I have been characterised as wanting to sit and have a nice cup of tea and a cosy chat with abortionists. That is not quite what I was saying (though I have once had a fairly lengthy conversation in the street outside a clinic with one...). But in discussing rhetoric, I was thinking more about our declamations in the public square: when we are broadcasting (whether by internet, press, poster, tv campaign...)
Who is our audience when we proclaim something in the public square?
I think there are several:
Our fellow pro-lifers (and Left Footer, I think, made the point about the need to rally the troops - which is I think the most persuasive need for strident rhetoric);
The undecided masses, particularly those who have not thought much about the issue;
The politicians, who may have a position or may blow with the political wind;
Our ideological opponents;
Women who have had an abortion;
Women who may be tempted (currently or at some time in the future) to have an abortion;
The young, who may have a position, or may not - but are I think a different category from the undecided adult masses;
The medical professionals engaged directly or indirectly in the abortion business.
When one considers that complexity, then perhaps once more we can consider how appropriate demonising rhetoric is. (And remember it is that, precisely, which I am questioning - I have no problems with calling abortion what it is: the killing of unborn children. My problem is with calling those who do it murderers).
And there's another consideration: what does it do to us?
Some while ago, Larry D, over at Acts of the Apostasy, launched his Adopt a Priestess project. Since I have been praying daily for a specific woman who thinks she is a Catholic priest, my own attitudes have shifted. Not on the inadmissability of women to the priesthood - but on how I view the deluded women. Whilst they may be strident, hostile to most of what the Church is and does and so on, I see that they are victims of Satan's deception, and that for any one of them Christ chose to hang on a tree, in the hope that they would accept redemption. I therefore launched the Adopt an Abortionist idea; with the same ends in mind.
So before calling someone a child murderer, perhaps we should pause and pray the Our Father, and consider how our Father - the abortionist's father and mine - would want us to speak of the abortionist in the public square, and to what end.