The pro-choice/anti-choice issue can get pretty heated, and usually ends in a stalemate, right?
“Yeah, I always feel like I just wasted a bit of my life.”
So if you’re going to go our separate ways at the end of the conversation, why not send them home with something to really think about? A few tidbits they won’t be able to get out of their minds? Notions that might even make them rethink their paradigm?
Below are three questions that I have asked anti-choice Christians again and again – questions that have stumped and silenced them every time.
“This sounds promising.”
These questions turn their simplistic arguments (“Thou shalt not kill. Full stop.”) upside-down. These questions turn the conversation away from their piety and toward where it belongs: choice.
“Great, can we get to the questions now, please?”
Just a minute. I want to say that I am not a fan of abortion. I believe it’s important to discuss the topic with nuance and deep, independent thinking, rather than regurgitation of standard talking points. Anti-choicers tend to lack both.
“Ok. Can we get on with it now?”
Without further ado, the questions.
“It’s about time.”
Just one more thing…
“If you don’t get to the questions right now, you are in for a world of hurt.”
Ok, sheesh! Here you go:
QUESTION: Why is my uterus your business?
QUESTION: Who are you to regulate the bodies of 167,000,000 American women?
QUESTION: You are free to act on your beliefs, but what gives you the right to force others to act on your beliefs?
“Thank you. Was that so hard?”
Many conservative Christians live in an idealistic, black-and-white world. Every pregnancy is “a precious life” from the moment of conception. Jeremiah 1:5 applies to every pregnancy (“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you”), whether the pregnant person is a believer or not.
The option to “just have the baby and give it to a loving home” is presented as a simple, win-win solution, when in reality, adoption is a potential minefield of risks and complications for all parties (too big a topic for this blog).
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These three questions force anti-choicers to confront the audacity of what they’re advocating, and are a reminder of just how invasive and inappropriate their policies are.
When they (invariably) try to steer the conversation back to their comfort zone (“thou shalt not kill”), just say, “I know what you believe, but please answer my question: [insert your favorite question here]?”
These are not rhetorical questions – they are meant to be answered. Don’t let your listener be dismissive.
Anti-choicers won’t have answers, obviously. If that makes them mad or embarrassed, here are some follow-up comments you can make (lovingly):
SAY: I’m not trying to prove you wrong. I just want you to think. Ask your pastor or other leader if they can answer these questions. If not, perhaps your position is problematic.
SAY: If absolute sanctity of life is important to you, you can fight for lives that are already born, instead of violating the privacy of women you’ve never met. For example, you can:
- support universal healthcare
- call for an end to war and colonialism
- call for the end of the occupation of Palestine
- work for racial equity
- demand gun control
- have compassion on people trying to enter the US for a better, safe life
- call for equal rights for LGBTQ people
It’s easy to be an anti-choice foot soldier. Conservatives tend to be well-trained in trusting authority figures, following instructions, memorizing answers and Bible verses, and repeating talking points.
They have not been encouraged to think for themselves. That’s what we need we to make them aware of: they haven’t thought through the ramifications of what they’re fighting for. Asking the three questions might wake them up.
It’s important for us to remember – and to share – the fact that no one has to choose between being for or against abortion. It’s entirely possible to disapprove of the practice of abortion, but to approve of every woman’s right to choose for herself.
(If you are energized by challenges to the evangelical status quo like this, please subscribe to my newsletter! If you would like to comment on this post, please pop over to my Facebook page. All of my posts are there and open to constructive comment! I welcome your thoughts.)
YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN READING:
- How to be Christlike on the abortion issue
- Epic evangelical self-assurance around abortion
- Pro-birth, Pro-life, Pro-choice, Part One
- Pro-birth, Pro-life, Pro-choice, Part Two: contraceptives and all that jazz
- Pro-birth, Pro-life,Pro -choice, Part 3: Permission to defect from anti-abortion party
- “Evangelicavision”: the ability to see in Scripture what’s not actually there
- Christians: when in God’s name are we going to end gun violence?
FEATURED IMAGE: “My Body Belongs To Me sign at a Stop Abortion Bans Rally in St Paul, Minnesota” by Lorie Shaull is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.