Saturday, July 21, 2007

Tag Team

Be sure to read Andrew St.Hilaire's latest blog entry.

If I had to list only three controversies about which I grow more confident with each passing day they would be:

1) The Catholic Church.

2) The evil of abortion.

3) The absolute necessity of using pictures of abortion to end abortion.

I have blogged about #3 in the past. The latest entry by my good friend Andrew in many ways makes up for the insufficiencies of my own. In short, he makes for a great tag team.


BabyGhost said...

From what I've experienced is, that pictures help shape a mind into a decision, but for one who has already decided, oftentimes it isn't the pictures but something else entirely that changes their mind. Usually a personal experience, or experience of someone close by.

I'm not necessarily opposed to the pictures, but I think sometimes they are displayed in a way that in a sense disrespects and dehumanize the very thing it is meant to humanize. Makes it become about our own emotions rather than about the actual person/thing/event.

I think that if everything is simply placed on the pictures alone, that is getting us nowhere, but if we combine it with other strategies, it does indeed portray a strong message.

Tom & Carrie Herring said...

Well, I will certainly agree with you that we need to do much more than just show pictures of dead babies to people. And I will admit that, sadly, for a lot of people even the pictures are not enough to convince them that abortion is an act of violence which kills a baby and should therefore be illegal.

But where I have to disagree is that displaying the pictures in public could be disrespectful of the unborn child. That child on the photograph has already been disrespected and dehumanized to such a degree that a doctor, whose job description is: 'keep people alive,' is lawfully permitted to reach inside the womb and dismember that poor baby. To snuff out an innocent life as though it were a tumor or a cancer.

So the dehumanization (that is, the blob of tissue, the clump of cells, the product of conception) has already taken place a la Planned Parenthood & friends. And the dehumanization culminates with the pressured, traumatized woman, legs in stirrups, abortionist with suction-catheter in hand.

What a pro-lifer does when he holds up a picture of an aborted baby is he, for the very first time, humanizes that clump of cells.

Of course, as you note, it then becomes very emotional for almost anyone who sees the picture. But our emotions are not always deficiencies or flaws in our human nature. Sometimes they can be very good indicators of a functioning conscience.

When someone looks upon an aborted baby, perhaps for the very first time they realize that it really is a child and not a choice. Perhaps for the first time they realize they pressured their girlfriend into killing their own baby; and not just removing a blob of tissue, like everyone assured him it was.

It is emotional. It is painful. But it's what must be done if abortion is ever to end. Because so long as it's a semantic debate about "choice" we're only kidding ourselves if we hold on to any hope of winning. I take it back -- we're kidding ourselves, and the 3,500 who will die tomorrow through abortion.

It's been 34 years since Roe. It's been 46,000,000 lives lost (and counting). And we can barely pass legislation which bans a specific late-term procedure (but doesn't save a single life) of puncturing the skull and evacuating the brains of a six or seven month unborn child.

The pro-life movement is making progress. But it isn't through a debate about choice.

We're making progress by focusing the debate not on the word choice, but on what is being chosen.

And that is what the pictures do.

Babyghost, please listen to this short audio clip. I think it will help to explain my perspective a lot better. You can find it by going here

Click on the "Jon and Ken Radio Interview" (sixth link from the top).

By the way, I always appreciate you reading my blog and your comments. :)

BabyGhost said...

I love the points you make and it is refreshing to see a Christian side of things.

I'm not so sure about the humanizing comment though. Again I point out that while you as the person holding the side is trying to humanize them, the person seeing the picture will not. It no longer becomes about the aborted fetus in the picture but about how horrible it makes them feel. It becomes about them, not the fetuses.

Though I guess this might be the closest way, I don't think we should stop here. I think while doing this, we should still try to seek out better ways. You know?

Andrew St.Hilaire said...

babyghost - is it not true that in seeing a group dehumanized, we are reminded of their humanity? Why else would we find the pictures disturbing, or otherwise different from, say, a picture of open heart surgery?

As Greg Cunningham (Director of the Center for Bio-ethical Reform) puts it, a culture is able to trivialize injustice if it never has to see it.

We draw attention back to the victim and the crime by showing what remains -- the evidence. Pictures of African Americans being lynched, Jews exterminated at Auschwitz, the invisible children of Uganda... the injustices seen in these images cry out at you. That we may feel horrible viewing them is the good sign of a functioning conscience.

Granted there are those who have been desensitized and so filled with lies that viewing an image of a tiny human being ripped to pieces has more or less the same effect as seeing roadkill on their way to work. However, as I have witnessed, for most this is not the case, as evident in the majority who engage in the debate, including those who would otherwise ignore abortion that are driven to acknowledge it and its grave consequences. Lastly, there are those who, having seen the violent injustice of abortion, are motivated to see its end, like myself.

So here we are, 34 years since Roe v. Wade and we have exhausted every verbal argument against abortion there is. As Tom said, we have reduced the humanity of the child and the crime of abortion to a debate of semantics. 46 million lives later and we keep going in circles. I believe we must be willing to take the next step.