Laura returns for this as guest essayist.
This one’s been simmering for several days now, and I wanted to give another, very sincere attempt at responding to the issue – not because I think Matt needs help (he certainly doesn’t!) but because maybe other people deal with these challenges.
For several years, I identified strongly with the Religious Society of Friends, the Quakers. They have an expression: “Speaking to That of God in every man,” which means, simply, that we make a deliberate effort to remember that our opponent is a soul created by God, for whom Christ died – or, as C.S. Lewis wrote, I think in <i>Prince Caspian</i>, to be a son of Adam or a daughter of Eve is enough dignity to raise the head of the lowliest beggar, and enough shame to bow the head of the loftiest king.
Our Lord Jesus Christ had another way of addressing this. We call it The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
In short, when we engage in discussion with opponents on the abortion issue, or other issues, we have an obligation to treat them with courtesy, dignity, and a fundamental human respect that demonstrates, that models, the basic respect for human life of the unborn we would have them to embrace.
In fact, I believe we have a GREATER obligation to courtesy, good manners, and basic kindness – because we know better, because we have a higher Ideal to cling to.