Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stopping by the Woods on a Screaming Evening

I was recently asked the question, “How do you get someone involved in the pro-life cause when they do not see any reason to get involved?” Don’t think I did too great a job answering at the time, but, on reflection and with much thought, here is the answer I now have for that question.

First of all, this was asked in the context of pro-life training based on the outstanding DVD training material, Making Abortion Unthinkable: The Art of Pro-Life Persuasion, authored by Greg Koukl (Stand to Reason) and Scott Klusendorf (Life Training Institute). Mastering this material gives you both the scientific and the philosophical legs to stand against the pro-abortion position. One of the things it teaches is to simplify and focus the issue to the question, “What is the unborn?” If the unborn is just a blob of tissue then no reason at all is needed to kill it, BUT if it is a human being, then no reason for killing it is justifiable (with the exception where it is a clear medical choice between mother and baby dying or only aborting the baby will save the mother’s life).

One of my favorite tactics is to paint a word picture. Get the other person involved intellectually and emotionally. Get them to see the issue in their mind’s eye. You know the ending of the story – it must lead to the central issue, “What is the unborn?” and it must arrive there with both emotional and intellectual impact. So, this is an exercise of working backwards from the conclusion.

Here is my story. It is not the only one. You can construct your own.


You’re walking on a path through the woods when you are startled to hear what sounds like human screams. Instinctively, you turn to the direction of the screams, but you cannot see anything through the dense foliage. The screams continue.

What should you do? Investigate?

So, you softly make your way to the sound, until parting some leaves you see an adult brutally abusing a small toddler.

What do you do now? Try to intervene, call for help on your cell phone, or run for help?

What would you think of a person who simply said, “I don’t want to get involved,” turned back to the path, and continued their pleasant stroll through the beautiful woods – all the while ignoring the screams?

Is not some form of action to help simply the human response to this situation? Don’t we have a natural revulsion for the moral integrity of the person who does nothing?

That is the picture of the abortion holocaust happening in this country and around the world.

I’m not sure there’s much more to do for the person whose response remains, “I don’t want to get involved.” But, if the story seems to hit home, and they try to make a point of the difference between the toddler being abused and a fetus being killed in abortion, then, you’ve got your opening to say, “but that’s the real issue isn’t it? What is the unborn?”

That’s where the training kicks in. You now have the open door for the scientific and the moral case ready. And, you’re ready for the other common objections.

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