I read a really interesting article the other day about so-called “Same-Sex Marriage,” the Seinfeld Effect, and the “spiral of silence.”
It really struck a chord with me, because it emphasized the importance of every single person’s voice and the importance of people standing up for what they believe in.
“Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That [Evil Thing]”
Basically, the article uses an episode of Seinfeld to prove a point–people are afraid to admit if they believe homosexuality is wrong anymore. When Jerry and George are mistaken for being a gay couple, they deny it loudly but always add the caveat “not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
My point here is not to discuss homosexuality, though. My point is that they thought something was wrong enough that they wouldn’t want to be involved with it (their vociferous denials prove this) but that they were afraid to admit this out loud.
Can you imagine a world in which we all say, “I’m never going to have an abortion–not that there’s anything wrong with having one.”?
If People Don’t Speak Up, Opinions Lose Popularity
When we refuse to admit to those we speak with that we believe something is evil (which is why we would never do it ourselves), but add the caveat that maybe it’s OK for someone else to do it, we are giving in.
This is where German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann’s “spiral of silence” theory comes from. W. Phillips Davison summarized the theory briefly:
Those who see their own views as becoming more widely accepted tend to voice these views in public, and with increasing confidence. Those whose opinions seem to be losing ground are reluctant to speak out. The silence of the “losers,” in turn, increases the confidence of the other side. Finally, only a hard core is willing to defend the minority opinion in public.
Basically, if good pro-lifers are afraid to speak up, eventually our cause will be in the minority.
If people who support the value of all human life don’t constantly proclaim their message, it will become silenced, and it will become the minority.
What Message Will You Spread Today?
So I challenge you today to find an extra way to make your voice heard. Keep the pro-life message from being sucked into the spiral of silence.
Join a local Face the Truth Tour. Show people driving by that there are lots of pro-lifers out in the country.
Post pro-life comments on anti-life sites, knowing you’ll be attacked, because it might give courage to undecided people reading the blog.
Give money to a pro-life candidate or cause. This will give them the resources to promote pro-life positions in the media, in Congress, and on the streets.
Go pray in front of an abortion clinic. 40 Days for Life will be starting worldwide on September 22, giving you plenty of opportunities to take a stand. The worse the weather and the later the hour, the louder you proclaim your message simply by standing outside in prayer.
Or start a conversation with someone who is not already pro-life. Arm yourself with the facts first (I recommend our inexpensive Sharing the Pro-life Message handbook), and respectfully engage them.