Thursday, February 16, 2012

Those damned graphic images!

They Just. Don't. Work!

I have observed that the people (always claiming to be pro-life) who object to the use of graphic images use precisely the same arguments against them that the pro-aborts like to use: "But what if children see them?!!" (People who have experience with actually using the images will tell you every time that it is the adults who become upset. Children know the difference between truth and bull____, at least until their teens.)

In addition, the people who get all shrieky over the nasty pictures love to claim that they "don't work". "They just put people off". The claim is that the pictures "shut down the argument". That "they are just so horrible that the only reaction you ever get is anger. All people do is flounce away in a huff. There's no opening for discussion."

What I have noticed is that for the most part, the people making this claim are those who have never actually used graphic images in a pro-life demonstration. I usually want to ask the people making these claims how many times they have participated in projects like the Genocide Awareness Project. If they had, they would know from their own experience that the exact opposite is the truth.

Here is one of the many reports from people who use the images all the time, who work exclusively with them on college campuses and on the streets of towns all over the US and Canada.

abortion advocates often insist that the debate is over- no one wants or needs to discuss abortion. However, we have found that this is not the case, especially on a university campus like Florida Gulf Coast University, when we hold the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP).

For example, whenever we hold GAP on university campuses, Planned Parenthood representatives usually react by putting on their pink t-shirts and setting up a table with free candy and condoms. They have a supply of signs with various slogans like “Women’s Health Matters” and “Pro-Woman, Pro-Family, Pro-Choice”. This is a positive and attractive message, and always gathers a crowd of supporters.

In contrast, we put up graphic, ugly, bill-board sized pictures of babies that have been killed, along with victims of other terrible injustices. One might think that this would turn people away, and be a barrier to dialogue but we have found just the opposite.

These terrible images are the catalyst that many students need in order to seriously engage in the abortion debate.

The one thing that the claim does make clear, however, is just how utterly self-serving it is. They just don't like graphic images. The dead baby pictures upset them. Why? I don't know but I could hazard a few guesses from experience.

I've seen much the same reaction from people who don't like Trads but who like to claim to be deeply devout and faithful Catholics, who become angry and defensive whenever the issue of the Traditional Mass comes up. Underneath their indignation is a nauseating kind of smarmy, self-congratulatory patting of their own backs. They don't like Trads because they don't like the implication that there's something they need to do, a few things they might need to know that they don't know already. Something they might need to give up or repent.

I've seen people become hysterical, actually shrieking and ready to launch into a physical attack at the sight of the pictures. But these are the same people who become hysterical and violent at the mere mention of an opinion opposed to abortion. These are the people we want to upset. The people who really need to be upset.

And yes, in many cases they are post-abortive themselves. They have often never had anyone say anything to them but the usual lies of the abortion movement. The politically correct crap that they've been fed from the day of their abortions, "I'll support you whatever decision you make." "You had a hard choice but in the end you did what was best for you."

And, frankly, so what if they're upset? Is it going to kill them? Are they going to leave your dead baby pictures display and go immediately to be incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital? Why do we bother our heads about the passing, temporary emotional reactions of some people to an unpleasant and powerful truth?

There's been a kind of hypersensitivity to being "upset" in recent decades. All sorts of arm-chair pop psychologizing that gives an excuse to the sort of people who want to be thought fragile and delicate to claim that they have been "traumatized". Mostly this is a means of controlling everyone around them. "Be nice to me at all times, never disagree with me, or I'll be traumatized."

But a real psychologist will tell you that the human psyche is extremely resilient and tough. People don't react well to being lied to and duped, but if the thing they are seeing is verifiably true, they will adjust to it after an initial moment of shock.

The fact is, abortion is horrifying. If you are not horrified by it, by the very thought of it, perhaps you are not actually a fragile delicate flower; perhaps you are exactly the opposite. Perhaps the real problem is that you are hard of heart, as it says in the Big Book, that you have had your conscience deadened and eroded away by a lifetime of listening to too many lies, and seeing too many conscience-deadening things on television.

People who become angry when presented with an unpleasant truth have a few things in their conscience that they really do need to deal with. By making them "upset" and telling them the truth, forcing them to confront these unpleasant realities, you are helping them.

That it is unpleasant to be yelled at and called names is something I suggest you offer up, for the sake of your soul or for theirs.



BillyHW said...

"Why do we bother our heads about the passing, temporary emotional reactions of some people to an unpleasant and powerful truth? "

This is really good.

Rose said...

Spot on. Thank you!

Paul Smeaton said...

I think Monsignor Reilly, founder of the Helpers of God's Precious Infants and a man who has had skin cancer seven times thanks to refusing to stop praying and counselling outside abortion centres, has a very coherent line on graphic images. He does say that there's a time and a place and a right way to use them, but it's much more often than one might think and much more direct than one might think. This is two hours, but in my view it is essential viewing for anyone who prays and/or counsels outside abortion centres.

Anonymous said...

Re: so what if they're upset?

Sometimes I wish I could hug you Hilary! (Yes, I realise you'd probably hate that, but it's just an expression).

This was a very helpful post for me. Thanks!

Kay said...

About 40 years ago, I came across a tiny pamphlet which showed a few graphic images of what serious auto accidents can do to a human body. There were a few severed limbs and quite a bit of blood.

Seeing these images caused a visceral reaction which stayed with me, well, they're STILL with me. It certainly made me slow down and be more careful.

Unfortunately, my husband, who was working with wayward teens at the time, borrowed it and it disappeared forever.

But in a world where such heinous things are happening, and where there is no shortage of blood and gore in movies which purportedly "entertain" us, I think hiding the horrors that real people suffer, is a big mistake.

I agree that there is a time and place for everything and if ONE graphic image stops ONE abortion, it will be worth all the "momentary discomfort" of those who might be so touched.

The world is suffering a hardening of heart such as has never been seen in the history of humanity. At least that's how it appears to me.

And someone pointed out the irony of the fact that Pope Benedict's intention for February is for access to WATER for all people, while in the US,(the most affluent nation in the history of the world), the argument is over access to contraceptives and abortifacients.

Thank God for the pockets of goodness that we don't hear about.

Teresa B. said...

I became a school bus patrol in Gr. 7. We had to watch all these horrific videos about accidents and train wrecks. They were really gruesome. (gave me nightmares)
They told us we had to learn what could happen if safety was not used and how important it was for us to be doing what we were doing.
Then they showed all the students these movies - to show what goofing off and irresponsible behaviour can lead to.
That was back in the mid-70's.

Unknown said...

I have used the images. Outside of PP. They work.