At a pro-life presentation last year, an evangelical pastor was quite willing to let me show graphic depictions of abortion to his church youth group but refused to allow those same pictures in the adult worship service at which I was speaking. He was genuinely glad the kids were seeing abortion for what it was, but no way was he going to allow adults to view those same images. "Our people are different and your pictures won't work."
Well, I heard those same exact words today, from another group of spiritual leaders.
I call this the "our people are different syndrome" and it's the most common excuse used by gatekeepers afraid to show abortion for what it is. I remember three years ago a major Christian journalist chiding the media for not showing pictures of abortion--saying, in essence, "why won't you show the truth?"--while, at the same time, he and his wife served (at various levels) a major pro-life organization that categorically rejects the use of those same pictures because they are (allegedly) inappropriate for Christ-honoring pro-life ministry.
Meanwhile, Steve Weimar tells how pastors in the Colorado Springs area once jumped on board to vocally support a graphic pro-life film on the local FOX affiliate but many of these same clergy refused to show the film to their people. The pictures were fine--just not for folks attending their worship services.
This, despite the fact that one in five women who abort identify themselves as "born-again, evangelical" Christians. This despite the fact that these same pastors were quite willing to bus truckloads of their own people to view Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ"--arguably one of the most graphic presentations ever put on screen.
But when it comes to abortion, God forbid our pulpits take the lead in showing truth. We're told churchgoers are too weak to handle looking at unjustice--unless they happen to see it on FOX.
I completely agree that we should use graphic pictures, etc. Should I tell people that we should always try to use graphic images? Are there any situations that we probably shouldn’t use them? Could you give me a kind of general way of explaining this to people? For example, A person on a webpage/blog wrote “As a matter of fact, I wrote a research paper about it last term, "The Scientific Arguments Against Abortion." I also gave a presentation on the same topic in class, and I think I did very well. I was going to show clip's from Bernard Nathanson's "The Silent Scream", but I thought it would be too graphic for everyone, although I understand why Mr. Armstrong would post graphic images of aborted fetuses on his homepage. Sometimes it's best to go for the heart and the gut before you attack the head. I was careful to show the audience that embryonic development is a continuous process. We have the same genes from conception to death, and nothing can change that fact.”ReplyDelete
Good questions, Kyl. I show GVAs just about everytime I speak, regardless of the venue. Debates, church services, banquets, high schools, colleges--all these are good places for the pics.ReplyDelete
The only time I don't show them is when the event organizers refuse to let me--which happens about 5% of the time.
I deal with some of the objections raise to pictures at this link:
To see how I handle the use of pictures in live presentations, see my presentation to Gordon College here:
Thanks for the very useful information, Scott.ReplyDelete