2017 Oratory Contest Winners


State Contest Winners
State Contest Finalists

Pictured from left:
Olivia Pasternak, Third Place, Lenawee County RTL;
Grace Kueber, Second Place, Novi RTL;
Christian Dresen, First Place, Warren-Centerline RTL;

22 local contest winners competed at the 28th Annual High School Oratory Contest in Holt, MI on May 6, 2017.

First Place Speech: Christian Dresen, Warren-Centerline Right to Life

Abortion is illogical. Which is a shame, because it was invented by the same species that cured smallpox, devised string theory, and put men on the moon. Of course, there’s a lot of scientific defense for abortion. The fetus, after all, is nothing more than a clump of cells made up of the same DNA as every single other human being. Let’s not kid ourselves; the proof is quite simple: people have abortions to avoid having children. Therefore, abortion kills children. How do people fail to see this? They don’t. Anyone who supports abortion intuitively knows that it is murder. The sad truth is that, man, for all his accomplishments, is not as logical as we’d like to think. For the past 40 years, prolife activists have been preaching the humanity of the fetus with scientific evidence—and it’s all been entirely logical, but that’s the problem. The perpetrators of abortion are not thinking logically. If we want to win the war on children, we must take a new approach. It is futile to try to appeal to the minds of pro-abortionists because they know that abortion is wrong. These people don’t need our logic. They need our love.

We’re living, not only in a culture of death, but in a sexually-perverse society. What do I mean by that? I’m not talking about that skimpy dress you saw on Dancing with the Stars. I’m talking about romance. Think about it. Every song on the radio, every Disney movie—what does society want us to believe the highest end of life is? Romance! This is a lie—but it’s an incredibly convincing one.

Why do we fall for this? Man, in his consciousness, experiences a longing for something greater. No matter how legendary your accomplishments, no matter how many goods you possess—every person still experiences an emptiness—an appetite for something they can’t find themselves. This something is love. A very specific sort of love, in fact. The Greeks had a name for it; they called it “agape”, a supernatural love. Agape is not romance. Agape is love not as a feeling, but a free choice—when one willingly puts the good of another over himself. And because it’s a choice, agape, or, charity, can love what is otherwise naturally unlovable.

The Greeks had other words for love, too. Among these are storge, or, affection; philia, or, friendship; and eros, or, romance. Clearly, the English language has some catching up to do—there are many different forms of love! English loses all these meanings by lumping them into one word. Silly an accusation as it may seem, this is, unfortunately, how society has perverted the meaning of love. Man has a longing for charity, but charity requires giving, and giving is hard. Society, to quietly do away with this, tells man that what he truly seeks is “love” – but advertises it not as charity, but as romance. It’s certainly believable- romance feels good, and in a profound way. But when love is not about a choice, but feeling, romance becomes solely about pleasure, and once again loses its meaning to take on a new form: sex.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you: the mindset that enables abortion. The meaning of life is sex, because sex is love, love is a nice feeling, and sex is also a nice feeling! This set of ideas is the driving force behind the disgusting acceptance and prevalence of abortion in our society today. But don’t forget, all this is done in the name of love! It goes without saying that this is a crisis. Sex is a matter of life. Abortion is a matter of death. Modern culture, therefore, is a matter of life and death!

Now clearly this is all a lie. Society needs to be shown the true meaning of love, a series of truths where the concept of abortion is as disgusting and alien as adult murder. True love is not a feeling. Take an elderly couple, for example. A man and woman who have been married for 60 year have surely found romance, and, to be blunt, have had plenty of sex. But are they perfectly happy? Does it always feel nice? Absolutely not. Their marriage lasts because they continually choose to love each other, even in the hard times! Love is a choice!

The idea that love is a feeling, on the other hand, has several disastrous consequences. Most significantly, it cleaves sex from its primary purpose—procreation. When sex is not directed towards procreation, it becomes about pleasure, which makes the people involved become like toys for that dehumanizing purpose. Even if a child is not conceived, we can already see how the act destroys love. But let’s not forget what happens when a child is conceived.

Abortion is murder, and should be governed by the same laws that prevent murder today. However, we should also strive for something more. Just because abortion is outlawed does not mean that our country will magically be made up of people who agree with a child’s right to life. What good is banning the use of a service if a country is made up of people who are willing to use it anyway? If we really care about a child’s right to life, we should strive to reach the point where every person can recognize it. So we must ask ourselves: why do people really commit abortions?

I’ve already talked about the perversity of the culture today, and how people erroneously seek fulfillment in sex. But this theory comes with an underlying question: why do people need to seek fulfillment? Why do so many people, by default, lack the love that they so voraciously pursue? The reality is more horrifying than we can imagine. Abortion is tearing apart families. Abortion pits the mother against her child; the husband, against his wife. By enabling a culture of hookups, abortion has pitted men against women. The family is the foundation for all happy, healthy, fulfilled people, and today’s society is no steady foundation for the family. The problem is circular. People, without a stable home life, lack the love they need to even function. Society tells them to find it in sex. Sex inevitably leads to conception, which leads to abortion. The man has not found love, the woman has not found love, and the child is dead. And should women choose to keep her child, then that child is raised without a father. That child will not be loved the way he or she deserves to be loved, and he or she will likely be ensnared by the same web of lies that her parents were.

Everybody, everybody intuitively knows that this is a sin. The logic isn’t lacking. But human beings are not purely logical creatures. We are nourished by truth but we are also nourished by love. When people lack love, there is none to give. And this, sadly, is why abortion persists. Love, true love, has been extinguished by a lack of it. This is why people are killing our children. So if you want to end abortion, and I absolutely hope you do, don’t give them the speech about how the fetus has human DNA. Be their brother. Be their sister. Love them. Love them so that they themselves would know how to love—how to respect and love their partner, their fellow men, and most of all, their children.

2017 Winning Speeches

Christian Dresen, 1st Place

Grace Kueber, 2nd Place

Olivia Pasternak, 3rd Place

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