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Why we should create cognitive dissonance on the “pro-life” issue

I found the following poll interesting because as I am out collecting petitions for Florida’s pro-life Personhood Amendment, I find that many people are confused about the term “pro-life.”

More than 25 percent of people who say they are “pro-choice on abortion really take a “pro-life” position against most abortions.

The Marist College Institute of Public Opinion conducted a survey between September 24 and October 3, 2008.

Of the “pro-life” group


A full 60 percent of Americans say abortions should never be allowed or only in rare circumstances, such as danger to the life of the mother, rape and incest, that constitute less than two percent of all abortions nationwide.

Of the “pro-choice” group


Just 40 percent took one of these three pro-abortion positions.

A confusion of labels

Even though the survey found 60 percent of respondents took a pro-life position against all or most abortions, 50 percent of Americans called themselves “pro-choice while only 44 percent said they were pro-life.

Of the so-called “pro-choice” group


In other words, 28 percent of Americans who call themselves pro-choice actually oppose 98 percent of all abortions.

More cognitive dissonance among “pro-choice” advocates


- LifeNews.com


Commentary by Jay Rogers

In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is that mental or emotional internal conflict caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. It is believed by some to be a possible source of mental illness. In the field of Christian apologetics, cognitive dissonance can be used by the evangelist to call for the “renewing of the mind” (Romans 12:2). Those hearing the Gospel must choose between one of two alternate understandings of reality or worldviews. Even as Christians, our thought patterns often conform to the pattern of this world. To remain torn between two worlds is the state of a sick mind and a suffering heart. The more we hear the Gospel preached, the more we must align ourselves with either the kingdom of darkness or the kingdom of light. The more we align our thinking with the Word of God, the more we move from doubt and unbelief to positive faith.

One of the most baffling phenomena in my experience as a pro-life activist consists of the various smokescreens surrounding the abortion issue. Two of the greatest misconceptions are the following:

1. That abortion is needed for cases of rape and incest.

2. That abortion is restricted in some way beyond the first trimester.

This was essentially the language of Roe v. Wade when it was enforced upon the American people in all 50 states. The pro-abortion advocates won the legal battle and then proceeded to wage a public relations propaganda war surrounding the so-called “exceptions.” But in fact, Roe’s companion decision Doe v. Bolton allowed abortion for any reason through all nine months. The irony is that vast majority of “pro-choice” and “pro-life” Americans are completely unaware of this.

This is one reason why I am convinced that the national campaign to pass Personhood Amendments to the constitutions of 34 or more states is the right language and the right strategy at the right time. The fact is that America has never had a national dialog on the ethics of abortion either before or since Roe v. Wade. By pressing for ballot initiatives that would enact the anti-thesis of abortion “rights,” we are conducting this needed debate. The “mushy middle” will no longer be able to ignore the facts.

As we push for these legislative and ballot initiatives to enact Personhood Amendments, we are simultaneously challenging those who hold to “only the exceptions” as to why they really believe abortion ought to be illegal in 98 percent of all current cases. In other words, why in fact should abortion be restricted for the most common excuse of convenience or economic situations? If abortion is morally objectionable because it is the killing of an unborn human person, then one must grapple with the issue of allowing killing in “only certain circumstances.” We need to create cognitive dissonance in the minds of these people.

What most pro-life advocates don’t realize is that it is possible to drive people away from a pro-abortion view simply by asking questions. No argument or debate is needed. All we need to do is offer an antithesis — that is, to expose an accepted contradiction — and seek to create as much cognitive dissonance as possible. Here are some questions to ask those caught in the mushy middle.


By asking such pointed questions –- many more can be formulated — we are pressing our advantage simply because as William Cullen Bryant once wrote, “Truth crushed to earth will rise again.”

If we continue to ask for truthful answers to these questions, we will win. In fact, we will find that we have already won, but most are just unaware of the victory. Due to their cognitive dissonance, they are unable to act accordingly.

By confronting the inevitable conclusions, those “pro-choice” advocates who advocate killing in only two percent of all cases will be forced to come into the light and admit that they would allow child murder. If they can live with this cognitive dissonance, then so be it. But I am convinced that the darkness cannot hide from the light.

This position paper is not copyrighted and the words and ideas it contains may be reproduced and distributed without prior permission.

Your comments are welcome!

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

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(We accept PayPal and all major credit cards.)

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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.

Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

Special discount price:
(We accept PayPal and all major credit cards.)

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Why Creeds and Confessions? (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 219 pages

Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy

Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.

Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.

Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.

Special discount price:
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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

Special discount prices:
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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

Special discount price:
(We accept PayPal and all major credit cards.)

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