At 7pm tonight in the Palmer Commons, pro-lifers and pro-choicers at the University of Michigan put aside their respective differences and began a calm discussion regarding the appropriateness, motives, and presentation of the Genocide Awareness Project recently displayed on the Diag.
By 8:30 both sides were joking and laughing together.
Don't think for a moment that they came to an agreement regarding the fundamental question of when life begins. But also don't think for a moment that the post-GAP public forum was a waste of time. For in those 90 minutes, both sides began to understand each other at a level likely unprecedented in the history of the abortion debate at the University. While large divergences of opinion undoubtedly still exist, both sides came to acknowledge the legitimacy of each other's approach and concerns relative to their respective goals. Most importantly, both sides realized the importance dialogue, of coming together to discuss these differences in a mutually respectful and amicable way.
This is what a university is all about. Is it not reasonable that college students--and society at large, for that matter--should think and talk about the issues that matter most to them?
SFL kudos to everyone who participated!