My guess is that if you have any conversations about abortion or the definition of marriage that you encounter these objections. They seem to have lasting rhetorical force, which is why they are used so often. But they crumble under a little bit of analysis.
Here are some easy and bullet-proof responses. Don’t expect answers, though. I can almost guarantee that they will change the subject and/or attack you personally. When they ignore them a second time you can be sure that you are dealing with a dishonest debater.
Use them politely and hopefully you’ll plant a seed.
1. Objection: “You are just forcing your beliefs on others!”
Response: Do you think murder and theft should be illegal? If so, are you forcing your views on others? By that definition of “forcing” all laws would be wrong.
2. Similar objection, with bonus anti-religious bigotry: “You are forcing your religious beliefs on others and we have the ‘separation of church and state.’”
- Since the Bible says murder and theft are wrong, does that mean I’m forcing those religious beliefs on others?
- Must I vote the opposite of my religious views, such as requiring that stealing from and murdering atheists should be legal?
- Why are you trying to suppress my First Amendment rights? The First Amendment explicitly protects religious and political speech, it doesn’t restrict it.
- How does opposing the destruction of the unborn or stating that the definition of marriage is the union of one man and one woman qualify as forcing others to join my religion?
- Do you speak as consistently to silence the opinions of theological liberals who share your views, or do you just try to stifle those who oppose you? (The latter would be hypocritical of you.)
3. Objection: “You pro-lifers only care about children in the womb and you don’t care about them once they are born.”
- Protesting an immoral act does not obligate you to take care of its victims.
- If the government wanted to solve the homeless problem by killing homeless people, could you object to their destruction without having to personally house them? In the same way, we can object to the killing of innocent human beings without having to feed, clothe and house them for life.
- Your statement is false. Pro-lifers help women and children before and after pregnancies with their own time and money. There are more pregnancy centers (which offer services for free) than their are abortion clinics (which make huge profits).
- Unless you are insisting that poor people must have abortions, the same obligations of support and care that you require of pro-lifers would fall on you.