With all the discussion about abortion today, you might be hearing a charge frequently leveled against pro-life activists: “You only care about children in the womb. You don’t care about them after they’re born!”
The problem is that this is really just a slogan (which ultimately, I think is a partisan political slogan meant to promote larger government), and as a slogan, it will take a little work to get past because your friend might not have thought it through very carefully. Ask questions: “What do you mean, I ‘don’t care about them’?” “What actions do you think I would take if I really did care about them?” If the answer is a political solution you disagree with, then: “Are you open to the idea that I think there’s a better way to care for them than your way? Maybe you’ve missed the ways that I and my fellow pro-lifers have been caring for them.”
Sometimes a conversation about this will reveal the objection is just a smoke screen. Greg spoke to a woman on the radio a few years ago about this charge of inconsistency, and when it came down to it, there was nothing Greg could have done that would have been enough for her. The discussion is instructive:
So don’t let this charge neutralize you. Don’t be afraid of it. Dive into it and see if you can work through it with your friend.
And because speaking out for defenseless human beings whose lives are at stake is a worthy cause in itself, here’s a final question to ask: “Do you understand that even though I can’t do everything, saving people’s lives is still a worthy cause to devote myself to?”
Scott Klusendorf captured this idea well:
Joe found the young girl unconscious in her upstairs closet. By the time he got there, the structure was a raging inferno. No one else dared go inside. Scooping up the girl, he took his only exit, straight out the second story window and into the bushes below. The girl lived. For his part, Joe sustained three cuts and two sprained ankles—and an avalanche of questions. The media wanted to know how he planned to pay for the girl’s food, clothing, and health care now that he’d rescued her. The evangelical pastor asked if the time spent saving the girl from temporal flames might be better spent saving people from eternal ones. The social justice coordinator of the Catholic parish insisted that if Joe truly cared about saving lives, he’d care about all life and spend equal time rescuing poor workers from corrupt corporations. The local Congressman asked if he supported tax hikes aimed at reducing fire risk. Joe just kept looking at the girl.