Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tip #1: Strongly Defend without Accusing

  1. For most people, the initial tendency will be to make sure that the friend doesn't feel judged. This motive is wholly understandable because we don't want our friends to feel threatened by our opinions. One of the strongest cultural messages people receive in the world today is that we should not judge anyone for any reason. This is where the saying, “I could never have an abortion, but I think every woman should be able to make up her own mind,” comes from. This “mealy-mouthed” refusal to be solidly pro-life or pro-choice is the position I used to take, and it leads to a dangerous complicity with pro-abortion, because you pretend to take casually what you know is "dead serious." 

    Here's what to do instead: Say something like, “I would be uncomfortable having an abortion because ____________.” Fill in the blank with something genuinely truthful of your position, as long as it doesn't sound accusatory. For example, NOT, “I would be uncomfortable having an abortion because “I might go to hell,” “I would be committing murder,” or that sort of thing. No, you don't want to sugar-coat the truth in the long run, but your friend is freaking out, so give her a little bit of honey with her medicine for now. 

    Here's a positive example, “I would be uncomfortable having an abortion because I believe in a soul, and there's no way to tell when the soul enters the body, so how could I take the risk of murder?” is a good statement. Or, “I would be uncomfortable having an abortion because human life is sacred to me. It's not like ending a sheep or a dog life, but a human life. Even if you don't see it as a person, it's still human.” 

    If your friend is an atheist, words like “soul” and “sacred” will sound like airy-fairy mumbo-jumbo to her. But, you can appeal to her logic. You might be surprised I am linking to a page called, "" but we are trying to save lives here! "Don't kill" (natural law) may be an important first step before whether or not to believe in God (moral law.) Take a look at the articles and docs that support their position. Send the url to your athiest or agnostic friend, and see if that helps.

    Take note also that many sects of Buddhism oppose abortion, including the popular Tibetan Buddhist. Many of your friends may claim to be Buddhist without realizing this.

    So many of us, both female and boyfriends, regret for a lifetime that we missed the opportunity to save a life because we were afraid to speak up. Take heart and take courage to do the right thing!

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