Right to Life Radio | Life Report

The second part of Josh's interview with Brad Mattes, CEO of Life Issues Institute and host of the Emmy award-winning television show, "Facing Life Head-On." Brad answers the questions from the "Life Report Questionnaire" and more!

Questions:

  1. What did you get in trouble for as a child?
  2. What is your favorite movie, and why?
  3. What has been the pro-life movement's greatest victory (or victories) so far?
  4. What has been the pro-life movement's greatest failing or weakness?
  5.  Does the pro-life movement need more unity, and if so, how can we accomplish that?
  6.  Graphic Pictures: Should we use them, and if so, how, when, and where?
  7.  What would you say to those who would argue that graphic pictures should be used in very public places because children don't seem to be too negatively effected by them?
  8.  Stem Cell Research & Human Cloning: What should pro-lifers be doing about this, and why?
  9.  What would you say to those who say it's unfair to compare the current successes of ESCR with adult stem cell research since ASCR has had more public funding until recently?
  10.  What should pro-lifers be doing about human cloning now that it might actually be a reality?
  11.  Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia: What should pro-lifers be doing about this, and why?
  12.  Is the Netherlands a lost cause on the end-of-life issues debate?
  13.  Respond to Americans who look at the problems with euthanasia in the Netherlands and respond, "That's them. We will do it better."
  14.  What do you say to someone who is for assisted suicide in certain hard cases?
  15.  How should pro-lifers interact with those who are pro-abortion-choice?
  16.  Respond to pro-lifers who would say that we should be shouting at pro-choice people because that shows we're taking baby killing seriously.
  17.  What single thing should pro-lifers be doing that most are NOT doing right now?
  18.  How can pro-lifers start conversations about such a dark issue without being weird?
  19.  How should pro-life people use Facebook?
  20.  If people went to LifeIssues.org what could they find there?
Direct download: LifeReport176.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:29am PDT

Josh interviews Brad Mattes, CEO of Life Issues Institute and host of the Emmy award-winning television show, "Facing Life Head-On."  Check back in two weeks for the second part of this interview, where Brad answers the questions from the "Life Report Questionnaire" and more!

Questions:

1:11 - How did you get involved in the pro-life movement?

2:15 - How early was Dr. Wilke publishing pro-life literature and media?

2:54 - How do you think the pro-life movement has changed in the last 40 years, especially as it relates to media?

5:04 - What have you learned about how abortion affects men?

6:45 - What resources are available at http://LifeIssues.org?

7:32 - Tell us about your TV show, "Facing Life Head-On."

9:01 - What are some of the common themes on your show?

9:37 - How do you get Emmy nominations doing pro-life work?

10:38 - What were you hoping to accomplish by going to Ethiopia?

11:57 - What happened with the Ethiopian abortion worker you spoke to?

13:20 - Can you tell our audience about the woman you met who is suffering from leprosy?

14:14 - How has your life changed since you came back?

16:09 - What was the most difficult interview you did on Facing Life Head-On?

18:33 - Do you have a few favorite episodes looking back?

19:26 - How can we overturn Roe vs. Wade?

20:38 - Looking ahead, what will be very important for the pro-life movement to do differently as we work towards overturning Roe vs. Wade?

21:52 - Is there anti-intellectualism in the pro-life movement, and if so, how do we combat that?

Check out the Life Issues Institute website and TV show:

http://lifeissues.org

Comment on this episode at:

http://ProLifePodcast.net/175

Direct download: LifeReport175.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:16am PDT

I got a wonderful email from Andres in Santa Barbara who was in a dialogue about abortion and used an analogy about being hooked up to a machine in order to demonstrate that your personhood isn't based on your dependance. But the person he was talking to retorted, "Are you comparing a woman to a machine?!" Andres wants to know what I would suggest we do to avoid throwing people off when the analogies we use seem, at a surface level, to demean pregnant women.

In the video, I offer six tips for making clear analogies and responding to people who continue to misinterpret them.

1: Make sure you're communicating clearly.

2: Narrate the debate.

3: Suggest a golden rule for dialogue.

4: Explain that analogies are just that...analogies!

5: Explain that pro-choice people would be wise to not throw out all analogies.

6: Determine the right time to politely end the conversation.

Find more resources about bodily rights argument for abortion at:

http://prolifepodcast.net/tag/bodily-rights

Direct download: LM-OffensiveAnalogies.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45am PDT

Casey Vroman from Students for Life of America joins us in studio to talk about the free resources that SFLA offers to college students and now high schoolers. We believe it's important that all pro-life advocates know about these resources so that you can point students in your sphere of influence to them.

Questions:

1:55 How did you get involved with Students for Life and the pro-life movement?

3:15 How would you explain what Students for Life does to somebody who hasn't heard of SFLA before?

4:22 What is SFLA's long-term goal with campus clubs?

5:35 What is SFLA doing with high school students now?

6:46 What has it been like working with high school students?

8:18 Is SFLA planning on working with junior high students in the future, and what would you say to concerned parents about that?

10:29 What are some of the initiatives you're doing on college campuses now?

13:23 What practical resources is SFLA offering to college students?

16:14 What are some common mistakes students can avoid when starting a campus club?

19:50 Should clubs embrace a "whole life" model where they're also talking about capital punishment, sex trafficking and adoption, or should they focus on talking about abortion?

23:35 Talk to us about the Wilberforce and Steven's Fellowships.

25:20 What would be your key piece of advice for a high school student who wants a career in the pro-life movement?

Related Links:

- Visit Students for Life's website: http://StudentsForLife.org.

- Read Scott Klusendorf's "reading list for smart pro-lifers" that Josh referenced: http://bit.ly/17RnCNS

- Visit Students for Life's career opportunities page Josh referenced: http://StudentsForLife.org/Internships

Direct download: LifeReport174.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:51am PDT

Here's an outline of my main points in response to this question from Bobby: "Some pro-life people oppose 'incrementalist' pro-life laws because they always end with '... and then you can kill the baby.' What are your thoughts?

Note: Many of my arguments and thinking on these issues comes from conversations I had with Scott Klusendorf and Dr. Francis Beckwith, who both graciously spent time with me while I was working through these issues in 2007. I'm not sure now who said what and how many of these arguments are really my own, nor would I want to source any of these arguments directly to Scott or Frank without their permission. (These were all private conversations.) It's probably a fair assumption that the really smart talking points came from one of them though.

This was supposed to be a video but we had technical difficulties with the recorded video, so I'm posting the audio only.

Common ground: I agree that we don't want to communicate to people that we only care about babies that feel pain, are a certain age, not conceived in rape, etc.

I disagree that most forms of incremental legislation send that message. I think most people know how politics works.

It's one thing to endorse something, it's another thing to say what is allowed under the law. I offer a clear example of this from Gonzales vs. Carhart.

My argument is not that we should do evil that good may come. My argument is that when we pass incremental bills that will have a positive impact for the unborn, we are not actually doing evil. We are doing a good thing.

What's implicit in these bills is that we want to save all, but we know we can't, so we're going to save the most we can, and go from there. That's called graduated absolutism.

Why I'm not utilitarian: I'm not saying 'We'll kill one baby if you let another go.' It's more like if in a Japanese POW camp, the Japanese soldier tells a prisoner, 'We'll let you go, and you can either take two with you and we'll kill the other eight, or you can go alone and we'll kill all ten.' It seems like some pro-life people that support personhood amendments would say that by taking the two I'm implicitly saying you can kill the other eight. 'As long as you give me these two, THEN you can kill the POW's.' No, we value life, and we're trying to save as much as we can.

The Bible doesn't say that if you can't save all, you can't save any. The midwives in Exodus 1 weren't able to save all the babies, but they saved as many as they could, and they are praised for it. When the Pharaoh confronted them, they didn't make a pro-life argument or statement; they lied about it so that they could continue saving some! It could be argued that they were implicitly telling the leader of the land that it's okay to kill infants. They never to his face say 'You shouldn't do that.' They lied, and saved as many as they could.

William Wilberforce helped pass a bill, the Foreign Slave Trade Bill of 1806) that you could have ended with, 'and then you can sell the slave.'

Do you think it's more important to make an impact or to make a statement? I don't believe that passing a bill with a rape exception tacked onto it at the last minute sends a message to pro-choice people that we don't care about the babies conceived in rape that are sometimes killed in abortions.

Are there some pro-life bills that don't directly save many lives after they pass? Yes. (Parental notification with judicial bypass; the partial-birth abortion ban.) Yet both had educational value, especially the PBA ban.

Direct download: LM-Incrementalism.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:16am PDT

After summarizing Abby Johnson's story, Josh asks 40 Days for Life co-founder Shawn Carney about his ministry as well as the state of the pro-life movement.

Questions:

  1. How do you think 40 Days for Life has changed the pro-life movement?
  2. Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently when starting 40 Days for Life?
  3. Do people often go from participating in 40 Days for Life to doing other pro-life activities? What are you doing to encourage that?
  4. What do you think are the best methods for a local 40 Days for Life campaign?
  5. What could RLCC do better to persuade people to participate in sidewalk counseling?
  6. What has been the pro-life movements greatest victory so far?
  7. What has been the pro-life movements greatest weakness?
  8. What single thing should pro-lifers be doing that most are not doing right now?
  9. How should pro-life people interact with those that are pro-abortion-choice?
Direct download: LifeReport173.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:32pm PDT

Josh, Tim and Gabi discuss what it actually means to be open-minded, (it does NOT mean being wishy-washy,) and whether pro-life people should be open-minded too.

Direct download: LifeReport172.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:12am PDT

After wrapping up four Life Report episodes, Josh, Tim and Gabi hung out to cover some material they didn't have time to get into earlier in the day. Those topics and questions for Tim include:

  1. You said, "Love does not insist on its own way; it does not need to have the last word in a debate." Does that conflict with the Stand to Reason mantra of trying to leave people with a pebble in their shoe?
  2. A discussion of pro-life memes and why most of them are bad.
  3. You said, "Love is not resentful, it does not dwell on the failures of those around us. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing. It is not excited when those around us are caught in sin." What about pro-life groups like Live Action that do undercover investigative videos catching Planned Parenthood doing bad things?
  4. Can you talk about how we are to love practically with those in the pro-life movement who may disagree on our political method, for example on our use of graphic images? How would you apply your piece to that?
  5. Which line in the 1 Cor 13 piece do you feel is the most important, or the most contrasted by the way a lot of pro-life people actually act?
Direct download: BONUS-ProLifeMemes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25am PDT

Megan Almon from Life Training Institute joins Josh and Gabi to discuss how pro-lifers can have productive conversations about Gosnell, as well as the common mistakes pro-lifers should avoid.

One of the most common questions we get is "how do you start non-weird conversations about abortion when you're not on campus next to a pro-life exhibit?" One of the easier methods is to use a story that's currently in the news. Josh thinks pro-life people can have good conversations about abortion starting with the controversy of what Gosnell did, but he doesn't think you should stop there. He uses several specific questions to lead the conversation into talking about the abortions that are less controversial to pro-choice people: abortions done on first-trimester babies that are in the womb, aren't viable, aren't conscious and don't feel pain.

After giving these questions and dialogue tips, the discussion turns to what pro-life people should NOT do when talking about Gosnell. What are the most common mistakes pro-lifers make regarding this story? Listen to the episode to find out.

Josh also briefly responds to the pro-choice argument that it's pro-lifers fault that women went to Gosnell's clinic in the first place.

Note from Josh: We shot this episode a week before Gosnell was finally convicted of murder, among other things. This content is still relevant, it just means you might change the first question from "Should Dr. Gosnell be in jail," to something like "do you think it's a good thing that Dr. Gosnell is serving a life sentence in prison?"

Direct download: LifeReport171.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:40am PDT

Last February we published two episodes with our favorite (nearly graduated) student from Notre Dame Law John Gerardi with an update on the HHS mandate lawsuits as well as answering the controversial question, "why did so many church-going Catholics vote for President Obama, again?!"  After we recorded those two episodes, we spent another 20 minutes answering questions we hadn't talked about yet, and answered a good questions sent from a listener. This is the audio from that post-episode discussion.

Topics/Questions:

  1. "Tell me about states like Massachusetts, that are heavily Catholic and Irish but are totally in the tank for Obama."
  2. "What do you think is the future for the bishops' involvement in politics?"
  3. Karen: "Is it even possible that we really change our society legislatively, or do we need to concentrate on the hearts of women and men?"

Note from Josh: We try to get bonus audio published a lot closer to the original recording, but it wasn't as high of a priority as keeping our publishing schedule for TV and radio. As you listen to this, it'll be obvious that this was recorded before Pope Benedict stepped down.

Also, John said in this discussion that we're only "one Supreme Court justice away from overturning Roe vs. Wade." Based on some recent research that I plan on blogging about in the future, I now think this may be a bit optimistic. In other words, I think it's more likely that we have one or two justices that would overturn Roe, and a few others that we really don't know how they would rule on overturning Roe, even if they have pro-life beliefs. I hope history proves me wrong.

Direct download: Bonus-JohnGerarrdi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:08pm PDT