I created this list using the Google Analytics for the ERI blog, instead of complicating the process by incorporating stats from LifeNews.com, where many of our articles are later republished.
Our blog received 79,000 unique pageviews from more than 43,000 unique people this year. That’s a 140% increase in readers from last year.
After running our first reader survey this year, we decided to post more consistently, maintain a calm, respectful, yet uncompromising tone, keep things practical, and keep using stories to model the kinds of dialogues we want people to have. I think we accomplished all of those goals, and we saw great growth to our blog this year.
On to the list!
#5: Avoiding an Embarrassingly Common Pro-Life Mistake
Our mission is to train pro-life advocates to think clearly, reason honestly, and argue persuasively. We want to help the pro-life movement to make the kinds of arguments that are compelling to pro-choice people. We also want to help pro-life people to avoid common pitfalls, and this post is an example of that.
It was interesting to see some people respond to this piece by claiming that pro-lifers don’t make this mistake while at the same time reading comments from readers saying that they’ve been making this mistake for years and had no idea they were committing a logical fallacy.
#4: Autumn in the Sovereign Zone: Why “It’s My Body, I Can Do What I Want” Won’t Do
This is an excellent article that Timothy wrote several years ago on bodily rights arguments that we’ve now made available on our blog. We still use some of these thought experiments with pro-choice students today.
#3: Why Pro-Life Advocates Are Not Responsible for the Planned Parenthood Shooting
The morning after the horrible shooting in Colorado Springs I spent some time reading comments from young pro-choice people on Reddit. I was amazed that virtually every single comment I read said the same thing: pro-life people are directly responsible for this shooting. That was when I knew we needed to train pro-life advocates in the most persuasive way to respond to this argument. We worked through the weekend and got it published a few days later. I’m really glad it did so well.
#2: Why Even Thomson’s Violinist Condemns Planned Parenthood’s Selling Baby Parts
This summer while the Center for Medical Progress’ Planned Parenthood videos were coming out, we decided to devote several blog posts to helping pro-life people think well about these videos, as well as make the most persuasive arguments about the videos to their pro-choice friends. This is the most philosophical piece we wrote during that time.
#1: Our Experience at the OMSI Prenatal Exhibit Displaying Real Preserved Children
This is one of the most emotional blog posts I’ve ever written. The first time I spoke in Portland someone told me “you have to go see the OMSI exhibit!” I asked what that was, and they said there was a temporary fetal development display. Due to scheduling reasons I couldn’t make it work that trip, but I made a point of taking our whole staff there the following spring when we came back to train a Students for Life club. The exhibit displays the preserved bodies of miscarried babies. This post tells the story of that experience and the thoughts we had after visiting the exhibit.
This experience has had a permanent effect on us. We had a reader recently express surprise by the way Timothy began one of his latest blog posts: “Abortion is not merely immoral, it is obviously immoral.” What we saw in this exhibit in Portland has a lot to do with the confidence with which Tim expressed himself recently.
Some of our older posts continued to do really well this year. Here are the three most read posts from our archive this year:
#3: The Best Way to Expose Logical Fallacies: Don’t Call Them by Name
This was the second part a series I wrote on logical fallacies. In this post I reflected on something Trent Horn had told me on my old podcast, that it’s better to point out a logical fallacy without naming the fallacy. This is harder, but far less annoying to most people.
#2: Penn Jillette on Loving the People He Disagrees With
I probably owe the view count on this article to the fact that Penn Jillette has tweeted it at least once, but I still enjoyed writing this piece about a famous video Penn made about evangelism as well as a less-known statement Penn made about loving the people he disagrees with on his podcast.
#1: 4 Reasons Pro-Lifers Need to Stop Doing This
This may be my favorite blog post I’ve ever written, because the content is very unique to something my brother Tim and I have talked about, and I think it’s very needed if our movement is going to show the world that we care about all people, and not just unborn babies. That gives you the credibility to talk to people who wouldn’t listen to certain other pro-life people.
There was a lot of debate regarding this topic, so I wrote two followup pieces answering the most common challenges.
I credit part of the success of this post to my friends at Students for Life of America who frequently tweet it to their followers and even discuss the topic in their trainings with college students across the country!
That’s the list! Thanks again for following our blog this year. I hope it’s been helpful to you as you have potentially life-changing conversations with your pro-choice friends.
Merry Christmas, and have a happy New Year!
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