Recently, in my Sun Media column, I wrote of being invited by a student group at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. to speak on the issue of abortion. I wrote in the column that the organizers of the event were obliged to hire security guards after threats were made to disrupt the event and how these were taken seriously as pro-life speakers have been shouted down, meetings broken up and people assaulted several times in recent years.
I also described how a dozen people stood up holding posters, some reading that I was shameful. And about the contrast between the pro-life and the pro-abortion students. The former were attractive, bright-eyed and compassionate. The latter dull, angry, so lacking in humanity and, it has to be said, intelligence. I described how one woman giggled at a story of the murder of 2.5million east European Jews and another yawned ostentatiously when I spoke of handicapped babies being singled out for death. One protester carried a poster stating, “Keep your laws off of my uterus.” I told her and the entire room, “I really have no desire to go anywhere near your uterus.” Most people laughed. Not her. Her uterus was obviously an issue of deep seriousness.
Yet another demonstrator, a diminutive fellow wearing a yarmulke, suddenly began to try to shut me down with screams of, “This is Islamophobia and a war against women.” In that Islam had not even been mentioned, this was all rather odd. He was removed and probably now thinks his sacrifice places him alongside Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King.
And so on and so on. The column runs in a dozen major newspapers, so a lot of people read it. Many wrote to me to say how they weren’t surprised and, even if they disagreed with me about abortion, how regrettable it was that intelligent debate is so smothered these days. But then there were the others. Frankly, it was as if a mask had suddenly been removed and the face of genuine evil had been revealed for all to see.
Threats, abuse, foul language, promises to kill and injure, guarantees that my children would be attacked, that I was a marked man, that my car would be made unsafe. Look guys, I already drive a Toyota, my son is a 260-pound body-builder who bench-presses mini-vans and I was a “marked man” long ago. You can threaten all you like and it makes me feel better every time. What you cannot do to me, though, is kill me in the womb.
And this is the issue. So pernicious is the mass taking of unborn human life that people who are not really bad or base have to silence those who expose the obscenity of the abortion war. It’s perhaps significant that the most active Nazi organization in the 1930s was the National Socialist Student Organization. Those most aggressive in silencing anti-Nazi speakers were not workers or farmers, but young men and women at Germany’s universities.
Now I’m not claiming that those middle-class young people who refuse to listen to contrary arguments about the unborn are Nazis, but I do believe that their intolerance and bigotry – how else do we describe such a blind, ill-informed dislike of other people – is very dark and sinister, indeed. One of the young women in the pro-life group at Queen’s said to me after my column appeared, “I wonder how long I have before I have to get out of town?” She was joking. But only sort of joking.
Pro-life: the love that dare not speak its name. The love for children at their most vulnerable, delicate and needy.
At the end of another university speech, I chatted with a pro-abortion student who, unlike most of her friends, was at least willing to dialogue. She told me she was gay. I said to her, “I’m not going to debate homosexuality with you, but let me put to you a proposition. Let us suppose for a moment that a gay gene was found and could be detected in unborn children. I do not believe this to be plausible or possible, but for the sake of argument, let us pretend. Then let us suppose that many people decided to abort their baby if it had such a gene and was gay. Would that be choice, would that be acceptable?”
A long, long pause. Then tears came into her eyes and she backed away. Perhaps, God willing, we are changing some people some of the time. No shame in that at all.
Michael Coren can be booked for speeches at michaelcoren.com.