180: Changing the Heart of a Nation
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180: Changing the Heart of a Nation is a 33-minute anti-abortion schlockumentary by Ray Comfort. The title represents the aim to "reverse" people who hold a pro-choice stance to become staunch anti-abortionists. Comfort originally intended to call it Hitler, Religion and the Holocaust.
The film was released on September 26, 2011 and received more than 1 million views on YouTube within a month. Comfort employs the typical fundamentalist canard of attempting to manipulate views by suggesting a historical connection between Hitler, the Holocaust, and whatever the bête noir du jour is - in this case, abortion. The film's web page says nothing about abortion, just that the film is "[a] shocking award winning documentary" which will "Rock Your World."
In the trailers, Comfort argues that the title of the movie describes the "reverse" of views on abortion he achieves in arguments lasting 33 seconds on average.
The video case and disc give no hint that the video is about the Holocaust or abortion, only the warning "Public advisory: Graphic content" and vague praise that the film is very moving and inspiring.
The primary argument of the film is direct comparison between the Holocaust and abortion in the US, presented in a series of man-on-the-street interviews in which Comfort first questions people over how far they would go if ordered to participate in the genocide, then accuses them of holding contradictory views for their support of abortion rights. As this argument is shown to have a near-100% success rate at getting those questioned to renounce their pro-choice views, it is apparent the program is constructed using the "interview mining" technique of talking to thousands of subjects and showing only those which cast Comfort's argument in a good light. A similar opening segment montages American youth claiming no knowledge of the Holocaust or even the name Hitler, a lack of knowledge Comfort claims is a sign of the moral decline of the country.
Interestingly, Ray Comfort is Jewish himself on his mother's side (which makes him a Jew under the traditional Jewish law). He uses that in the documentary to guilt the viewers into accepting his stand.
Ray planned to release this video online for all to view for free, as well as distributing 200,000 DVD copies freely on 100 university campuses across the United States (so far, their website says just over 5,000 have been given out). However, as PZ Myers noted, this is more than just another Creation Intro to Origin of Species stunt, but this video is a "begging video." It appears that Ray Comfort is asking for mass donations to help spread this video first before trying to save the babies.[note 1]
- ↑ When inviting financial backing for the film, Comfort promised this film would change American opinion 180° and put Americans against abortion. Presumably, a great many donors are deeply disappointed because this is not happening or will become deeply disappointed when they realize it is not happening.
- ↑ Ray Comfort is a fraud, PZ Myers, 29 August 2011, Pharyngula