I had an interesting conversation with a feminist abortion advocate last night.
The thing that impressed me about her pro-abortion post that I landed on was that she expressed her views and opinions without all the rage and emotion that I’ve grown to expect when folks talk about the subject. I wasn’t going to leave a comment because I figured she didn’t really want to hear an opposing view and I wasn’t interested in a debate on the subject. But for some reason I decided to comment anyway and I tried to gently point out one aspect of her position that she might give more consideration.
She came back with a reasoned response that made it clear that she did give my idea genuine thought after she expressed a little surprise that someone of my persuasion didn’t simply just attempt tear her to shreds.
Normally when I have a noteworthy blog encounter I put up a link to the other person’s blog, even when we disagree. However in this case I don’t think she’d much appreciate me sending over a bunch of my pro-life friends. So you’ll have to forgive me for not posting a link to our conversation.
What’s my point?
My point is that even in a supremely emotionally charged issue such as abortion it is possible for folks with radically differing views to have a dialogue without attacking each other personally and the conversation devolving into rage.
Too often we seem to insist on proving that we are right and that those with differing views are wrong. We don’t respect other people enough to simply present information and give them the dignity to come to their own conclusions.
Where did we get that approach from?
I don’t see Jesus attacking people personally like we tend to. Sure there were some groups that he didn’t have very flattering things to say about. But even when they came at him trying to lay word traps for him he never directly attacked the person who attempted the trap. Instead he confronted some of their ideas and beliefs.
That’s a huge difference.
We would do much better if we listened to the words of Proverbs and put them into practice.
- A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.
- The wise person makes learning a joy; fools spout only foolishness.
- The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.
- Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
Too often instead, in our need to be right, we end up screaming in someone’s face like the picture above. It’s not working for us. Maybe then we should change our approach.