Josh Brahm will be speaking on the topic of relational apologetics at Belmont Abbey College, Abbot Walter Coggin Student Center, on October 22nd.
When we at ERI use the phrase “relational apologetics,” we mean trying to change a person’s mind about a core belief in the context of genuine friendship. Most people will not change their minds about a serious subject after one conversation, so an ongoing dialogue with a friend can be really helpful.
In November of 2017 the Holy Family Respect Life Committee, in conjunction with Charles County Right to Life, invited Josh Brahm and David Bereit to speak at their annual pro-life conference in Southern Maryland.
After the keynote sessions, Josh and David did a panel discussion and Q&A, joined by Michele Hendrickson, Capital Area Regional Director for Students for Life of America and Heather Sells, CEO of the Catherine Foundation, a local Pregnancy Resource Center. The panel discussion was hosted by Ali Rak from the Southern Maryland Pro-Life Symposium.
Prefer listening on your phone? You can easily download the whole conference by subscribing to the ERI Podcast in the iTunes Podcast app on your phone.
Josh Brahm Keynote
Download Audio MP3 | 00:50:23
Josh shares seven practical dialogue tips (including two that he’s never taught before!) as well as explaining how to use the Equal Rights Argument to change minds about abortion.
David Bereit Keynote
Download Audio MP3 | 00:47:48
David shares the story of how he got involved in the pro-life movement in spite of being an unlikely activist and encourages the audience to become more active in the pro-life movement, including practical advice on how to find your pro-life lane and get plugged in.
Panel Discussion and Q&A Session
Download Audio MP3 | 01:33:34
Apologies for occasional audio issues in the panel discussion. They used tabletop panel discussion mics and when Heather would turn her head away from the mic sometimes her mic sort of cuts out. We’ve made some edits where possible, and you can always get the gist of what she’s saying.
- 1:29: From your standpoint, what does the pro-life movement need to do to become more effective?
- 16:00: What should pro-life advocates avoid and what hurts our cause the most?
- 31:00: What is access to abortion like in Southern Maryland? Where does a woman who is abortion-minded go to terminate a pregnancy? How many of them tend to go to the local Pregnancy Resource Centers? Paint a picture of what it’s like to be in crisis in Southern Maryland.
- 35:49: What does counseling an abortion-minded woman look like in your Pregnancy Resource Center as opposed to sidewalk counseling where you often only have a moment to start that conversation?
- 43:39: How are college and high school students shaping the pro-life movement? How do we get more youth involved, and why should there be a Students for Life club at every school in the country?
- 51:26: Josh, as a “connoisseur of good arguments and gracious conversation,” how can pro-lifers use Facebook and social media as a force for good?
- 56:06: How do we build the pro-life community locally, one that is engaged and motivated toward action, rather than just being pro-life?
- 1:04:53: Can we learn anything from the effectiveness of the gay marriage movement that we can apply to our movement?
- 1:09:55: It seems like there is so much emphasis these days on individual rights, where for some people, even if they personally feel like abortion is wrong, they don’t feel like it’s their place to speak out against abortion because they don’t want to offend someone. How do you get beyond that?
- 1:13:10: You said that you don’t approach this issue from a religious standpoint, and I’m struggling with the idea of stopping at the concept of equal rights because I think equal rights come from a religious standpoint. I’m assuming you talk to lots of college students who don’t believe in equal rights. How do you deal with that without getting into the religious aspect that we’re created in God’s image and not a product of evolution?
- 1:19:32: Josh, you mentioned utilitarianism. Can you explain what that is and how it might come up in abortion conversations?
- 1:21:33: I was really struck by a statistic that was shared about one in four women in church having had an abortion. How can we effectively express that graphic imagery and very strongly worded signs almost create a PTSD kind of moment for a lot of women who have made a very difficult decision in their lives, and would like to be involved in the pro-life movement, but can’t abide by being in that presence? How do we overcome that obstacle?
Download Audio MP3 | 00:32:38
At the 2018 Students for Life of America Conference, Timothy Brahm gave a never-before-heard speech on social media dialogue. After the presentation, Tim answered some questions from the audience along with Josh Tijerina from Halcyon, another social media presenter at the conference who presented before Tim did. Below are listed some of the different points that he makes in the speech, in case you would like to jump around:
Problems with Conversations on Social Media:
- 2:27: When people are in fight mode, they can’t hear you. It is not just about the arguments.
- 3:43: Social media conversations are extra challenging because they are public, not private
- 4:33: Social media breeds hypersensitivity to our own brand management.
- 6:07: The structure of comment threads work against you.
- 7:12: The “like” system influences how causal observers perceive your writing through an unfair filter.
- 8:15: People on social media are almost immune from normal social pressures.
- 10:07: Recent political hostility has conditioned people to be angry online.
- 11:03: Social media is structured as an engine for constant outrage.
16 Tips for Social Media Dialogue:
- 16:08: Move your conversation to private message, Skype, or in person as soon as possible.
- 17:06: Make minimal persuasion goals.
- 18:00: Be aware of the lack of nonverbal communication.
- 18:34: Post things with your pro-choice friends in mind.
- 19:22: Try hard to assume the best about people.
- 19:34: Take a step back if you’re feeling defensive.
- 19:57: Point out every piece of common ground.
- 20:14: Try to only use neutral language.
- 20:31: Ask lots of clarification questions, make few statements and arguments. Try to wait to do so until the conversation is one-on-one.
- 20:48: Choose a friendly looking profile picture.
- 21:17: Don’t name-drop philosophers or logical fallacies.
- 21:36: Don’t feed the trolls.
- 22:08: Use links very sparingly.
- 22:28: Only cite neutral sources. Do not link to pro-life websites.
- 22:36: Point out when they teach you something.
- 23:18: Sow intentional, positive seeds with people who you hope to dialogue with someday.
Q and A with Tim Brahm and the other presenter who spoke before him, Josh Tijerina:
- 25:25: “When is the appropriate time to use snark in dialogues?”
- 26:39: “In regards to your point about liking pro-choice friend’s comments when you think they are being charitable or gracious in dialogue, do you think that could be misinterpreted or come off as strange to your pro-life friends?”
- 28:01: “Have you done any studies on the effectiveness of graphic abortion images on social media?”
- 30:01: “In tip number four, you suggest we post on social media with our pro-choice friends in mind. I am a Christian and this influences my pro-life view, so sometimes I post Christian things or bible verses. What do you think about this?”
Rachel Crawford will be speaking on understanding and responding to “My Body, My Choice” at Kutztown University on April 10th
Many conversations surrounding abortion focus on the personhood of the unborn, but the strongest pro-choice arguments grant the entire pro-life case that the unborn is a full human being. They go on to claim that abortion should still be legal because women have a right to control their own bodies. Rachel Crawford will explain how a comprehensive discussion about abortion needs to address more than just the humanity and personhood of the fetus, but also a woman’s right to her own bodily autonomy as it relates to pregnancy.
Speaker: Rachel Crawford, Trainer, Equal Rights Institute
This event has been sponsored by Students for Life Kutztown and Leadership Institute
Josh Brahm will be speaking on understanding and responding to the strongest pro-choice arguments at Belmont Abbey College on February 15th.
Many conversations surrounding abortion focus on the personhood of the unborn, but the strongest pro-choice arguments grant the entire pro-life case that the unborn is a full human being. They go on to claim that abortion should still be legal because women have a right to control their own bodies. Josh Brahm will explain how a comprehensive discussion about abortion needs to address more than just the humanity and personhood of the fetus, but also a woman’s right to her own bodily autonomy as it relates to pregnancy.
This lecture is designed to explain the philosophy of bodily rights arguments and explore responses to them. Individuals in the audience from all ends on the abortion debate can leave this talk with a deeper understanding of bodily rights arguments and will think differently about abortion if they have previously disregarded this crucial part of the abortion debate.
The lecture will be followed by an open Q&A session.
Speaker: Josh Brahm, President, Equal Rights Institute
This event has been sponsored by Crusaders For Life and Leadership Institute.
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