7 Reasons (2019)
Director: Ray Comfort
Screenwriter: Ray Comfort
Narrator: Ray Comfort
Ray Comfort has released another documentary. This one isn’t very good either.
Unlike The Fool, “a celebration of ignorance, a treatise on sisyphism and an utterly asinine attempt at self-justification”, 7 Reasons contains no semblance of a narrative and jumps all over the place, mostly utilizing Comfort’s “man on the street” shtick to give answers for the seven reasons people support a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. Naturally, given the filmmakers narrow-minded and shamelessly biased cinematic past, the responses are not well researched and they completely fail to take the other side’s argument into consideration.
The film begins with news clips for the target audience; a Democrat supports late-term abortion, a woman on Tucker Carlson’s show refuses to defend abortion, and there’s a doctor describing the process of abortion in graphic terms. There are also shots of Nazis – these secondhand scare tactics are an ever-present, and an attempt to define and demonize the opposing opinion. Ray never actually discusses laws about, reasons for or actual cases of late term abortion, and he almost naively commits the documentarian faux pas of attempting to force his understanding of everything on others rather than listening to what they have to say. Following an introduction, Comfort goes into his chosen seven reasons: the inconvenience of pregnancy; incompetent parents; baby has disabilities; it’s the woman’s body; rape/incest; not being ready for a baby, and; it’s not a baby.
Ray’s first problem is the presupposition of morality. No matter what Ray thinks, a distinction between abortion and murder exists, but Ray continues to insist it’s an execution of a baby. He makes no effort to explain why there isn’t a distinction, and doesn’t even bring up Exodus 21:22-25 or Numbers 5:11-31 which contradict his perception of fetus value relative to humans outside of the womb. He also presupposes other people’s morality, in one example telling an interviewee that she wants to party and have a social life instead of a child.
The audacity to assert that he knows someone’s mind better than they do is astounding, and stems from the filmmaker’s inherent sexism. When it comes to the matter of bodily autonomy, Ray has no argument; he doesn’t even dismiss it as an attempt to reframe the conversation. He rambles about legalized paedophilia and Nazi Germany when discussing women’s rights, and he discusses fetal homicide while never mentioning that those cases involve mothers that wanted to keep those babies. He expresses no sympathy for rape victims, and supports shaming women for abortion because he thinks abortion is evil. The value he places in the life of a fetus is at the expense of the rights (and potentially the lives) of women, but he doesn’t explain why.
Ultimately, Ray Comfort never actually engages with any of the points of view he hears from people he disagrees with. Instead, he falls back on his appeals to emotion, thus avoiding rationality, reason or clarity. He asks when it’s okay to kill a baby, equivocates birthed babies and grown children with fetuses, and declares that hate is the same thing as murder. Maybe that’s his biggest issue; he doesn’t realize there are things that are different from each other.
His interviewees turn out to be mostly Christians too, and many of them fall for his appeals to God and emotional arguments. What things these people held back because there was a camera in their face is anyone’s guess, but it can be assumed that they didn’t want a clip of them saying “it’s okay to kill a baby” taken out of context by a street preacher turned want-to-be filmmaker.
Like the rest of Ray Comfort’s films, 7 Reasons is a product made for a specific target audience and has absolutely no intention of persuading anyone with even minor critical thought of the ideals he’s presenting. If you’re not in line with Comfort’s mode of ethics, you’re likely to scoff into your bowl. This is, simply, another example of this exploitative filmmaker proudly displaying his ignorance towards a multitude of topics and issues, and showing no class or grace in his sharing of it. I’m sure I’ll be back for Ray’s next fallacious film, where he’ll ask when atheists stopped eating their babies or whatever he thinks it is the non-religious do.