Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Poor Tactics of #180movie @TBBMediaGroup @audrajennings

I was intrigued by the marketing related to Ray Comfort's documentary 180, claiming to instantly change people's minds about abortion through one question.

The film is short and available for free online through their website and on YouTube. While I am quite pro-life (that's another subject for another time and more complex than any politicos want to make it), I actually disliked this documentary and found it ineffective with fallacious arguments.

Are there similarities between abortion, the Holocaust, and murder? Depending on one's view, sure, there could be. However, how we make those comparisons are central.

Comfort jumps from one topic to another in quick-fire succession, not really allowing his interviewees time to think and consider his arguments (not all of which are good or fair by any means). Also, even though he says people changed their minds (and admittedly, they said they did), we need to remember some principles of social psychology. When you have someone in your face who is aggressively interrogating you and you know they won't leave you alone until you agree with them, especially if you don't have a good argument in contrast, then you, too, might simply agree to get out of a situation. While some of the participants seemed truly moved, others seemed to be more annoyed.

I would be more curious to interview them months later to see if it stuck.

He also demonstrated a stereotypic proselytizing that is quite aggressive, emphasizing that someone will go to hell because they are a lying thief. Besides the fact that he does not define blasphemy accurately, this sort of approach has consistently been shown to not lead to lasting change. It's great for the moment to make a decision based on fear, but there is no presence of an individual being drawn to the amazing love of Christ.

Rather, Jesus is simply presented as a really good lawyer. We like to have them around us and on retainer, but we're not likely to be good friends with them...

What I would like to see in drawing people toward Christ and toward the reduction of abortions is not fear tactics and shame-based polarities, but rather toward love and appreciation for life in all forms and situations. It's about improving the world, not just avoiding sin.

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