We’ve been really busy finishing the Equipped For Life course lately. Several of our supporters requested that we shoot a quick video to show them where we’re working now and what a typical day is like for us. Here are some of the things we did yesterday. Enjoy!
The change I’ve made to the way I argue for equal treatment for the unborn, and why I made it.
It’s been almost a year since I started this blog and by far my most popular post is my explanation of the basic Equal Rights Argument that I and my colleagues at Justice For All have been using in conversations with pro-choice people. It became so effective that I called it the “most undervalued argument in the pro-life movement.”
We’re arguing that if adult humans deserve equal treatment, that must be because they all have something in common, and it must be a property that they all have equally. We try to figure out what that property is that seems to be grounding equal treatment, and then ask whether the unborn also has that property equally. If they do, then the unborn deserve equal treatment.
What is the property that human adults have equally? Originally, we were saying that it seems like we all have “humanness” in common. If someone asks why “humanness” matters, I would say something like, “I believe there’s this guy who walked out of his own tomb 2,000 years ago. He believed in the Torah, which says that God made humans in His own image, that He did something special with humans that He didn’t do with other animals, giving me a reason to believe that ‘humanness’ might morally matter.”
But as I’ve used this argument lately, I’ve noticed there’s a pragmatic problem: it’s not terribly convincing to pro-choice atheists who immediately brush off the argument as inherently religious. That’s a practical problem, but I think there’s an even greater problem philosophically: the “humanness” argument can’t account for the right to life of fictional aliens.
Remember that scene in Men in Black where Tommy Lee Jones is hilariously interrogating Frank?
As most of you know by now, we’re moving the ERI headquarters from Fresno to Charlotte, North Carolina in a few weeks! I’m speaking in Virginia this week and getting back just in time to help pack the truck and we’ll caravan to Charlotte for five days!
One of the most frequent questions I get these days is: “Why did you pick Charlotte?” Once I knew that it was time to move, I asked my wife Hannah to start researching good airport cities with good cost of living. After ruling out a few options for various reasons, Charlotte became the obvious choice.
It’s ideally located on the east coast, within driving distance of Operations Coordinator Jacob Nels, who lives north of Atlanta, and also a cheap flight away from D.C. where we speak often. The Charlotte airport has direct flights to lots of the places we go.
There are lots of wonderful Christian organizations in the Charlotte area, but no pro-life organizations that are similar to us. We have lots of outreach to do on the college campuses in NC!
We’re going to be so much more efficient by being in Charlotte, and we can’t wait to get there and set up our new office! But as you can imagine, moving is a fairly expensive process. I’m wondering if you’d be willing to help us. All told the move will cost us around $7,412 in transportation costs, including the moving truck.
If you’d like to help, click the button below, and then click on the “Donate Now” button on the webpage it opens. In the third step of the process, you’ll be asked where you’d like to designate your gift. The last option on the dropdown menu is “The ERI Move.” Select that and set up your gift.
Thanks so much! We have huge things coming up, and I’m ready to get this move behind us so we can get back to spending all of our time training pro-life advocates to think clearly, reason honestly, and argue persuasively.
Jacob Nels is the Operations Coordinator at Equal Rights Institute. One of the most important things Jacob brings to the table at ERI is his expertise in gracious dialogue, particularly with people who are post-abortive and abortion-minded. In addition to putting those skills to good use at college campus outreaches, Jacob has a regular presence outside an abortion clinic as a sidewalk counselor and has had the joy of helping many women, men, and children leave the clinic alive and whole.
A few years ago I watched a black sedan pull into the parking lot of an abortion clinic. A man and a woman got out and walked up to the clinic, ignoring my attempts to engage them. After the man walked her into the clinic, he came back to his car for something. Raising my voice to carry across the parking lot separating us, I tried again to start a conversation with him. I said,
Jacob: Hey, man! I know this is a hard day. No one really wants to be here. I’m here if you want to talk.
Ross: I’m not for this. I don’t like it.
Jacob: What do you mean? Would you tell me your story?
To show my respect and friendship, I did something that almost always works with other men. There is a white line painted on the sidewalk that I cannot legally cross. Pressing my toes to the line, I extended my hand to the man and said,
Jacob: My name’s Jacob.
Timothy Brahm will be giving pro-life training at Students for Life’s Leadership Summit in Phoenix this spring. More details and a registration link will be announced in the future.
Timothy Brahm will be giving pro-life training at Students for Life’s Leadership Summit in Orlando this spring. More details and a registration link will be announced in the future.
Josh Brahm will be giving pro-life training at Students for Life’s Leadership Summit in Seattle this spring. More details and a registration link will be announced in the future.
Timothy Brahm will be giving pro-life training at Students for Life’s Leadership Summit in Philadelphia this spring. More details and a registration link will be announced in the future.
Timothy Brahm will be giving pro-life training at Students for Life’s Leadership Summit in Omaha this spring. More details and a registration link will be announced in the future.
Josh Brahm will be giving pro-life training at Students for Life’s Leadership Summit in Cambridge this spring. More details and a registration link will be announced in the future.