Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Supreme Court rules that pro-lifers have free speech right at abortion clinics

From USA Today.

Excerpt:

Abortion remains an issue that divides the Supreme Court, but the justices had less disagreement Thursday in defending the free speech rights of abortion opponents.

The court ruled unanimously that Massachusetts went too far — literally — when it created 35-foot buffer zones around abortion clinics to keep demonstrators away from patients.

The decision united Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s four liberals, who said the distance improperly removed demonstrators from public sidewalks and spaces. The other conservative justices would have issued a more sweeping verdict, striking down the ban on grounds that it targets abortion opponents’ specific point of view.

“Petitioners wish to converse with their fellow citizens about an important subject on the public streets and sidewalks — sites that have hosted discussions about the issues of the day throughout history,” Roberts wrote. Though the state has an interest in public safety, it “pursued those interests by the extreme step of closing a substantial portion of a traditional public forum to all speakers.”

[...]The court’s other four conservative justices agreed with the verdict in the Massachusetts case but would have gone further by striking down the law as one that illegally targets abortion opponents.

“It is clear on the face of the Massachusetts law that it discriminates based on viewpoint,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote. “Speech in favor of the clinic and its work by employees and agents is permitted; speech criticizing the clinic and its work is a crime. This is blatant viewpoint discrimination.”

The article has a reactions from a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman. She was against the ruling.

Filed under: News, , , , ,

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, , , , ,

Pro-life debater Scott Klusendorf discusses pro-life apologetics

Did you know that the pro-life issue is an area where you can learn arguments and use evidence to be persuasive? Here’s a podcast that shows you how.

Details:

Scott Klusendorf, President of Life Training Institute, is a pro-life rockstar. Listen in as host Brian Fisher attempts to unsuccessfully “stump the apologist” with some of the most difficult pro-abortion questions of our day.

The MP3 file is here. (36 minutes)

Questions:

  • How did Scott get interested in the abortion issue?
  • Do you need a special calling in order to learn how to defend the unborn?
  • What is the history of the pro-life movement, and how have they shifted tactics?
  • What is moral relativism? How is it relevant to the abortion debate?
  • Why is moral relativism so widely accepted?
  • How do you deal with someone who says abortion is wrong, but she has no choice?
  • How do you deal with the rape and incest exceptions argument?
  • What about unborn children who are not “viable”?
  • But isn’t the foetus part of the woman’s body?
  • Abortion is necessary to reduce poverty, crime, overpopulation, etc.

It’s Friday night, and listening to a smart pro-lifer is awesome. His answer to the abortion is necessary to alleviate poverty is just awesome – the man is widely read outside his field.

 

 

Filed under: Podcasts, , ,

Republican National Committee adopts resolution to ban all third-trimester abortions

From Life News.

Excerpt:

The Republican National Committee approved today a resolution supporting all federal, state and local legislation to stop abortion after 20 weeks, more than halfway through pregnancy.

[...]Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the national pro-life group the Susan B. Anthony List praised the RNC saying:

“Americans are united in their support for commonsense legislation to stop abortion more than halfway through pregnancy. We thank the Republican committeemen and women for affirming all efforts to end barbaric late abortions nationwide and urge Democrats to do the same. In state legislatures across the county, Democrats are bucking pressure from their national leaders to support this compassionate legislation that is already popular with their constituents.”

This week Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) circulated a letter signed by more than 30 U.S. Senators including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), urging him to bring the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act for a floor vote.

“A federal law is long overdue,” continued Dannenfelser. “The United States is only one of seven countries to allow abortion on demand at such a late stage of pregnancy. The U.S. Senate should follow the RNC’s lead and go on record on this important issue.”

Author and chief sponsor of the resolution RNC Committeewoman Ellen Barrosse said:

“The Republican Party is proudly pro-life and this resolution shows our support for this straightforward, simple pro-life initiative. Children capable of feeling intense pain, as well as their mothers, should be protected from abortion at such a very late stage of gestation.

Still all political parties are the same? On the pro-life issue, Republicans are united. It’s a good reason for social conservatives to vote for them at election time.

Filed under: News, , , , ,

Gallup polls show that men are more pro-life and more pro-marriage than women

Note: in this post, I will be addressing the views of young, unmarried women, who tend to be more liberal than married women. Married women are not being targeted in this post, because their views tend to be more pro-life and pro-marriage.

First, abortion. The latest Gallup poll shows that men are far more pro-life than women. Men are strongly pro-life by a margin of 8 points, 50-42. Women are more pro-abortion by a margin of 1 point, 47-46.

Second, marriage. Polls show that men are far more pro-marriage than women.

Excerpt:

A new national poll points towards a gender gap over same-sex marriage.

According to new numbers released Monday morning from Gallup, 50% of Americans say same-sex marriages should be legal. But break it down by gender, and 56% of women say same-sex couples should be legally allowed to marry, but only 42% of men feel the same way.

In addition, exit polls from the 2008 and 2012 elections revealed that about 70-80 percent of young, unmarried women voted for Obama, whose views on abortion are somewhere to the left of Kermit Gosnell. And Obama supports gay marriage. Men are more likely to vote conservative than young, unmarried women, especially married men.

Now some of you may find this data about men being good very surprising. According to many people these days, all young men do is look at porn, order in pizza and leave the boxes scattered around, play video games, binge drink, live in their parents’ basement, underperform at school, and fail to find jobs so they can man up and marry these pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage women. None of this bad performance is caused by institutionalized feminism, or the effects of feminism on the family. It’s all just bad, bad men being bad – so were are told. But somehow, despite reports that all men are losers, they seem to have better views on abortion and marriage than women.

What does it mean?

Think about what it means that a young, unmarried woman is pro-abortion.

Being pro-abortion means that a men and women should be allowed to have recreational sex before marriage, and then if a baby is conceived, then they should be able to terminate that unwanted pregnancy, and send taxpayers the bill. Pro-life doctors and nurses who don’t want to perform the procedure must be forced to do it, lest the selfish grown-ups feel offended. Pro-life organizations who don’t want to offer abortion-inducing drugs as part of their medical insurance must be forced to provide it, lest the selfish grown-ups feel offended. Pro-life taxpayers who don’t want to pay for the recreational sex risks of others must be forced to pay for them, lest the selfish grown-ups feel offended.

Now suppose a man is considering marriage to a young, unmarried woman. It’s likely that she supports abortion, given what polls show and what exit polls show. Now if a woman thinks that it is OK to kill an innocent unborn child in order to avoid being burdened with that child’s needs, even though she consented to the recreational sex that produced that child, then should the man marry her? I think that a man should not marry such a woman. After all, if a woman is willing to kill a baby in order to protect her happiness, then she will certainly divorce her husband to do the same. Husbands are much less innocent than babies.

Now think about what it means that a young, unmarried woman is pro-gay marriage.

Being pro-gay marriage means that two men and two women should be able to adopt children away from one or both of their biological parents and raise them. Churches who don’t want to perform the wedding ceremonies must be forced to perform the wedding ceremonies, lest the selfish grown-ups feel offended. Christian companies that don’t want to treat gay couples as married must be forced to treat gay couples as married, lest the selfish grown-ups feel offended. Christian taxpayers who don’t want to pay for the next generation of children to be indoctrinated to believe that marriage can be between two men or two women must be forced to pay for government to indoctrinate children to believe in redefined marriage, lest the selfish grown-ups feel offended.

Now suppose a man is considering marriage to a young, unmarried woman. It’s likely that she supports gay marriage, given what the polls show and what exit polls show. Now if a woman thinks that it’s OK to deprive a child of a mother or of a father and expose children to a notion of marriage that deprives them of stability, sexual faithfulness and permanence, then should the man marry her? I think that a man should not marry such a woman. After all, if a woman is willing to deprive a child of a mother or a father and of the interaction between a man and a woman cooperating in marriage, then she will certainly be willing to deprive any children she has with him of his presence, since she already believes that fathers are expendable and that the selfishness of adults trumps the needs of children.

The way forward

What can we do to fix young, unmarried women so that they are more pro-life and more pro-marriage, like men already are? Well, men are pro-life and pro-marriage because we read pro-life and pro-marriage books and because we watch debates on abortion and marriage. Men like to focus on things like logical arguments and scientific research. Men like to see pictures of the different development stages of unborn babies and read research papers about how same-sex marriage harms children and how welfare policies encourage women to have babies out of wedlock. Men are not inclined to decide moral views based on feelings, peer opinions and popular culture. In order to make young, unmarried women more pro-life and more pro-marriage, we should try to introduce them to more books and debates and scientific evidence, so that their views will change based on what is true, not based on feelings and peer pressure and cultural trends.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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