An impromptu invite to a Michael Coren talk was just the way to spend an evening.
Last night, Michael Coren, at the invitation of Brock Students for Life, gave a talk to both students and other interested parties about life issues, including the facile arguments for abortion and how easily they countered. But even mentioning that life begins at conception would have one labelled as a fascist. He noted how events like these had to be filmed, had to have photographs taken and security present to illustrate that merely mentioning these things, let alone having an informed debate, is difficult with those who are allegedly open-minded. He stressed that in a free society, it was crucial to disagree. Indeed. Shutting down a debate or marginalising people achieves nothing.
Prior to the talk, eager attendees waiting for a class to end took the time to rub elbows with Mr. Coren who was quite personable despite what three or four people (maybe students) thought.
They handed these out.
I am not kidding. These were actually handed out. I avoided taking one but my friends didn’t.
One really has to laugh. These alleged adults believed they stood as vanguards to protect Mr. Coren’s audience and others from a presentation that contained absolutely nothing their feverish little brains thought it would. I guess bigotry and prejudice were kept to a minimum in that they were never present to begin with.
I ran this through a translation matrix and this is what came out:
Back to the talk….
Mr. Coren began his presentation by outlining his illustrious career, the meeting of his charming wife, how he once worked for the CBC, his connections with the late Christopher Hitchens (whom he described as pro-life) and his brother, Peter, his work on GK Chesterton and what he is doing now. He also told a heart-wrenching story of his great-grand-parents’ flight to England from persecution in Poland. His great-grandmother was asked to “lose” her baby before sailing to England so he wouldn’t be a burden on others. Naturally, that was unthinkable and we are beneficiaries of an instinctive act of preserving one’s offspring. A cold description, yes, but then again so is asking someone to “lose their baby”.
It was this personalisation Mr. Coren mentioned in his talk. Speak in the abstract, who cares? Bring it home, make it familiar, make it personal and watch someone re-evaluate their feelings.
Mr. Coren took apart, with great British aplomb, the usual arguments for abortion. Pro-life logic versus pro-abortion emotionalism seems to escape the layman. Biology, having become too solid a wall to punch a hole through, is cast off for more cosmetic, sophomoric and usual arguments of gender, convenience and poorly thought out theories . A pro-life woman’s views carry no more weight than a pro-life man’s views so gender monopoly on the discussion is irrelevant. Cultural-based sex-selection abortion should not make one any more or less uncomfortable than an abortion for any other reason. Mr. Coren's own talk and questions thereafter touched on these and continued to resonate even after a couple of gentlemen insisted on hijacking the discussion for one on Libya and Syria. Mr. Coren shot them down. The talk was about life issues and that was it. One had to bring him back if one wanted to discuss the Middle East. It was brilliant.
One could go on deconstructing the ludicrous arguments made for abortion but I think the thrust of the talk was not that. It was that life is the primary right upon which all other rights are based, including the right to speak, to express one’s self, and to disagree. Say that life begins at conception and watch heads explode. Why can’t it be said? It’s true, isn’t it? Can’t win the argument? Declare that the debate is finished. No it isn’t. Only someone afraid of the topic would stamp their feet and say so. If it is frustrating to hear the rhetorically miniature declare the debate is closed, it was must be crushing for them to know they haven't a leg to stand on.
After the talk and the question period were finished, the attendees were free to speak to Mr. Coren (and purchase his books!). I was surprised that there were no disruptions or overly immature protestations (save the "bigotry" warnings before the talk and the attempted shifting of gears to Libya and Syria). One expects that sort of thing to go on after seeing it time and time again. How refreshing it was to simply speak freely and leave with new insight and renewed feeling.