When I produced the daily talk show, Kaleidoscope, at KAKE TV in Wichita, Kansas, I learned you could discuss just about any issue but abortion. It was too polarizing. People would talk until they were blue in the face, raise their voices and get angry but neither side would budge from their position. No matter how compelling the arguments for or against, those who were pro-life and pro-choice just dug their heels in deeper. It was an argument that couldn’t be won. That was nearly 20 years ago.
Unfortunately we’re still not talking about abortion. Instead radicals like Scott Roeder pick up guns and shoot people like Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, Kansas in church. I am shocked by the hypocrisy of those who say they are pro-life but will kill someone and feel they are doing God’s work. No matter how you feel about abortion or the work Dr. Tiller did, there is never any excuse for violence or vigilantes. It is terrorism. Even pro-life groups are ashamed and outraged by today’s violence.
President Obama has his work cut out for him as he tries to bring some civility to this divisive issue. During his recent speech during commencement at Notre Dame University he said “the question, then, is how do we work through these conflicts? Is it possible for us to join hands in common effort? As citizens of a vibrant and varied democracy, how do we engage in vigorous debate? How does each of us remain firm in our principles, and fight for what we consider right, without demonizing those with just as strongly held convictions on the other side?” Can we get there by talking? I’m not sure but at least Notre Dame had the courage to take on a controversial subject. We need to dialogue. Terrorists forcing the abortion debate is the wrong answer.