I was born a few years before Roe v. Wade was handed down that instituted the legalization of abortion. Therefore, I have never been consciously aware of a world where it was not legal to take the life of the most vulnerable and innocent in our society. As I approached adulthood, the fight against abortion was in full swing within evangelicalism, and the prevailing thought was to establish a political majority as the primary means of repealing the legalization of abortion. Hence, the Moral Majority was born and the religious right became a force in American politics. They united themselves with the Republican Party in the hopes that the Pro-Life commitment of their political platform would bring abortion to an end.
Within ten short years that particular movement disbanded and evangelicals faced the reality that the energy and effort placed in a political movement had barely moved the needle to end the slaughter of the unborn. In that decade alone, over 13 million babies were aborted, and in excess of 22 million children have been murdered legally in this nation by 2019. By the time you finish reading this article, statistics would say that the life of another baby has been snuffed out – likely funded with some of your tax dollars. What is happening in America is nothing short of a publicly funded modern day-holocaust. Before you read another word, you should stop and pray for an end to this great tragedy.
I joined the many evangelicals who became disillusioned with the attempt to end abortion by simply uniting the church with a particular political party. The church must never think that we can be the light and salt in this world that God has called us to be by wrapping ourselves in the American flag and making ourselves beholden to any political party. We are ambassadors of Jesus Christ and represent the values of his Kingdom, which will always be in conflict at some level with the values of worldly nations.
This does not mean that we should stop fighting to end abortion. There is more we should be doing and I repent of not having done more myself. However, it is urgent that we first address a new approach that has infected current evangelicalism. While it claims to be an expansion of the Pro-Life Movement it will lead to its functional extinction.
What Does it Mean to be Pro-Life?
With the Republican Party’s failure to fulfill its promise to end abortion, a sincere frustration has arisen. As a whole, they have not given full energy to end abortion when they have been in power. Granted, we should understand that our governing system is complicated. There are many factors that do not always make it possible for a political party to do everything it desires when it has a few years, here and there, to control the legislative branches of government. Some argue they have never had the kind of majority along with the political climate that makes ending abortion a virtual slam dunk. Nevertheless, I concede that the Republican Party as a whole has not done as much as they should. Like many politicians, they often promise to do one thing and end up doing another.
Sadly, this has led to a deeply troubling response from evangelicals. Because of the Republican Party’s failure to end abortion, a new movement is afoot that claims Christians should now feel free to cast a vote for whomever they wish. Essentially, their argument includes the following:
“Republicans have done nothing more to stop abortion than Democrats. Furthermore, there are many injustices happening in our culture that are ‘life’ issues (e.g. police brutality, systemic racism, universal health care, equal pay, et al.). Often, Democrats address these things with greater clarity and action than Republicans. Christians should be concerned about all life issues, not just some life issues. Therefore, a Christian could make a good moral choice to vote for a Democrat as much as a Republican, and ‘single-issue voting’ regarding abortion must come to an end.”
Now, my goal is not to argue against any proposed societal injustice. In fact, I believe there are real injustices like those listed above that need to be addressed and welcome an open conversation about how we as Christians can best address these vital issues. Nevertheless, we cannot build a good foundation upon which to discuss those things without first addressing this movement that creates a moral equivalency between the current injustices on our streets and those occurring behind the walls of abortion mortuaries.
The Absurdity of the Exchange
To say that being a Christian necessitates that you be a Republican is simply anti-Gospel. However, to say that you can make a good moral choice to vote for any political party whose platform tells you it intends to perpetuate and expand the murder of children, is both anti-Gospel and preposterous. Allow me to name a few.
First, a Republicans may tell you they intend to do one thing and end up doing another, but the Democrat Party is straightforward about its intentions and perfectly executes its plan of death each and every time. One may be a vote for a potential hypocrite, but we all must admit that the other is a vote for a guaranteed accomplice to murder. Furthermore, the Republicans are not as hypocritical as some make them out to be. Republicans have introduced bills nation-wide that have limited the scope of abortion since Roe v Wade. One thing that has prevented their efforts is Democrats voting against those bills or working to overturn them.
Second, we are supposed to believe that while the Democrats labor to perpetuate and expand abortion, at the same time they can be trusted to protect the lives of victims of injustice in society. Consider the illogic of that thought. You somehow think that a political party that has openly committed itself to snuffing out the life of one person, might somehow truly improve yours or your neighbors? Maybe one could fall for such an absurdity if it were not for the fact that the unborn child in your neighbor’s womb is also your neighbor.
Third, how could it be argued that any issue that we currently face in our culture can be as fundamentally important to a Christian than protecting the life of the unborn? I have asked numerous times for someone to name any injustice they see in American society that would be worth exchanging even one life in the womb, let alone millions. What issue is as important than the fundamental right to be born alive without someone ripping your limbs apart, sucking out your brains, and selling your viable body parts?
As Christians, we are called to love our neighbor, and I contend there are no neighbors in our society who are more vulnerable and susceptible to injustice than those who are being killed in their mother’s womb. Polls may show there is great concern about issues of injustice equal to abortion, but one reason these other societal issues are viewed as morally equivalent is because there are no victims of abortion available to poll.
Since Christians are aliens and ambassadors for Christ’s Kingdom in this world, we must not align ourselves fully with any earthly political party. We must vote according to the clear principles and issues, if you will, found in God’s Word. This means that the only thing Christians can ultimately be are “issue voters.” Therefore, if a single issue arises that is fundamental to every other issue, logic necessitates that single issue must become the controlling factor.
Christians will always be faced to choose what issues are most important to Christ’s Kingdom when casting their vote as sojourners in America, and there is none more fundamental in Scripture than life itself. If we lose sight of this, we will undermine the very foundation of morality that is needed to rightly address all the other issues of injustice that plague our society.
Therefore, the commitment of Democrats to support laws that are nothing short of infanticide, tells you everything you need to know about their qualification to govern. Someone who cannot be trusted with the life of the most vulnerable, cannot be trusted with the life of anyone.
To be clear, this does not demand that a Christian vote Republican. But how can any Christian rightly claim that voting for Democrats is a good moral choice? The moment you give validation to vote for a political party that stands for death as a core value, you have functionally ended any authentic commitment to being Pro-Life.
Rather than giving Christians a “green light” to vote for anyone they wish, we should give politicians a “red light” that says we will stop voting for anyone who does not take an active stand against the murder of the unborn. In addition, if after elected they act in hypocritical ways regarding the issue of life, we will replace them the next chance we get.
All of this is not to say that Christians should return to political strategies and alignments as the hope to bring transformation in this world. Only the gospel can transform hearts and bring about the lasting change our culture needs. But we must not exchange a failed political strategy with one that surrenders the moral high ground on the fundamental issue of life itself.