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From Sean Thompson.

In their letter concerning Amy Gordon's article, the authors raise important issues for consideration by pro-life strategists, and for Show the Truth (STT) witnesses in particular. They are correct is asserting that strategies are open for debate, and on that basis I submit the following response to their concerns.

The cultural mainstream does not accept that abortion is a matter for debate. Their attitude is summarized by former Prime Minister Jean Chretien's assertion that "we have social peace on abortion" in Canada. One hundred thousand corpses annually to the contrary, this absurdity is perpetuated through communications that minimize, to the point of falsehood, what abortion really is, with euphemisms like 'product of conception' acting like sedatives on the public conscience.

In this atmosphere of comfortable bromides, education on the matter has been severely compromised. These authors argue, however, that parental control of children's education is undermined by random exposure to STT images, which is a violation of pro-life insistence on parents' right to be the first educators of their children.

First, it needs to be clarified that the information management sought by pro-life parents is motivated today primarily by an institutional libertinism that teaches children how to 'safely' engage in sexual acts; encourages acceptance of homosexual acts as having parity with male-female relations; and lists pregnancy among sexually transmitted diseases. This is misinformation. Show the Truth, conversely, is a program that seeks to penetrate the cultural sedation that tolerates abortion by alerting people to its grisly reality. This is information, and so cannot be classed among the provocations to moral debilitation from which parents seek to protect their children.

Second, the opposing side in this defining battle of our time promulgates its message from subway posters, billboards, grocery checkouts, television--the list hardly needs to be enumerated. Children are subjected to a ubiquitous, ever-increasing explicitness serving the opposition's falsehood. On the other hand, STT shows from a sidewalk (in the time it takes a car to drive by) explicit pictures that are the progeny of that falsehood. Can it be seriously argued that the resistance of systemic, explicit mendacity with localized, explicit exhibits of that mendacity's fruit violates parental control of education? Or that this brief, truthful exposure would be damaging to children, special needs or otherwise?

Third, parents need the hard data denied them to educate their children on abortion. They are not getting it from the mainstream sources of information. Many parents who see STT displays have a critical information gap filled, and are given a basis to question the prevailing misinformation, thereby assisting their duty to be the first educators of their children. Furthermore, when the children see the images, their instinctive response is of course to ask their parents about it, so the parents remain the managers of the information.

This is not to suggest that the images may not be hard for children to view. But this has to be understood in terms of the fact that the pro-life struggle is at the epicentre of a culture war. Wars involve casualties that are hidden from no one, not even children. In this war, however, the bodies are swept into garbage bags and, as part of the pro-abortion strategy, hidden from public view. Show the Truth seeks to disclose the carnage that abortionist strategists want hidden, understanding that nature seeks to correct the unnatural condition of war by providing us little tolerance for its horrors. Their premise is that hiding the horrors, and the concomitant subversion of our antidotal aversion, perpetuates the war and its cause.

The point that the pain of women who have had and regret an abortion can be exacerbated by viewing the images is inaccurate. Such a woman would be reminded of her act, and that may well rekindle her pain, but this is a re-experience, not an exacerbation. Eventually, witnessing the images would not so much result in pain as in a fortification of her conviction that no one else should experience the pain of her mistake. In any event, as an information campaign directed against the imposition of ignorance by cultural forces, Show the Truth cannot be found guilty of either intending or complicating someone's pain, simply because its images can precipitate a memory.

Moreover, truth is rarely spoken without someone experiencing pain upon hearing it.... If we were to accept that anything that can cause pain to certain people or groups should cease and desist, there would be little room for public protest; which is why pro-abortion forces use this very argument to dissuade such protests.

If it is true that STT is the "most-publicized aspect of the pro-life movement," that means the protestors are doing their job. It is no argument to suggest that their tactics will be subjected to media hostility, because no aspect of the pro-life movement is exempt from that.

The authors appear to assert that STT witnesses turn to anger during their protests.... It is at odds with everything I know about Show the Truth and its insistence on peace and calm.

Uxbridge, ON
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Article Details
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Author:Thompson, Sean
Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Feb 1, 2007
Previous Article:From Ann Marie Tomlins.
Next Article:Reading Neuhaus' Catholic Matters.

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