In Uncategorized on February 6, 2007 at 12:24 am

sidenote: on epidural evangelism

one more thing. last week i was reminded of how much i hate manipulative evangelism when we watched a video entitled, epidurals are evil at our bradley method class.* now, i must confess that i love our bradley teacher and i think the aforementioned method of coached childbirth is quite helpful. however, sometimes the bradley content either implies or flat out asserts that non-natural childbirth methods are, well, pretty much of the devil.

for instance, two weeks ago we watched a video that made the following assertions – by which i mean literally, they were pasted across the screen in times new roman font while playing “watch out big breasted teenager, freddy is going to get you music:”

“500,000 women in america undergo cesarean sections every year. 300,000 of these cesarean sections are medically unnecessary.”

“obstetricians hate women!”

“if we want peace in the middle east, the first step is natural childbirth.**”

after the video was over, our instructor asked us what we thought of the video and i bit my lip and resisted the impulse to respond with “hello? any of yous ever heard of marshall mcluhan?!” now that i’ve had a couple of weeks to reflect on the video i still think that it sucked.

in sum, this video convinced me of two things:

1) christians are not the only ones who participate in manipulative proselytism***


2) however and whenever i invite people to follow the way of Jesus, i should not do so in a way that either demeans or clearly misrepresents other options

i’m telling you, as far as manipulative tripe, the thief in the night had nothing on this video. if the video wasn’t shot in 1976, i’d swear it was produced by rudolph hess dick cheney.**** in all seriousness, i’m sure that a number of people who have chosen not to walk in the way of Jesus have been as offended by “gospel presentations” as i was by that video. that thought makes me sick.

* as the pixie pointed out, i should probably mention that i, and i would suspect the majority of the other members of the class, chose the bradley method because we already think that natural childbirth is a good thing and perhaps even a preferential option. thus, as the pixie also said, the video did smack of “preaching to the choir.”
** okay, i might be sprinkling the last two statements with a dash of hyperbole, but in my defense the main speaker on the video did say that “for many years obstetricians have kept women from knowing their bodies” and the last screen shot was a revolutionary question that started thus: “how can we expect peace in our world, if individuals are brought into the world in a violent way?”
*** i’m threatened to add a rant about soy loving, jamba drinking chi omegas here, but, ummm, i won’t.
**** yeah, i know that comedic references to nazis are almost always in bad taste. quick, can anyone name an american propagandist? thank you dr. james.


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