AHA Attacks Justice For All for “Not Treating Abortion Like Sin”

I have, for the most part, avoided commenting publicly on Abolish Human Abortion. (From what I hear, fewer and fewer people take them seriously as their anti-Catholic views become more public as well their extreme arguments that the pro-life movement is to blame for abortion being legal.) I feel the need to say something now though, because they just publicly attacked my friends, and they did it with particularly bad reasoning. This blog is about helping pro-life people to become more persuasive and less weird, so let’s attempt to apply some clear thinking to AHA’s attack on Justice For All.

AHA attacks JFA

Click here to see the Facebook post for yourself.

The link is to a video of AHA-member Danny Ehinger talking to a pro-life student who had gone through a previous JFA training, who expressed some concerns about AHA’s activism methods. The student explains that he’s all for getting people talking about abortion, but he felt like there were better results when JFA came on campus because some good conversations had taken place, whereas on this day the classroom discussions were a lot more heated and tended to end with students screaming and nearly getting kicked out of class.

The student expresses a concern about little kids seeing the signs, and encourages AHA to use more questions on their signs to create dialogue as opposed to just putting statements on their graphic signs.

Danny interrupts him and makes a very shrewd debating move:

So, your main concern, from what I’m hearing, is the other students that are getting angry about it.

The student says, “Yeah…” And Danny says,

And so that’s where we have a little bit of a difference. My main concern is the 3,500 babies who are going to be murdered today.

That is so intellectually dishonest. The student’s main concern that he wanted addressed at the moment was the use of the signs and the effect they had on people as well as their dialogues about abortion in the future. That doesn’t mean the student cares more about that than abortion. If Danny had asked the student, “Are you more concerned about abortion or the students who are offended?” I’m sure the student would have said something like, “I’m more concerned about abortion, obviously, which is why I’m concerned about your methods. I want abortion to end as soon as possible, and this doesn’t seem like the way to make that happen.” Instead, Danny takes the opportunity to act like he’s the only one in the conversation who actually cares about abortion, a moment that will make all the AHA fans cheer when they watch it.

Danny mentions checking out JFA’s website and says:

I’m okay with [JFA’s] premise of ‘We want to talk intelligibly to people and nicely to people.’ However, my question is the root why, why are they doing what they’re doing?

So this is the analogy I kind of came up with. Imagine if you’re in class, okay? And, there’s 50 students. And you hear gunshots, you see gunfire in your class. You hear people are being killed, okay? Half of the class gets up and says, ‘That’s wrong! We have to stop it!’ The other half of the class gets up and says, ‘No, you should have a right to do it!’ The teacher gets up, and this is what I think Justice For All is doing, ‘Let’s talk about this intelligibly.’ Is that the right behavior when there’s a gunman shooting kids?

And when the student goes to say, “That’s different,” Danny ignores him and restates the original question, which unfortunately gets the student to accept Danny’s premise.

Later, Danny adds this point:

What we need to do as Christians is stop talking about something. Because when we say, if I told you, ‘Do you like this grass?’ We could have a talk about it and we’re elevating the grass, kind of, to a place of it could be good or it could be bad… When our premise is ‘Let’s go and spread how to talk about abortion, we are making abortion higher than it ought to be. What we should be saying is, ‘Abortion is wrong and we ought to end it.’

Here are four problems with AHA attacking JFA with these arguments:

1: It demonstrates AHA’s disinterest in honest dialogue.

strawmanThis wasn’t an even exchange of ideas. Danny straw-manned the kid with his, “Well, I actually care about abortion,” trick and then launched into a faulty analogy and refused to hear why the student thought the analogy was faulty. Sadly, it worked. He made a high school student look like an inconsistent pro-lifer who doesn’t really care about abortion very much while making himself appear as this wonderful abolitionist who actually cares about aborted children.

I have friends who have experienced similar tactics from AHA and I’ve experienced it myself when debating AHA online, which is why I don’t do that anymore.

2: Danny’s analogy is faulty.

apples and oranges

The situation pro-lifers find themselves in is not one where suddenly a gunman bursts onto the scene and starts shooting kids. The situation is more like this:

Infanticide becomes legal in 2073, and remains legal for 41 years with the country split on it. Moral relativism has so invaded society that a huge number of people don’t believe they have the right to tell somebody else what they should and shouldn’t do. The pro-lifers are going against billion-dollar pro-infanticide lobbying groups, and not always communicating their case with the most persuasive arguments. Even so, they’re finally gaining momentum in both public opinion and through incremental state restrictions on infanticide. Their ultimate goal is abolishing infanticide altogether.

What should pro-lifers do in that situation? Exactly what the pro-life movement is doing now: Talking to people and changing as many minds as possible so that we can protect children through the law. That’s exactly how every effective social reform movement has changed culture in the past. (For more on AHA’s revision of abolitionist history, check out this piece from Jonathan Van Maren and this follow-up.)

What would I do if I were in a classroom when a gunman burst in shooting? I’d hide and call the police, and if I was feeling particularly like John McClane that day, maybe I’d even tackle the gunman.

Here’s what I wouldn’t do: Merely stand outside the school with a 4-foot graphic anti-gun-violence sign. That makes me think AHA doesn’t believe their own analogy either. I’ve heard bad stories of their sidewalk counseling techniques from several sources, but I don’t think they’re tackling pro-choice people to the ground and yelling in their face, “STOP KILLING PEOPLE!!!” but that’s what you do with a gunman in a classroom.

3: AHA’s anti-JFA argument is hypocritical.

Like JFA’s staff and volunteers, AHA’s activists talk to people about abortion. They also encourage pro-lifers to talk about abortion a certain way. (Don’t use the term “pro-life;” don’t support incremental legislation, do use the Bible in every conversation, do talk about abolitionists, do use graphic pictures when possible, do publicly call out pro-life organizations that don’t agree with our strategy, etc.)

Even in this video, Danny is talking to this student about the abortion situation, and what people should do about it. I think his premises and conclusion are off, but notice that Danny doesn’t yell at every person who walks by, “DON’T ASK ME ABOUT WHAT I’M DOING! HELP ME STOP THE KILLING! NOW!!!”

AS2

It doesn’t seem like they can get their story straight. In the video Danny says, “I’m okay with [JFA’s] premise of ‘we want to talk intelligibly to people,’” and then he makes his analogy arguing that pro-lifers should stop being like a teacher that talks to people about child killing.

In the thread under Russell Hunter’s Facebook post Danny says, “[JFA’s] words are fine and the idea of learning to speak correctly about the issue is not bad,” but Hunter calls JFA’s attempts to find common ground in their dialogues with pro-choice people “ridiculous” and “not treating abortion as sin.”

Which is it? Get your leaders together and decide which activities you’re opposed to before attacking another organization, Russell.

4: AHA is ignorantly bearing false witness against another pro-life organization.

In Russell Hunter’s Facebook post, he accuses JFA of being “ridiculous” for “not treating abortion as sin.” In the thread below Hunter’s post, Danny says, “The problem is it seems like JFA is not conveying the appropriate urgency in regard to the sin.”

Really? Because I can’t think of a pro-life organization that makes LESS sense for AHA to attack than Justice For All.

JFA doesn’t merely teach people to talk about abortion persuasively, they start their 6-hour training seminar by labeling abortion as, you guessed it, “sin.” They talk about the cross and what the Good News of Jesus means for people who have, in their own words, “sinned on abortion.” I know this because not only have I been present at over a dozen JFA trainings, I’ve learned their script for that section and have delivered it several times myself.

But that’s not all. Then they go to college campuses with various graphic exhibits, to expose the reality of abortion to people AND attempt to draw people to them so that they can get into dialogues about abortion. That’s exactly what AHA does with “Project Frontlines” that Danny is engaged in during this video!

JFAexhibit

See pictures of the entire JFA exhibit at http://www.jfaweb.org/Media.html.

AHA is not the only organization using graphic pictures in public. JFA does that too.

JFA is not the only organization talking to passers-by about abortion. AHA does that too.

It seems to me that the most obvious difference while on campus is that JFA’s signs are…bigger. AHA’s signs are about 4-feet tall, and JFA’s large exhibit is 18-feet tall. I bet that exhibit shows the reality of abortion to more students and results in more dialogues about abortion as well. Even if JFA didn’t train dozens of people ahead of time to have persuasive dialogues on campus and they only showed up with their staff and exhibit, they would be doing exactly the same thing AHA is doing, and they’d still be getting better results.

AHA doesn’t like that JFA teaches people to not start every conversation with Bible verses. Fine. I don’t have room in this post to get into that debate. If you really think the most effective way to persuade a pro-abortion-choice atheist is to quote Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 1:5 at them, be my guest. I’ve seen it done. I just haven’t seen it be very effective. On the other hand, my colleagues and I do have a lot of personal stories of people changing their mind because I used science and philosophy to show them how reasonable the Christian worldview actually is.

I’m not sure if AHA wants a reputation of being troublemakers, or if that’s just what has happened naturally. But when they go after another pro-life organization that uses graphic pictures in public as well as trains people to dialogue more persuasively, it looks a lot like AHA is seeking opportunities to publicly attack as many pro-life groups as they can. Unfortunately, they’re also bearing false witness against other people and organizations, and I hope this group of people that takes the Bible very seriously will consider apologizing to Justice For All for accusing them of not treating abortion as sin.

If you want to read some good refutations of AHA’s philosophy and tactics, you can read this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this piece by Clinton Wilcox.

The post “AHA Attacks Justice For All For ‘Not Treating Abortion Like Sin’” originally appeared at JoshBrahm.comClick 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.”

President

Josh Brahm is the President of Equal Rights Institute, an organization that trains pro-life advocates to think clearly, reason honestly and argue persuasively.

Josh uses speaking, writing and campus outreach to emphasize practical dialogue tips, pro-life philosophy, and relational apologetics.

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

  • Brett

    Hi Josh! Hope you are well. I can tell you as a post-abortive man that when I was in college if someone had tried to engage me in conversation about abortion by starting with Bible verses I would have immediately stopped listening. It sounds like AHA is more interested in its own self-righteousness than in conversion, condemning rather than loving, pontificating rather than persuading.

    • bossmanham

      Can you not disagree with tactics without accusing someone of self righteousness? How is appealing to Holy writ being interested in one’s own self righteousness? I don’t agree with AHA on everything, but I certainly don’t think them appealing to the Bible is the problem.

      • Brett

        Hi. I was putting myself in the position of someone who has a different world view than a religious person. Many young people on college campuses do not believe in Christianity. Therefore, if you want to persuade them about an issue, I don’t think appealing to them by using the Bible will be effective. This seems to me to be fairly obvious so that’s why if someone does decide to use the Bible to attempt to persuade a non-religious person about the wrongness of abortion that means to me that they are approaching the issue “inside out” if you will, instead of starting where the other person stands in their beliefs and trying to move them towards the pro-life position using beliefs that the other person already accepts (e.g. murder is wrong), “outside in” if you will. I used the term self righteous to describe someone who uses the “inside out” approach. In other words, their starting point is what they believe themselves and projecting that onto the other person no matter what that other person’s belief on the issue happens to be. Also, if appealing to the Bible has the effect of actually causing the other person to decide to not listen to what you have to say about abortion, no matter if you are right about the issue, then I would say that that is a problem.

        • How do you measure effectiveness? If someone changes his mind on abortion and ends up in Hell?

          • Brett

            Hi. I’m not sure what you mean. Could you be more specific? Thanks.

            • Re: this –

              \ if you want to persuade them about an issue, I don’t think appealing to them by using the Bible will be effective.\

              • Brett

                I think I see what you mean. Again, if I was dealing with someone who was not a person of faith I would put 100% focus on what I wanted to achieve with them. If it’s to persuade them about the wrongness of abortion I would ask questions to find out what they do believe and then work with that to try to bring them to embrace the pro-life position. If it’s to persuade them about that their eternal salvation I would do the same thing, try to find out what they do believe and then work with that to try to bring them to embrace Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. I think it would be less effective to try to do both at the same time.

                • Elisabeth Goss

                  Why would you ever want to persuade a lost person only on the wrongness of abortion if you knew they were lost? Why would that ever be your only goal? I can’t comprehend how you could love someone and only be concerned about their position on abortion and not for their soul. Can you explain that? Also how can you reasonably and logically and scientifically argue for human rights without addressing their source?

                  • Brett

                    Hi Elizabeth. I didn’t say that. I just said it would be more effective to work with one issue at a time, and that using the Bible is not going to be effective in persuading someone who doesn’t yet believe in what the Bible has to say. And you can definitely reasonably and logically argue for human rights without addressing their source. There are many pro-life agnostics and atheists.

                  • You’re assuming that having a conversation about abortion without using Bible verses means the pro-lifer doesn’t care about the other person’s soul. Do you really think that’s the only possible explanation, or might there be another one?

                  • Rivka

                    I think he certainly is concerned for their soul.
                    It’s just that quoting Bible verses can’t be the starting point for someone who doesn’t yet believe in the Bible.

                • \I think it would be less effective to try to do both at the same time.\

                  I encourage you to watch some abolitionist videos of real life interactions on the street, in that case, Brett. And cast aside your notions of “effectiveness”. They are human categories, and you are commanded by the Lord Jesus to share the Gospel, not bandy about political games and debate about human law.
                  1 Cor 1:17For
                  Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in
                  cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made
                  void.

                  • Brett

                    Thanks Rhology. But Paul also said in the same letter 1Cor. 13:1-3, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a
                    noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and
                    understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so
                    as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away
                    all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I
                    gain nothing.” So I think when Paul talks about “gain” he is talking about effectiveness, about conversion. My point has simply been that if you engage someone who is not ready to hear the Good News because they don’t believe in any of it yet, to them you sound like “a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” You may be 100% right in what you are saying, but if the receiver is not ready to understand you, what’s the point?

                    • I don’t agree about 1 Cor 13. That is a novel concept you’re eisegeting into the text. What would be your evidence that this is true? He’s talking about how if he doesn’t have love, he doesn’t get anything out of those things he does.

                      \My point has simply been that if you engage someone who is not ready to
                      hear the Good News because they don’t believe in any of it yet, to them
                      you sound like “a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”\

                      I’m sorry, but this is very poor handling of the Word of God. I sound that way if I DON’T HAVE LOVE. Not if “they’re not ready”. How do you know if they’re ready? Does a halo appear over their head? A cross appear on their forehead? You know they’re not ready if they hear the Gospel and reject it, and of course by then you’ve already shared the Gospel.
                      Please, don’t handle the Word of God like that. It’s a big deal to interpret it poorly.

          • If you didn’t believe in hell, your perspective would be very different.

        • Elisabeth Goss

          That is not a biblical definition of self righteousness. When you accuse someone of being self righteous you are accusing them of believing that they are righteous by their own merit apart from Christ. Is that what you are intending to accuse abolitionists of?

          • Brett

            Hi Elizabeth. In my response above I said, “I used the term self righteous to describe someone who uses the “inside
            out” approach. In other words, their starting point is what they believe
            themselves and projecting that onto the other person no matter what
            that other person’s belief on the issue happens to be.” So not in the biblical sense of the term righteous but in the sense that someone who is not a person of faith might use the term, like this from dictionary.com “confident of one’s own righteousness, especially when smugly moralistic and intolerant of the opinions and behavior of others.”

            • Elisabeth Goss

              Righteousness is innately a religious term and it’s use in your dictionary definition is not all that different than what I said. You are not explaining how not using your preferred “inside out” approach is self righteous.

              Are you saying it is “self righteous” to be confident that you are correct? Why would anyone argue for or against anything ever if they were not confident of their position? Do you believe that you are right and I am wrong right now? Are you being self righteous?

              Furthermore you did not say that abolitionists would be perceived by the lost as self righteous. You said “AHA is more interested in it’s own self righteousness…” You were clearly calling abolitionists self righteous, and claiming that as our motivation. There was nothing in that statement that implied merely a concern for how we are perceived.

              Can you explain why, if Christianity is true, it would somehow be good to go into conversations as though not were not? The only way to believe that approaching dialog as though the things one believes are actually absolute truth is arrogant (which seems to be your implication) would to be if you were actually a relativist who considers all beliefs equally valid. Wouldn’t you agree that pretending to believe one thing in order to make oneself more appealing or one’s message more palatable in hopes of introducing your real beliefs after softening them up is a dishonest bait and switch? Do you believe this is a God honoring approach? Can you provide biblical examples where Christ, the apostles or the prophets used this approach? Did they ever approach pagans from within their pagan worldview as though it might be true? Do the lost people you speak to ever use this approach with you? Or do they pretty much always approach everything as though their own worldview was true? Do you think humanists and god haters have been largely effective or largely ineffective in transforming the culture to embrace their worldview? Do you think the Gospel of Jesus Christ or more or less powerful than the empty philosophies of the world?

              • Brett

                Elizabeth, from my experience conversion from a pagan world view to a Christ-centered worldview is much more often a process, not an event. From the conversion of others that I have been honored to have a small role in (by God’s Grace) I heard from those friends and family that it was who I was as a person that attracted them to Christ. Of course, later in that process there was much more talk about the Good News and what it meant for their lives. But in today’s pagan environment would that have worked if I had led with talking to them about the Good News. I don’t think so because they weren’t ready to hear it. That’s my point. I want to be EFFECTIVE. So if I use my reason to know that many people on college campuses, or elsewhere for that matter, are not yet in a state conducive to them accepting the message of the Gospel or any issue that pertains to it like the sanctity of life, why would I start with that? I would rather befriend them and influence them over time. That’s not bait-and-switch. It’s just a different way to preach the Gospel through love and actions and waiting for the right moment to preach it through words.

        • bossmanham

          Having certain presuppositions about the world isn’t self righteousness. If it were, then your position is self righteous with regard to accusing these people of self righteousness. In fact, every position anyone could have would be.

    • Amy

      Can you please watch the response to this video? God bless you sir

  • Abel Calvo

    Thank you for this insightful blog.My wife has been working with members of AHA for a while at local high schools and leaving drop cards around.I have joined her many times but have refused to join them as a group because of the way they treat other pro lifers.Im always conflicted about what I’m doing and how I’m doing it when at the local high school or abortion clinic.As a Christian my biggest concern is always honoring God so my conversations with people typically include references to scripture along with scientific and philosophical arguments.Much of which I’ve learned from guys like you and Scott.I didn’t realize how much division their was in the pro life movement until I started getting more involved last year.I pray that we can be more united in the future.

  • Laura

    Thank you for speaking on this. AHA believes yelling “murderer” and “baby-killer” at post-abortive women will somehow cause them to repent on the spot. Then they demand confession to them and proof by works before they will judge the repentance “worthy” and stop calling names. AHA has caused great damage to the pro-life cause and has actively driven grieving women away from God and deeper into shame and hiding.

    • \ AHA believes yelling “murderer” and “baby-killer” at post-abortive women will somehow cause them to repent on the spot\

      Laura, please. That is not true.
      Please bring forth your evidence to back up this assertion.

      \actively driven grieving women away from God and deeper into shame and hiding.\

      Now, they ARE murderers. Let’s make no mistake. Your accusation is false, your implying they are victims or something is false, and your idea that those who are dead in sin can get farther from God than dead in sin is also false.
      Yikes.

      • Laura

        Rhology, yes. This is what they do. To me and to my friends. This is from personal experience.
        I made no implication of victimhood.
        Jesus did not call the woman at the well an adulterer. He called out the action of her sin. He did not give her a scarlet letter to wear forever as a flag of her sin.
        Those gathered around to stone the other woman, Jesus did not call her an adulterer. He said He did not condemn her and told her to go and sin no more. Again, He called out the action of her sin and did not call her names.
        It is Christ who will judge. AHA does not have that authority.
        Grieving women are seeking help and looking towards God as possible help. AHA drives them away.

        • If you pay to murder and go to the murderer’s place, you’re complicit. It’s murder. There’s no reason to wrongly mitigate the guilt unless you don’t think Jesus is the answer to guilt.

          Laura,
          Why would abolitionists do that to you? Have you recently had an abortion? Who yelled at you? How do you know they are abolitionists? Where were you?
          YOU are the one who brought up a scarlet letter. If an abolitionist does that, he is wrong to do it. Jesus takes away sin. He reforms murderers. He makes people able to say “I am a murderer, forgiven by my great Savior.” Can you say that? Why are you so defensive?
          And again with the “driving away” language. Please answer my question about being dead in sin. Please use Bible when you answer it.

          • Laura

            Rhology, it was AHA members on AHA pages.
            Sharing my experience with AHA is not being defensive. It is sharing to expose their non-Biblical behavior.
            God is judge. AHA is not judge. AHA does not have the right to demand proof of repentance. Neither do you.
            I answered already, but again: grieving women reaching out to find God are driven away from those who could help them find salvation by the behavior of these abusers.
            Because that is what AHA is: a group of abusers masking themselves with the title “abolitionist”.

            • T. Russell Hunter

              By “AHA” what exactly do you mean?

              Its an ideology. There are five tenets, two modes, three essentials, and a seven stage strategy. Lots of different people adopt it.

              Who are you talking about when you say “AHA.”

              We’re not a 501C(3) org or program or something like that.

              Please help us understand who and what you are criticizing.

              • Laura

                Again the “we’re not an organization” argument.
                Who is selling all that product with AHA on it, then?

                • Clinton

                  I don’t understand this argument, either. They capitalize the letters in Abolish Human Abortion, so they’re clearly treating it as a proper noun, whereas you don’t capitalize the letters in ideologies unless it’s named after a person (contrast abolitionism with Marxism). Plus, they have individual AHA chapters and a logo.

                  • Might I suggest you watch a new documentary that makes a strong case that abortion IS murder…

                    http://www.babiesaremurderedhere.com

                    • Clinton

                      I know why abortion is technically murder. I consider abortion murder because to me, murder is unjustly and intentionally taking an innocent human life. But I avoid talk of murder because it’s a legal term, which means an unlawful killing. Since abortion is lawful, is does not fall under the legal definition of murder. Nevertheless, we can show that abortion is wrong and should be illegal without nitpicking over what “murder” means.

                    • “Since abortion is lawful…” Abortion is allowed under U.S. law, but that doesn’t make it “lawful” any more than the slaughter of Jews was “lawful” according to Hitler’s regime. God decides what murder is, not us. The word “unjust” that you employed doesn’t even make sense apart from the God of the Scriptures.

                    • Clinton

                      You’re equivocating on the word “unlawful.” I’m talking about the legal definition of murder, so your assertion (without evidence) that it’s not the Biblical definition of murder is irrelevant. First, the Bible doesn’t have a definition of murder. Second, I’m talking about the law of the land, which is where you’re equivocating. “Murder” is a legal term, and abortion does not fit the legal definition of murder. So it’s not useful to talk about it with pro-choice people because then you’ll only be drawn into a red herring, quabbling over a definition that has no bearing on whether or not abortion is moral or *should* be illegal.

                    • “The Bible doesn’t have a definition of murder.”
                      Nonsense. First of all, God has instituted the death penalty for murder (Gen 9:6), so it follows then that it should be clearly defined, which it is.
                      See Gen 9:5-6, Exodus 21:12; Lev 24:17

                    • Clinton

                      Murder is not clearly defined in these passages. These are not treatises on murder, just general guidelines.

                      Genesis 9:5-6 does not give a definition of murder. It only gives the punishment for murder. Obviously not all forms of killing are forbidden. But this passage does not say what constitutes murder. If shedding human blood constitutes murder, that would include self-defense, just war, and other things. But even God had others kill to exact divine retribution.

                      Leviticus 24:17 has the same problem.

                      Exodus 21:12 has the same problem, though it’s a little puzzling as to why you only use that one verse, since it’s best to take a verse in context, or you risk reading into it something that was not intended, and especially since it would help your case. But again, this is still not a treatise on murder because surely killing in self-defense is not forbidden (Exodus 22:2-3), yet that is a case of striking someone with a fatal blow. And it certainly wouldn’t require the person who killed in self-defense to flee the place where the killing took place.

                      The point is there is no place in the Bible in which we are given a treatise of what murder is, and what kinds of killings constitute murder. The Bible just tells us that it’s wrong to shed human blood, but it doesn’t tell us exactly who qualifies as a human or whether or not human beings at all ages qualified as being in God’s image. We know from the science of embryology that we are human from fertilization and that our human nature is present at fertilization, but if you’re just going to argue that God considers us human from fertilization without looking at the science and philosophy, you’re not going to convince those who don’t already hold to your theological position. And considering that our country has become more hostile to the gospel, they need to know that there are good secular reasons for opposing abortion. The fact that abortions are murder is not explicitly taught in Scripture. Like the Trinity, it is *implicitly* taught. We can get from the Scriptures that abortion is tantamount to murder, but there is no clear place in Scripture that indicates that.

                    • “Murder” is clearly defined by the Hebrew word translated as “murder,” Clinton.
                      The word carries the meaning of a premeditated killing, a category abortion most certainly falls under. It also carries the meaning of a death directly resulting from careless/negligent behavior. Never is the word translated “murder” used to describe killing in the context of war.

                      Ths is not nearly as difficult a subject as you pretend it to be, Clinton. Did Cain murder Abel, or are you unsure as to the nuances in that circumstance? Did Lamech murder the man who wounded him? Did the Jews murder Jesus Christ when they demanded his execution at the hands of the Romans?

                      Honestly, I cannot believe I’m actually having this conversation with someone who claims to be “pro-life.” If you’re unsure as to what God means by “murder,” are you also unsure what is meant by “theft,” or “adultery?”

                    • Clinton

                      All right, I’ll concede the point.

                      However, the fact remains that you were still equivocating on “unlawful,” because I’m talking from U.S. law. In U.S. law, abortion is legally permitted, so calling abortion “murder” to a pro-choice person is just going to lead to an off topic discussion. I’d rather just avoid talk of murder and get right to the reason that abortion is wrong and should be illegal, because it unjustly takes the life of an innocent human being.

                  • Elisabeth Goss

                    Symbol. Not logo.

                    • Clinton

                      It’s a logo. AHA puts it on everything they do so we know that they’re the ones who did it.

                    • Elisabeth Goss

                      My bad. I didn’t realize you could read hearts and minds and know the motivations of others so well that you can call their *stated* motivations and reasoning for something a lie. That’s a very serious accusation that requires quite a bit of hubris. Or did you not bother to read our stated reasons and just jumped to uninformed conclusions which you then used to launch accusations. Wait…that still requires a lot of hubris. I’ll do you the courtesy of actually asking what your motivation is for such ignorant (or wilfully misleading, not sure which) attacks.

                    • Clinton

                      Wow. Combative. Just what I’ve come to expect from those in AHA. I have made no accusation against AHA. I have no idea what they say about their symbol, and you didn’t bother to offer an explanation. Another hallmark of AHA is they read what they want to read, not what is actually there, because they apparently love the controversy that they stir up.

                      It’s useless as a symbol. It’s pretty obvious from what’s written on the images that they want to abolish abortion. Nevertheless, you’re only nitpicking the terminology of one of my points. So let’s say I concede this point to you. What about the other three points?

                    • Toby Harmon
                    • Symbol…logo…who honestly cares?

                      This is one of many rabbit trails that you would be best served avoiding.

                    • Toby Harmon

                      Nah Shane, it’s an important distinction. It is part of understanding Abolitionism and we want people to understand Abolitionism, so we are happy to answer these same questions over and over again.

                    • I get that YOU think the distinction is important.

                      That doesn’t make it so.

                      But you will spend time doing what you think is important. I would challenge you to rethink whether this hill is one to die on.

                    • Toby Harmon

                      I’m not dying on any hill Shane. I am explaining a distinction. I’m not telling some guy he is an apostate if he doesn’t call it a symbol. Are you about to die on a hill convincing me not to die on hill you don’t want me to die on?

                    • Toby Harmon

                      Here is a video we did to explain the significance of the AHA symbol and why we use it.

                    • Clinton

                      I’m not going to watch a ten minute video on the significance of the AHA symbol, something that should only take him a minute to say. You can feel free to summarize it for me, though.

                    • T. Russell Hunter

                      It stands for abolitionism. Which is an ideology. And you can use this symbol to represent yourself as an adherent of that ideology.

                      That is how symbols work. Sorry you have trouble with ten minute videos.

                    • Clinton

                      I have trouble with long, rambling videos. My time is limited. It shouldn’t take you ten minutes to tell us what the AHA symbol means. Besides which, as I’ve stated now a couple of times, I have other reasons for believing that AHA is an organization (which I laid out), so even if I concede this point to you, you haven’t refuted the claim that AHA is an organization.

                    • Laura

                      Fabulous.
                      I sincerely want abortion abolished. So by your definition I would be eligible to use this symbol/logo.
                      I also sincerely appreciate the steadfast support the Catholic Church has given to the pro-life movement and to post-abortive women.
                      I believe I will make a meme, thanking the wonderful Catholic Church for its hard work.
                      Signed: AHA

                      And send it out far and wide.

                    • T. Russell Hunter

                      Awesome Laura! You adopt the ideology of abolitionism.

                      That is fantastic. Yes indeed. Use the symbol if you adopt the ideology it represents (symbolizes).

                    • Laura

                      Absolutely.
                      I want to Abolish Human Abortion.
                      But who defines the “ideology” you speak of?
                      If AHA isn’t an “organization” and has no leaders, who is there to tell me what exactly that ideology is?
                      I’m part of the movement to abolish abortion so my ideology is equal to yours, since there are no “leaders”, or even “members”, to tell me whether I’m *in line* with this “non-organization”.
                      I’m already working on that meme. It will give me great satisfaction to add it to the “movement”.

                    • T. Russell Hunter

                      Well… just spend your time wisely I guess.

                      PS: we already get this sort of behavior from the pro-aborts. Maybe you can just borrow some of their memes.

                    • Toby Harmon

                      That is typical of people who do not wish to understand Abolitionism for what it actually is, but would rather misrepresent it for what it is not.

                    • Who’s “we?”

                    • Toby Harmon

                      Abolitionists

                    • Laura

                      You mean “non-members” and “non-leaders”got together in this “non-organization” and mutually came to an agreement on one specific symbol/logo to use, and spread that information to all the other “non-members”?
                      Fascinating.

                  • Elisabeth Goss

                    I have tried twice to reply to your latest comment but most of the thread seems to be gone.

                    • Elisabeth Goss

                      I don’t have time to write the detailed response out a third time. Suffice it to say that 1. with your snide asides your measuring stick about “combative” seems to be a little crooked :) and 2.I didn’t address your other three points because all of them were completely irrelevant to whether we are an organization or not. If the post ever shows back up or I can ever find it again I will respond in full there.

                    • Clinton

                      I have not been snide. Unless you count honesty as snideness, but then I have no idea what to tell you. I would just say re-read my comments, then re-read yours, and tell me again which one of us is being combative.

                      No, they’re not irrelevant. They’re actually very relevant. You’re just side-stepping them. When I say AHA is an organization, I’m not saying that they’re a health club or something. I’m saying they are an organized group of individuals that work toward a common goal. AHA is an organization, and all four of my points (three, if you don’t count the symbol/logo thing) are supporting arguments for that.

                    • T. Russell Hunter

                      I am not a member of AHA.

                    • T. Russell Hunter

                      But I do adopt the ideology of abolitionism and represent myself as a dissident of this culture of death by using the abolitionist symbol.

                    • Clinton

                      Disqus is pretty wonky. They’ll probably show up in the next hour or two. That’s happened to me already once in another conversation today.

            • AHA doesn’t have “members”, Laura. I’m sorry that people spoke bad things to you on Facebook. I suggest if you want to avoid people saying hurtful things, stick to the shallow topics on FB. It can be a hard place to be.
              We have no control over how ppl act on our wall. We ban and warn some but we can’t be everywhere.

              Also, your original statement was that abolitionists were “screaming ‘murderer'” at you. How does one scream on the Internet? Please, examine yourself – are you being totally honest here?

              The proof of repentance is simple – just say “I repent of my sin and I belong to Jesus”. That’s it. If you don’t want to confess Jesus before men, do you think that will please Him?

              You call us a group of abusers. I think that’s sufficient to show anyone reading that your heart is not in the right place. I will pray for you.

              • Laura

                AHA page administrators. It was their own wall.
                Screaming online is CAPITAL LETTERS.
                I am being totally honest about the abusive behavior AHA condones.
                It is also quite common for abusers to call their accusers liars.
                However, some people had more foresight than I and took screen shots of the attacks.
                Please examine your own heart, dear. I will pray for you, as I have been praying for the hearts of AHA members since I was attacked.

                • Who? Where?
                  Send me that sort of stuff immediately! You have screenshots? Send them to me. rhology at gmail
                  I promise if it is bad like you claim, I will take it up with them.
                  But the way you’re acting, I doubt it went that way. I think you’re ranting. Prove me wrong.

                  • Laura

                    Rhology, I tried that when it was going on. I was dismissed. I was simply given the same line.

                  • Laura

                    And just why do you care so very much, Rhology? Are you the “boss” of this “non” organization? Do you have some sort of authority over the people who attacked me, that you will “take it up with them”? Wouldn’t that refute your claim that it’s just a “movement”?

                    The evidence is my testimony. Take me to court and I’ll swear it on an affidavit. Then I will get subpoenas for various person’s histories. And have them entered into the public record.

                • T. Russell Hunter

                  Can I see some evidence of this please?

                  • T. Russell Hunter

                    Not just that someone said that it happened and someone else who wishes that it did happen agreed with it and also spread the idea that it happened…. I want to see evidence.

                    Please kindly support your assertions.

        • “Jesus did not call the woman at the well as adulterer.”

          Irrelevant to the discussion. Jesus DID call the Pharisees of His day “hypocrites” and “vipers,” so why don’t I just cite those passages and we call it a draw?

          The point is…abortion is murder. Those who murder are called murderers.
          Those who rape are called rapists.
          Those who sexually abuse children are called pedophiles/child molesters/sex offenders.

          This is not a difficult concept. We are to operate and communicate within Biblical categories and let the chips fall where they may.

          The funny thing is…many of these women already know they’re murderers. How do I know this, they’ll tell you to your face.

          http://www.BabiesAreMurderedHere.com

          • Laura

            The point is that it is NOT a helpful way to show them Christ’s mercy and grace.

            • Of course it’s not to show Christ’s mercy and grace. No one will repent of their sin unless they think they’re a SINNER. The mercy and grace is offered AFTER.

              If I could, I’d like to suggest you study a little on the distinction between law and gospel.

              Also, I won’t dismiss your claims. If you really have screenshots, send them to me.

              I’ll be honest. I suspect you have nothing and you just want to emote your hatred on AHA. Just be honest about it.

              • Rachel Anne Enders

                I don’t believe that an angry assault of pro-choicers is going to help change hearts and minds. I don’t mind the passion of AHA, but I don’t like that they can’t find unity in the pro-life movement.

                • T. Russell Hunter

                  We just aren’t a part of the pro life movement.

                  But we do agree with many people who are and appreciate many things that pro lifers and pro life organizations do.

                  We just don’t put all the difficult or deep differences we have with everyone or any organization on the back shelf. We think true unity is something we have. We are unified in Christ and there are no serious divisions within the abolitionist movement.

                  • Rachel Anne Enders

                    You’re deliberately putting yourself in a separate category from other people trying to end abortion

              • Laura

                Rhology, I don’t spend my days documenting when someone attacks me so that at some future date I can produce “proof” that it happened. If you would actually read my posts, you would see that I never said I have screen shots. But be very sure that others do.
                How about this? If you are so very sure I am not being truthful, then please, sue me. Then I would be very happy to take the time to go through my history and collect the posts, and also very happy to get subpoenas for your and some others’ histories. (Remember, once it’s on the internet, it is ALWAYS available. Even if you try to delete.)
                It would put you right up there with Planned Parenthood, who already has threatened to sue me for sharing the truth of my personal experience.

            • I found it extremely helpful to understand that I wasn’t a “good guy” in the eyes of God but rather I was a guilty liar, adulterer and murderer.
              You don’t think it’s a helpful way, but that doesn’t make it so.

          • Guest

            If they “know” they’re murderers and still go in to do abortions, then why do you think proclaiming abortion is murder is the key to ending it?

            • Proclaiming abortion as murder is not “the key to ending it.” Proclaiming abortion as murder is being faithful to the word of God and is using the Law to stir the conscience, hopefully leading to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
              Of course women know abortion is murder. Everybody knows abortion is murder. God’s law is written on the hearts of everyone (Romans 2:15).

      • Clinton

        I think the case can be made that a woman who self-aborts is committing murder. But most women who go to the abortion clinic are not murderers. At worst, they would be an accomplice, like the woman who hires a hit man to kill her husband. But the abortionist is the murderer, not the woman, especially since the abortionist has full knowledge of what they are doing. Many women who go in for an abortion don’t seem, at least to me, to be morally culpable for the act of the abortion for at least a couple of reasons, probably others. Many of them are lied to by the abortionist or abortion “counselor” into believing that they’re literally only having skin cells removed, not an actual human child. And many women who abort are coerced into it by an abusive boyfriend, or overbearing parents, or others.

        • Scott Klusendorf

          Good point, Clinton. AHA and Danny are sloppy here. Legally, as criminology professor Mike Adams points out, in order to prove a “murder” charge, the prosecution must show there was a “meeting of the minds”–that is, the one procuring the act must have the same understanding as the one carrying it out. That is extremely hard to prove in a court of law.

          • Why appeal to corrupt US courts?
            How about the Bible, which treats murder as unjustified taking of human life?

            • scott klusendorf

              Rhology, The burden is not on me to defend the term “murder.” It’s on Danny to defend his claim. If he wants to distinguish between the (alleged) Biblical definition and current legal code, let him do it. Don’t put it on me to make that case–it’s on him.

                • Scott Klusendorf

                  Rhology, posting a link does not remove your duty to defend your claim.Two problems. 1) Link wars do not equal a defense of one’s assertions. At a basic level, you confuse ontology with epistemology. Even if the woman is guilty of “murder” ontologically, it doesn’t follow it’s prosecutable as such under our current legal system without knowledge (epistemology) of a meeting of the minds. Thus, using the term “murder” without clearly distinguishing what you mean is not helpful. I think that is Clinton’s point. Sadly, sloppy use of the term all the way around with AHA. 2) Nowhere do you present an argument as to why the current definition of the term “murder” is mistaken when applied by current case law. You just assert that it is so. What’s your evidence, biblically, that proving a “meeting of the minds” is not a proper moral standard? Simply asserting that the Bible supports your view won’t. do.

                  • It’s not a link war. It’s where we already discussed that very issue. People can read it or not read it, as they like. No sense in reinventing the wheel.

                    Again you bring in the topic of whether it’s legally murder. Of course it’s not. Abortion is legal in this country at the moment.

                    We *DO* clearly distinguish what we mean. In the link. Which you complained that I posted. :-)

                    I see no reason to type more if you don’t want to read what I’ve written elsewhere. Cheers.

                    • scott Klusendorf

                      Rhology, Nothing in the post you link to discusses “a meeting of the minds” as I note above. Sure, you say that not all women are the same, but you need to develop this assertion way more than you do. Given current legal realities, the safer way is to say that elective abortion is the unjust killing of a human being and our laws should reflect that. How that law is applied, however, will hinge on whether there was indeed a meeting of the minds.

                    • The “meeting of the minds” is something some man thought this one time. It is not biblical. Offering some sort of legal angle to the question merely introduces irrelevancies and confusion. The law of the land ought to reflect God’s law, so who cares what it says NOW? You want to change the law of the land as much as I do. You gain nothing with this weird tangent.

                      Abortion is murder. Those who take part in it are murderers, much like those who tell lies are liars.

                    • scott klusendorf

                      I see a common theme here. Whenever an AHA member does not have a good response, he replies with something like, “your claim is man-made and not biblical” with no argument offered as to why that alleged “man-made” term is wrong or unbiblical.

                  • I don’t belong to AHA…but I can easily explain what “murder” is according to God’s word:
                    The unlawful taking of a human life with malice aforethought (the “malice aforethought” is rather redundant since it’s assumed by the term “unlawful,” but I thought I would add that for additional clarity).
                    On that basis, abortion is clearly murder regardless of what the laws of the land recognize it to be.
                    The real question is…why do YOU reject the term? What is your ultimate standard of authority that you appeal to in NOT calling it “murder?”

                    Show your cards, sir.

                    • Scott Klusendorf

                      Shane, Your reply is question-bagging. That is, whether a specific abortive woman took human life with “malice” or forethought is precisely what must be proven in this case. In short, you asseme what you are trying to prove. Thus, you beg the question with your reply.

                    • You’re missapplying fallacies, Scott.

                      Murder is unlawful killing of human beings.

                      Is the killing of unborn children “lawful?” When is the killing of unborn children “lawful?”

                    • Clinton

                      Shane, you haven’t supported your assertion. You said you can easily explain what murder is according to God’s word, but you didn’t supply one Biblical verse or passage to support your view. You’re taking your own thoughts and claiming that they are Biblical.

                      This isn’t theology, it’s philosophy. One that I agree with, by the way, as I think philosophically abortion is most definitely an act of murder. But I don’t think the Bible is ever specific on what constitutes murder. We look to science to tell us who qualifies as a human being, and we look to philosophy to tell us what acts qualify as murder.

                  • Elisabeth Goss

                    He wrote the post at the link, so he IS defending his view. What arbitrary reason could there be for him to need to rewrite what he has already written in order to meet your standard of defending his view? That kind of comment only serves to expose your less than intellectually honest motives.

          • T. Russell Hunter

            Scott, while I don’t ever yell “Murderer!” at women at the abortion mill, I do believe that Abortion is murder. Its very disconcerting that you think that what is and is not murder is defined by modern criminology professors.

            You don’t have to adopt terrible positions and ideas just because you want us to stop being effective abolitionists.

  • Bryan McKinney

    What other group is anti-Catholic and pro-life like AHA? The KKK.

    • T. Russell Hunter

      hahahahah good one!

      Zing!

      AHA is so mean just like Josh says. They are the KKK. What a bunch of ungracious Nazi’s. Let’s write some blog posts against them!

      Excuse me… your hypocrisy is showing.

    • I don’t think this comment is helpful at all, Bryan.

  • Danny Ehinger

    This is a misquote at best and a lie at worst, watch the video people.
    “And so that’s where we have a little bit of a difference. My main
    concern is the 3,500 babies who are going to be murdered here today.”
    Adding the word “here” helps Josh make his point but it is not factual or honest.
    I wish I could say more but I have to get to work. Josh, Your wrong here.

    • I don’t think the word “here” changes my point at all. I honestly thought I heard it in there. I’m glad to remove it. :)

      • It’s been removed. I can’t believe that’s the primary correction Danny made. But whatever. I’m expecting a barrage of comments from AHA supporters, if past history is any indication.

        • Clinton

          You’re apparently perceived as a bigger threat than I am. AHA members don’t show up en masse whenever I write about them. lol

          • T. Russell Hunter

            Guys. I promise you that people will still look up to you and read your blogs and listen to your programs even if we go do the work of abolitionists and spread our ideas.

            You are still heroes in the eyes of many people.

            Don’t fret so much.

            • Wow, you’re so patronizing. It’s like you can’t write a comment without inserting an “us vs. them” attitude. “You guys write your blogs and try to get people to like you while WE do the REAL work of abolitionism.”

              I talk to pro-choice people all the time. I facilitate Justice For All seminars and outreaches and talk to people, and even befriend some pro-choice people so that we can hundreds of hours of conversation instead of just an hour on a college campus.

              And you blog too: http://blog.abolishhumanabortion.com/

              How dare you act like this is just about getting people to look up to me? I want abortion to be abolished as soon as possible, and I think some of the things you and your friends do may slow that down. This blog is about helping pro-life people to think more clearly and argue more persuasively, both of which I think are necessary conditions to ending abortion. You don’t know me, and I don’t appreciate you taking my life’s mission and distorting it into some attempt at getting attention like I’m some foolish narcissist.

              • LN

                His reply seems to reflect on him more than anything…

        • Elisabeth Goss

          What a bunch of jerks, always responding to attacks and attempting to reason with detractors. They should just quietly agree with hit pieces :)

          • Clinton

            Elisabeth, AHA struck first. You don’t get to write to attack an organization, then complain when people come to the defense of said organizations.

            • Elisabeth Goss

              Remember when I complained about people writing blogs I disagreed with? Me either. Remember when Josh implied there was something wrong with receiving a “barrage of comments from AHA supporters”? Me too.

              • Elisabeth Goss

                P.S. Russell Hunter =/= AHA. Russell is a person. AHA is an ideology. “AHA” didn’t strike first. An abolitionist wrote a status update you disliked. No one minds Josh coming to the defense of an organization. When he does so innacurately he can (and apparently does) expect to get called out on it :)

                • It would be great if you could tell me what part of my post is inaccurate. I’m not at all convinced by the standard, “we’re not an organization, we’re just an ideology with a website, blog, t-shirt seller and Facebook page with volunteers uploading videos on behalf of AHA to our YouTube channel” response.

                  One of the self-declared leaders of AHA publicly called out JFA, supporting another one of AHA’s leaders videos that he took while participating in an AHA project.

                  Respond to my arguments.

                  • Elisabeth Goss

                    Hi Josh, I believe Rho and Russell have already explained how your post is attacks a straw man. This thread was in response to your implication that it’s somehow a bad thing for abolitionists to show up and counter your attacks on them.Of course that’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do and of course that’s what you wanted us to do. Why you aren’t taking an “inside out” approach with us and trying to gently persuade us from within our own beliefs instead of presuming the correctness of your own position going into the conversation is beyond me. Seems pretty inconsistent but I’m not complaining. That approach is dishonest, condescending and insulting to one’s intelligence. Still, isn’t that your whole philosophy of persuasion? Do you want to persuade us? Or are you just mad?

                    I truly don’t mean to be rude, but why should I be concerned with what you are and are not convinced by when you have demonstrably spent 0 time even attempting to inform yourself on the issue and have little desire to do so?

                    //One of the self-declared leaders of AHA publicly called out JFA, supporting another one of AHA’s leaders videos that he took while participating in an AHA project//

                    Yep. Are you under the impression I’m not fully supportive of what he said? Look at the very first comment on his post. I merely drew a distinction between a person and an ideology that you and your readers fail (refuse to to even try) to understand.

                    //Respond to my arguments//
                    in this thread? No. Sorry but responding to your snarky little comment about expecting us to show up here and *gasp* defend what we believe like that’s somehow a bad thing in no way obligates me to counter your entire post. I have nothing to add to what Russell and Danny and Rho have said and to what I have said elsewhere. Please stay on topic. (Although Disqus is apparently possessed of a demon, so I totally understand if you’re having trouble following threads.)

                • LN

                  AHA leaders can do whatever they want and it doesn’t represent AHA? How convenient.

                  • Elisabeth Goss

                    That’s not what I said. You are either not reading very carefully, or you just want an excuse to be offended.

                    • LN

                      “P.S. Russell Hunter =/= AHA. Russell is a person. AHA is an ideology. “AHA” didn’t strike first.”

                      How can this be understood as anything other than you making a distinction between what Russell (an AHA leader) does and says, and AHA as an ideology unto itself? If you did not mean that Russell’s actions are not representative of AHA, then what did you mean?

              • I never implied there was something wrong with getting a barrage of comments from AHA supporters. I simply said I was expecting it. And here you are.

                • LN

                  It just *felt* angry, Josh. My feelings = evidence.

    • Clinton

      One of the worst problems with AHA is that they’re not willing to be gracious, always assuming the worst of people. An honest reading of Josh’s article would show that he is not indicating the 3,500 unborn children were being killed in that school, and as Josh indicates it doesn’t change the meaning of the article one iota.

      • Elisabeth Goss

        //One of the worst problems with AHA is that they’re not willing to be gracious, always assuming the worst of people//

        Is your irony meter broken?

        • Clinton

          Not at all. I have a keen sense of irony, which is why AHA bugs me so much. I’m willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt, but when they remove that doubt (as AHA has time and again), they need to be responded to. This was one of those times.

  • T. Russell Hunter

    Ummm…. Sorry? I shouldn’t have said ridiculous. But I do think it is ridiculous IF a group chooses not to call abortion SIN.

    Maybe they don’t.

    I wish that my Facebook post wasn’t being used as a jumping off point to try and turn people against Abolitionism though.

    Man. That stinks.

    Good job though.

    • Just to clarify, you wish that your Facebook posts wouldn’t be used to potentially affect how people perceive the leadership of AHA? I’m not sure that’s very realistic. I mean, if I used my personal Facebook profile to, say, promote human cloning or something, I bet that would have an effect on how people perceive my pro-life arguments. If I used my personal Facebook profile to bash a bunch of pro-life groups, I bet that would also effect how people perceived me.

      • \you wish that your Facebook posts wouldn’t be used to potentially affect how people perceive the leadership of AHA?\

        Psalm 56:5 – All day long they distort my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil.

        • Okay, so you’re asserting with a Bible verse that I’m distorting Russell’s words.

          Can you actually make an argument that I’m distorting them? Because it appears to me that I asked a clarification question in case I was misunderstanding his words…

          • Sure.
            He said this:
            I wish that my Facebook post wasn’t being used as a jumping off point to try and turn people against Abolitionism though.

            And that’s not what you repeated back to him. It’s really as simple as that.

            • Yes, and copying and pasting exactly what he said wouldn’t have helped me to understand his meaning better. That’s why I restated what I heard him saying so that he could further clarify. Instead, you used a Bible verse to assert that I’m distorting him instead of trying to understand his view better.

              And as Scott said above, I’m not convinced that you’re not abusing Scripture here. Can you show me how the original audience of Psalm 56 would have understood that verse in context?

          • Scott Klusendorf

            Josh, Don’t let them off on this. AHA needs to prove that the original audience of this text would have understood it to convey AHA’s claim here. If they can’t prove that, their exegetical claims here are questionable at best.

    • Russell, you shouldn’t pretend to apologize here and then accuse me of purposefully strawmanning AHA on your personal Facebook profile one hour later. https://blog.equalrightsinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Hunter.png

      • T. Russell Hunter

        Oh … you do straw man AHA. Heck you cite atrociously bad articles that straw man AHA. Van Maren and Wilcox just see attacking AHA as a way to get fans… and they do a very bad job of it.

        I don’t deny this.

        • T. Russell Hunter

          Where did I pretend to apologize? And how did that apology mean that I thought you didn’t straw man AHA?

          C’mon bro. Logic.

          Sorry if that is mean… but seriously look at what you are saying. I think you straw man AHA quite often (or at least anytime you talk about AHA). If I apologize to you for something that is unrelated to that, it doesn’t mean that I no longer think that.

          • That’s quite the accusation, to accuse Van Maren and Wilcox of attacking you just to get fans. That sounds like bearing false witness unless you know for sure. I know Wilcox well, and I think you’re out of line.

            You say I strawman AHA whenever I talk about it. Can you give me a specific example, besides the fact that I linked to some other people’s posts you don’t like?

            And your first comment in this thread appeared to me as a sorry attempt at apologizing. You seemed to be sort of pretending to take some of it back. And then you jumped to your Facebook profile again to go after me, which is fine, except I think you’re wrong, yet again.

            I don’t see the strawman argument in my piece. Please defend your assertion.

          • LN

            As Josh said, without examples of the strawmanning along with explanations of how it’s a strawman, you’re just blowing smoke. How are people supposed to modify their behavior without knowing specifically where they messed up?

        • Clinton

          For the record, I don’t attack AHA to get fans. I consider myself an able defender of the pro-life position and a competent writer. Those are what draw people to my articles, not attacking other organizations. Believe me, I would much rather just ignore AHA, and I would do so if the only problem was that we disagree on tactics (I also disagree with Personhood USA on their absolutism, but I don’t make a point of attacking them for it). I go after AHA because I view them as dangerous and detrimental to the pro-life movement, and I want to do my part in warning people about them. Whether you agree with me or not is irrelevant, but you (or anyone else associated with AHA) have never once been able to adequately support any of your arguments or statements you (or they) have ever made to me, and I illustrate that in a two-part response to two other members of AHA who took me to task over one of my articles.

          If it wasn’t for the fact that AHA is trying to cause division within the pro-life movement, and among people and organizations I respect, I probably wouldn’t talk about them so much.

  • Guest

    Can I ask why my post was deleted?

    • I haven’t deleted any posts in this thread, so it wasn’t me. I’m close to deleting the KKK comment, but now that Russell has responded to it, I’m not sure if deleting it will lead to me being accused of deleting Russell’s comments.

      • bossmanham

        Okay I guess it’s still there. Disquss is just being terrible.

      • I’d prefer you leave it so people can see how Roman Catholics often talk.

        • Rachel Anne Enders

          I generally speak with love and compassion.

    • I see your comment under Brett’s comment. Is that the one you’re talking about?

  • Rachel Anne Enders

    I’m tired of religion being the motivation for pro-life activism. I’m a Christian, but it has nothing to do with the abortion situation in the US and worldwide. It has nothing to do with preserving human rights.

    • Elisabeth Goss

      Why is murder wrong if it has nothing to do with humans being made in the image of God?

      • Rachel Anne Enders

        Murder is wrong because it’s an assault on inherent human dignity and human rights. You don’t have to be religious to believe that. I suggest you take a look at Secular Pro-Life or Pro-Life Humanists.

        • Elisabeth Goss

          From where are human rights and inherent dignity derived if not from the imago dei? How can anyone have any consistent basis for believing that humans possess any such thing outside of it? The fact that some lost people have good intentions that they can’t coherently or rationally support only speaks to the fact that they have the truth written on their hearts. It in no way supports your assertion that human rights have nothing to do with religion (or on other words morality has nothing to do with the only possible source for morality) when it’s self evident that without God there is no such thing.

          • Elisabeth Goss

            By the way, your post is an excellent illustration of exactly what we’re talking about.

        • Toby Harmon

          Is inherent human dignity the same as inherent grasshopper dignity? How do you know?

          • Rachel Anne Enders

            You don’t have to believe in God to believe in human rights.

  • T. Russell Hunter

    How did my personal status become an attack on JFA worthy of a whole blog post?

    I mean c’mon guys. I’m nobody.

    • Your personal status was an attack on JFA. You called them ridiculous, and you ignorantly accused them of not treating abortion as sin. You keep attacking people and organizations with your personal Facebook profile, and then as soon as somebody defends themselves or the maligned organization, you cry foul, saying, “Hey! It’s just my Facebook page! No big deal.”

  • T. Russell Hunter

    BTW, the only reason I made a comment about JFA was because JFA trained students are going up to Abolitionists outside high schools and saying to them the same sorts of things that are said to JFA when JFA goes to college.

    We didn’t initiate this conversation and I didn’t want to get into a “My sign is bigger than your sign” contest.

    AHA uses signs like all sorts of other people use signs, but the differences between abolitionism and the ideology driving many in the pro life movement doesn’t come down to the size of our signs. It is how we use them, why we use them, and within what strategy that we use them that is different.

  • We all have different strategies that we see the most effective to get our point across. The sad thing that I have found about AHA is that they can’t seem to understand why anyone that loves Jesus and believes the Bible could possibly disagree with their tactics. But there are MANY biblical reasons and arguments that make just as much sense.

    To me, I feel that AHA’s strategy is the equivalent of handing out tracts during evangelism. Do I know people that have gotten saved from the Lord speaking through a tract? Absolutely. I can name 1 person that I know that actually did come to know the Lord through a tract.

    But, I still wouldn’t choose to hand out tracts as my main tool to effectively evangelize. I know many more people that have been converted from seeing a Godly example.

    And since God made science, and possesses all scientific knowledge, I think that having the ability to speak effectively and scientifically with others is just as Godly of a strategy as AHA’s.

    And honestly, when it comes to talking about abortion, the most respected people by pro-choicers are those that know what they are talking about. Nothing will get a pro-choicer listening more than intelligent conversation.

    Because, sadly, they often just write us all off as “weird.”

    Glad you are trying to change that, Josh.

    • Toby Harmon

      Kasey,
      I am entirely confused by your statements. Who says Abolitionists do not appeal to science? We merely choose not to leave out the Gospel or undermine our Christian foundation, while appealing to science. And handing out tracts? What? Have you not seen any of our videos where we seek to persuade people with logical reasoning? You have been around long enough that you should know what you wrote is a complete straw man. Have you not read anything Abolitionists have written or watched a single video?

      • I never said that abolitionists don’t appeal to science, or speak effectively or scientifically. I said that I think it is also “Godly” and biblical to choose NOT to quote the Bible or use Christian terminology to try to combat abortion.

        I believe that trying to combat abortion primarily using Christian language with people that aren’t Christian is about as effective as handing out tracts. Yeah, there will be a few every once in a while that might change their mind about abortion from that conversation, but the majority will shut down completely before you can even get your point across.

        But your strategy is still valid.

        And I’m not even saying that using scripture is PRIMARILY your “strategy.” I am aware that you guys use logic and science and reasoning too. I’m sorry if it appeared that I lumped your strategy into one category, it wasn’t intentional.

        But I don’t understand why you are being so defensive. I didn’t say anything that straw-manned anyone. All I said was that IN MY OPINION, God can use well thought-out scientific facts to change people’s minds about abortion a little easier than scripture based arguments.

        And I don’t think that God minds one bit if I choose to keep my scriptures for evangelizing, and not for advocating against the legality of abortion.

  • Danny Ehinger

    Hey Josh, Sorry, I had to run and go work. I am an electrician here in SLO county. I want to tell you why you misquoting me bothered me, but first let me say this. I respect you and do not believe you intended to misquote me. From what I can see you try to be fair and honest. I also want to say that I appreciate your videos, well at least the few I have been able to watch. The last video I watched, I think you were speaking at a college talking about your new argument that’s turning people pro-life faster than ever, I remember feeling sheepish when you talked about how abortion conversations go, I have to admit I am that guy sometimes. I have listened to what you have to say on speaking and put your advice into practice. I have also been reading and rereading 2 Timothy 2 over and over and asking God to help me not offend but rather to gently present the truth in the hope God will grant them opportunity to turn from their sins and acquire full knowledge of the truth.

    I will tell you your blog hurt when I read it. Reading the first quote you had of me I thought, “Did I say that?” Turns out I didn’t. (I appreciate you correcting that.) Now that I am home and the kids are off to bed I have read the rest of you piece and feel like you continued to be, I think the least inflammatory thing to say is, bias.

    You said in one of your comments that the word “here” didn’t change your point. I agree with that, but I also think neither the video nor T. Russel Hunter’s post changed your point ether. I think you, honestly thinking I said “here”, reveals that you looked at the video and the post with a bias. In other words you heard and read what you wanted to.

    This is demonstrated again by this quote. “The student explains that he’s all for getting people talking about
    abortion, but he felt like there were better results when JFA came on
    campus because some good conversations had taken place,”
    The student never said this. He said he had been to trainings not that they came on campus and had better conversations. Are you being dishonest here? Technically, yes, but I think it has more to do with the bias that comes from ‘others’ then actually listening to AHA points.

    What’s ironic about this is that you teach listening when having dialog with people. You say you have heard many different definitions of the same word and that we should ask people what they mean by what they say. I think you are showing more grace to the pro-aborts than to AHA. Why?

    I think the problem is that everyone thinks they already know what AHA is saying and no one is listening. It’s not for lack of words, that’s for sure.

    Josh will you please do some honest unbiased research into the AHA ideology? Put the people you dislike out of mind and pretend what they are saying comes from someone you feel deserves respect.

    Your piece also made me out to be someone trying to intentionally manipulate the young man. I respect that young man and I am interested to talk more with him, God willing. I was simply answering his question as best I could.

    Josh I would like to talk with you some time face to face and discus AHA. From what I understand, you are in the central valley. I am only about 3 hours from there in San Luis Obispo County. Let me know when and I will come meet with you.

    I hope everyone that reads this looks at the video and reads the Facebook Post and makes up their own mind about what was said and how it was said.

  • Remember when this debate was actually about abortion and not about abolitionism?

    Those were the days…

  • Guest
    • In point of fact, Babies Are Murdered Here is a documentary film.

      AHA is an organization.

      Hope that helps.

    • Laura

      Babies Are Murdered Here is a film made by AHA.

  • Jacob Holmes

    Haha. That gunfire analogy though. Wow. As if you hear gunfire and people are going to start saying, “Hey, this isn’t right.” or “Hey, nothing wrong’s going on here.” Quite absurd

    • Rivka

      I’m trying to imagine a school shooting scenario where the teacher has to first explain to her students why it would be bad to get shot.

  • Jacob Holmes

    I’m sad because reading these comments, it’s easy to see Jesus in some of the communications and absent from the others. The Pharisees could quote the Bible backwards while doing a handstand. They knew every letter of the law and made sure everyone knew it. But they missed the spirit of it so badly, they didn’t even recognize the Word when it was made flesh and dwelt among them. So they twisted the Word against Himself and used it to nail Him to a cross. And Jesus said “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” That’s the love of Christ. He called out the Pharisees not for their sin, but their self-righteousness.

  • “AHA doesn’t like that JFA teaches people to not start every conversation
    with Bible verses. Fine. I don’t have room in this post to get into
    that debate. If you really think the most effective way to persuade a
    pro-abortion-choice atheist is to quote Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 1:5 at
    them, be my guest. I’ve seen it done. I just haven’t seen it be very
    effective.”

    Very true Josh. I’ve seen a lot of posts by AHA, but eventually I quit following them because it seems as if they are simply using the abortion topic as a way of promoting Christianity. Being a pro-life atheist is particularly troubling because they tell me that I can’t be pro-life without god. Honestly they do more to make pro-life people look crazy than the other organizations they criticize.