Monsters and men: Visiting preacher opens tough discussion

By: Logan Peterson

petersonlo@mnstate.edu

Abortion. What does it make you feel? Hate and vitriol, uneasy anger, the foreshadowing of a tough discussion—that’s what most people feel. At least, that’s how I feel about the topic.

If you’re talking about abortion on a liberal college campus, you’re going to get an ear-full. If you’re spreading religion on a similar campus, you’ll probably find some opinionated people. If you’re talking about abortion in the name of religion, may your god help you.

Last week a preacher visited MSUM. Carrying his “Repent” sign, he set up on the knoll outside Lommen and the library. His voice carried all the way to MacLean, and I heard him on the way out of a class in Weld and stopped by to see what his sermon was all about. The preacher was energetic and angry. He talked about Roe vs. Wade, abortion statistics and how evil the practice is.

Everyone has the mindset that they are right and anyone who disagrees is wrong. Abortion is an especially tough topic because it amplifies this mentality. The opposition is not only wrong; they are monsters.

Pro-choice advocates think they face stone-age misogynists who can’t understand why women should have equality, while pro-life advocates think they’re facing murderers.

Oddly enough, comedian Louis C.K. best explained the discourse on abortion. He said in a performance, “People hate abortion protesters. ‘They’re so shrill and awful.’ But they think babies are being murdered. What are they supposed to be (saying)?”

This is a joke, but it gives us actual insight into the minds of pro-life activists. They believe they are protesting a systematic killing of children. You may disagree with their conclusion, but if you believed the same thing, wouldn’t you at least protest?

I think the preacher was a good thing for MSUM. It may not have been comfortable, but it’s enlightening. Whether or not he convinced any pro-choice people, he at least challenged some views and hopefully made them understand his stance.

A school like MSUM may be great if you agree with the general political stance of its students, but it can also be dangerous. It can cause stagnation. If you live in an echo chamber, you may acquire hive-mind views without investigating them for yourself. If you don’t have to challenge or consider your views, what do they mean? And how well can you defend your position?

I encourage all students to find someone who disagrees with their views. Have a calm but serious discussion about the issues you are opposed to. This is the key to figuring out that we aren’t dealing with monsters, just human beings with different circumstances and ideas.

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