Responding to Concerns Regarding My “Fetus Tunnel Vision” Piece

Since posting my article, 4 Reasons Pro-Lifers Need to Stop Doing This I’ve watched the response and engaged some commenters with interest. It’s generally been a great experience, as many pro-life people said they changed their mind about the way they’re going to make comparisons to abortion after reading the article, and it sparked what I expect to be a friendship with an important pro-choice speaker whom I hope to meet this summer.

There were also a lot of people who were honestly confused about a few things. Some of them were nicer than others but in most cases they seemed to be helped after I offered a few clarifications. Below are several of these clarifications, with the objective of making a clearer case against “Fetus Tunnel Vision.”

“Pro-life people are intrinsically weird, because we have something we’re passionate about.”

I am not arguing that pro-life people should avoid every single thing that could be interpreted as “weird.” You’re right. We live in an age where apathy is cool, at least to some people. So if someone thinks I’m weird, the question is, why do they think that?

If they think I’m weird because I’m working full-time to educate on a civil rights issue, then I’m fine with that.

But if they think I’m weird because whenever I talk about the issue, I’m really off-putting and make them not want to talk to pro-lifers anymore, I should at least question my communication techniques.

Sometimes we have a debate where we ask zero questions, we don’t really listen to what they have to say, (since we’re right and everything,) we fail to state any points of genuine common ground, and sometimes use language that distracts the person, making it more harmful than helpful to a good dialogue where people change.

“I think the author needs to stop ignoring abortion. He needs to stop telling himself that he can ignore one injustice and be righteous in arguing against others.”

This is honestly the first time I’ve been accused of ignoring abortion. I’m not arguing that we should ignore abortion and just focus on other issues. I’m arguing that while it’s very appropriate to spend most of our efforts fighting abortion, we need to communicate an appropriately human response to other instances of people being abused or killed.

“Yeah, let’s focus on 10 different things at once. From the book – ‘How to fail in business!'”

I’m not arguing that we should focus on several different things at once. In fact I state that explicitly in the article.

Does that mean we need to split our time between fighting every human rights injustice? No. That wouldn’t be very effective. We need people focusing on abortion. We also need people focusing on ending sex slavery. Those are two different issues with different causes and necessary responses.

What I’m arguing here is that we need to be able to see how horrible non-abortion injustices are, and respond appropriately. Doing this publicly will also have a side benefit of helping pro-choice people see that we’re normal human beings who oppose injustice. Then we can gain the opportunity to show abortion to be the injustice it is.

“Faint echo of seamless garment theory here. I disagree.”

The term “seamless garment” was coined by the late Joseph Bernardin, archbishop of Chicago, to illustrate a “consistent ethic of life” based on Catholic teachings regarding the sanctity of human life. Even if some people have interpreted this teaching as saying that all life-related issues are equally important, I’m not sure that that’s what Archbishop Bernadin intended.

Either way, that’s not the logical conclusion of my article. I am arguing that pro-lifers should be willing to recognize more than one grave human rights injustice. I am not arguing that every person should devote equal attention to every injustice.

It’s frankly concerning to me how many pro-life people have reacted viscerally to the idea of simply acknowledging the horror of sex slavery. Do people need to actually die for us to condemn it? Will your emotions only be awakened if you learn that some victims of sex slavery are murdered too?

“I am pro-life every day.  I’m not going to stop being pro-life, just because it is the anniversary of 9/11 or Columbine or Sandy Hook or Oklahoma City or Fort Hood.”

I don’t think I stop becoming pro-life simply because I occasionally choose times to not bring up abortion. Similarly, there are certain conversations I have with non-theists that don’t seem like the right time to talk about the Gospel, so I try to get them thinking about something more but I may not give a full Gospel presentation. Yet, I don’t think I stop becoming a Christian on that day.

“This is pointless. No matter how full of sunshine and rainbows I am, they’re always just going to ultimately say at the end, ‘Well, I respect you and your argument, but I disagree.’ because they choose to embrace a disconnect with reality. That’s just how it’s always going to be.”

That’s not how my conversations about abortion usually end. Maybe we’re getting different results because we have different ways of talking about abortion with pro-choice people. My dialogues usually end with the person thanking me for a good conversation, saying they need to think about it some more, grateful that they now understand the issue better than they did before.

I’ll post another article in a few days responding to some more thoughtful questions a few people had about the Fetus Tunnel Vision piece.

The post “Responding to concerns regarding my Fetus Tunnel Vision piece” originally appeared at JoshBrahm.com. Subscribe to our email list with the form below and get a FREE gift. Click here to learn more about our pro-life apologetics course, “Equipped for Life: A Fresh Approach to Conversations About Abortion.”

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.

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