How familiar are you, generally, with internet memes?
There’s one that’s called the “Unpopular opinion puffin” and it looks like this:
Homeboy is the mascot of today’s post.
Now, before all of the straw-men are constructed, let me throw out there: I’m a pro-life woman.
I’ve stood in the Life Chain since, earnestly, some of my earliest memories began to form.
I worked on pro-life events all high school long.
I started my University’s pro-life club, walked in numerous Marches for Life, prayed through a couple of 40 Days for Life campaigns.
Thing about the pro-life world is: yeah, I should probably be/ could probably be doing more. But, FYI, I think that abortion is a dark, sorrowful crime that kills children and futures and families and mommies. That’s who I am.
All that being said: I also have a degree in journalism.
Unpopular opinion alert: I think that these “undercover” videos to expose abortion are unethical forms of reporting. And they kind of make my eyes twitch that the folks who “exposed” them are proclaimed heroes of the movement, on speaking tours.
Undercover journalism is a touchy topic, to be sure. If we take a step away from the Bible and the Golden Rule and step squarely into the realm of secular life (holler at my public university), even our secular bros and sisters are skeptical about undercover journalism.
Why? Well, there are a few reasons.
First of all: do you have a job? A class? A driver’s license? If someone secretly filmed you doing your job or studying for class or driving your car…is it possible that, with the right editing equipment, they could “catch” you doing something wrong? YES. Yes, they could. Why? Because you are a human, and you make mistakes. And the world is full of humans making other mistakes. And anyone secretly filming anyone will find lapses of good judgement and character.
Also, undercover journalism relies on a “reporter” lying about who they are. Sort this out: in the name of “finding truth,” these reporters are willing to assume falsehood and deception. I don’t like this. (I’m not going to go into the legalities of assuming a false persona, either, but that’s there, too).
Even from a secular perspective (again, holler at my public university), any reporter worth their salt should be able to find truth, even if it is a harder hill to climb, without lying or clouding the truth. In the name of finding/ exposing truth: one should seek to be truthful.
For a hot-second, step back into the realm of “the Truth will set you free” and “I am the Truth” and “Let your ‘yes’ mean ‘yes’,” if you know what I mean. People of truth need to be people of truth. The world needs this from us, as Christians.
Back in the secular realm, the world needs truthfulness from its media. Laugh all you want, but you’re only laughing because you probably think that a truthful media is barely possible at this stage of the game. I say: it’s still something we can strive for, though, as journalists and Christians…people of truth.
Here’s another kicker: if you can’t trust a reporter to be truthful about who he or she is…how can you trust their results? You see a film with someone in it. The tagline says they work for Acme Medical Facility, this person says something that might be scandalous. Well, maybe. But, again, does that person represent the whole of the organization? Does that person even work there or is the whole thing staged? Really, as a viewer, you have no way of knowing.
Let me clarify a few things. I think that abortion is a grave evil. I think that there is a lot of deception surrounding the abortion industry. I’m appalled that Planned Parenthood receives taxpayer money (gag*barf*repeat). I do believe that the abortion industry destroys children, tears apart women, wounds society…and profits off of these horrors. I pray for the day when maybe kids come up to me and say, “I heard that this used to happen in America…just like slavery, just like segregated drinking fountains…but not anymore.”
Things I can imagine you thinking, “Yes, but Planned Parenthood does awful things, and now people know about them.”
So Planned Parenthood got its wrist slapped.
Not exactly the ending we had in mind there, was it?
Here’s a question: do the ends justify the means?
If someone lies and bends the truth and misleads a bunch of folks in the name of revealing lies and deception…is this really the direction we think is going to help a movement we’re trying to base in love and truth and care? Meh.
Now, one of my biggest pet peeves of all time is to criticize people who are doing something while the person who is criticizing is sitting on their butt doing nothing.
I’m sitting on my butt right now, writing a blog read by a handful of people. (Hi, mom). And some of these undercover reporters have, like, national speaking tours and stuff. I get that. I’m okay with it.
But, I did want to share my unpopular opinion with you to say: hey, pro-life movement, I think we should be advocating truth from our side, instead of celebrating people with sketchy ethical practices whose motives happen to align with ours.
Let’s be brave. Let’s be creative. But, let’s be truthful, too. Because without truth, well, are we helping our cause or hurting it?