For those unfamiliar with the movie The Great Debaters, it’s about three African-American college students who, participating on their school’s debate team, find success arguing about the civil rights injustices plaguing the better half of the 20th century.
Towards the beginning of the movie, during a debate team practice, these students’ coach repeatedly asks them the same four questions, and the students repeatedly respond with the same designated answers. The last two questions he asks are what I’d like to focus on right now.
The coach first asks his students who their opponent is, to which they respond saying, “He does not exist.” The coach then asks his students why he does not exist, to which they respond, “Because he is a mere dissenting voice of the truth I speak.” A mere dissenting voice of the truth that I speak. A mere dissenting voice of the truth that I speak.
The great debaters carried with them an intrinsic truth, at its core a very human truth, which is that each human life has both fundamental and constitutional value, inalienable rights that cannot be infringed upon or revoked because of race or creed, gender or size. Their opponents did not exist not because they went without opposition but because nothing anybody opposing them argued could tarnish the truth that they spoke – they could merely dissent it.
So as members of the pro-life movement, let us ask ourselves, who is our opponent? And I think if we reflect deeply enough, we will also discover that the answer to that question is they do not exist. Sure, we’re literally up against Planned Parenthood and the entire abortion industry, and again, from a literal perspective, they do oppose us, as we oppose them. But nothing abortion-supporters euphemize can change the fact that life begins at conception – they can merely dissent it.
Nothing Roe v. Wade decided can alter the intrinsic truth that abortion is the murder of an unborn child – it can merely dissent it. And nothing Planned Parenthood does can take away the value of each human person, although they attempt to destroy it. All these opposing efforts can do is merely dissent the truth that we speak.
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