Six Ways I’ve Seen Pro-Choice People Try to Censor Pro-Lifers

Abortion is not merely immoral, it is obviously immoral.

This is why I’m so dedicated to helping pro-life people learn to dialogue well. I want all pro-life people to use the most persuasive arguments and learn to communicate graciously, relationally, and clearly. Those components in combination are an incredible recipe for the kind of environment where pro-choice people change their minds about abortion.

That abortion is obviously immoral is also why I’m open-minded. Some people think that being open-minded means being wishy-washy, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Being pro-life and open-minded means being pro-life because it’s rational, not because it’s comfortable. I’m pro-life because rationally it’s what I have to be, not because it’s what I want to be. If somehow my arguments against abortion were defeated and a stronger argument for abortion was presented to me, then I would change my mind.

Any open-minded person should be disgusted whenever people try to silence their political opposition.[Tweet that] I’m almost never disgusted with pro-choice people. I honestly think most of them mean well, but suffer from a combination of self-deception, flawed reasoning, and difficult emotional experiences. But I become truly angry when anyone attempts to shield himself and others from hearing arguments against his view by preventing his opposition from speaking.

I want to defeat pro-choice arguments by presenting better arguments, but I want the opposing arguments to be made. Sometimes I even help pro-choice people make their arguments stronger before I present my own. I believe the more light that is cast on both views, the more clearly the pro-life side comes out the victor.

Censorship attempts to prevent one of the sides from being visible. Censorship doesn’t want people to choose the more compelling view, it wants to force people into only having one view to choose from. Censorship is an incredibly powerful weapon for anyone cowardly enough to use it.[Tweet that]

Honest dialogue is aimed at truth, which makes it the greatest friend of the truth-seeker. It is created by two people being willing to acknowledge that they have been wrong before and that they want to believe true things, no matter how uncomfortable. Censorship, on the other hand, is the greatest enemy of the truth-seeker.

Censorship is at its strongest when it is hidden in the shadows, so out of a desire to make it as weak as possible and make it easier to recognize in the future, I am going to briefly share six experiences (or types of experiences) where I have seen attempts to censor pro-life people.

Unfortunately the attempts at censorship are getting more and more common. I’m not afraid of pro-choice arguments, but I am afraid of a political climate that trains people to refuse to even listen to pro-life arguments. If enough people are brainwashed to only listen to people that agree with them, we will not be able to stop abortion.

All six of these experiences are of pro-choice people doing the censoring. I’m not saying that censorship doesn’t exist on the other side, but I do think it is significantly less common. I formally renounce all attempts pro-life people have ever made to censor pro-choice people. Let them speak. If the truth is on our side, what have we to fear?

#1: Censoring Abortion Images

Warning: For this example, I will show a picture of protesters in front of a pro-life exhibit, and abortion images can be seen on the exhibit.

On a very cold day at the University of Georgia, I stood in front of the Justice For All (JFA) Exhibit and tried to dialogue with pro-choice students. Most of the panels on the JFA Exhibit include an image of an abortion victim. Every day I’ve ever used a public display with abortion images, I’ve seen angry students vocalize their outrage at the images. That’s okay, because I’d rather people be open with their emotions so we can talk about them, and if JFA has the free speech to show the pictures, angry students should have the free speech to express their anger at them. This day in Georgia was unusual because it was the first time I ever saw a group of students attempt to block the abortion images by lining up together and holding up bedsheets. This particular attempt was not very successful because the JFA Exhibit is almost two stories tall.

Photo credit: Justice For All. Used with permission.

Photo credit: Justice For All. Used with permission.

I honestly admire those pro-choice students’ dedication. They took it in turns to stand in the cold with their arms raised over their heads for a long time. That’s more discomfort than many pro-life people are willing to endure for their beliefs. But I don’t admire the students’ attempt to cover up the abortion images. If you really think abortion is justified, you shouldn’t be afraid of true images of what abortion does to babies. You don’t have to like looking at them, but if you’re so confident that your view is right, you shouldn’t try to prevent people from being able to consider all of the evidence about abortion. (To learn more about how ERI uses abortion images and why, go here).

#2: Censoring Dialogue with Noise

Photo credit: Justice For All. Used with permission.

Photo credit: Justice For All. Used with permission.

This is the only example on this list I didn’t witness personally, but I’ve heard about it from several people that were there that day, including my colleague Jacob Nels, and it is too remarkable an example to not include.

In fall of 2010 at University of Oklahoma, the Justice For All staff had set up their Exhibit and were trying to create good dialogues. Unfortunately, the pro-choice students on campus made that extremely difficult by using a rather unusual form of protest. They came with kazoos, tambourines, and other noise-makers and went around making so much noise that it impeded JFA’s attempts to get into dialogues.

Photo credit: Justice For All. Used with permission.

Pictured: Trent Horn on left; Stephen Wagner on right. Photo credit: Justice For All. Used with permission.

Jacob Nels recounts that my friends Stephen Wagner (still of Justice For All) and Trent Horn (now of Catholic Answers) tried to stage a loud debate out of desperation, with Trent pretending to be pro-choice. When one of the protestors noticed and called him out as actually being pro-life, Trent frustratedly exclaimed, “I’m trying to get some information out there, and all you’re doing is blowing kazoos, and kazoos have very low informational value!”

Most attempts at censorship are more subtle than this. I wish I could have asked one of those students, “Does it make you uncomfortable that your best solution to stop pro-life people from being persuasive is blowing kazoos instead of trying to counter their arguments?”

#3: Censoring by Claiming to be Offended

5214411_ml-cropped-for-blog-post

The ratio of the number of times people on college campuses these days say they are offended versus actually offensive statements that are made is frighteningly high. People have told me that I have offended them by saying abortion is wrong, by saying abortion hurts women, by saying the unborn deserves the same protection born children do, and even for saying it’s wrong to murder newborns. None of these statements are actually offensive. If you disagree with them, then just say so and make your case. Saying “I’m offended” as a response to one of these statements is just another way of saying “Shut up, I don’t want to listen to you!”

The worldview that you have the moral right to a safe space where you don’t have to hear anything that could possibly offend you is despicable. Honest truth-seeking is necessarily painful because it means challenging even the beliefs that you love the most. Honest truth-seeking means intentionally avoiding confirmation bias by seeking to understand the strongest arguments of people that disagree with you. Believing in a moral right to a safe space from anything offensive means believing confirmation bias is a virtue.

We have a duty to treat people with dignity. I think that makes certain kinds of trigger warnings appropriate, such as material that could be traumatizing for a rape survivor.

Prudence dictates that we not offend needlessly. If you want to be persuasive, you should remember that irritated people tend to be less likely to change their minds. But we do not have a duty to protect people from the possibility of ever being offended.

#4: Censoring on the Basis of Gender

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Literally every day I have ever spent on a college campus doing pro-life outreach, I have been told I am not allowed to speak or even have an opinion about abortion because I’m a man. If you want to learn an incredibly effective and persuasive way to respond, read here.

Objecting to the right of a human being to make a moral argument on the basis of his gender is sexism, plain and simple. It is discrimination against men for the simple purpose of silencing as many pro-life people as possible.

To be fair, I think some people that object to my gender don’t understand that they are engaging in censorship. They wrongly believe that someone’s opinion is not legitimate if he cannot completely understand a person’s emotional state. That’s a silly thing to believe, but if that’s honestly what is driving their objection to my gender, they aren’t exactly trying to censor me. But for other pro-choice people, it is a calculated, intentional, shameful effort to shut down their opposition from being able to speak.

#5: Censoring on the Basis of Race (and Gender)

I was having a great conversation at a Justice For All event at the University of North Texas in spring of 2014. The student was asking fair questions about the implications of believing abortion is wrong, and between answering her questions, I was making a positive case for the value of the unborn. Then I noticed one of the pro-choice protestors from earlier in my peripheral vision, listening to our conversation. Instead of ignoring her, I wanted to welcome her to be a part of our conversation, so I smiled, reached out my hand, and said, “Hi, I’m Tim.” She squinted her eyes and just glared at me, motionless. I asked, “You don’t want to shake my hand?” Her verbatim response, loaded with venom, was, “I don’t trust white men.” Then she did her very best to shut down my productive conversation by interjecting every couple of minutes to rant about how racist and sexist I was simply for being a white male in America.

Do our cultures affect our views dramatically? Yes. Do I as a white person fully understand what it’s like to experience serious racial discrimination? No, I really don’t. But the increasingly common claim that white people are racist simply for being white in America is itself racist. How about judging people based on the content of their character instead of the color of their skin? I think some smart guy with a dream said something like that.

The belief that only white people can be racist is not just wrong, it is both evil and stupid. It is evil because it rationalizes the racial hatred that many non-white people have, and it is stupid because it is so obviously wrong, no truth-oriented person could possibly believe it. Using this evil, stupid belief to try to intimidate people that disagree with you into silence is unconscionable.

#6: Censoring by Accusing Us of Inciting Violence

Photo credit: POOL / Reuters

Robert Lewis Dear. Photo credit: POOL / Reuters

I already wrote at length why pro-life advocates are not responsible for the recent Planned Parenthood shooting, contrary to the claims of thousands of pro-choice people, including a presidential candidate. I won’t repeat myself here. But I would like to point out the intended effect of this massive attempt to blame pro-life advocates for this shooting. These pro-choice people were not trying to convince pro-life people to be more loving or gracious as they advocate on behalf of the unborn. They were trying to force pro-life people to stop advocating on behalf of the unborn. In essence, these pro-choice people were saying, “Shut up about abortion, or we’ll accuse you of being responsible for murder.”

Photo credit: University of Colorado at Colorado Springs via AP

Garrett Swasey. Photo credit: University of Colorado at Colorado Springs via AP

The police officer who was murdered while heroically defending the Planned Parenthood staff and patients was a pro-life Christian named Garrett Swasey. The logical conclusion of the argument of many pro-choice people is that Swasey was responsible for his own murder. They had the gall to use sympathy for Swasey’s death to censor anyone who agrees with him from speaking on behalf of the unborn.

It is very difficult for anyone to take the opinions of a close-minded person seriously, whether they are pro-life, pro-choice, Christian, atheist, or anything else. If you aren’t willing to reconsider your own views, then it’s hypocritical for you to think other people should reconsider theirs. If you haven’t seriously tested your own ideas in the fire of genuine truth-seeking, then honestly you probably have shallow ideas. You might have some true beliefs, but not likely for good reasons. If you genuinely want to be a truth-seeker, the first thing you should do is ask questions of intelligent people you disagree with. The last thing you should do is demand that people who disagree with you not speak at all.

Note: We welcome comments on our blog from all sides of the abortion debate, but we moderate them carefully to encourage gracious and productive dialogue. Deleting trollish comments on our blog is not censorship, just like it is not censorship to remove an offensive flyer from one’s personal property. We will not discourage people from expressing their honest opinions, but if they’re being rude or creating a caustic atmosphere, we might demand that they express their honest opinions at a more appropriate place, such as his or her own blog or other personal property. Read our comments policy for a more thorough explanation of the rules.

Please tweet this article!

  • Tweet: Six Ways I’ve Seen Pro-Choice People Try to Censor Pro-Lifers
  • Tweet: Any open-minded person should be disgusted whenever people try to silence their political opposition.
  • Tweet: I want to defeat pro-choice arguments by presenting better arguments, but I want the opposing arguments to be made.
  • Tweet: Censorship is an incredibly powerful weapon for anyone cowardly enough to use it.
  • Tweet: Honest dialogue is aimed at truth, which makes it the greatest friend of the truth-seeker.
  • Tweet: Censorship is the greatest enemy of the truth-seeker.
  • Tweet: Believing in a moral right to a safe space from anything offensive means believing confirmation bias is a virtue.

The post “Six Ways I’ve Seen Pro-Choice People Try to Censor Pro-Lifers” originally appeared at the Equal Rights Institute blogClick here to subscribe via email and get exclusive access to a FREE MP3 of Josh Brahm’s speech, “Nine Faulty Pro-Life Arguments and Tactics.”

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Director of Training

Timothy Brahm is the Director of Training at Equal Rights Institute. He is interested in helping pro-life and pro-choice people to have better dialogues about abortion through 1) taking care to understand what the other person means, 2) using more carefully-constructed arguments, and 3) treating each other with care and respect. He graduated from Biola University with a B.A. in philosophy and is a perpetual member of the Torrey Honors Institute.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Dee

    Ive been told that opposing abortion is considered “hate speech”. So saying “All lives are precious” is hate speech…

    I guess its because all pro lifers hate women and want to stop them having sex, but also force them to be pregnant. How we can achieve both of those I just don’t know.

  • Crystal

    Spot on, Tim. Will give my thoughts later. Because the attempt to silence us is disgusting and merits tough-love rebuke!

  • I once had a person tell me my opinion didn’t count because I work in a grocery store. It makes no sense but people will use anything in an attempt to censor. Usually though they just tell me to shut up for being a man. It often happens when I’m sharing something written by a woman!

  • ChristinaDunigan

    How do you do the “Post a tweet on Twitter” thing?

  • Jim H

    I think this article is better than most on such a subject, but I think it is somewhat one sided. While this site encourages dialog and actually demands civility of its participants, in my experience that is rare for pro-life sites, or for conservative sites who discuss abortion. It certainly isn’t the case at Live Action News, where I have the most experience.

    It is not uncommon on such sites for the conservative/prolife participants to try to shut down people with contrary opinions. Name calling and ganging up is quite commonplace. It often isn’t even limited to abortion opinions, but extends to political party affiliations. This tendency is no doubt quite obvious to Josh who has to put out the effort to moderate such comments.

    The problem with this debate, in my opinion, is that both sides resort to stereotyping and caricaturizing people and their positions. Although this site does that less than others even the title of this piece; i.e., “Six Ways I’ve Seen Pro-Choice People Try to Censor Pro-Lifers”. Shows a subtle tendency towards just that. Rather than discuss each of Timothy’s points, which I’m not sure anyone is interested in me doing, I’ll just address the first one. If anyone is interested in further discussion they can let me know and I would be happy to comply.

    Timothy first point states that:

    “If you really think abortion is justified, you shouldn’t be afraid of true images of what abortion does to babies. You don’t have to like looking at them, but if you’re so confident that your view is right, you shouldn’t try to prevent people from being able to consider all of the evidence about abortion.”
    I think that assumes way too much about people’s motivations. People are sometimes offended by gross pictures simply because they are gross and upsetting. If I don’t want to see pictures of emaciated starving disease ridden prisoners of war, or bodies being thrown into mass graves, does that mean I support Nazi ideals? If I don’t care to see people with their limbs rotting off, or huge tumors sticking out of their bodies, does that make me pro-leprosy or pro-cancer?

    I assume most pro-life people extend their beliefs to only protecting human life. Would that means we should expect them to look at photos and films from factory farms and slaughterhouses? Would preventing PETA sidewalk counselors outside McDonalds showing picture of cows throughout the slaughter process be censorship?
    I look forward to any comments.

    • Mike

      Yes, banning PETA protesters from public sidewalks outside McDonald’s would be censorship.

      • Jim H

        Of everything I wrote that is the only thing you choose to comment on? However, since you’ve shown an interest, did you know that, at last count, seven states have passed laws making filming inside a slaughterhouse a crime?

        • Crystal

          Really?

          How sick and horrible! Because they don’t want the truth getting out, and they want their money, that’s why.

          That’s disgusting.

          • Jim H

            Yes. You are right they don’t want the truth to come out about how inhumanely they treat animals. It is purely about money.

            • Crystal

              I’m put in mind of South Korea’s cat and dog trade, and the fact they don’t want people to know the truth about that.

              Here’s a website about it, and what can be done to fight it:

              http://koreandogs.org/what-you-can-do/call-for-action/

              http://koreandogs.org/petitions/

              It’s evil, I tell you. As a prolifer I feel it my duty to stand for animal life as well as human life, because it’s morally right and because we’re all interrelated as God’s and nature’s children. So I don’t raise my voice against it DESPITE my prolife beliefs; I raise my voice against this barbarism BECAUSE of my prolife beliefs – because I believe so strongly in the sanctity of life for every living, breathing creature, and for me, that includes every creature yet to be born.

              • Hypatia

                Crystal, you ever seen the film ‘ Earthlings’ is about factory farming and animal cruelty . It’s worth watching but is very disturbing . I am veggie for my own moral reasons but I try not to preach . I just wish people would think more about how we treat animals

                • Crystal

                  Unfortunately not yet, Hypatia. But as a prolifer I consider it my duty to see it when I can. For me, being prolife means pro = for, and life = life, which includes the political definition of anti-abortion by default but for me embraces all life. It is the literal meaning of the word if you take it apart syllable by syllable, and I am going on that, not politics.

                  So when you hear me talk about animal rights you’ll know where I’m coming from.

                  • Blu

                    Ok I’m here.

                    • Crystal

                      Right. Go to this website:

                      https://disqus.com/home/discussion/friendlyatheist1/nine_dead_in_charleston_church_shooting/#comment-2404505825

                      Let’s start from there.

                      BTW would it be intruding on your privacy if I requested you use your account when you comment there, not because they don’t allow guests (they do) but because LJ made her account private and I can’t access her threads quite the same as I once did.

                    • Blu

                      No not really. Lets just say I just learned how to deal with online relationships/accounts to a certain where it doesn’t affect me that much.

                    • Crystal

                      Fair dinkum answer.

                      Could you place a comment underneath that link then? Thanks so much!

                    • Blu

                      Lol I did. Does it work a bit differently? I just post as guest as usual, I made an account some time ago, but honestly I don’t want to deal with the hassle of logging in and stuff. Is it really easier to see my comments on my account rather as guest, I still use the same name..If it is I will log in.

                    • Crystal

                      Yes it is easier to see your comments with an account, but if he has a chance of tracking you by all means keep commenting as a guest!

                    • Blu

                      Eh tbh I’m not really worried about him per se for me, I’m more worried about him when its concerning you. I knew the risks I was taking by starting to become involve online and I always told myself if someone is acting creepy towards me I have a back up plan where they won’t track me. I never use my real name, even if he somehow (idk how) gets access to our email address I’m not worry because those accounts aren’t tracked to the real me.

                    • Crystal

                      Cool!

                      I don’t have an account at all, due to personal circumstances I don’t feel comfortable getting into online. I suppose those circumstances are a blessing in disguise in a way, or he could be making my life more miserable than it is now!

                    • Blu

                      True. I just use a bunch of email accounts. Due to certain situation I just can’t use my original email. I made god knows how many email accounts as a way to be safe online while also making new friends. I meet some good people while chatting online and so its a good way to keep up with them. Of course I get a few creeps, but fortunately and unfortunately the people I meet eventually stop replying. I mean I get sad at first, but then I just enjoy our time together and just make new friends. So the creeps don’t last long either.

                    • Crystal

                      I guess that’s my lot. I am sad about that man. But in a way I learned something from it. And I don’t want to create a whole string of threads about him, just heal and get it over with and forgive him.

                      Oops, we’re off-topic! Gotta respect the rules. Any comments about this situation will be made on the new place not here.

                    • Blu

                      Ok. and hey its nice to get off topic at times, its a distraction, and some distractions can be helpful. Have you replied back at the new place.? I’m just worried whether you will see my message or not.

                    • Crystal
                    • Crystal

                      If you could use your account it would mean a lot as I could keep track of comments better. If not, I respect your decision and will find another way.

                • Crystal

                  BTW I agree 100% with your comment.

                  It breaks my heart when other PLrs ridicule me for elevating animals to the level of humans because I express concern for their welfare and their freedom. But I feel the PL movement could benefit with a little animal-rights activism at times.

                • Crystal

                  My apologies for repeating my sentiments; I did not realise you’d read my comment and upvoted it!

                • Crystal

                  You might like to sign this then:

                  https://www.change.org/p/university-of-wisconsin-cancel-the-unethical-torture-and-killing-of-baby-monkeys/

                  I did.

                  I get annoyed and sometimes very angry with these PLrs who keep saying “People are more important than animals” and keep downplaying the very real suffering of non-human neighbours.

              • Vicky

                Crystal, I agree with everything you say about animal suffering and pro-life. I’m glad to see someone else pro-animal and pro-life!

                I’m planning to start my own vegan pro life website because I get so annoyed by the treatment of animal advocates by many pro-life people. They often treat us in the same way that abortion advocates treat the pro-life.

                I also think that vegans need a space to be freely pro-life. It is a separate issue, and vegans are no more likely to be abortion advocates than anyone else, but the media and society pigeonhole us as “left-wing” along with all the beliefs that “side” is supposed to have, including supporting abortion. Consequently, abortion-advocate vegans feel like they are in the majority, politically correct side for once (as vegans are used to being a minority and in the “side” that deserves to be ridiculed) and consequently are emboldened and overly forceful with their beliefs, and the pro-life among us get sidelined.

                And then we get alienated by mainstream pro-life sites constantly sneering at animal welfare, and wrongly assuming that all those who support it are somehow automatically enamoured with abortion!

                I think both the pro-life and vegan movements ought to embrace diversity of opinions amongst themselves and not allow ourselves to be homogenised, especially on issues that aren’t even relevant. If the pro-life movement allows society to dictate to us that we are all super-religious Christian right wingers who think animals are zoobots, by those who *do* fit that stereotype being allowed to perpetuate it by unintentionally marginalising left wing, non-Christians, gays,
                and vegans etc, so that we feel we do not belong in your movement.

                (Similarly, left-wing vegans could do with not assuming that all vegans have exactly the same beliefs as them, and making right wingers think that we won’t fit in! The bottom line is, to attract as many people as possible, you need diversity!)

                With regards to the censorship, the abortion advocates are emboldened by the mainstream media, who stereotype, ridicule and no-platform us. Vegans suffer the same thing; notice how Hypatia felt the need to pre-emptively proclaim that she “doesn’t preach” about being veggie, even though she was not preaching at all. She was anticipating being ridiculed.

                Abortion advocates and meat eaters dont fear being ridiculed, so they feel no need to self-censor

                Signed, a non-religious, right wing, nationalist, pro-life vegan :)

                Vicky

    • Crystal

      I am prolife for people and animals. I have been rebuked for animal rights activism but I keep going because it’s the truth!

      Personally, I think that part of the reason some people – not all, some – react to abortion images is out of guilt, because they know instinctively abortion is morally reprehensible yet choose to participate in and/or support it anyway. However, I would be careful of abortion images and only show them to those who wanted to see them. I hate abortion images myself, because I am prolife and I find them gross.

      “Rather than discuss each of Timothy’s points, which I’m not sure anyone
      is interested in me doing, I’ll just address the first one.”

      Please, address all of them.

      “Although this site does that less than others even the title of this
      piece; i.e., “Six Ways I’ve Seen Pro-Choice People Try to Censor
      Pro-Lifers”. Shows a subtle tendency towards just that.”

      Well, the truth is both conservatives and liberals try to censor things they don’t agree with. It’s human nature. And yes, advocates for legal abortion do try to censor PL beliefs and facts in so many ways it’s unbelievable. Not that PLrs don’t do the same, but it is a strong pattern for advocates for legal abortion to do this.

      • Jim H

        “Well, the truth is both conservatives and liberals try to censor things they don’t agree with. It’s human nature. And yes, advocates for legal abortion do try to censor PL beliefs and facts in so many ways it’s unbelievable. Not that PLrs don’t do the same, but it is a strong pattern for advocates for legal abortion to do this.”

        I would say that censoring things you don’t agree with is not so much human nature, it is more that those who take extreme positions see little value in other opinions and see little or no positive benefit in its expression. I think this is true whether you are a hardcore liberal/conservative, hardcore pro-choice/pro-life, or hardcore whatever else.

        In that regard Crystal, I would ask you consider this;

        Timothy’s first sentence is; “Abortion is not merely immoral, it is obviously immoral.” and later he says: “That abortion is obviously immoral is also why I’m open-minded.”

        He began his discussion with a statement that his position is obviously the right one, while claiming to be open minded. He followed that up by essentially saying that he can afford to have an open mind, because his position is obviously the right one.

        He also said: “If somehow my arguments against abortion were defeated and a stronger argument for abortion was presented to me, then I would change my mind.”

        I don’t see how that is possible that he, or the vast majority of pro-lifers, could honestly say that.

        Consider that, whether they admit it or not, most pro-lifers’ beliefs are largely religious (if not totally) and, consequently, are actually faith based, rather than rationally based. There is no rational argument that can change a belief that is not based on reason to begin with.

        Think about this:

        Josh’s bio says he leads worship at Free Grace Church.in Clovis, California, a church whose core belief is that that the Bible is their ultimate authority.

        Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action is a convert to Catholicism and admits that religion is a driving force for her mission.

        The National Right to Life Committee was founded in 1967, as the Right to Life League to coordinate its state campaigns under the auspices of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

        American United for Life was founded in 1971, The organization’s first chairman of the board was Unitarian minister and then-Hollis Professor of Divinity as Harvard Divinity School, George Huntston Williams. Its current president and CEO Charmaine Yoest joined the organization in 2008. Prior to this she worked as vice president of communications at the Family Research Council ( a Christian public policy ministry) and as an adviser to Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign.

        Pro-Life America identifies itself as a Christian group that argues against abortion and premarital sex.

        • Guest

          Martin Luther King Jr. and Willie Parker are both very religious. Are their respective positions on humans being equal regardless of race and abortion being a good thing for women also not rationally based, or is religion only bad when Lila Rose and Josh Brahm do it?

          • Jim H

            Please show me where I called religion bad.

            • Guest

              You didn’t explicitly say religion is bad. You only said that a pro-life religious person is unlikely to change their views, regardless of how flawed or unreasonable they come out to be. This seems like something you would consider to be undesirable (feel free to correct me if that’s not your view). What is unclear is whether you think this holds for all religious activists, or only the ones that oppose abortion. Hence my previous comment.

              • Jim H

                I consider it undesirable when a religious person is unlikely to change their views, regardless of how flawed or unreasonable they come out to be. However, I believe an individual has a right to believe whatever goofy, irrational thing they want as long as (as Jefferson put it) “it neither picks my pocket or breaks my leg”; i.e., it doesn’t effect anyone else. As far as public policy/legislation is concerned I would oppose all religious activists who push a purely religious, or faith based agenda, regardless of the issue if their goofy irrational personal beliefs are pushed on others.

                • Guest

                  So that would seem to condemn people like Martin Luther King Jr.

                  I think it makes more sense to look at how good a person’s ideas are than at how religious that person is.

                  • Jim H

                    “So that would seem to condemn people like Martin Luther King Jr.”

                    How so?

                    “I think it makes more sense to look at how good a person’s ideas are than at how religious that person is.”
                    Do you think I contend otherwise?

        • Crystal

          In regards to censoring, I never thought of it quite that way before. Yet I still think it is human nature because nearly every person on earth has a bias of some kind.

          “He began his discussion with a statement that his position is obviously the right one, while claiming to be open minded. He followed that up by essentially saying that he can afford to have an open mind, because his position is obviously the right one.”

          Could you please explain what you mean by this statement? Are you saying that Tim is speaking in circular reasoning? Because I would have interpreted that comment as meaning that because he has the truth on his side (pregnancy information, ultrasounds and other technology, and science confirm it as such) then he has every reason to be openminded because he will be proved right.

          “He also said: “If somehow my arguments against abortion were defeated and a stronger argument for abortion was presented to me, then I would change my mind.” I don’t see how that is possible that he, or the vast majority of pro-lifers, could honestly say that.”

          I agree with you. I perceive it to be a tactic to win more people over to the PL viewpoint. However I also think of it as compromise because how can people be open-minded about something that hurts a born person, or an animal?
          Also, if people wouldn’t be open-minded towards hurting born people or animals why the hell (excuse my language but I find this kind of thing really infuriating) should they be open-minded towards hurting unborn persons? Also, is there
          reason for such open-mindedness in all reality? That’s how I see it; feel free to disagree with me and stretch my mind. Not trying to be offensive in this paragraph but I feel passionately about this topic; I hope you can understand.

          “Consider that, whether they admit it or not, most pro-lifers’ beliefs are largely religious (if not totally) and, consequently, are actually faith based, rather than rationally based. There is no rational argument that can change a belief that is not based on reason to begin with.”

          Please explain what you mean when you say that “there is no rational argument that can change a belief that is not based on reason to begin with” as I would appreciate your explanation very much on what you are trying to say.
          Below is my perspective:

          Well, actually, PL thought and practice IS based on science and reason, as well as faith. In regards to such teachings as souls and the inherent value of human life, I completely understand where you are coming from there because
          those beliefs are not secular but rather spiritual. However, you could argue that for the sake of survival of the human race, you should reject abortion as a BC technique, which would be a secular argument. Also I will repeat the words
          of two pro-abortion people on the subject (Peter Singer is pro-abortion and pro-euthanasia yet animal-rights too, and David Boonin is defending abortion in his paragraph):

          “It is possible to give ‘human being’ a precise meaning. We can use it as equivalent to ‘member of the species Homo sapiens.’ Whether a being is a member of a given species is something that can be determined scientifically, by an
          examination of the nature of the chromosomes in the cells of living organisms. In this sense there is no doubt that from the first moments of its existence an embryo conceived from human sperm and eggs is a human being.” (Peter
          Singer, Practical Ethics, 2nd ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp.85-86.)

          “Perhaps the most straightforward relation between you and me on the one hand and every human fetus on the other
          is this: All are living members of the same species, Homo sapiens. A human fetus after all is simply a human being at a very early stage in his or her development.” (David
          Boonin, A Defense of Abortion, Cambridge University Press,
          Cambridge, 2003, p. 20.)

          I need to make one thing clear, this is NOT to pop off at you, as I see you’ve had enough of that recently! In fact I am glad we agree that life begins at conception. I am simply stating my opinion, that PL thought and practice can be supported by science and reason, and seeking to back it up with evidence. Feel free to disagree with my views if you like, but please explain why you do if you wish to reply back.

          In regards to the religious side of PL thought and practice as applying to mainstream leaders, I have two perspectives on that. The first is this: many of the abolitionists were also religious. Yet that did not detract from the rightness of their cause. PL thought and practice, when weighed carefully with reality and morality, don’t tend to need religion to be their sole support. On *this* level, I don’t believe it matters that many PL people are religious. Wilberforce and his group were religious yet they CHANGED THE WORLD. So I don’t see why PL people can’t change the world in this generation even if they are religious. What matters is whether they are campaigning for something morally right and reasonable, and my personal PL belief does not depend on Christianity as its final authority.

          On the other side of the coin, I completely share your concern. Since many PL people *are* religious, their religious viewpoint will also colour other aspects of their worldview in regards to why people have abortions, etc. Many of them do support abstinence-only (a belief I deplore due to its fantasy-oriented, pie-in-the-sky Orwellian focus) and anti-gay (another belief I deplore for the same reason) practice and philosophy. I make sure not to. The downside to its being a primarily religious-run movement is their inability to perceive anything outside of a religious box or context IMO. Also, other downsides: religion hurts women, religion restricts female sexuality, religion is inconsistent in the matter of the Canaanites, religion does not care for the
          animals. Also religion will make them make bad policies for pregnant and unborn persons, due to their inability to think critically outside a pre-prescribed set of beliefs, and I don’t like that either (although I don’t think making abortion illegal is a bad policy). I believe I grok your point; there are a LOT
          of problems with it being a religious-run movement on *these* levels. This topic is a topic I love to expound on so please write back more and I’d appreciate being able to share my heart on this matter with someone, if you wouldn’t mind doing so.

          I stated before that my personal PL belief doesn’t depend on Christianity; I think that is why it is so strict and strong. The PL believers who are Christian tend to be weak, to compromise, to only believe because their God demanded it of them and because abstinence matters rather than believe and know, with all their hearts and minds, that innocent human beings are permitted to die legally due to the choices of others.

          I honestly hope I am treating you with respect, disagreeing with you in a healthy way, and listening to your viewpoints in an open-minded fashion rather than just shouting over the top of you with my own. Please respond back as soon as you can, for I would deeply appreciate some healthy debate on the points I have raised, plus further explanation to the points you brought forth.

      • It’s not just that though. Some of those graphics might be a harrowing reminder for people who very much wanted to bring a child into the world but had a miscarriage.

    • Hypatia

      Hi Jim, I have been reading your comments for the last couple of months and I have really enjoyed them . I don’t post at LAN as I am prochoice and I don’t want to get into the Sharks and Jets mentality ! You have given me great food for thought, and I can relate to the quasi religious fervour you mentioned on both sides . I have also revaluated my idea of the value of a foetus due to your comments . Keep it up and enjoy the festive season X

      • Jim H

        Thank you for the kind words.

      • Crystal

        In what ways have you re-evaluated your idea of the value of a foetus due to Jim’s comments? Just curious.

        • Hypatia

          HI Crystal, I am still prochoice but think the foetus has some weight as a potential member of the human race. Christopher Hitchens said it more eloquently ‘candidate member of the next generation” . Where before I saw an early stage embryo and foetus as having no moral weight, I believe it now has some. My answer would be to encourage good sex education and make long term contraceptives such as the coil freely available

          • Crystal

            That’s great! I appreciate the fact you’re thinking through this.

            Talking to advocates for legal abortion has made me think through things too, especially the status that women would have in a society where abortion was not legal.

            And I agree with your conclusion that sex ed and contraceptives should be freely available. I am tired of these ideas being seen as promiscuity when they are simply measures to reduce the “desire” for abortions.

            • Hypatia

              That’s it , I hope that both sides can meet a compromise . At the moment we just demonise each other . Its a shame

              • Crystal

                My thought is that the compromises should be made on the bodily autonomy level rather than the abortion level, for so many reasons.

                AFAIK people are genuinely concerned for bodily autonomy and that is part of the reason they permit abortion. If bodily autonomy the way the advocate for legal abortion understands it became a bigger focus in PL thought and practice yet unborn persons were seen as far more deeply worthy of life than they currently are now then I think something could be done about this deeply controversial issue.*

                *In light of that I mentioned the high techs and you stated you appreciated the fact I cared about foetal rights rather than punishing pregnant persons.

                PS: I try not to demonise people. My criticisms are generally of the act itself rather than the person committing the act, and I think that is important to emphasise when dealing with those on the opposite side of the fence.

              • Crystal

                “At the moment we just demonise each other . Its a shame”

                Agreed. The demonising wastes precious time that could have been spent on caring for pregnant persons and saving unborn persons. Furthermore it drives people away from seriously considering PL thought and practice as a moral option. So it harms more than it helps.

                That being said, I have a question for you:

                In your opinion, is there a difference between condemning an action and condemning a person committing an action?

          • Crystal

            If it’s okay, may I ask in what *ways* the early stage embryo and foetus has some weight as a potential member of the human race? I’m curious as to your reasoning here.

    • Jah

      Don’t like seeing pictures of what your position can cause? Too bad. Sometimes you have to use extreme measures to get your point across. I think it’s naive to think that blocking those images is being done because people are upset by them the same way they may be upset about seeing an appendage with gangrene. Theoretically that could be true, but I don’t believe that’s what’s going on here and it’s hardly enough to convince me. It’s a clever way to justify that censorship, but I don’t believe it. I think that’s BS. It amazes me the lengths people will go to justify silencing opposing views. “Oh, well it’s different because rabble rabble rabble.” I think they’re just trying to keep their message from being compromised and they don’t want to see the damage their view can cause out of fear it might cause them to question those views. Out of sight, out of mind. IMHO, if you’re going to take a stance like supporting something as disgusting as abortion, you’re going to have to learn how to deal with seeing disgusting images like aborted fetuses. It comes with the territory. If you want your legalized abortion, you’re going to have to learn to live and cope with the opposition to it, including being shown pictures of aborted fetuses when people are trying to inform you about what happens to human fetuses during an abortion. Don’t like it? Oh, well. Tactics such as drowning out opposing views with kazoos or putting up bed sheets to block images of aborted fetuses is censorship, plain and simple. You can over analyze the hell out of it as much as you want, but at the end of the day their motive is to protect their position on the issue as much as possible. Abortion is immoral, it’s wrong, and autonomy over your body ends when there is a person inside you. I cannot and will not support something that kills a baby. My conscience will not allow me. I know it’s legal (that doesn’t mean it’s right and the Supreme Court doesn’t always make the right decision, by the way) and people are going to do what they’re going to do, but I will never support it. That’s my opinion and you will never change my mind. Peace.

  • SilverSet

    You are pretty amazing. You put into words what I believe but have a hard time saying.

  • Lepus

    Censorship or consequences to speech? Is it censorship if they can still see it? Is it censorship if there is a distraction? Oh no, someone didn’t want to shake your hand? Must be censorship. These are individuals reacting to your speech. They aren’t a state or a college forcing you to shut down. Also “truth seeking” isn’t really what you all are about, if you can’t even be bothered to google “Why can’t white people experience reverse racism?” or “Why can’t POC be racist against white people”. There are answers waiting for you.

    • Guest

      Is it censorship if they can still see it? Is it censorship if there
      is a distraction?

      It’s censorship if you try to silence people that disagree with you, or stop others from being exposed to their ideas.

      Oh no, someone didn’t want to shake your hand? Must
      be censorship. These are individuals reacting to your speech.

      He didn’t say that not shaking someone’s hand is censorship. This, however, is:

      Then she did her very best to shut down
      my productive conversation by interjecting every couple of minutes to
      rant about how racist and sexist I was simply for being a white male in
      America.

      They
      aren’t a state or a college forcing you to shut down.

      Google “mob censorship”. Also, there are countless examples of universities directly attempting to silence pro-life advocates.

      There are answers waiting for you.

      Googling the second phrase takes me to an SJW site, the kind that will accuse you of sexist/racist oppression if you comment on a woman’s tattoos or wear dreadlocks if you aren’t black. I rest my case.

  • Guest

    If somehow my arguments against abortion
    were defeated and a stronger argument for abortion was presented to me,
    then I would change my mind.

    I may have to respectfully disagree with this statement. I think there are good reasons why we should not become pro-choice even if there’s an argument against the pro-life position we cannot counter:

    http://blog.equalrightsinstitute.com/abortion-images-a-case-for-disagreement-without-division/#comment-2259654055

    To add to that, let’s look at a comment made by presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson. In an October interview, he told Chuck Todd that “I’m a reasonable person. And if people can come up with a reasonable
    explanation of why they would like to kill a baby, I’ll listen.”

    http://www.lifenews.com/2015/10/26/ben-carson-i-oppose-killing-a-baby-in-abortions-in-cases-of-rape-or-incest/

    On the face of it, his statement sounds ridiculous. Try reading it out loud. Imagine if instead of “babies”, he said “Jews” or “homosexuals”. Absurd. But aren’t pro-life advocates literally saying the exact same thing when they say they would become pro-choice if presented with the right argument?

    • Crystal

      I agree completely with your comment, Guest. It is BECAUSE I am reasonable that I don’t see myself changing my mind anytime. I don’t care if I’m called a bad person for it. That’s just the way it is. Why this tolerance, this *compromise* with evil? This weakens us so that more unborn persons will die. It’s just plain wrong, is what it is. If we’re going to win this battle we CANNOT afford to back down. Containing the evil will only cause it to spread out worse. Eliminating the evil is what is truly required.

  • Jim H

    I hope you and Crystal both pick this discussion up at some point. You both seem like really reasonable, and just plain nice, people. Your dialog stays quite civil and cordial, even friendly. That is so incredibly rare with this issue, but so badly needed.
    Kudos to you both. Please pass that on.

    • Hypatia

      Thanks Jim, I always think it’s nice to be nice , golden rule and all

      • Jim H

        If only more people felt that way.

        • Crystal

          Yeah!

          I know what it is to be abused horribly for being prolife. I doubt that, if I were half as obnoxious as some of the nasty treatment I received in the past from others on the opposing side of the fence, that anyone would listen to me.

          So I try to be nice. I think that something I say will be more likely to stick if I’m kind and pleasant, even if the only person I convince happens to be a lurker rather than a fellow commenter.

          • Jim H

            Again, kudos.

            • Crystal

              Thanks, Jim. I see some PLers have not been treating you the best. On their behalf, I apologise.

              I believe in being reasonable. The trashy way some abortion “advocates” have treated me has strengthened that conviction. In memory of this treatment I am seriously considering taking a stricter policy of no-contact with people who are horribly rude to me unless they apologise; what do you think?

              I also see you chat with PJ4 sometimes. Since she’s been banned here, could you please let her know that I miss her a lot, and wish her a Happy New Year – belatedly, I’m afraid? I will be happy to see her at SPL next time she writes in!

              • Jim H

                I’ll pass that on. What did she do to get banned?

                • Crystal

                  I don’t quite know how to say it, as I don’t want to misrepresent her. I think what happened is she came on a little too strong in some of her positions, although I will admit her opponents were really rubbing it in and annoying her as well. I think you should ask her to make sure I’ve got that right.

                  What’s your opinion on no-contact to people who have been unrepentantly rude to you?

                  Oh, and thanks for passing that on! Personally I consider PJ4 to be a special person, one I would love to have many conversations with in the future.

                  • Jim H

                    I think no contact is taking the moral high ground. I just have a hard time doing it.

                    • Crystal

                      Yeah, me too.

                      But I’ve been reading a lot about narcissists and psychopaths, and had a nasty experience with someone online recently which really shook me up.

                      This is where I’ve been reading:

                      http://masksofsanity.blogspot.de/

                      My research is part of the reason I’ve been considering this.

                      Have you ever heard of Secular Pro-Life Perspectives (SPL)? It’s a fun place to comment IMO.

                    • Jim H

                      I think I read something about wrote about that. My first thought was I’d like to kick his @ss. Like I said I have a hard time not responding in kind.
                      I’ll take a look at your link.
                      Yes, I have been at SPL.

                    • Crystal

                      “I think I read something about wrote about that. My first thought was I’d like to kick his @ss.”

                      Can you please explain what you’re referring to here, if you wouldn’t mind? Not trying to be dumb, just not completely understanding what you mean.

                      “I’ll take a look at your link.”

                      Thanks! It is truly shocking! You just might be spending hours reading there, like I did. I bet it will leave you mad.

                      “Yes, I have been at SPL.”

                      I hope you go there again then, it would be fun to chat with you there! I also hope you were treated fairly well there while you did comment.

                      Have you heard of The Friendly Atheist? I’ve made a lot of pleasant acquaintanceships with the general TFA commenting populace and generally hold them in high regard. I comment there sometimes too.

                    • Jim H

                      I read somewhere that you had been conversing with somebody and you struck up a friendship, but they became demeaning to you. Although I usually don’t actually do it, I tend to want to respond physically when people are nasty to someone who doesn’t deserve it.

                      Yes, I’m familiar with the Friendly Atheist, but I haven’t been there in a while. I don’t think of myself as an atheist. I don’t really care that much about the question of God’s existence. I’m part of the fastest growing religious category in America. It is among those people who list their religious preference as “none”.

                    • Crystal

                      “I read somewhere that you had been conversing with somebody and you struck up a friendship, but they became demeaning to you.”

                      Tis true, tis true! Here are the links to prove it:*

                      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2015/12/the-word-is-rape.html (to find this, go to the “Newest” section and scroll down)

                      http://blog.secularprolife.org/2015/12/donald-trump-is-disaster-waiting-to.html

                      *He was even pulling this nonsense on the Josh Brahm site.

                      “Yes, I’m familiar with the Friendly Atheist, but I haven’t been there in a while.”

                      If you ever want to comment there I’ll give you a shout-out.

                    • Jim H

                      Thanks, I’ll check it out, If I ever decide to comment on friendly atheist I’ll let you know.

                    • Crystal

                      In regards to TFA, thanks for the offer!

                      As for the other issue, I doubt you will like what you read :(

                    • Crystal

                      I am spiritual but not religious.

                    • Jim H

                      I suspected as much.

                    • Crystal

                      What did I say or do that led you to perceive that?

                    • Jim H

                      You are not self righteous or condescending, plus you post on secular and even atheist sites.

                    • Crystal

                      One day I will post on pagan sites!

                      I love posting on secular and atheist and Christian sites. It’s fun, hearing all those different views swirling around. I was raised conservative Christian but have since departed because it was a self-righteous, condescending religion. I hate it for that very reason and so many more. I have been accused of being self-righteous because I am deeply health-conscious (teetotaler, etc) and not presently interested in being a sex kitten, which really hurts because I have no desire to be self-righteous.

                    • Crystal

                      In regards to the nasty encounter I had, thanks for caring, Jim!

                    • Jim H

                      No problem. Just so you know, I recently told Thomas that I lost what little respect I had for him after his hissy fit over you calling him Tom and then accusing you of patronizing him.

                    • Crystal

                      I saw what you said to him. It was pretty scathing, yet
                      please know I appreciate your defending me. Thomas did apologise, though, so I don’t hold it against him.

                      In regards to PJ, did you get to talk to her yet and if so what did she say?

                    • Jim H

                      I hold it against him. There is no call for him to treat people the way he does. He is just mean spirited and he brings out the same in me. I’ve asked him to just go away. He won’t and keeps antagonizing me. He deserves everything I give him and more.
                      PJ4’s exact words were:
                      Aaaw, tell her I miss her too!!
                      Wish her back for me please!

                      I might make an appearance over at SPL if I have any time

                    • Crystal

                      “I hold it against him.”

                      Although I have forgiven him, I can understand that.

                      “There is no call for him to treat people the way he does. He is just mean spirited and he brings out the same in me.”

                      If you wouldn’t mind, could you please explain in what ways he is being mean-spirited towards you, so I understand better? Also, do you believe that use of the term “pro-abortion” (not pro-abort, pro-abortion) is mean-spirited, if the term “pro-abortion” is used carefully to describe a person’s position rather than as a derogatory fiery dart at an advocate for legal abortion? I ask because I have an opinion on that, but I will share it after I’ve heard what you have to say.

                      I am sorry that Thomas is not being kind to you, and I am sorry other PLers have not been kind. It doesn’t do much for our testimony, I’m afraid. If you’ve asked to be left alone your wishes ought to be respected.

                      I know what it is to have talked to a couple of mean-spirited legal abortion advocates. One drained the life out of me emotionally and got others to gang up on me as well despite my best efforts to placate without compromising what I believe, because she didn’t like something I posted on another site and she felt I was being derogatory towards my commenting base by what I said, despite my true intentions in posting my comment and despite the fact I hold the regular commenters at said commenting base in high esteem! I am very hurt and angry over what she did to me and I don’t know how to handle it because she and I are presently on fairly friendly speaking terms. She has never willingly apologised for her ugly treatment of me, except once. I don’t hate her; she has generally been very nice to me but two occasions of severe online battering is too much IMO. It feels mean to talk about her this way but it hurt, it really did. As for the other person, you’ll find out once you read the links to our conversation.

                      Please let PJ know I deeply appreciate her sentiments and if she wants to comment on SPL (after replying to you) she can comment on this page:

                      http://blog.secularprolife.org/2016/01/what-babies-dont-know-cant-hurt-them.html

                      I’d deeply appreciate her opinion on the issue; she might know how one way to answer the arguments that since unborn persons are
                      presently unconscious, it won’t matter to them if they die or not, because I hear this one all the time and I’m not sure how to reply when I see it.

                      “I might make an appearance over at SPL if I have any time”

                      Yes please, if you can! And you can comment on the page I showed you too. You will get an opportunity to talk to other nice PLers like Blu and DarkCougar, who I deeply appreciate.

                    • Mr. G.

                      It appears that Tommy-Tutu aka: Thomas has given up on following me around and trying to antagonize me and adopted you as his favorite whipping boy. I kept catching him in lies and posting screen shots to prove it. That seemed to really peeve him. I’m glad to see that you’re also quite accomplished in giving his bully nose a good bloodying.

                    • Crystal

                      I think it is taking the moral high ground, for the dignity of your pride as much as anything else.

                    • Jim H

                      I’m afraid my instinct to “go to the mat” with someone usually kicks in before higher rational thinking does.

                    • Crystal

                      I’m the opposite. I try to placate. Woe is me!

                    • Jim H

                      It’s part of your charm.

                    • Crystal

                      Do you really mean that – really and truly?

                    • Jim H

                      Of course. You seem like a very nice person who doesn’t want to hurt anyone.

                    • Crystal

                      Thank you! I find such compliments delightful, although I DO wish I was more spirited; I believe I need to start developing a back-bone towards abusive @sshats online as well as placating so I can use the best weapon, depending on the situation.

                      I hate hurting anyone and I find it hard to even say “Go away and leave me alone” even if someone is being cruel :(

                    • Jim H

                      The important thing is that you understand you don’t deserve bad treatment. Keep that in mind regardless of how you decide to respond.

                    • Crystal

                      Thank you for your kind words, Jim.

                    • Crystal

                      I can understand that.

      • Crystal

        “I know its not easy but just try to ignore any negative comments, and
        please don’t take stuff to heart. Remember its just th einternet, people
        say stuff on line they would never say IRL. Take care Crystal and have
        fab Christmas x”

        Thanks for your kind and helpful words, I only just saw this recently. I did have a fab Christmas, and hope you had the same. I didn’t want to respond on that page because I didn’t want any more problems on my hands. I hope you’ve had a Happy New Year too and that we will resume this conversation soon :)

        • Hypatia

          Spelling mistakes ! 5/10 for me ! Glad you you had a good break Crystal . Take care

          • Crystal

            Don’t worry about the spelling mistakes, it’s the message that counts.

            You take care too.

            Would you mind if I did give you a little nudge to answer those questions I left you on this site, because I would love to pick up this discussion where it left off.

            I’ve also seen that sometimes you comment at a site called I fight bullies. What’s that about?

            • Hypatia

              HI Crystal, can you repost the questions please and I definitely answer, I am getting bit confused with all the different comments on this thread! The website Ifightbullies was run by a friend called ‘Expect Resistance, she has decided to close the site at the end of 2015.
              I started reading a book Jim H recommended ‘The True Believer’ by Eric Hoffer which has some interesting insights into fanaticism. Worth downloading if your interested x

              • Hi Hypatia my old blog is still up but I started a new blog that’s less controversial at http://fluxusworld.blogspot.com/. Great to see you!

                • Hypatia

                  Thanks ER, I will drop by.

                • Crystal

                  Hi, it sounds interesting. I’ve wanted to comment on I fight bullies for a long time and couldn’t because I’m a guest and don’t have an official account. Would it be okay if I asked you to enable the guest commenting function so that guests can comment? Of course, if your present position does not allow for this I will understand; yet if you do I have every intention of being honest about my opinions and respectful of your rules at the same time.

                  • Why are you afraid of opening a disqus account? You can set your account to private. You could try it and delete it if it creeps you out.
                    I’m leery of letting guest accounts post because it opens the floodgates to abusive commenters. I trust you but not others out there. Sorry but I can’t change the settings for one person.

                    • Crystal

                      Let’s just say I have certain private circumstances in my life that require the utmost privacy and therefore it is because of them I can’t create an account at the present time but I will when I can.

                      Since I realise you’ve had a hard time on the Internet in the past I respect your decision. Would it suit you if we chatted on this site and SPL though? Because I would enjoy that a lot, partially as I appreciate having civil discussions on life issues and partially as I wonder about things like “ecofeminist” and “winter solstice”.

                    • Crystal

                      BTW I am sorry about your cold! Colds are nasty things, I know. Take plenty of lemon drinks and snuggle into warm wraps at night with your feet in lovely snug slippers!

                    • Thanks you are sweet. I changed the setting and guests can post at the bullies blog. I’ll see how it goes. If I get inundated with trolls I’ll have to change it. But for now you can post here at the Winter Solstice thread, http://ifightbullies.blogspot.com/2015/12/happy-winter-solstice.html

                    • Crystal

                      How lovely of you! I’ll shoot over right now.

                    • If it doesn’t work let me know.

                    • Crystal

                      It did work. Mine is the newest comment on the forum.

                      Again, thank you; I was not expecting this.

              • Crystal

                I will ask the following then, to recap:

                1) In what *ways* does the early stage embryo and foetus has some weight as a potential member of the human race?

                2) Did you see the petition for the baby monkeys, at this link: http://blog.equalrightsinstitute.com/six-ways-ive-seen-pro-choice-people-try-to-censor-pro-lifers/#comment-2418674368

                3) Do you think the PL movement could benefit with a little animal-rights activism?

                4) What do you think of the idea that pro-life = for life, and should include animals?

                5) What do you think of PL vegans and PL vegetarians?

                6) In regards to condemning the action versus condemning the person committing the action, how would you respond if someone said these to you, and why would you respond that way:

                a) You’re a fan of genocide, and I know you would side with the infanticide crowd if ever that became legal

                b) It’s because I respect you as a person and care enough to tell the truth that I’m willing to tell you that you are advocating for something morally wrong (unacceptable, reprehensible, whatever negative adjective you want to put in there), and rather than condemn you, I would like to explain why it is wrong so you understand better, if you
                are willing to hear what I have to say

                And last but not least, this comment here, which is too big to be condensed into one question:

                blog.equalrightsinstitute.com/six-ways-ive-seen-pro-choice-people-try-to-censor-pro-lifers/#comment-2419016375

                Also you mentioned this point:

                “I started reading a book Jim H recommended ‘The True Believer’ by Eric Hoffer which has some interesting insights into fanaticism. Worth downloading if your interested x”

                Where could I get it to buy or download for free, and what
                kind of fanaticism does it describe? Because I am aware there are different types – political, religious, etc.

                Thanks for offering to answer my questions!

              • Crystal

                BTW I like your avatar, it’s so colourful and cute with all the different types of pinks and reds and pretty young ladies my age behaving the way young women will – so bright and vibrant, so pink! I’m not trying to gush here, I just think it’s delightful and sweet and I imagine you to be young myself.

              • Crystal

                Another question:

                You said the following, “Yes definetly . I can condemn a crime being committed but not the person doing the crime ( they may have mental health issues )”

                What is the difference between the crime and the person doing the crime? Also why would you take care to condemn the action only? I’m genuinely interested as to your perspective on this.

                • Hypatia

                  I would say that it’s the intention rather than the actual crime. Jim has mentioned the philosopher Kant before, and Kant believed it’s the intention of a moral act rather than the outcome that matters.

                  To me this idea this can be applied to crimes as well. Even if the outcome is the same, the intention is still important. Does the person intend to cause harm and was the action premeditated or was it a spur of the moment decision. To me a premeditated crime is worse that a crime committed in a rash moment. It really comes down to has the perpetrator considered their course of action and its effects. If the perpetrator has considered the act, its effects and still goes ahead its worse than if he had made no such consideration. Although this may be not be logical to apply to socio and psychopaths who are incapable of empathy, and therefore truly consider the effects of their actions on others.

                  An example I have recently seen of intentions being punished almost as severely as the crime is this story of two would be UK terrorists who have been given very heavy prison sentences ( by UK standards) Thankfully they never went through with the bombing,but its possible they could of changed their minds and not gone ahead. Even though their sentences are on a parr to if they had committed multiple murder http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/12073984/Islamist-fanatic-dubbed-Silent-Bomber-and-wife-guilty-of-77-anniversary-terror-plot.html.

                  Lastly as I mentioned Kant I have to post Monty Pythons ‘philosophers song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jdxCLyJa5E

  • Crystal

    Fanclub? Ooh, that sounds good!

  • Jim H

    I could.

    • Crystal

      Would you mind if I requested an answer to my comments, Jim? I realise you are busy but if you could make the time it would be greatly appreciated.

      BTW I appreciate your offer to consider starting our fanclub, LOL.

      • Jim H

        Not at all. I thought I had. I guess I got caught up in with the crazies on LAN. What did I miss?

        • Crystal
          • Jim H

            Are you referring to this?
            if she wants to comment on SPL (after replying to you) she can comment on this page:

            http://blog.secularprolife.org

            I’d deeply appreciate her opinion on the issue; she might know how one way to answer the arguments that since unborn persons are
            presently unconscious, it won’t matter to them if they die or not, because I hear this one all the time and I’m not sure how to reply when I see it.

            • Crystal

              Absolutely that (BTW could you please send it to her if you wouldn’t mind doing so), and this too:

              “If you wouldn’t mind, could you please explain in what ways [Thomas] is being mean-spirited towards you, so I understand better? Also, do you believe that use of the term ‘pro-abortion’ (not pro-abort, pro-abortion) is mean-spirited, if the term ‘pro-abortion’ is used carefully to describe a person’s position rather than as a derogatory fiery dart at an advocate for legal abortion? I ask because I have an opinion on that, but I will share it after I’ve heard what you have to say.”

              I also shared a little testimony of some of my rough times online.

              Thank you for writing back, it is very kind of you to think of me!

              PS: Again, I can sympathise with people having a rough time and I see you seem to be going through a wild patch. My condolences and good luck, Jim.

              • Jim H

                I’d be happy to pass that on when I talk to her next.

                I don’t really want to talk about Thomas, he is just not worth the effort.

                I don’t believe that use of the term ‘pro-abortion’ (not pro-abort, pro-abortion) is mean-spirited, if the term ‘pro-abortion’ is used carefully to describe a person’s position, but I think it is used too loosely and broadly. Generally I think it only fair to use that term to describe people who believe abortion should be legal in all circumstances, or most circumstances; i.e., they lean more in that direction they do in the pro-life direction. If that is the case, I think it is just being accurate and someone being called that shouldn’t be offended. However, I think if you are seeking dialog you should probably call someone what they want to be called, which would be pro-choice.
                I meant to write back. I actually thought I had.
                Thanks for the kind words.

                • Crystal

                  In regards to your opinion on the term pro-abortion I agree with you, except on one point. While I understand your desire for consideration and respect in regards to use of calling a person what they want to be called, I believe I should respectfully state that abortion is not a choice – at least not morally. Therefore to call it a choice is legitimising the practice, and this I cannot do. I don’t believe in causing unnecessary offence over my terminology so I try to be respectful when making my points, which is primarily why I abandoned the use of the term “pro-abort”. Yet sometimes the truth can be offensive and I am not afraid of that offence when it is necessary.

                  “I’d be happy to pass that on when I talk to her next.”

                  Did you get to talk to her yet and if so what did she say?

                  “I don’t really want to talk about Thomas, he is just not worth the effort.”

                  I can sympathise with that.

                  “I meant to write back. I actually thought I had.”

                  That’s okay, this is not a homework assignment.

                  “Thanks for the kind words.”

                  You’re welcome, and I look forwards to having more civil discussions with you on this topic.

                  I’m afraid I couldn’t help but read a spirited debate between you and StanW when StanW called you an idiot for asking the question about the pregnant woman and the unborn person. I’ll explain my views on that. I fear I’m expecting you to say that StanW called me an idiot by the end of it though.

                  Legally, abortion isn’t murder. However, morally, it is. Our laws grow out of our morals, or our lack of morals, rather than the other way around. Simply depending on the legal definition of things doesn’t answer the question, “Is this action morally right or not?” However, when talking with legal abortion advocates it is important to make the distinction between legality and morality because oftentimes they are thinking of the legal question – the unlawful homicide of a human being – when they think of the term murder; whereas prolifers are thinking of the moral one, the one where abortion isn’t seen as murder now but should be seen as such because it takes an innocent human life. Also, simply depending on the legal definition as your moral compass is actually harmful. The murder of the Jews in Germany was legal. Yet it was not moral and certainly abominable!

                  Yes, I am concerned with the consequences that “abortion is murder” laws would do to women if they got passed. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in making abortion illegal. It simply means that I am concerned about abuses and downsides to these laws so that if such laws ever got passed that they would also address downsides rather than conveniently ignoring them.

                  If you want my opinion, legally the killing of the pregnant person and the killing of the unborn person are not the same. Yet morally they are.

                • Crystal

                  “I fear I’m expecting you to say that StanW called me an idiot by the end of it though.”

                  I did not mean that snarkily or cruelly; I was genuinely expecting that response because you said if any PLer told you abortion was murder you would tell them that StanW called them an idiot. If I have caused offence by stating this I humbly apologise.

                  • Jim H

                    No Stan was being hateful and stupid to me and babbling that I was an idiot for comparing the murder of a pregnant woman to an abortion. He made it a point to say abortion wasn’t murder in his own nasty way. I think he was so busy trying to insult me he didn’t consider the ramifications of what he was saying. He insulted a lot of people with that comment. I’ll probably start pointing that out to his friends at LAN.
                    A word of warning, he now follows me on discus. I don’t think it is because he is a big fan, rather more for a creepy stalker. So, be warned. I’ll let you know if he realizing how creepy that makes him seem and he stops it.
                    You need to quit apologizing. You are one of the few really nice I get to converse with.

                    • Crystal

                      I appreciate all people – StanW and yourself included – and I’m sorry there is such strife between you two.

                      I think StanW didn’t like what you were saying because if he said the murder of a pregnant person was the same he might admit that God was wrong to slaughter the Canaanites and I think he felt cornered into that admission, hence his strong lashing out. Because you were asking about the Canaanites in context if I remember correctly.

                      I don’t mind StanW seeing my words. I have nothing to hide. I do think he shouldn’t stalk you though.

                      I’m afraid apologising is a reflex reaction for me yet I think in a way you are right; I do have to try to overcome it a little more. Thanks for explaining.

                    • Jim H

                      Stan has already stalked me and responded to what I said to him. I think you have hit the nail on the head.

                      He is in a bind. Either God was wrong to slaughter the Canaanites, or such a slaughter is not wrong. He does feel cornered, but he won’t admit to either, so he is strong lashing out.

                      I appreciate your recognition of that. Over at LAN there isn’t much objectivity and Stan is one of the gang and I’m not.

                      I think you are right apologising does seem to be a reflex reaction for you, but it is only because you are a sensitive person who cares about other people and you try to protect other people’s feelings. You just need to remember that you are a very worthy person and you need to protect that person’s (your) feelings as well.

                    • Crystal

                      “Either God was wrong to slaughter the Canaanites, or such a slaughter is not wrong.”

                      Many Christian prolifers feel obligated to defend their religious values at all costs, even to the point of sacrificing unborn persons on the altars of abstinence-only, their Bible, and other such sentiments. I wonder if they’re going to act like that why bother being PL at all? Because God said to and it’s not something worth thinking through?

                      I’m not saying any of that to condemn Stan but rather to remark on a common attitude I’ve seen among Christian PL people. Abstinence and the slaughter of Canaanites comes first, before anything else. Abortion is secondary. I would have thought that since it was murder it would have been the other way about.

                      Personally I think Christians defend Canaanite slaughter by saying that the Canaanites were doing human sacrifice, etc, and God had decreed that this was His judgment on a wicked and perverse generation; therefore He was using the Israelites to carry out His will.

                      ????

                      As for your last paragraph, thank you for the kind thoughts, Jim. It is hard to remember to protect my feelings because I am so anxious to set it right and stop arguing. I wish I could take a stronger stance. How do you recommend I do that?

                    • StanW

                      You made a mind-numbingly stupid statement and I called you on it. Clearly you are too immature to deal with having your opinions challenged. Come back after you go through puberty.

                    • Crystal

                      StanW, may I please respectfully ask you to abide by the commenting policy while you type here:

                      blog.equalrightsinstitute.com/comment-policy-2

                      My friend Josh Brahm, the moderator, does not take kindly to insults slung between commenters online. It is the sort of thing you could be banned for, so I am asking you to please stop it, or at least reword your statements so that they convey more charity.

                    • StanW

                      I notice that Jim did not receive the same threat from you, even with his slander and lies.

                      I will attempt to adhere to your posting requirements, while not allowing a morally bankrupt person like Jim to post lies. If at any time my posting style is not to the liking of the moderator, please let me know and I will take my comments elsewhere.

                    • Crystal

                      I did not threaten you, Stan. And yes, I asked Jim not to insult you as well. It works both ways here.

                      I am not a moderator here, but I do stand in for Josh unofficially when I can.

                      This is what I said to Jim:

                      blog.equalrightsinstitute.com/six-ways-ive-seen-pro-choice-people-try-to-censor-pro-lifers/#comment-2442984748

                      And I am sorry that the two of you are having such a rough time online together. I don’t like insults when slung from either side and I realise that everyone has the capability to be rude. So I am trying to be kind to everyone while not being involved in fights online and taking sides.

                    • StanW

                      Yes you did, thank you.

                      It will be best if I simply ignore Jim and his whines. He is an unworthy debate opponent.

                      Thank you for your kindness, Crystal. I will do my best to behave while I am a guest in your space.

                    • Crystal

                      It’s not my space. It’s Josh’s space. I simply don’t want to see the banhammer come down too much. And yes, Josh could ban me if he didn’t like something I said.

                      I think you and Jim ignoring each other on this particular page would be for the best. I believe you have much to contribute here and I don’t want to see that spoiled because either one of you were banned for fighting.

                    • Crystal

                      They aren’t my requirements but Josh’s.

                    • Crystal

                      Another thing, Stan. I think you have a lot to contribute, but while on this website, respect for your fellow commenters is Rule Number One.

                    • Jim H

                      So you are stalking my conversations. That’s really mature approach isn’t it Stan. Lets see how long you get away with your insults over here where you are expected to be a grown-up.

                    • StanW

                      And how mature is talking behind my back, Jim?

                      I’m willing to have a civil conversation, but the ball is in YOUR court!

                    • Crystal

                      Since you seem willing to have a civil conversation, I would be honoured to have civil conversations with you.

                      Starting with this question, if you wouldn’t mind answering:

                      Do you think that legal abortion advocates censor prolifers, and if so, how?

                      PS: I understand that people can be hurtful online and I don’t think that is right, but please know that I personally have no intentions of hurting you.

                    • StanW

                      I believe many pro-abortion advocates attempt to censor the pro-life message. Rarely is open and honest debate on abortion allowed on Left-leaning boards. That being said, I also believe many pro-life advocates allowed themselves to be censored by pro-abortion proponents. Debate and civility must go both ways for a conversation to occur.

                    • Crystal

                      “I believe many pro-abortion advocates attempt to censor the pro-life
                      message. Rarely is open and honest debate on abortion allowed on
                      Left-leaning boards.”

                      Firstly, could you describe in what ways this occurs generally, and has occurred in your experience?

                      As for me, I have been to a left-leaning space where it was allowed although the majority opinion was pro-legal abortion; it got pretty rough at times but people respect me and I respect them. I tried it on another one and ugh, I got shut down pretty quick.

                      “That being said, I also believe many pro-life advocates allowed themselves to be censored by pro-abortion proponents.”

                      How do you believe that PLers allow themselves to be censored by pro-abortion opponents?

                      As for me, it is something I have to watch all the time; the self-censoring thing for fear of causing offence. They won’t self-censor for us, so why should we self-censor for them? They say we snidely accuse them of murder and being pro-aborts, but then they snidely accuse us of being terrorists and forced birthers even after we ask them not to, of course that is a generalisation and there are exceptions to these rules. I have spoken to reasonable legal abortion advocates and unreasonable ones. How about you?

                      BTW we shouldn’t stop calling it out for the moral crime that it is even if that is offensive. I try not to although I fall into the trap sometimes. Do you think it is because they fear us so much that they ask us to self-censor?

                      “Debate and civility must go both ways for a conversation to occur.”

                      I agree with that. That is the purpose of this website. Although I don’t think it’s really an issue for debate because life issues are so vital to the health of society.

                      I look forwards to hearing from you again, Stan.

                    • StanW

                      On most of the left-wing boards I have visited, any post outside of the Libersl orthodoxy du jour is cause for banning. Respect rarely plays into it. I had an instance where I took s pro-life position on a VERY liberal board. There were many insults, but I was have a few spirited conversations. One poster, seeing my Texas map, began poster about how everyone from Texas was a traitor and a pervert, that the government should invade the state and kill us all, and that he was personally going to come and do awful things to my wife and children, which he described in painful detail. I ignored him for a long time with him making vulgar threats to my every post. Finally, I posted to him “you really need to shut up”. Immediately I got a message from a moderator, telling me that they would not tolerate such threats and then banned me.

                      I agree that we should not allow the pro-aborts to silence us. I would also add to the list above. Pro-aborts try to censor the pro-life message with legality. They will claim that since abortion is legal, that the matter is settled and that we should all just shut up and stop opposing abortion.

                      For the most part, pro-aborts cannot make a reasoned and logical argument for the slaughter of innocent children, so they demand we self-censor. I for one will not.

                    • Crystal

                      As for your experience on liberal websites, ugh! People shouldn’t act like that. I guess the guy was mad at you because of the history of the Alamo.

                      The one I visited where I was allowed to debate, as I said, it got rough a few times. Yet people are still generally fond of me and missed me when I went away for a few months. I like that group too; they have generally treated me well despite a few rough patches.

                      “Pro-aborts try to censor the pro-life message with legality.”

                      How would they do that in your opinion?

                      William Wilberforce faced the same when he tried to oppose it during a war England was having with another nation. The right and good cause won out eventually though. It is primarily because of his efforts that people throughout the British Empire never became slaves again.

                      “They will claim that since abortion is legal, that the matter is settled
                      and that we should all just shut up and stop opposing abortion.”

                      Could you give some insight as to how this could occur in your opinion?

                      I can see that. They might even start calling PL speech hate speech, and claim that we incite terrorists because of the nutters among us who call for executions of abortion practitioners (repeatedly, and with glee to whip up the crowds, rather than just stating it gravely once or at the most twice as a general opinion). I’ve been asked if I think abortion is murder why I am associating with psychopaths. I wonder then if they believe PLers are terrorists why they are associating with psychopaths like us. SRSLY? I think some of the more ambitious PA leaders among them will use any incident of anti-abortion terrorism as an excuse to shut down the entire group; what say you?

                      I remember Alice Paul in the Iron-Jawed Angels video being forced with her fellow suffragettes to take to the streets and continue the votes for women work even after WWI started. They went to prison but again, the right and good cause won out.

                      “For the most part, pro-aborts cannot make a reasoned and logical
                      argument for the slaughter of innocent children, so they demand we
                      self-censor.”

                      I think the abortion issue is more analogous to slavery than nazism, so I try to bring that out. Yet it is a well-known fact that slavers used anti-abortion sentiments to serve themselves and punish their slaves when the slave women tried to illegally obtain abortions, and this is something that you need to expect to hear from their lips.

                      The most “reasoned” argument is Thompson’s Violinist and the trolley scenario; have you heard of those? Also, have you heard of McFall vs. Shrimp? Because all those are vital to know when speaking to a legal abortion advocate.

                      “I for one will not.”

                      That’s good, Stan. Grace is required when dealing with those we disagree with as we want to win as many people to the truth as possible, and be a light to all people. They are people too, and generally not monsters, but rather wrong on this very important issue. But condemning the practice is vital to the moral health of society!

                      I hope you don’t mind if I ask you if you personally consider abortion to be murder; I’m not doing this to start any fights but I’m honestly curious as to your opinion on the issue.

                    • StanW

                      My opinion is that abortion is not murder. Murder is the illegal taking of life and abortion is currently legal. Abortion is homicide, as the death of the child is a deliberate act.

                      Many pro-life advocates believe that abortion is or should be considered murder. And they have every right to that opinion.

                    • Crystal

                      That’s a fair answer, Stan; thanks!

                      You’re right to call it homocide, because it is. I tend to think abortion is not legally murder at present, but is and always will be morally murder. Legality is important to differentiate when talking to a legal abortion advocate otherwise you just talk past each other and cause offence, yet it will cause offence when you call abortion murder in the moral sense, I think and that is an offence we can’t be ashamed of.

                      Would you mind if I asked you to look over my paragraph again as I did ask you a few questions therein. I am enjoying my conversation and I hope you are too.

                    • StanW

                      Sorry if I missed your questions, Crystal. I am posting from a ‘smart’ phone and do not always get the full picture. I’ll review your post this evening on a better system and answer you as best as I can.

                    • Crystal

                      I look forwards to it.

                      My questions are as follows:

                      1) Do you know about the history of the Alamo as it relates to slavery as I think that is why the guy got mad at you
                      2) How do pro-abortion advocates censor the PL message in the legal sphere in your opinion
                      3) Have you ever heard of Thompson’s Violinist, the trolley scenario, and McFall vs. Shrimp
                      4) Have you ever heard of the slavers and anti-abortion sentiments
                      5) My sentiments in response to your points

                      Don’t feel pressured, take your time!

                      I would enjoy carrying over some of our conversations over to Secular Pro-Life Perspectives if you pop in one day; that would be fun!

                    • StanW

                      1) Yes, I am aware of the slavery link to the Alamo.
                      2) As i stated before, they use the mantra of “It’s legal, so shut up”. There are also numerous Federal laws enacted to openly punish abortion protesters.
                      3) I know of the Violinists and the trolly, the court case I had to look up.
                      4) I am not familiar with this one.
                      5) I appreciate the conversation and am happy to continue with you.

                    • Crystal

                      2) “There are also numerous Federal laws enacted to openly punish abortion protesters.”

                      Please explain what these laws are and how they are enacted.

                      3) As for Thompson’s Violinist, you do realise that pregnancy is a donation of the woman’s bodily resources to the unborn person, don’t you? So in that way, they have a point, but that point still doesn’t justify the killing despite claims to the contrary.

                      “the court case I had to look up”

                      Well, what do you think now? You’ve got one of their legal “justifications” in writing that they can point to. They sure have made it difficult for us, haven’t they?

                      4) My friend wrote this article:

                      http://pro-abortion-rights.tumblr.com/post/132520683297/the-pro-life-slaveowners-of-the-caribbean

                      and here’s her source:

                      https://books.google.co.kr/books?id=qLAiqMbmeaMC&printsec=frontcover&hl=ko&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

                      Basically it points out that the slaveowners in America used anti-abortion as a means to control and oppress their female slaves and they punished their slaves for obtaining abortions. These are facts legal abortion advocates have no hesitation mentioning if you state that abortion is morally analogous to slavery.

                      5) Two things:

                      I mentioned Wilberforce and Alice Paul in my examples to prove what I was saying, and expressed a few opinions of my own on the following points:

                      a) I was concerned that people with the mind to do it would use terrorists as a way to shut down the entire PL movement
                      b) I think abortion is more morally analogous to slavery than nazism
                      c) I wonder why it is that, if we PL people are such wicked terrorists, that they are willing to debate with us and talk to us; I had the question posed me, that if people who had and promote abortions are murderers why are we willing to debate with them and talk to them? A bit of an odd question, would you agree or not? Yet in a way I get what the poser of the question is saying; PL people are way too soft on this subject for fear of causing offence. It is a pity we can’t learn when to speak and when to keep silent

                      I am happy to keep talking to you about this and appreciate our discussion so far!

                    • StanW

                      2) I am speaking of laws that restrict or prohibit what a person can or cannot say on public property near an abortion clinic.

                      3) pregnancy is a willing donation. The child did not invade the woman’s body or kidnap her. In nearly every case, she willingly performed a act that resulted in the pregnancy, rendering the violinist story moot.

                      4) the moral analogy to slavery is in the manner that the slave-owners justified their actions by dehumanizing the slaves, just as Pro-Aborts dehumanize the kill in a pathetic justification for killing that child.

                      5) it has always been curious to me how a single lunatic shooting up an abortion clinic represents every pro-life advocate, yet the numerous abortion doctors that kill and main their patients mean nothing. We one the pro-life side will win this battle in the hearts and minds of good people, not with the hate and the lies and violence of the Pro-Aborts.

                    • JGC

                      Stan, I’m curious why you believe that the fact a woman may
                      have ‘willingly performed the act’ that resulted in an unintended and unplanned
                      pregnancy is relevant to the discussion of her right to bodily autonomy and to
                      choose to terminate that pregnancy during early stages of gestation.

                      Surely you wouldn’t argue that because a male had chosen to ‘willingly
                      perform an act’ that resulted in his acquiring an STD he had voided his right
                      to bodily autonomy and medical intervention to address that unintended and
                      unplanned consequence? (“Hey, you chose to have sex and got syphilis—no penicillin
                      for you!”)

                      And the supposed ‘multiple doctors’ like Gosnell who harm
                      the women coming to them to have their pregnancies terminated does mean
                      something” it indicates a necessity for greater oversight of as well as much
                      improved access to safe medical abortions so that woman aren’t forced to turn to incompetent/criminal providers out of desperation.

                    • StanW

                      You equate pregnancy to an STD? Do you not understand that pregnancy is a natural byproduct of the sex act?

                      Go Gosnell and others like him are what you get when you militantly support abortion and refuse ANY over site.

                    • JGC

                      I’m comparing one unintended and unwanted consequence following a decision to engage in sexual activity-an unplanned pregnancy—to another unintended and unwanted consequences following a decision to engage in sexual
                      activity—STD infection. If the fact that the person made the choice to engage in sexual activity in and of itself means they cannot ethically seek medical treatment to address the unwanted consequence then I don’t see why it matters what that unintended consequence is.

                      Note this wouldn’t apply only to sexual activity—skiers for example would
                      ethically be prevented from seeking surgical repairs for a torn ACL because
                      they chose to go skiing.

                      And no, I don’t see pregnancy as a ‘natural byproduct’—while sexual intercourse is the most frequent means by which conceptions occur procreation is hardly the only (and indeed, not even the most frequent) reason couples engage in sexual intimacy.

                      As for Gosnell, etc., who is it exactly you think is refusing ANY oversight of abortion providers? I’m not aware of any prochoice advocates who embrace the position that there should be no oversight whatsoever of the clinics/physicians which provide abortion services.

                    • StanW

                      You did compare pregnancy to a disease, making your entire argument moot.

                      And most Pro-Aborts fight against any restrictions and oversight to abortion.

                    • JGC

                      I’ve compared one adverse consequence of choosing to engage in sexual intimacy to another adverse consequence of choosing to engage in sexual intimacy—by what rational argument is doing so invalid?

                      And I’m afraid I’ll require a more specific identification than “most –Pro-Aborts” in support of your claim that pro-choice advocates oppose ANY oversight of the clinics/providers which provide abortion services. That was your original claim, you’ll recall, although your attempt to modify it to include advocates who oppose restrictions on the availability of abortions is noted and rejected.

                    • Crystal

                      “Stan, I’m curious why you believe that the fact a woman may
                      have ‘willingly performed the act’ that resulted in an unintended and unplanned pregnancy is relevant to the discussion of her right to bodily autonomy and to choose to terminate that pregnancy during early stages of gestation.”

                      Newsflash: it isn’t relevant at all. In fact it has nothing to do with it, except in the fact that we do owe our offspring the responsibility to look after them and not to kill them as we created them.

                    • Crystal

                      2) Oh, okay. I didn’t realise that. I’m pretty aware that some folks screech “baby-killer” at women and escorts, and that’s not the right way to handle the situation. Yet at the same time, saying “There is hope and I will be happy to help you” is not offensive in the least and I don’t understand why anyone would say that it is.

                      3) It is true that in more cases than not she willingly performed the act but what does that have to do with the worth of the unborn person? Zilch.

                      4) That is true. I recognise that and use it. But my point was, that information about slaves and their oppressors is good to know, because anyone who knows about that will bring it up at every opportunity every time the word “slavery” is mentioned. It is worth acknowledging that people who would abuse PL thought and practice for their own benefit existed in times past and are alive and with us today, so that we might remove such unworthy persons from among us. So I don’t fear hearing that information.

                      5) An excellent point, and one I had never considered. Oh, but pregnancy is far more dangerous than abortion, they tell us! Well, I am not one to downplay pregnancy. I admit that pregnancy can kill women, and in rare cases maim them. It can cause complications so pregnancy is more than an inconvenience. As for abortion, if done properly it would be seldom if ever physically dangerous – notice I said physically dangerous, because abortion is morally dangerous to society as a whole in so many ways – but it is always dangerous to the unborn person; very few if any unborn persons survive it.

                      “We one the pro-life side will win this battle in the hearts and minds of
                      good people, not with the hate and the lies and violence of the
                      Pro-Aborts.”

                      I agree, and they accuse US of being violent. It is true, there are violent ones among us and they need to be sternly stopped. As for us being violent, what they do to unborn persons is violent, especially in the later stages, yet no one complains about that very much. I have spoken to a legal abortion advocate who told me that a 12-week old abortion was only a disconnection of the unborn person from its mother so that it dies on being disconnected from the womb, or some such similar act. Even if she was right, even that act is a homicide, and unjustifiable.

                    • Crystal

                      Another point, Stan.

                      Isn’t the definition of murder being the illegal taking of life a faulty definition, because what Hitler did was technically “legal” in Germany at the time. Yet it was morally reprobate and it was from that perspective we call the Holocaust murder and slaughter. We don’t worry about legality there!

                    • StanW

                      Murder is a legal definition. An execution is a homicide, not a murder.

                      Your example is a good one in relationship to abortion. While everyone, Liberals included, view what Hitler and the Nazi party did as abhorrent and without morals… everything they did was LEGAL!

                    • Crystal

                      Which is why I think we as a society need a more stable definition of murder than the temporary fleeting interests of the big community and what it decides to be just and unjust killing. These standards change from generation to generation.

                      Therefore stating that we recognise the differences legally and morally might be helpful, and I’d be very interested to hear what you think of such an idea.

                    • StanW

                      Regardless of how we may feel, abortion is technically not murder today.

                    • Crystal

                      True, but it is morally so and we can’t deny that either. The legality of something doesn’t change its morality or lack thereof. It only affirms that the government supports it and people will not be punished for engaging in it.

                    • Kris

                      So you say abortion is legal? Well in truth it was a court ruling meaning it’s not but most people (myself included) never knew that for a long time. So technically it’s not legal EXCEPT on request. Abortion being legal is taken for granted by many people. For me, request is when the mother’s pregnancy puts in a high risk of death. Then I believe that it’s the mother’s choice to choose if she will continue to term anyway.

                    • StanW

                      Not sure what your point is here. Abortion is legal, meaning the death of the child is not murder.

                    • Crystal

                      Stan, could you please answer my questions up above:

                      blog.equalrightsinstitute.com/six-ways-ive-seen-pro-choice-people-try-to-censor-pro-lifers/#comment-2447286149

                    • StanW

                      Hi Crystal, good to hear from you.

                      Can you be more specific and tell me what question you would like me to answer.

                    • Crystal

                      It’s good to hear from you, Stan. I missed you.

                      I had them in this comment here:

                      blog.equalrightsinstitute.com/six-ways-ive-seen-pro-choice-people-try-to-censor-pro-lifers/#comment-2447286149

                      How about we start with the first one on the list in that comment:

                      “2) Oh, okay. I didn’t realise that. I’m pretty aware that some folks screech “baby-killer” at women and escorts, and that’s not the right way to handle the situation. Yet at the same time, saying “There is hope and I will be happy to help you” is not offensive in the least and I don’t understand why anyone would say that it is.”

                      In other words, what I’m trying to ask is, in context of these laws that restrict speech on public property near abortion “clinics”, do these legal abortion advocates have an objection to people who quietly and gently counsel women, especially unsure women, against having abortions (some of these are sidewalk counselers) as much as people who yell “baby-killer” at women and escorts and harass the terrified women going inside the buildings?

                      Also, could you do me a favour and remind PJ about commenting on SPL so I can catch up with her? I have missed her a lot since she got banned.

                    • StanW

                      While there are still some who shout and attempt to humiliate and shame women, that type of action is distasteful and wrong to me. I would never be a part of any group that called women baby-killers.

                      I have had Pro-Aborts tell me that any protest against abortion should be forbidden by law. Some base it on an implied threat of violence, while some claim that abortion is legal so no one should be allowed to protest against it.

                      PJ posts a lot on LAN, I will tell her you said hello.

                    • Crystal

                      “I have had Pro-Aborts tell me that any protest against abortion should
                      be forbidden by law. Some base it on an implied threat of violence,
                      while some claim that abortion is legal so no one should be allowed to
                      protest against it.”

                      It would depend on the type of protest. I think as long as it is peaceful and nonviolent, and people are not shouting horrible things at women or hassling abortion practitioners out of town by threatening them and their families or making life hard for them (although I’m very much *for* signing petitions in a lawful, peaceful manner to get them removed from the premises) then abortion protests should be legal!

                      I know of another movement in Korea that is struggling to get its message across – SaveKoreanDogs. From what I have heard not once have they advocated for the following:

                      1) killing dog slayers
                      2) hassling dog slayers out of town
                      3) bombing dog slayer facilities
                      4) screaming at dog slayers and calling them killers

                      What they do do AFAIK:

                      1) shut them down legally, to the best of their ability, by making them sign documents (dog-eating is illegal in Korea so they can do this)
                      2) buy the dogs off the farmers
                      3) educate about the situation
                      4) holding cameras and posters up to show the violence
                      5) petitioning government leaders to stop the violence

                      Although, once, one of the leaders did not exactly follow the law 100%; she got attacked by a dog-slaying farmer and she defended herself and she faced prison for that.

                      Here is more of their work:

                      https://www.facebook.com/savekoreandogs/

                      http://koreandogs.org/

                      I mention this not to go off-topic but because I think PL people could really learn from such an example. The dog-eating trade in Korea is horrible yet they are handling it right! I know many PL people do handle it right, but for those who don’t I would urge them to reconsider their tactics.

                      As for PJ, thank you, because I asked her to comment on SPL a few days ago and she seems to have forgotten about it. I am, however, very excited that she was able to persuade a young mother not to abort! Also I found out about Javelina Harker losing her friend. My heart goes out to her, please let her know that too.

                      My fourth question is as follows:

                      “4) That is true. I recognise that and use it. But my point was, that information about slaves and their oppressors is good to know, because anyone who knows about that will bring it up at every opportunity every time the word “slavery” is mentioned. It is worth acknowledging that people who would abuse PL thought and practice for their own benefit
                      existed in times past and are alive and with us today, so that we might remove such unworthy persons from among us. So I don’t fear hearing that information.”

                      Do you agree or disagree? Also, do you think it is distracting from the moral analogy PL people are trying to draw or do you think it is an objection worth answering? For my part, I believe that people can abuse PL thought and practice to suit themselves, yet not be PL. I know that slavery was anything but PL, especially considering they were not seen as persons under the law, and masters could kill them without legal punishment.

                    • StanW

                      Abortion protest are legal and should stay that way. Any attempt to restrict or ban abortion protests should stopped as unconstitutional.

                    • Crystal

                      I was agreeing with you, Stan! And do agree that the protests should be protected by law, because it is a form of censorship, as discussed in the article we are commenting on. As Tim said, “I formally renounce all attempts
                      pro-life people have ever made to censor pro-choice people. Let them
                      speak. If the truth is on our side, what have we to fear?”

                      Yet they fear truth and that is why they use the bad behaviour of some to silence all opposition; would you agree with that?

                      Honestly I cannot understand how anyone could think that aborting this little creature is anything but unacceptable:

                      http://www.babycenter.com/fetal-development-images-6-weeks

                      As to my question on slavery, I am interested in your opinion on that; could you please answer it?

                    • StanW

                      The only time I ever bring up slavery in relation to abortion is when a Pro-Abort tells me abortion is legal or “settled law”, and that I have no right to oppose it.

                      And while I do believe that Pro-Aborts dehumanize unborn children the same way slavers dehumanized their slaves, that is as far as I wish to carry that analogy.

                    • Crystal

                      First off, did you get my message about Javelina as well?

                      Second, I can understand that. We do approach the issue slightly differently but I think we come to the same conclusion on it, overall; would you agree with that?

                      Third, you said in response to one of my questions:

                      “5) it has always been curious to me how a single lunatic shooting up an abortion clinic represents every pro-life advocate, yet the numerous abortion doctors that kill and maim their patients mean nothing. We on the pro-life side will win this battle in the hearts and minds of good people, not with the hate and the lies and violence of the Pro-Aborts.”

                      My response was as follows:

                      “5) An excellent point, and one I had never considered. Oh, but pregnancy is far more dangerous than abortion, they tell us! Well, I am not one to downplay pregnancy. I admit that pregnancy can kill women, and in rare cases maim them. It can cause complications so pregnancy is more than an inconvenience. As for abortion, if done properly it would
                      be seldom if ever physically dangerous – notice I said physically dangerous, because abortion is morally dangerous to society as a whole in so many ways – but it is always dangerous to the unborn person; very few if any unborn persons survive it.

                      “We one the pro-life side will win this battle in the hearts and minds of good people, not with the hate and the lies and violence of the Pro-Aborts.”

                      I agree, and they accuse US of being violent. It is true, there are violent ones among us and they need to be sternly stopped. As for us being violent, what they do to unborn persons is violent, especially in the later stages, yet no one complains about that very much. I have spoken to a legal abortion advocate who told me that a 12-week old
                      abortion was only a disconnection of the unborn person from its mother so that it dies on being disconnected from the womb, or some such similar act. Even if she was right, even that act is a homicide, and unjustifiable.”

                      My questions on that paragraph are as follows:

                      1) In regards to legalised abortion, they keep saying legalised abortion is safe and rare, and say that PL people who discuss women dying from abortions are great big liars, sometimes because their information is from “biased” or “suspect” sources; what is your response to that one?
                      2) Why do they keep saying abortion is safe when we know it nearly always kills and in rare cases severely injures unborn babies and sometimes can kill women? Also is abortion physically safe for women most of the time?
                      3) Why the hypocrisy when it comes to unborn persons dying; sometimes their deaths are violent, and no one cares about that; yet anti-abortion people like the Colorado shooter are violent people (and I agree, they are violent, disturbed people who need to be locked up!)?

                      I would appreciate an answer to these questions when you can provide it. Thanks for talking to me so far!

                    • Pere Callahan

                      Hi Crystal!
                      PJ got banned at SPL? I´m a LAN regular and know her from there, so that you know.

                    • Kris

                      Then how come if some one kills a pregnant woman they are charged with killing the baby and the mother?

                    • Crystal

                      How did you learn that? Also, why is it not legal if a court pronounces it to be so?

                    • Jim H

                      I provided a lot of information and said pretty much everything I have to say. If you truly wish to civilly discuss something I provided or commented on, I would be more than happy to do so.

                    • Crystal

                      Jim, I asked you not to do that. Please don’t, Jim.

                    • Jim H

                      Hey Crystal:
                      Stan has said I was threatened with being banned here twice. I said I didn’t think you would characterize what happened that way. I don’t want to put words in your mouth, so how would you describe what happened?

                    • Crystal

                      I didn’t threaten you, Jim. It’s not my blog!

                      You were talking to me about a concern I raised, then StanW came on because he didn’t like what you were saying. I asked you not to insult him, and I asked Stan to stop insulting you. At first he didn’t like it until I explained I was playing fair and had asked you not to do it as well. He was – or tried to be – respectful after that, and for that I give him credit. I hate to say it but you did respond in a very angry way after I asked you not too, and I had to ask you to stop it. So I asked you not to (this was the time I mentioned banning), then I asked you to stop. You weren’t threatened with banning. I tried to remind you of the rules as gently as I could.

                      The way you and Stand behave towards each other saddens me. Please, we’ve got to try to be civil and kind to each other!

                      Last but not least I would encourage you to talk about anything I said with Josh, if indeed I did threaten anyone (which I didn’t mean to do as I only intended to uphold the rules).

                      PS: Please let PJ know I’m looking forwards to her typing in on that article I shared when she can as I would appreciate an answer to my question if that’s okay with her.

                      Thanks for coming and asking me.

                    • Jim H

                      I didn’t see it as a threat. Thanks for confirming that.
                      PJ had said she would comment “if she had time”

                    • Crystal

                      I am happy to answer your questions and confirm anything that needs to be confirmed, anytime. But why would you think I threatened you?

                      I am having a very mixed-up day at the moment. I feel like I’m being a little self-centered and rude here by asking why and how you believe I am sweet, in your opinion, because I want to relish the compliment(s) more – I read some of what you had to say about me and my heart went dancing with the stars :)

                      I hope PJ does write in, and I think she needs to be given a gentle reminder because she means well but she forgets; I hope you will not find it amiss to give that gentle reminder in a couple days if she doesn’t make it. I miss that awesome lady and would like to get to know her more. But I hope she is treating you well, with kindness. I won’t be happy if she’s not.

                    • Jim H

                      Crystal:

                      This is the comment:

                      StanW Jim H • 13 hours ago

                      She warned you twice to stop your infantile insults that you throw around. That is why you ran back to LAN, so you could be a jerk again.

                      Its no big deal.

                      I think you are very kind hearted and look for the good in people. You have a very innocent lack of cynicism about people.

                      I will try to give her a reminder in a couple days.
                      Take care.

                    • Crystal

                      I see. I didn’t mean to make Stan feel threatened and I am sorry for that. However I am not the one in charge, and I’m glad that Stan understood I was not making favourites to hurt him eventually. We’ve been having a lovely chat and I hope to resume it soon :)

                      “I think you are very kind hearted and look for the good in people. You have a very innocent lack of cynicism about people.”

                      That is so lovely of you :)

                      I was raised by very good parents and homeschooled in a generally stable environment, family-wise. Hence the innocence I believe. Some would call me naive. I am young too.

                      “I will try to give her a reminder in a couple days.
                      Take care.”

                      Please look after yourself, Jim. Again, I hope you don’t mind if I inquire as to how she is treating you. You take care too, Jim. Since you seem to be having it so rough why not leave them for a while, come over to this site and discuss PL philosophy with me? I like thinking through things and it might be fun, especially as I don’t feel the need to self-censor around you.

                    • Crystal

                      I know this is going to sound a strange request coming from me, but please don’t insult StanW, Jim. The commenting policy will not allow for it and I don’t want to see you being banned or having your comments deleted because of an argument and because you have a lot to contribute here and that is why I ask:

                      http://blog.equalrightsinstitute.com/comment-policy-2/

                    • Jim H

                      I wouldn’t do that on Josh’s blog. I respect the way he runs it far too much.

                    • Crystal

                      Good man!

                      Thank you for understanding.

                • Crystal

                  In what ways is the term “pro-abortion” used too loosely and broadly? Sorry, I did not catch that the first time I responded to you.

  • I think that pro-choice people generally are afraid of the systematic injustices of our male normative economy. Abortion becomes a way to escape these injustices. But because it honestly troubles the advocates abd because everyone in the USA agrees with Locke on rights little real discussion is possible.

    One other thing I have seen is that as the issue is internationalized, rich white countries are looked at differently than poot Asian or African countries. So there is alsoa bit of hidden racism.

    My view is that one must solve the related injustices as part of the overall solution to this issue. The law is a blunt instrument especially where we believe in the system.

    So, how do we liberate women from the need for abortion?

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  • Where does your freedom of speech come from?