Mistaking Emotion for Argument Update

I couldn’t figure it out. A number of students were claiming the speaker was evoking emotion to convince his audience. My college freshmen couldn’t recognize the difference between reason and feelings.

But the speaker didn’t want them to feel. He wanted them to think. To reason. To deduce right from wrong. Feelings had little to do with it. But today, feelings make the argument. Most people can’t discern between feeling and thinking. To do so would mean that were universal truths about right and wrong.

In the early days of the abortion debate, those who support abortion would accuse pro-lifers of just being emotional–too emotional–about the unborn.

Pro-lifers asserted that support for unborn life was more than hand-wringing anguish over potential life. It was reasoned protection for innocent human life. All innocent human life. The foundation for protecting such life was not only religious but also moral and scientific. It was never solely a religious argument. Sometimes, it wasn’t a religious argument at all. (See Dr. Bernard Nathanson.)

But the other side just can’t admit that–unless it tries to co-opt a religious perspective.

“Mary Doe” of Missouri turned the pro-abortion argument on its head. In a lawsuit before the Missouri Supreme Court, Doe protested a Missouri law requiring a waiting period of “72 hours before having an abortion, [that a woman seeking abortion] look at an ultrasound and sign a form which states [she’s] read material that contains the line, ‘(t)he life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.’”

A member of the Satanic Temple,* she asserted that the Missouri law violated her freedom of religion and that “she must not support any beliefs that make her fetal tissue a being distinct from her body.”

“Mary”–an ironic pseudonym–had already had her abortion. She refused to hear her unborn child’s heartbeat. She said she was made to feel “guilt and shame.”

Her emotions trumped truth. She is entitled to believe what she wants. But she is not entitled to her own facts.

She is not entitled to declare a baby a non-living entity simply because that’s what she wants it to be.

The lack of logic, however, was clearest in her assertion that her unborn child is not separate from her own body–not an entity entitled to protection and life. To claim it is merely a Christian view that the unborn are human and alive is also illogical.

Such assertions ignore facts borne of science: The unborn is a separate being. The child has his or her own DNA. That DNA is human DNA. The unborn he or she is not part of the mother; the child merely resides within her–and does so temporarily. The child is growing. That makes the child alive.

It is not a religious idea that we can hear an unborn heartbeat. It’s not religious to see fingers, toes, and a face on sonogram imagery. And it is not religious to recognize babies in the womb as human.

And that is what the Missouri Supreme Court decided five days ago. Because the court recognized reason and truth.

The only appropriate religious view to insert in this discussion is that Satan is the father of lies.

Satan’s Temple of death for unborn children–The Satanic Temple–is aptly named. We can be so thankful that Missouri’s Supreme Court realized reason. And we can pray the members of the Satanic Temple receive the blessing of truth.


This post updates an earlier one discussing the legal challenge to Missouri’s law.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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32 Replies to “Mistaking Emotion for Argument Update”

  1. Thank you, Nancy. Another well-written and informative post.

    From the link you included, she only had to acknowledge receipt of the booklet. She wasn’t even forced to read it. How can that possibly violate her rights?

    Thank God the judges used reason and not emotion.

    I can understand how the pro-choice movement can deny the person hood of the unborn in the first trimester, but to deny the humanity of the unborn is a denial of the facts (that you have pointed out.)

  2. I didn’t know about that Missouri law, but it makes a lot of sense. You can’t go into an optional surgery without knowing all the details and, for organ donations, you have to talk to a counselor (I believe it’s a counselor) before you officially sign for the surgery. So it only makes sense that the same care and thought should go into an abortion for each woman!

    1. If you read the book Unplanned by Abby Johnson, you see how hard the abortion industry works to make sure women don’t know much about what’s happening to them and their babies. So many women later regret their abortions–once they learn the truth. Thanks for reading and commenting, Emily. God bless!

      1. Yes, I imagine many don’t truly understand what the emotional (and potentially physical) consequences will be. I pray God will enable all women in this situation to have a friend or someone in their life willing to talk to them about all that!

  3. It seems an astute observation that many (more than just college freshmen) cannot separate emotion and reason.
    It is too bad the Missouri Supreme Court does not recognize the murder they allow by not outlawing abortion completely.

    1. Thanks, Beth. It would be great if every court in the land would send the same message. The Missouri court, I’m sure, be happy to take the lead after the SCOTUS overturns Roe. Please, Lord. God bless, Beth.

  4. I just has this very same argument on Facebook with a secular humanist, who went off on me attempting to through all these “red herrings” into the conversation about the religious right, politics, etc. However, I kept focused on the subject of life and what defines it. I think this is THE argument we must stay focused on, using science (the secularists’ own ‘god’, so to speak) as the determining factor in what constitutes human life.

    Excellent post, Nancy, as always.

    1. Thank you, Lisa. Point him to Dr. Bernard Nathanson. He was a founding member of the Abortion Rights Action League and an “abortion doctor” (his term). He presided over 60,000 abortions–even aborting his own child. He was an atheist. He left abortion work and began a practice in neonatology around the time sonograms became available. He ended up a Christian. But he became pro-life first–based on SCIENCE. Thanks for reading and commenting, Lisa. God bless!

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