A pro-life organization at a college in British Columbia may be silenced because it it’s point of view has been deemed offensive and controversial by others.
Since 2008 the University of Victoria’s Student Society Board has refused to grant club funding to the pro-life club Youth Protecting Youth. But a petition now being distributed around campus is now attempting to shut down the club completely.
According to Macleans on Campus:
The petition asks the UVSS clubs council to consider a motion calling for the suspension of the group for “their repeated offensive actions.” These offensive actions, as described in a letter preceding the petition, include: use of GAP (Genocide Awareness Project) materials on campus and hosting the controversial anti-abortion activist Stephanie Gray on campus, who participated in a debate with a philosophy professor. “This is hate speech that caused harm to many people on campus, including but not limited to many women on campus who have had abortions,” the letter reads. “The images and the captions on the posters harassed women and tried to make us feel guilty about a choice that we have a right to make.”
So now being made to feel guilty is “offensive?”
As of now, pro-aborts have the upper hand in the law so they’re attempting to outlaw any debate by insisting the law is settled; kind of like the science in global warming. How come nothing we like is ever settled? Like marriage being only between a man and a woman. It’s always the stuff they want that’s settled. The stuff we want is always up for discussion until they get some judge somewhere to side with them. And then it becomes instantaneously settled.
It’s clear that the new tactic to silence free speech is simply to call your opponent’s opinion “offensive” or “controversial.” Then comes the silencing.
Look at what many women’s organizations attempted to do to the Tim Tebow ad. Without having seen it, they called it “offensive” and “controversial” and then used the fact that they called it “offensive” as grounds for it to be taken off the air. Nice circular logic, eh?
Look what happened recently in a story we covered yesterday when a young girl was refused her chance to receive a proclamation from the floor of the Ohio State House congratulating her for a pro-life award she’d won. The pro-choice Speaker refused on the basis that the issue of abortion was just too controversial.
The ACLU even said:Ohio Life:
By declining to recognize Ms. Trisler’s achievement, Speaker Budish has created a troubling precedent that anyone who is deemed ‘controversial’ by House leadership will not be honored,” said ACLU of Ohio Executive Director Christine Link.”
But that is exactly the point.
Pro-choicers find our opinion to be offensive and we therefore must be silenced for fear that we may…unsettle things.
Well, if you ask me things in this country could use some serious unsettling.
Check out this news video as it has some interviews with people on campus which I find telling.
February 10, 2010 at 5:10 am
One woman interviewed on the street in this video actually said "I believe in the right to choose and I understand that these women want to produce an alternative, but, choice is what this is about."
Hmmm…If alternatives do not exist, then there is no choice. The choice is to abort or not to abort, right? If we take away the alternative "these women" are producting, then the only option is to abort. Again, there is no choice without alternatives.
February 10, 2010 at 8:09 am
She also did not answer the question, "do you find this offensive?"
Because the answer is really "no".
February 10, 2010 at 9:44 am
I can understand how people find many pro-life groups to be offensive, especially student-led groups. People my age (I am 22) tend to be a bit over zealous, and in turn begin to force whatever it is they are backing. Be it abortion, politics, art, whatever…we are an over zealous crowd.
At least they have to be silenced. The pro-life group at Texas Tech does nothing but gather and complain that abortion is bad and invite speakers that do nothing but talk about how evil Margaret Sanger is and how Planned Parenthood is a Nazi organization. Whatever happened to reaching out in love and compassion, you know…like we Catholics are supposed to? But I digress…
Do I agree with this organization being shut down? No. But if they are truly verbally attacking women, then what can be done? Nothing. The women complained, and the administration is taking what is considered to be their most proper action.
February 10, 2010 at 2:45 pm
Sometimes, calling someone overzealous is really saying that they make someone uncomfortable. That is the point – being comfortable is being complacent. If our Christianity does not offend those who stand against it, then I am not sure that we are living it properly.
Love means speaking in truth and challenging evil where it is. We must speak and act with love, but that does not mean we will always be received as such, nor that what we say or do will be seen as "nice." To not speak loud and clear when called to IS to act without love. Remember that Christ spoke to the Pharisees in condemnation with language that was not nicey nicey. He loved them, and was trying to challenge them to radical change – and that meant talking tough.
Acting like Jesus sometimes means upsetting all of the tables and chasing out the moneychangers or calling people hypocrites and "white washed tombs". In fact Christ's "overzealous" love cost him his life.
Yes, we must act with love, but we must not confuse that with softening the truth and hiding behind complacent niceness.
February 10, 2010 at 2:47 pm
More from the people of "peace" and "tolerance". How much longer oh Lord?
February 10, 2010 at 4:17 pm
Sometimes desperate moments call for desperate measures.
Joseph Antoniello (above), consider this:
"So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth."(Revelation 3;16)
February 10, 2010 at 5:50 pm
Is there more to the story? Are there any detailed descriptions of the demonstrations that provoked the "silencing"? Listen to Joseph.
It's quite possible that the group used questionable tactics. Father Rosica is absolutely right. Remember that Christ did not constanly condemn, condemn, condemn. He certainly did not demonize every single person he came across.
February 10, 2010 at 6:05 pm
"But if they are truly verbally attacking women, then what can be done? Nothing. The women complained, and the administration is taking what is considered to be their most proper action."
You don't actually believe that nonsense, do you? "Harassment" is pro-choice speak for encountering an opposing opinion and being offended by it. They don't understand the definition of the word, but they use it because they're desperate to suppress the pro-life view.
Every pro-life club in Canada is routinely accused of "harassment" simply for putting up posters or inviting speakers. No one is being chased down or "harassed" in any real sense. It's total calumny.
Here's my take on the story:
February 10, 2010 at 7:18 pm
Dauphin – The operative word is IF. "…IF they are truly verbally attacking…"
Obviously, we don't know all the facts on this case, right? We cannot say for a fact the administration is wrong, nor can we say the Youth for Youth are wrong.
Harassment is not simply putting up posters, nor having an opposing opinion. If their flyers or anything called women who had abortions "baby-killers" and "murderers" (which seems as though it is the case) that is harassment, regardless of the truth behind it. That is not how to approach a woman who has had an abortion. If you call her upfront a murderer, baby-killer or sinner they will never respond in a positive light.
I must admit that I find some of the GAP posters inappropriate. Religion should not be brought into the arguement…ever. This is how you destroy dialogue between the pro-choice and pro-life camps. Why? Because it is not a religious arguement. It is a scientific arguement. It is a bio-ethical argument. 9/11 imagery should not be used to prove a point.
I am a pro-lifer coming from a pro-choice background. I understand both sides of the fence, what upsets the other. As someone who is pro-life, we must find (I hate to say this, considering the health care bs) common ground in order to move forward in our dialogue. That may make me seem like a fence sitter, or that I approve of some abortions (which is not the case), but I see how certain common grounds can help our cause of life.
February 10, 2010 at 8:27 pm
"Harassment is not simply putting up posters, nor having an opposing opinion. If their flyers or anything called women who had abortions "baby-killers" and "murderers" (which seems as though it is the case) that is harassment, regardless of the truth behind it."
I'm telling you that, according to pro-choice groups (at least in Canada), simply talking negatively about abortion is a form of harassment. Saying people are being harassed is pro-choice parlance for "some pro-lifers are holding an event". I've followed what's happened at campuses throughout Canada, and "harassment" is always the line of attack. There's never any truth to it whatsoever.
You have to understand that we're not talking about rational, respectful people. We're talking about pro-choicers who recognize the weakness of their argument and will do anything within their power to suppress the other point of view.
In any event, it's absolutely apparent that they aren't doing what you describe. Have you not heard of feminists for life? They're just putting up their posters, which make no such accusations.
Even if they were calling women who've had abortions murderers (and there's no evidence they have), this would be no reason to shut them down. It might be counter-productive, but pro-life groups should not be restricted for being counter-productive.
February 10, 2010 at 8:30 pm
February 10, 2010 at 9:11 pm
Yes, we can dialogue with the baby-killers, but while we're dialoguing, how about a moratorium on baby-killing. After all, either it is baby-killing or it is not baby-killing, there is no common ground. Let's hold some science investigations to determine this, but while we are holding these dialogues and scientific studies, let's stop killing the babies, until we can determine if they are really baby humans or some other thing. In other words, let's have a "ceasefire" while we hold peace talks. Do you think the other side will be willing to stop the killing while we dialogue. Let's offer it to them. Opposing armies will even stop the killing during peace talks, so let's offer this choice to the baby-killers also. If they are reasonable people they should be willing to take us up on this offer.
As an aside, if the gross pictures of aborted babies upset you, shouldn't you be upset at the people who killed the babies, rather than the people showing you the pictures?
February 11, 2010 at 3:03 am
The Lord God Commanded: DO NOT commit murder. No further dialogue is necessary. Obey or suffer the consquences.
February 11, 2010 at 4:34 am
"Obviously we don't know all the facts on this case." But you assumed those facts, didn't you? You assumed that that this group was engaging in such crass tactics, despite the utter lack of any suggestion of the same in the news piece – which did not lack for opportunities to speak by the opposition. All the focus was on the posters.
No, you used weasel words like "if." With friends like you, how can groups like Youth Protecting Youth fight efforts to silence their speech?
Dauphin's point is well taken. Some tactics may not always be appropriate. But it's quite clear by now that for some on the other side of the debate, simply raising the subject is considered indefensible. And the right to expression is considered to screech to a halt precisely there.
February 11, 2010 at 5:30 am
First off, to the last Anon: as it is, not everyone who is pro-choice believes in God, and neither is everyone that is pro-life. As I stated before, God should not be brought into the argument. Pro-life/choiceness is not contingent upon belief in God.
People like Stephanie Gray do call women who have had abortions murderers. She compares them to Nazis. GAP is the same way. Dialogue is necessary. Abortion being abolished must have a definite beginning, but this cannot begin without resolving it issue by issue.
I do not take offense by the photos of abortions…I don't like seeing them, because it is grotesque. But as it is, these photos are not a way to win the argument. Some people just do not know how to approach pro-choicers. We need to work on this. I firmly believe in dialogue, be it between the choice/life camps or ecumenism…dialogue is needed.
February 11, 2010 at 7:23 am
Whatever happened to reaching out in love and compassion, you know…like we Catholics are supposed to?
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/…/mgrs._schooyans_blasts_pseudo-compassion_and_vatican_officials_article/ – United States
February 11, 2010 at 7:42 am
Msgr. Schooyans defined "compassion" as "a matter of understanding (the suffering person), 'sympathizing' with him, sharing in his distress and bearing it with him." He said that it "also suggests the notion of psychologically and emotionally sharing in suffering, especially suffering beyond medical or other control."
February 11, 2010 at 7:43 am
That was a quote from the article linked in previous comment.
February 27, 2010 at 6:16 pm
It's not just the abortion issue on which free speech is being silenced by an appeal to the "offensiveness" of the argument. I have been attacked for using the word "marraige" because the attacker ASSUMED that I was excluding some people. In point of fact, the word marraige is also used for common-law marraiges which have been accepted by the law for centuries. I was excluding nobody by my use of it, but the mere assumption that I was, entitled her to attack me in her mind. I am attacked for my views that legal marraige is superior to common-law unions and better for individuals, families and societies because my saying what any lawyer would say about the legal benefits, and what psychologists say about the social benefits, constitutes my "oppressing" those who choose otherwise. Which is like saying that if I told someone they could get a better deal on their phone service with another company I am oppressing, offending and harassing them for choosing the company they already picked! I am also attacked for my opinions on pornography, prostitution and promiscuity. And yes, I am attacked for my view on abortion on demand.
At every turn I am assumed to be a religious fanatic (I don't have a religion), sexist (I am a woman) and anti-science and anti-"progress". The reality is I once was a rabid supporter of the right to be promiscous, of "sexworkers" rights of the so-called free-speech issue of pornography and what changed my mind was SCIENCE. Despite coming to it with a biased, skewed opinion formed by a cultural brainwashing that should by the envy of any cult, SCIENCE made me a convert to a traditional moral worldview. The study of logic made me see the emotional-reasoning, and faulty logic of the arguments I had held so dear.
There is definately an ongoing attempt to silence all dissent on these issues, to take us out of the public discussion and put us beyond the Pale. And, what's astounding is that the silencing is being done in the name of protecting freedom of speech, the marginalizing is being done in the name of protecting minorities, and the oppression is happening in the name of tolerance.
Why is porn a constitutionally protected free-speech issue even though it offends me as a woman and I find it sexist and harmful…but I'm not allowed to "offend" any sensitive liberals and libertarians with the results of brain-scans or peer-reviewed scientific studies?