Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Right To Offend

Jo Jo Ruba Spoke About Pro-Life At McGill

But, pro-choice activists tried to disrupt his speaking engagement. How immature that was. Here is what he has to say on his Facebook Page:
Ever had one of those friends that always told you the truth? You wouldn't like everything they said but you appreciated their friendship. That's because regardless of how painful some of those things they said were, you knew that you needed to hear them.

I've only had a few of those kinds of friends in my life but to this day, they are the people who I turn to when I look for solid advice. I'm sure you have friends like that too - and gladly appreciate them as much as I appreciate my friends.

In fact, I try my best to be that kind of friend to those who need one.

But imagine if that need for advice was even more urgent, say a friend was struggling with a life or death decision. For example, you discovered she had bulimia or had thoughts of suicide. You would do everything you could to give them life-saving advice right? Even if they weren't that close of a friend, wouldn't you still try to give them information that will help them live?

Pro-lifers like myself speak about abortion precisely because we believe we are giving life-saving information. Many don't like our methodology - gosh who wants to hear how our society accepts abortion just as past societies accepted genocides like the Holocaust? No one. Frankly, I don't like giving that message.

However, the problem is not whether I like that message. The question is, is that message true? And do we have a right to offend others with that truth?

Rather than debating me with their facts last week, McGill's Student Union attempted to shut down my talk. Abortion advocates at that school criticized me for my presentation, calling it hate speech despite the fact that none had never heard any CCBR staff member speak. Yet that was all the excuse they needed to shut us down. They couldn't do it legally so about 20 protesters chanted and sang to keep people from hearing me speak.

To their credit, the university upheld my right to give my talk but the protesters succeeded in shutting down discussion. Believe me, it's not fun to bear the brunt of their anger for 2 hours (yes the video lasts that long).

What they don't understand is what they're expecting pro-lifers to do: They acknowledge that we believe abortion takes a human life but argue that we should do nothing to try and prevent these deaths.

Think about that for a minute: If you believe that a group of Canadians were being legally killed at a rate of 300 every day and taxpayers fund their executions, would you be satisfied if you were told that you can believe what you think but shouldn't force your views on others? Wouldn't decent, tolerant Canadians do everything in their power to help create laws to ensure all of us are treated with the same dignity and respect? And wouldn't you share that message regardless of how many people are offended? How could we be good friends if we don't do that?

You may not even agree with the pro-life position, but as you watch this video of what happened to us at McGill,I encourage to think about what tolerant, open-minded Canadians should do. And remember what George Orwell says, "Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."

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