Winner of the second annual Concourse Grand Prize
by the editors
The second annual Concourse Grand Prize:
Dinner for two at the
Grand Concourse Restaurant in Pittsburgh
to be awarded to the author of the article (excluding those by staff and board members), which, in the judgment of the editors, best reflects the Concourse ideal of fruitful Christian discourse.
This year’s prize goes to MA philosophy student
for her piece titled
‘Changing the rhetoric in the abortion debate,’
featured in Issue II,3 (and repeated below)
We chose this article, from among several worthy contenders, for its thoughtfulness, its intelligence and its Christian spirit. Not only did she throw a fresh perspective on an issue of compelling interest to our University community, but she did it in a such a way as to inspire deeper reflection without provoking controversy. The following excerpts will serve to show how deserving it is of this year’s prize:
It is an undeniable fact that abortion kills children. It is even more alarming that many individuals in the pro-choice movement are well aware of the fact that abortion kills children….The abortion issue no longer centers on whether or not the fetus is a human life, but rather on justification for the killing… Last year an article entitled ‘Our Bodies, Our Souls’ appeared in The New Republic. It was written by Naomi Wolf, a vocal pro-choice advocate. In the article, she suggested that the time has come for the pro-choice movement to ‘change its rhetoric.’ Wolf states: ‘Clinging to a rhetoric about abortion in which there is no life and no death, we entangle our beliefs in a series of self-delusions, fibs and evasions…I will argue for a radical shift in the pro-choice movement’s rhetoric and consciousness about abortion: I will maintain that we need to contextualize the fight to defend abortion rights within a moral framework that admits that the death of a fetus is a real death; that there are degrees of culpability, judgment and responsibility involved in the decision to abort a pregnancy; that the best understanding of feminism involves holding women as well as men to the responsibilities that are inseparable from their rights…’ Wolf is essentially calling pro-choice advocates to face the facts: fetuses are babies and we are killing babies….
In light of the current situation, I would like to borrow Wolf’s idea, and urge pro-lifers to “change the rhetoric.” I do not suggest mitigating the reality, nor do I mean to say that the women who have abortions are not responsible for what they have done…But I do suggest changing our approach to the reality. Perhaps the element that is needed in pro-life advocacy is a more visible, tangible message of mercy…
Those who have suffered the effects of abortion, if won over, can become the most powerful pro-life advocates. Bernard Nathanson, the ex-abortionist, is one example. There are many, many others—mostly women who have been victims themselves—who can become powerful pro-life advocates, if we who are Christian and know the reality of Christ can make a stronger effort to temper our rhetoric so as to encourage others to seek His mercy.
Honorable mention also goes to ‘86 alumnus Mark Schultz for his article in Vol II, Issue 1 titled: “Ride on King Jesus: the blessings of ‘black’ music,” which, with thought-provoking insight and high good humor, delightfully and substantially advanced a valuable discussion.
Our thanks and congratulations to both.