Hey Pro-Life Politicians, Less is More!
If you’re not a trained pro-life apologist, saying less is better than saying more.
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Have Republicans abandoned the pro-life movement? Have pro-lifers lost the only political party that’s been friendly to them over the decades? We’ll dive into that in just a minute, but welcome to the Case for Life podcast sponsored by Life Training Institute. If you’re unfamiliar with LTI, we equip students and adults how to make a case for the pro-life view. In fact, I’m about to embark on a summer-long Series of talks at Summit Ministries, giving the case for the pro-life view to students that are getting ready to head off to college. I’ll be equipping them. with the best pro-life arguments and how to handle the objections they’re going to face when they get off to college. That’s what we’re going to be doing. And I hope you’ll visit us at Life Training Institute online on our social media sites. And I hope you’ll like this podcast. That helps us and it also helps expose your friends if you share the content. to meaningful pro-life content that can be used to help advance our cause. Well, the New York Times has weighed in. Here’s the headline. How Republicans in key Senate races are flip-flopping on abortion. Now, this is not news in one sense. We’ve seen inklings of this really since Roe v. Wade was overturned 2 years ago. But now, with an election season bursting upon us, the headline is how Republicans are abandoning the pro-life ship in droves. And I have a couple of thoughts about this. first of all, the headline I believe overstates the problem. I don’t think Republicans en masse are abandoning the pro-life cause. I think some are. And by the way, many of the people mentioned in this article are no surprise. They really were never pro-life in any meaningful sense from the beginning. But I do think there are some pro-life candidates that are kind of stymied by what to do about the abortion issue. Given the fact that since Roe v. Wade was overturned, pro-lifers are O for 8 every time this has been put to the voters vote. for a vote. When abortion has been put to the public for a vote since Roe v. Wade, pro-lifers have lost every time. Now, there’s a couple of things to say about that. first of all, if your position is morally correct, It doesn’t matter if the majority agrees with you. Sometimes you have to be the hero that speaks truth to power. It is not speaking truth to power to be pro-abortion and go after conservatives. The culture already agrees with you. You’re not being a hero. You’re just swimming with the tide. But if you really want to speak truth to power, you have to be willing to take unpopular stands because they are in principle morally correct. Now, sometimes we think we have it bad. Let me just say this. We don’t have it bad the way the prophet Jeremiah had it bad. Think about this. The prophet Jeremiah was told by God to stand in the city square in Jerusalem and testify against child sacrifice. And then God gave him this stunning reminder of what would happen. Nobody is going to listen to you. Now, how would you like to be the prophet of God thrown into the city center in a pit testifying against child sacrifice and know that not one soul is going to listen to what you have to say. Now that’s a dismal job description. We don’t have that one. So as pro-lifers, whether we’re running for office, or simply standing up for what we believe in spite of overwhelming odds, the fact that we’re in the minority does not mean we have a justification to be silenced or jettison our views. Not at all. We have to know how to counterpunch. So I’m going to take a few minutes today to talk about that. There are some pro-life candidates running for both federal and state offices. that might be attitudinally pro-life, but they feel like they don’t have the confidence to defend their beliefs so they try to de-emphasize their pro-life beliefs or run away from them. That is the candidate I want to address today, not the one that outwardly pretend to be pro-life, but never was. And now that the chips are down on the pro-life side easily gets rid of his pro-life convictions and takes a different position and flip-flops, as this article says. In other words, the candidate that claimed to be pro-life at 1 point but now claims to be pro-abortion. I’m not talking to that candidate. What about though the timid pro-life candidate that is worried that they’re gonna get butchered in an election year because they’re taking an unpopular stand. Now, of course, we all have to take unpopular stands if we’re people of conviction. And, you know, let’s be done with this argument about, oh, we’re on the wrong side of history. The question is not are you on the right or wrong side of history. History is neutral. The question is, are you morally correct? And in what possible world is it correct to say it’s okay to intentionally kill an innocent human being? That’s the moral question we need to grapple with, not what side of history am I on? So if I were a pro-life candidate running for office in a post Roe v. Wade climate, like the one we’re in right now, Here is what I would say, and this is where the principle of less is more is really true. You want to say less, not more. Instead of getting into lengthy, hedged explanations, trying to nuance your position to a media that is never going to agree with you, You need to recognize who you’re dealing with and just be very short and clear and disciplined in your messaging. So if I were a pro-life candidate, Whether I was running for president, Senate, House, or a state race, I would say this. When the reporter says to me, now, why do you oppose abortion? And they come at you with that attitude. Here would be my answer. I oppose abortion because it’s wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings. Stop, say no more, rinse, repeat a 1000 times if you have to. when they come back to you with, well, what about this? What about that? What about coat hanger abortions? What about rape? What about women being prosecuted? Don’t take the bait. Simply repeat what you just said. I oppose abortion because it’s wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings. There are a couple of benefits to doing it this way. The first is you’re clear and you’re on message and you’re not having to hedge what you believe You’re very clear and to the point. Secondly, and this is very important, the evening news is not going to report your attempt to be nuanced on the issue. You get 7 seconds if you’re lucky to make your point in a news clip. That 7 second sound bite I just gave you, where you simply say, I oppose abortion because it’s wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings can be said in the amount of time you might get for a news clip. Now, some people might think, well, wait, the media then will come after me for not saying more. You will not be permanently harmed as a candidate for what you don’t say. You can be destroyed for what you do say that you shouldn’t have said. So again, just come back to that one sound bite. I oppose abortion because it’s wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings. And every time they bring up, what about, what about, what about, just come back, as I said a moment ago, I oppose abortion because it’s wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings. If you’re a politician, hear me out. I get it. You’re not a trained apologist. You haven’t had extensive worldview training, more than likely. to know how to unpack your position, handle every possible objection. So you shouldn’t take on the burden of having to fully explain yourself. State your conviction. Don’t worry about having to defend every objection that might be thrown at you. Go ahead and state that 7 second soundbite and then just keep repeating it if they keep badgering you about it. If you wanna say more on your website with some carefully crafted statements, that’s up to you. Now, if I was talking to somebody like a Marco Rubio, or somebody else, maybe a Ben Sasse, who are trained in how to explain their Christian worldview, my advice would be a little different. A guy like Marco Rubio knows how to defend what he believes. He counterpunches very effectively and he absolutely destroyed his opponent in Florida on abortion when they had a debate on it. He just turned it right around on her and ate her for lunch. Now this is something that very few politicians are going to be prepared to do. But let’s say I was moderately trained in how to defend my pro-life view. I might go ahead and give a one-minute summary of what I believed after I gave my seven-second summary, and it might go like this. I oppose abortion because it’s wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings. And the science of embryology is clear that from the earliest stages of development, You, Miss Reporter, were a distinct, living, and whole human being. You weren’t part of another human being like skin cells on the back of my hand. You were already a whole living member of the human family, even though you had yet to grow and develop. And you know what else? There is no essential difference between you the embryo and you the adult that would justify harming you back then but not now. Differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not good reasons for saying you could be killed then as an embryo but not now as an adult. All right, we got that done in under a minute. But again, on the evening news, the best you’re going to get is 7 seconds. But in a larger audience, you might be able to get away with making a one minute defense of what you believe. But I would not try to go beyond what you’re capable of defending. And we’ve seen too many politicians say more when they should say less. Again, state your seven-second soundbite that you oppose abortion because it’s wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings. Full stop. Don’t worry about going further. If you do that, you help the pro-life movement by clarifying the essential nature of our moral argument, and you help yourself by not saying more than you should, The minute you get into trying to have to justify what you believe to people who don’t want to hear your reasons, they’re just looking to trip you up. the better off you are to say something short, to the point, and that’s it. That’s how you stand on principle, not by flip-flopping. All that does is cause you to be viewed as 2 faced. Now you lose your constituents and those that you’re trying to win over. I mean, think about it for a moment. Is a hardcore leftist who supports unrestricted abortion for any reason at all going to be swayed by your moderating language where you’re now trying to appear nuanced and more thoughtful. instead of being principled, no, they’re not going to be swayed. They’re going to vote for the pro-abortion Democrat. you are not going to win that person’s vote. And the minute you appear weak on abortion, you now lose your core constituency that was pro-life. There’s no advantage to you weakening your position on abortion, but there is an advantage to knowing how to articulate it clearly. And that 7 second sound bite is what I wish every pro-life politician would use when the mic is shoved in their face and they’re said, now, why do you oppose abortion? They give that clear answer. And that puts the debate on the question, What is the unborn? It’s no longer about choice, privacy, trusting women, forcing one’s morality. The issue is, what is the unborn? Look, I am vigorously pro-choice on women choosing their own husbands, choosing their own careers. choosing the schools they wish to attend, choosing the cars they wish to drive unless they’re Priuses. I’m pro-choice on a whole lot of things. But some choices are wrong, like intentionally killing innocent human beings simply because they’re in the way of something we want. In other words, I agree with my pro-choice citizen friends. Look, I’m with you. I absolutely think there should be no restrictions on abortion whatsoever. that it should be legal through all 9 months of pregnancy, that there should be no reason tax money shouldn’t be used to fund it. that pro-lifers like me ought to shut up and go away. I agree completely if. If what? if the unborn are not human. That’s the issue. Convince me they’re not human with a good argument and I will join the pro-choice crowd. But I’m not going to join you just because you think you’re on the right side of history or you have the majority. I really don’t care how many people. oppose my view. Look, the majority in this country once opposed women voting. They once opposed freeing the slaves. Did that mean there was no morally correct answer on the issue? Abraham Lincoln could have been said to be on the wrong side of history in That didn’t stop him from artfully working through incremental problems steps to reverse the evil of slavery and pro-life politicians should follow Abe Lincoln’s lead. and do the right thing even if it isn’t popular. But you gotta know how to say what you believe. And what you believe is that abortion is wrong because it intentionally kills an innocent human being. That’s all you need to say. Full stop. Repeat it if you must, but don’t worry about saying more. Just keep the main thing, the main thing. And if we can do that, if we can get our messaging clear, Maybe we can rally our base and persuade some on the other side that are testing us to see do we really have principles or are we just being politically savvy by trying to always nuance what we believe? Let’s be principled people Let’s not be those who put our fingers up and try to measure where is the wind blowing. That gets us nowhere. Principles over politics. That’s what we need in today’s world. And I hope that’s what pro-life politicians will do. Follow principle. Thanks for joining us today. Again, be sure to visit us on our social media sites. Give us a like. and pass this podcast on to friends so they too can be equipped. And thanks to ProLifeTraining.com, which is the website for Life Training Institute. for being the prime sponsor of this podcast. Look forward to seeing you next time. Add Close