’m friends with Deanna. Deanna will always be my friend, regardless of her views on abortion, her religion or her sexuality.

[…]Deanna would tell you that two things were necessary conditions for her conversion: rigorous philosophical arguments and a loving friendship with someone on the other side. The intellectual arguments were very important. I haven’t written very much about our initial email exchanges yet, but we got very philosophical, going back and forth on issues like bodily rights arguments, rape, the concept of intrinsic human value, concepts of harm and taking away the dignity of people in temporary comas, moral objectivism, utilitarianism, stem cell research, the “after-birth abortion” paper, and the use of graphic pictures.

It was through those lengthy emails that Deanna and I first became close. And after Deanna believed that most of her philosophical arguments had been defeated by better arguments, she completed her conversion upon realizing that a pro-life person loved her, even while she was an actively pro-choice blogger. I took my cue from Jesus, who, while I was yet a sinner, loved me anyway, and adopted me. (Romans 5:8.)

In the rest of the article he talks about their conversations about various arguments like the Judith Jarvis Thomson violinist argument.

I don’t think this would work with just any pro-choice person, you would need someone smart to argue her view strongly and have it answered strongly. I think when you get two smart people together for a long period of time, and there is mutual respect being built up, that’s when changing a person’s mind becomes possible.

I believe in one-on-one mentoring of people who are engaged in finding the truth about the issues that divide us. But I don’t know if I would be brave enough to form a loving friendship with someone so far on the other side. I would like to be able to do that, but it’s just really scary unless you are sure the other person can tolerate your honest views. I do believe in his definition of love, but it’s hard to find someone same who is very different from me. I think it’s easier with men than women, for a man.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , ,

Do pro-lifers have to adopt unwanted children in order to have standing to oppose abortion?

This was sent to me by my friend Robb. The caller asks Greg whether he has ever taken in any foster children, since he is pro-life. She apparently thinks that Greg cannot be pro-life unless Greg is willing to adopt every crisis pregnancy child who is allowed to be born.

This is the greatest amount of ass-kicking that has ever been accomplished in 10 minutes. I have never heard Greg Koukl lose his temper, but he is clearly a little annoyed with the caller.

Filed under: Videos, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My recommended charity for 2012: Life Training Institute

Unborn baby scheming about what to get WK for Christmas

Unborn baby scheming about what to get WK for Christmas

Scott Klusendorf, the best and most experienced pro-life debater in the United States, wrote this on Facebook:

Life Training Institute just received a $45,000 gift toward helping us reach 20,000 additional students next year! That’s half of what we need to complete the project!

The other half ($45,000) must come from concerned donors like you. Would you consider helping us get there?

We’ll use the money to get our speaking team into more schools than any year previous.

Excited to see our work growing,
Scott Klusendorf

Donate on-line at: https://www.prolifetraining.com/donate_general.asp

Scott is one of my favorite Christians, and I fully endorse his pro-life ministry. Some of you have asked how you could help me with the blog or donate. I am fully supplied already, so if you really want to send me a present, please consider making a donation to Scott’s pro-life ministry. They are absolutely solid in their use of evidence as well as in their theology. You couldn’t find a better group to support.

If you are more the kind of person who likes to buy books, then you can do that as well. Scott is the author of the #1 pro-life book at the popular level. It is call “The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture”.

And he has a new book out as well, called “Stand for Life: Answering the Call, Making the Case, Saving Lives”:

And if you want to see Scott in action, here is a recent debate he did with Nadine Strossen:

Abortion can be a complicated issue, but the nice thing about Scott is that he cuts right to the core of the debate and makes sure to clarify what each side is saying. He strips away the rhetoric and gets down to the real arguments on each side and  the pro-life side comes out on top.

Recently, Scott taught two classes on the techniques that he uses when debating abortion.

The first talk was on Tactics. Here is the PDF. In the handout, Scott explains how to use questions to make your opponent give reasons for their views instead of just asserting them.

The second talk was on Relativism. Here is the PDF. In the handout, Scott explains what moral relativism is, and some of the problems with the view.

Filed under: Personal, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Can anyone tell me what this pro-life teaser ad is foreshadowing?

A friend of mine who works in the pro-life movement asked me to post this mysterious video:

Does anyone know what this is all about? I don’t want to wait until May 22nd to find out – I want to know now.

Filed under: Videos, , ,

Profile of Canadian pro-life debater Jojo Ruba

Here’s the article. (I linked to the printable version)

Excerpt:

Before Jose “Jojo” Ruba spoke at St. Patrick’s Church last night as part of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform’s Northern Ontario Truth Tour, he conceded he has a tough task ahead of him; making parallels between the civil rights movement and the abortion debate today would be tough for anyone.

That’s what Ruba, a graduate of Carleton University’s Journalism and Masters of Political Science programs, has set out to do on the Sudbury stop of his tour of Northern Ontario with his talk Injustice Interrupted: From the Civil Rights Movement to The Modern Abortion Debate.

Ruba, who’s approaching his 10th year as a public speaker, debater and educator on pro-life issues, said his talk examines the legacy of the civil rights movement and the lessons that can be taken from the social reform movement as it relates to the pro-life movement.

No stranger to controversy, Ruba said he knows it’s tough to draw comparisons, but added that he wants to give people some ideas as to why he thinks comparisons between the civil rights movement and the modern abortion debate are justified.

Ruba said his presentation focuses on an important question central to the argument : what are the unborn?

“If unborn are human beings like us, just as the civil rights activists fought for equality rights of human beings who were different, but still human beings, we say the same thing about the pre-born child.”

Ruba said that’s what he does as a “pro-lifer,” and a challenge he presents to other pro-lifers.

“If we truly believe there are 300 deaths every day of Canadians through legal abortion, how should we act? With gentleness and respect, of course, following the laws, but without compromise.”

Like those who fought for equal rights in the civil rights movement, Ruba is aware of those who would try to silence him.

Ruba recalled a time when he was giving a lecture at St. Mary’s University in Halifax when prochoice audience members shouted him down for 45 minutes.

“At McGill University in Montreal, they shouted me down for two hours,” Ruba said. “They started singing all 99 verses of 99 bottles of beer on the wall and also sang happy birthday for abortion.”

Ruba said that even in such a hostile environment, he was happy to stay afterward and answer questions.

“In fact, one of the protesters who started off chanting as part of the protest group, after hearing a bit of what I’d had to say, said he’d wished he’d heard more of the presentation. Even when it happened in Halifax, more people showed up at the next university on the tour because of the controversy.”

Ruba said it’s a person’s right to disagree with him, but argued the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform is “a good thing, a democratic right.”

Here’s another video featuring Jojo Ruba that I featured previously.

Filed under: Videos, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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