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!

Richard Dawkins Retweeted My Article, and What We Can Learn From That

Professor Richard Dawkins at Lib Dem Party Conference, Bournemouth Sept 09. Credit Alex Folkes/Fishnik PhotographyAs you may have heard, the Twitterverse exploded in late August when Richard Dawkins tweeted that it would be immoral to not abort a baby diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

He wrote a blog post clarifying his views the following day, and I wrote an article to help pro-life people understand what Richard Dawkins actually believes.  I explained that while his view is offensive and I disagree with it, it does follow naturally from Dawkins’ beliefs that first-trimester babies are not yet persons.

Here is an excerpt from the article on why I wrote it:

Just like in any dialogue with a pro-choice person, we should start by trying to understand Dawkin’s views, and after what I’ve seen on social media in the last week, I’m concerned that many pro-life people don’t get where he’s coming from.  We should be trying to figure out the answer to this question: Why is Dawkins particularly in favor of abortion when the child is diagnosed with DS?  (I’ll give you a hint: It’s not that he hates people with DS)

I strongly disagree with Dawkins’ views on abortion, but now that I’ve read his article, I’m going to try to explain why I believe his view isn’t as offensive as his first tweet was.  One of the reasons I launched Equal Rights Institute is to help pro-life and pro-choice people to have better dialogues.  I believe a necessary condition of having a good dialogue is accurately understanding what the person in front of you actually believes, which is rarely clear in the beginning of a conversation.  I think trying to get into Dawkins’ shoes will be a good exercise.

To read the rest of the article, go to JoshBrahm.com/Dawkins.

The day after I published the article, Richard Dawkins himself retweeted it to his one-million followers.

richard dawkins retweet with arrow

I have an opinion about whether the killing of Michael Brown was an act of self-defense or police brutality, but I consider it to be an ill-informed opinion. Most of my understanding of the controversy has come from reading sources that generally agree with me politically, so I should keep my opinion to myself until I change that.

However, I do have two very strong opinions that I am comfortable sharing:

1. Anyone that strives to be intellectually honest ought to actively fight against confirmation bias (the tendency to search for, interpret, or prioritize information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs). If you haven’t carefully read and considered the reasoning of those who disagree with you, then you have no business making strong, confident statements on the subject.

2. Anyone that strives to be morally good ought not demonize people who have a differing view. The people who disagree with you may well be wrong, biased, foolish, or blind to the facts, but they probably don’t disagree with you because they’re evil. People are complicated, and our reasons for believing things are complicated.

Timothy Brahm

“Interview with Josh Brahm”
by The Schilling Show

Sorry, listening to the audio on this website requires Flash support in your browser. You can try playing the MP3 file directly by clicking here.

Use the button above to stream the audio or click here to download the MP3. (15 minutes)

Questions:

  1. How and when did the pro-life movement become important to you?
  2. Your blog is called “Clear Pro-Life Thinking.” That must be in response to something you’ve witnessed – unclear, muddled pro-life thinking?
  3. Give me a few examples of poor arguments or thinking from the pro-life side.
  4. Tell me about the reasons women have abortions and why “bodily integrity” isn’t listed as one of the reasons.
  5. What is the appropriate response to bodily rights arguments?
  6. Talk about this weird pro-life habit that you call “Fetus Tunnel Vision.”
  7. What are your thoughts on the use of graphic pictures?
  8. What is the pro-life end game? What are you trying to accomplish?
  9. What would you say to politicians who say that they’re personally against abortion but it’s a religious issue so they won’t get involved?

Why Pro-Life People Should Watch “After Tiller”

This is a guest post by my formerly pro-choice friend Deanna Unyk. Read more about how she became pro-life here.  Read about our upcoming event in Portland here.


“After Tiller” is a documentary that follows the lives of the remaining four late-term abortion providers in the United States.  It chronicles their family lives, what they were doing before they started performing abortions, as well as the kinds of harassment and threats they have been the victims of at the hands of pro-life activists.  The documentary also interviews women who came in for late-term abortions.

Watch the trailer below:

This is a very pro-choice documentary, but there are several reasons why I think it is important for pro-life people to watch it with compassion.

After_tiller_filmThe compassionate thoughts that this movie encourages can help us to interact in a compassionate manner when we encounter abortion providers and post-abortive people.  Acting compassionately towards others is both a pragmatically wise and the morally good thing to do.  It is pragmatically wise for the pro-life movement to treat abortionists and post-abortive women with compassion because we want pro-choice people to hear us out, consider our reasoning, and eventually agree with us.  Nobody is going to want to do that if they think we’re all jerks.