Saturday, November 04, 2006

Debating Abortion at Berkeley: An Interview with Dr. Dennehy

National Catholic Register has just posted a great interview with a real man of courage and honor: Dr. Raymond Dennehy. In "20 Years, 40 Semesters of Abortion Debates," Dr. Dennehy answers many questions related to his 20 years of debating abortion at Berkeley. Aside from being a great defender of the unborn, aside from being an eloquent debater, aside from being a very humorous person, he is also one of a core of people who helped make my undergraduate days some of the best imaginable.
Read the interview.
Here is a comment I posted over at the Ignatius Insight Scoop site about one of the incidents mentioned in the interview:

Dr. Dennehy mentions the time an opponent got very upset and interrupted the other pro-life debater. Dennehy adds that he "simply inserted himself between them." I remember that day. I was there with some friends from USF. From our perspective, it was much more than "simply." We kept talking about it for quite a few days. Most of us recalled that moment at our graduation and whenever we have recollected some of the (many) highlights of being a student at the then-St. Ignatius Institute at USF.

What Dennehy did was insert himself between two speakers, one of whom had the floor and the other of whom was disrespectfully interrupting the time of the first. The pro-life person was speaking, as Dennehy said, and then the pro-abortion person got so upset that he came across towards the pro-lifer and started raising his voice at her. He was obviously upset and seemed to have been affected strongly by the realities of what the pro-lifer was saying. He, the pro-abort guy, did not like it. He did not like the truth of what was/is really going on around the world with regards to abortion.

Then a scene broke out reminiscent of stories and movies where a bully is stood up to. Dr. Dennehy came forward just like a knight. This long-time defender of the unborn came to this lady's rescue. To most of us there, the attempt by the pro-abort to get in the pro-lifer's face and say what he did was an attempt to intimidate her through his strong verbal language, strong body language, and thus ultimately to shut her up or at least make her think twice about making such controversial (though true) statements as she was making.

Then Dr. Dennehy came over and stood strongly between the two, putting forth his body in a way that the pro-abort guy clearly got the message that any further rude actions and disrespectful behavior would have to go through Dr. Dennehy before they could reach the female pro-life debater. Not just a defender of the unborn, but even a defender of those who are rudely interrupted while trying to explain the consequences of abortion policies throughout the world. We were a bit shocked at the initial rudeness of the pro-abort guy, which actually caused him to lose respect in the minds of many there (even so-called "pro-choice" students, as they later told me).

Once Dennehy did what he did, a large cheer and applause broke out throughout the room ... and like I said ... even from the students who were in support of a woman's right to kill her unborn child. Minds were slowly realizing the different ways truth is attacked.

What Dennehy did may have been "simply" a normal act on his part, but to all of us there it was much more than that. It was another gesture of defending those who are being attacked, whether verbally or physically. It was another gesture from a man who has spent his life not only teaching others about truth and goodness but has followed it up with the continual witness and sometimes even knightly presence when needed as he defends (and encourages others to defend) the innocent and defenseless, as he even inspires others to join and continue the fight to protect these little ones of God.

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