New Speech Video: 6 Practical Tips for Having Good Dialogues

My speech from the Students for Life of America conference in D.C. has been posted! These are six practical tips for having good dialogues with pro-choice people.

Six practical tips for having good dialogues:

  1. Silence your inner monologue.
  2. Rephrase what they said.
  3. Find genuine common ground when possible.
  4. Acknowledge the horror of rape.
  5. Be intentional with your body language.
  6. Be willing to jump to another topic.

Resources:

Right to Life Kern County is bringing Equal Rights Institute’s training seminar to Bakersfield! Josh and Tim Brahm and Jacob Nels will teach and mentor you personally to make sure you get the most out of the day. This seminar is designed to train you to have productive conversations with pro-choice people, using the arguments and dialogue skills that will be most likely to change their mind.

The training seminar is next Saturday, February 21st, followed by an outreach the following Monday and Tuesday. (The outreach location will be announced at the seminar.)

If you attend this seminar, you will be working with an experienced mentor who will help you to learn the concepts and be able to put them into practice. Because there is a limited number of mentors, there is a cap on the number of people we can effectively train at this seminar. For this event, that cap is 30 people, and we’re already half-full! The only way to register is to fill out this form. Cost is $10 per adult (the fee may be paid at the training session) and free to high school and college-age students. If you don’t complete this registration before we run out of room, we can’t guarantee a spot.

We hope to see you there! If you have any questions about the training, please direct those to ERI’s Jacob Nels or RTL Kern County’s Marylee Shrider.

Date: February 21, 2015
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Event: Equal Rights Institute Seminar - Bakersfield
Sponsor: Right to Life Kern County
661-864-7508
Venue: RiverLakes Community Church
Location: 4301 Calloway Dr.
Bakersfield, CA 93312
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

Why Some of My Closest Friends Are Girls

It is good to have close friendships with members of the opposite sex.

Relational apologetics is a topic I’ve been speaking about a lot this year. Often I tell the story of my friendship with Deanna Unyk as an illustration of what I’m encouraging, and then argue for why we should pursue friends, even if the person is the opposite gender.

I recently learned that some people who have heard me speak about Deanna have concerns about our friendship. First is that some people will think I’m a wimpy pro-lifer. After all, how could I be good friends with a pro-choice, lesbian atheist without compromising my beliefs when discussing topics like abortion or same-sex marriage? I’ll address that concern in a future post. Today I want to address the concern that I am “too close” to Deanna, that I’m even putting my marriage at risk.

I don’t usually take the time in my speeches to give a strong defense of guy-girl friendship. Frankly, I’m still learning the best ways to communicate with people about my friendship with Deanna. I don’t want my audience distracted by wondering, “Is his marriage unhealthy? Why does he care so much about a woman he’s not married to?” I’m making a few minor adjustments to the way I talk about Deanna in my speeches to minimize the possibility of being misunderstood.

There’s also a part of me that feels sad that a blog post defending guy-girl friendship is even necessary. While we’ve all seen the painful consequences of men and women falling into sexual sin, some people unfortunately assume that members of the opposite sex are more dangerous than they are worth in a friendship. Many of us have bought into an idea that is preached at us time and time again in movies and popular TV shows, that men and women CAN’T be friends without eventually sleeping with each other, or at least lusting for each other. According to this theory, whether it’s Ted and Robin or Harry and Sally, it is impossible for a man and a woman to have a lifelong, platonic friendship.

I don’t buy that.

While it is possible for people to fall into sin, guy-girl friendship can also be virtuous, God-honoring brother-sister friendship.

I’m looking forward to speaking at Oregon Right to Life’s conference with Kristan Hawkins and Fr. Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D.

I will be giving two talks at this event:

  • Understanding and Responding to Bodily Rights Arguments
  • Nine Faulty Pro-Life Arguments and Tactics
Date: April 11, 2015
Time: 8:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Event: Oregon Right to Life Conference
Topic: Understanding and Responding to Bodily Rights Arguments
Sponsor: Oregon Right to Life
503-463-8563
Venue: Holiday Inn - Portland Airport
503-256-5000
Location: 8439 NE Columbia Blvd.
Portland, OR 97220
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

Want me to speak to your group? Click here to check my availability!

Live-Stream of My Speech Tomorrow

I will be delivering a speech at the Students for Life of America conference tomorrow morning on practical dialogue tips, the nitty-gritty things that make my dialogues go so well.

While the last ten-minutes of the speech will be controversial, I can honestly say I’ve never been so proud of a speech. Special thanks to my brother Tim for spending the better part of this week helping me polish it.

Have I successfully piqued your curiosity? Awesome. The conference will be streamed live at the link below. My speech is scheduled to start at 11:35 am EST / 8:35 am PST. I hope you can tune in!

http://SFLALive.org

Top 5 JoshBrahm.com Posts of 2014

Yup, it’s that time of year where every blog does “top X posts of 2014,” so without further ado, here are the most visited articles I’ve published this year.

I created this list using the Google Analytics for my own site, instead of complicating the process by incorporating stats from LifeNews.com, where many of my articles are later republished.

My blog received over 71,000 unique pageviews from more than 28,000 unique people this year. That’s a 400% increase from last year, albeit the blog was only live since June, 2013.

I think I would have done even better if I had managed to stay consistent in the last half of this year, but successfully launching a national pro-life training organization and maintaining a consistent blog presence became mutually exclusive. Thanks for your patience with me as I temporarily slowed down my writing to make my dream organization become a reality.

On to the list!

E-mail concept on white background. Isolated 3D image#5: What to Say to Someone Who Says “I Wish I Had Been Aborted”

This was a response to a question from a reader and includes a story about a dialogue I had in front of Planned Parenthood. The thing I like most about this piece is the distinction between the suicidal-sounding version of this pro-choice statement, “I wish I had been aborted,” and the consistent version, “I wish my mom had had the right to abort me.” I believe the latter is what most pro-choice people mean when they say this, and clarifying what they actually mean will make a world of difference in whether you respond effectively or not.

#4: What Should You Say to a Woman Who is Happy That She Had an Abortion?

This one is a response to one of the most challenging things a pro-choice person can say to a pro-life advocate. I offer what I would say, as well as explain the right/wrong vs. wise/foolish distinction that may be helpful in that conversation.

#3: The Biology Professor Who Hated Our Outreach Exhibit

I was very surprised at how well this post did. I wasn’t very excited to write it. It was just another story from campus, and I wrote it at a time where I was more interested in making substantive points and not just telling stories. I didn’t do anything that unique or interesting (to me) in response to the hostile biology professor in the story, but a ton of people who don’t frequent my blog read this post. I suspect that some people who don’t frequent my blog clicked on it because they thought it would be a “pro-life smart guy makes a pro-choice guy look like an idiot” post, which it really wasn’t. They seem to have gotten sucked into it though because I saw a lot of comments online from people saying that want to learn how to talk about abortion this way, which was very gratifying.

#2: 4 Reasons Pro-Lifers Need to Stop Doing This

Ah, the infamous Fetus Tunnel Vision piece. This may be my favorite blog post I’ve ever written, because the content is very unique to something my brother Tim and I have talked about, and I think it’s very needed if our movement is going to show the world that we care about all people, and not just unborn babies. That gives you the credibility to talk to people who wouldn’t listen to certain other pro-life people.

There was a lot of debate regarding this topic, so I wrote two followup pieces answering the most common challenges.

I credit part of the success of this post to my friends at Students for Life of America who frequently tweet it to their followers and even discuss the topic in their trainings with college students across the country!

#1: Understanding What Richard Dawkins Actually Believes About Abortion and Down Syndrome

It was almost a tie for first place but my commentary on Richard Dawkins’ tweet about Down Syndrome was the most visited article from 2014. Tim and I worked really hard on this piece and watching the results the following day made for one of the most fulfilling days I’ve had since I launched Equal Rights Institute. I blogged about what happened here, including Richard Dawkins himself retweeting the article and several pro-choice people commenting that this was the most careful and rational piece they had seen from either side of the abortion debate regarding Dawkins’ tweet.

That’s the list! Thanks again for following my blog during the most exciting and most terrifying year of my life, and I’m truly humbled by the gracious feedback I’ve received from most of you.

For the rest of you, I’m looking forward to more open-minded dialogue about the philosophical issues surrounding abortion in the months to come. :)

Merry Christmas!

Brahm2014

WATCH: Befriend those who disagree

The Catholic Sentinel
12/3/2014

The Catholic Sentinel sent a reporter to my event with Deanna and he wrote up a story about it. It also includes some video excerpts from the event, so if you want a sneak peek at the content we will be publishing in full later, check it out!