Advice on Public Protest

I have been engaging in some street campaigning here in Michigan in oposition to Proposal #3, which would enshrine unlimited abortion rights and remove parental consent for reproductive issues into the constitution. This has primarily consisted of me standing at busy intersections and waving some signs at passing vehicles, but I have been approached by a few people, some asking for more information about the proposal, and others who want to debate the issue with me. My question is, what is the best way to handle these semi-aggressive debators? I try to stay cordial with them, and counter their silly questions with grace, but I have no delusion that they are going to change their minds. They are not my target audience anyways. So what do you more seasoned protestors do with these folks? Part of me just wants to ignore them and treat them with silence. When it comes to those who yell negative things at me from their cars, I just smile and wave. (By the way, I get way more thumbs ups and honks than thumbs down or the other centrally located digit.)


Good for you for getting out there. I don’t have any advice to give you, because while we do protest at our local abortion clinic regularly, unfortunately we don’t have people willing to stop and talk enough to have a huge amount of experience. My philosophy has always been that if someone was willing to actually talk or debate, I never saw any reason not to. When I see protesters refusing to talk to people who disagree (regardless of the issue) they loose some credibility with me. I don’t know if 1 Peter 3:15 directly applies to people wanted to debate, but it has seemed to me that if people want to stand in the public square they should be prepared to give some answers and not just hold a sign.

The only time I regretted this approach was when we talked to a Muslim Black Israelite for two hours and he was only ranting and refused to really engage with us in any real way.


There is a brother in our church who is a retired sheriff’s deputy, who for many years now has spent much of his time engaging in street evangelism. He has spent quite a bit of time at abortuaries over the years, and spends a lot of time these days simply standing at busy street corners inviting people to stop and talk. He often wears a GoPro camera, for the dual purpose of (unfortunately) sometimes needing to engage with law enforcement when folks call in complaints, but also to put together videos to help equip folks to be able to talk to people.

Here’s a link to his YouTube channel if you’re interested. You might peruse some of his newer content from within the last few years. I think it’s more helpful than some of the older stuff – and he would not resent me for saying that. By his own testimony, he’s grown much in engaging with graciousness compared to his earlier years.

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