Former Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk appeared as a featured speaker at the annual March For Life event in Washington DC on Thursday, with some helpful advice on how to talk to those who support abortion to change their minds on the issue.
With his theme of “love saves lives,” the six-time Pro-Bowl player told those assembled that those who support abortion shouldn’t be treated as if they, personally, are enemies to God-fearing Americans.
Birk, who is the NFL’s Director of Football Development, spoke before the largest annual human rights march in the world on January 19 and urged pro-lifers to treat opponents with love.
“We used to have a saying when I played football,” Birk said as he began his remarks, “we’d be out on the field before a kickoff, and we’d say, ‘where else would you rather be than right here, right now?'”
Birk went on to relate a “saying” he’s heard: “If you can’t explain an idea or a concept to a third grader, either you don’t understand the idea, or it’s not a good idea,” he said.
He explained that abortion cannot be explained properly to an eight-year-old because “It doesn’t make any sense” to a child. Because of this, Birk said, the battle over abortion is a battle of the heart, not the mind.
Since it is a battle to change hearts, Birk urged the audience not to treat abortion supporters as enemies.
“It’s important to remember that those who are pro-abortion, the war is not against them, it’s against the evil of abortion,” Birk said from the stage. “That those people, they are our brothers and sisters, they are children of God, they are made in his likeness.”
The former player noted that when he thinks about how he should talk about the issue with others, he thinks how he would react if one of his daughters said she wanted an abortion.
“What would I do, how would I talk to her?” he asked rhetorically. “I wouldn’t talk to her mind, I’d talk to her heart. And you talk to the heart by giving it beauty. By showing it something beautiful. And what is more beautiful than a brand new baby?”
To the delight of the crowd, Birk added that a brand new baby is a perfect creation:
A brand new baby is perfect. It looks perfect, it sounds perfect, it smells perfect. It’s pure. It’s incapable of resentment, or hatred, or anger, it’s perfect. So, I would tell someone that I care about, I’d say, “I don’t want you to have an abortion because it would prevent you from experiencing the fullness of joy that God has for your life.”
So, to sum up, Birk told the audience to come from a place of “love” when talking to opponents.
It’s important to remember to come from a place of love and compassion because those who are pro-abortion, we must remember, they bought into the lies, they’re probably hurt, there’s scarring, and we need to show them love because love saves lives.
Birk was joined onstage at the March For Life by his wife, Adrianna, and his large family of seven kids.
As a member of the Baltimore Ravens, Birk decided to skip the team’s Super Bowl Championship visit to the Obama White House in 2013. Birk said that he refused to make the trip over President Obama’s support of abortion mill operator Planned Parenthood.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.