Friday, April 3, 2009

How Bad Do We Want To Win?

:: Cross-posted at the LTI-Blog ::

Though I haven't posted here for quite some time, I enjoy observing the way the Scott, Serge, and Jay respond to the issues that they address both here and in the new LTI Podcast format. For anyone who pays attention, it soon becomes obvious that there are no better advocates for the pro-life position than these three. Maybe the reason I don't post here too often is because I'm afraid I'll make some dunderheaded comment that will in some way detract from their message. Or maybe it's just intimidation -- I know that whatever meager addition I hope to make to the conversation will be underwhelming in comparison to the nuanced thought they each offer every day. I am humbled that they even allow me the option to share their forum.

But sometimes, being a "regular" guy pays off. Sometimes it is beneficial to all the other "regular" folks out there to hear the message that gives them reason to think they can make a difference too. I think this past month solidified that notion for me. I just finished teaching a 5-week course at my local church titled, Defending Life. We covered abortion, stem cell research, death criteria, euthanasia and even talked about the Bodies Exhibit that recently passed through our city. It was an encouraging reminder to me about just how powerful the pro-life message is to those who have lived in blissful ignorance about what is going on in this world and about how we regular folks can prepare ourselves to engage it.

Don't get me wrong -- I didn't come up with a single original idea. I stole stuff from Frank Beckwith and Robert George right and left (always giving credit, of course). I taught them the S-L-E-D Test. I "trotted out the toddler." I analyzed the RH Reality Check video that Scott and Serge ripped in Podcast # 4. I replayed Scott's talk at Gordon College about his encounter with the lady at the swingset. I let them see Bill Clinton yammer on about the moral imperative that we only use "embryos that have not been fertilized" (huh?) when we do ESCR. I opened up the casket on abortion.

In short, I was not too proud or too shy to use anything I could get my hands on from the heavy-hitters ... and I was equally uninhibited about what subjects might be "off limits." The response was astounding.

There were people who admitted never knowing the distinctions between stem cell research and embryonic stem cell research. There were people who had never seen the clear evidence we find in embryology textbooks that life begins at conception; never seen the developmental stages of a human embryo; never heard the morally vacuous and arbitrary attempts to distinguish between human beings and human persons. There were people who left the room in tears. After five short hours, people were able to recognize and counter many of the common, but ludicrous, statements we hear from the abortion-choice crowd and their political apologists. It was one of the most rewarding classes I have ever taught.

Please hear me. The last thing I mean to do is toot my own horn. Far from it. I have no horn to toot (remember, I am admitting to open plagiarism here!). My only hope in daring to post here again is to remind every one of us of two vitally important things:
  1. There would be no hope of promoting the pro-life view without the clear, careful thinking of those who do the heavy intellectual work like what you find here at LTI.

  2. At its core, our message is simple and powerful because it is true -- but too many of our brothers and sisters are unaware of it and untrained to defend it.
On the last day of class, a gentleman stopped me and thanked me for tackling this subject. But along with his compliment came this: "I have never heard most of these arguments anywhere before. And I have never been in a church that would allow this kind of material to be taught." It is sad but true. And I am embarrassed to admit that this was the first time I have ever attempted to broach this subject. But it won't be the last.

Scott and Serge and Jay can't be in all of our little spheres of influence -- but their material can be -- and so can we.

How bad do we want to win this?

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