Sunday, February 16, 2014

Your Online Abortion Debates Matter

"Why Love Will Win the Battles and Logic Will Win the War":

And all I did was sit at home typing up a story and debating pro-choice people on Facebook.

What good was I doing? What good was my research? What good were the debates? What good was any of it?

I wasn’t saving anyone. I wasn’t actively loving women that were facing an abortion decision. I wasn’t loving anyone. I was just writing down a story.

I fought with these thoughts for a long time. Why would God have called me to be an anti-abortion advocate, and call me to write a novel? Why didn’t he call me to be a sidewalk counselor? Why didn’t he call me to the trenches?


But then I realized, that no matter what anyone says, the war on Abortion can only be won in a courtroom.

I realized then that all my debating and googling was not in vain. Just because I wasn’t in the trenches yet, didn’t mean that I wasn’t contributing.

Every question mattered. Every “Share” on Facebook mattered. Every opportunity that I took to change someone else’s heart on this issue, mattered.

Though the battles are important, we have a war to worry about too.

And to win the war, we have to win the judge.

I wouldn't be so reductionist as to say that abortion will only be won in a courtroom.

But establishing fetal rights definitely requires winning in the courtroom.

Although I have small quibbles with this blogpost, I like how she examines the dichotomy between "loving" and "debating".

Many people think that the way to win the war is to help crisis pregnancies, and that it's automatically superior to help women than to sit on your butt and argue on social media all day, like, uh, some people. (Not thinking of any names or anything but... :) )

But what we have to realize is that fighting for fetal rights is not an all-or-nothing matter.

It's everything.


Fighting for the right to life can't be reduced to one or two or even ten things.

What we need to do it create a cultural critical mass.

Because eventually judges are born in that culture, and absorb those values and eventually reason with pro-life values.
And  you can't create that cultural critical mass by only doing a few things.

So yes, we need good debaters, good communicators, people who have a knack to cut through the crap and present the pro-life message in an understandable and attractive way.

People have told me that my arguments have made them more pro-life.

They are the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure I've influenced untold others.

I say this because I imagine there must be people who get discouraged because they think they've failed to convince anyone, just because they never convinced their debate opponent.

Debate opponents are never convinced-- in the moment.

It's the people quietly reading your conversations, who lurk and say nothing, who are influenced.

Your abortion debates have a cumulative effect. You have to do it day in, day out. The more you invest in it, the more you will influence.

It's this cumulative effect that contributes to the creation of a cultural critical mass.

So yes, we need people who can debate and communicate online.

What we must remember is that not everyone is going to have the same role in the pro-life movement. It's just like in the Church. St. Paul says that in the body, some people are eyes, and some are hands, and the body can't function if they don't do their respective jobs.

Now, granted, caring for pregnant moms may be a more meritorious service, because you actually have to get off your butt, and give of yourself in a more direct way.

But just because some roles are more meritorious than others doesn't make the more humble roles less necessary.
 I think there are basically two criteria that decides what your role is:

1) What you're good at. Whatever you do, do it well, or don't do it at all. Or if it still needs to get done, at least have the potential to improve.

2) What excites you. If you do no wake up wanting to do that specific task every single day, you will end up getting discouraged and quitting.

When I was younger, I wondered what I should do in the pro-life movement, because I had multiple talents. And I think the determining factor is: what you gravitate towards. I could have trained as a computer programmer and used that talent; or did more writing.

But my circumstances and my enthusiasm dictated I should be blogging and debating online.

This may change in the future, as my circumstances change, and as technology changes.

For now I debate abortion.

If you debate abortion, don't think for a moment that your efforts are for naught.

It all adds up in the end.