May 12, 2008
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON – The pro-life movement needs to become professionalized if it is going to win the battle for life, says a pro-life apologist.
"We are a movement of volunteers. We need an army of people who want to do this full time," apologist Scott Klusendorf told the Alberta Pro-Life Conference 2008.
Klusendorf, president of the Life Training Institute, spoke at the conference at King's University College May 2-3.
"We are a movement of people who do pro-life work when they have time and it is good pro-life work but let's look at the other side – professionals who are paid handsomely to kill babies," Klusendorf told about 70 people at the conference.
"There are more people killing babies than saving them because killing babies is very profitable while saving them is very costly. So costly that large numbers of people who say they oppose abortion don't lift a finger to stop it."
Added Klusendorf: "We are trying to take on something that is unbelievably evil and we are doing it with a part-time army."
The movement needs volunteers but it must also have professional apologists capable of defending the pro-life view.
"(Pro-life work) should not be something people do on the side," he said. "It should be a life choice, something they are going to do for the rest of their years to make a difference in this culture."
Getting full-time people is expensive "but there are a lot of people who would do it if we encourage them and fund them," Klusendorf said.
"I am here to tell you that over the last 10 years I have been able to train close to 100 people who have taken this work up at some level. Some are still doing it; others have moved on to other things."
If churches can get people to go overseas and be missionaries to every country imaginable, they should also be willing to fund missionary pro-life work right here in this culture, he said.
Klusendorf did some research and could not come up with 10 churches in the U.S. that are training people to defend the pro-life view. Two years ago he paid his two older sons to stay home instead of getting summer jobs and trained them in Christian apologetics.
"It's not enough to preach against abortion; you've got to equip the lay people to defend the pro-life view," he said.
"We ought to be willing to take some chances here. We have to be willing to say we are going to commit ourselves as a movement to see that our kids have the intellectual tools they need to stand their ground and then we are going to challenge them to careers in pro-life apologetics."
The movement should give some basic pro-life training in the schools. A few years ago Klusendorf organized debates against the pro-choice side in several Colorado high schools with great success. He would give a pro-life presentation to the students and a week later the other side would come in. The same could be done in Alberta.
"You get into Catholic schools, you get into Protestant schools and you present to those schools a credible speaker and you start systematically targeting these schools."
Getting schools to agree and organize debates is hard work and needs a team of at least 40 people to get the job done.
"This is not an issue that is going to be easy and we are going to have to demonstrate great tenacity in getting into these schools. The good news is that if you get in once and do it right, you can get back in a second time."
Letter to the Editor - 06/02/08
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