By Michael Ashcraft —
On the threshold of another presidential election, many believers have wondered: How can a Christian vote for a pro-abortion candidate?
You don’t have to be a Christian to realize that abortion is murder. You don’t have to be a biologist or an ethicist to see the hypocrisy in laws that punish criminals for killing a baby in the womb while assaulting a mom on the streets but at the same time allowing mothers to abort.
Christians have tended to support the pro-life movement in huge numbers. For many, it’s a decisive factor for marking their ballot.
After all, the Bible says, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you,” and “You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb,” verses which establish the fact that a separate human life starts in the womb at conception, not at birth.
To be sure, there are many sins that politicians and political parties commit, sweep under the carpet, cover up, and even promote. But by any measure, the sin of abortion outclasses them all. Drunkenness is a personal decision, but if you drive drunk and kill someone, you should be punished. Drinking should not be outlawed, abortion should.
So how do God lovers vote with a clear conscious for a party platform that promises to amplify, protect and fund access to abortion? A review of websites and articles online reveals the following reasons:
Other issues supersede abortion. These are Christians who feel other issues outweigh the importance of abortion. Billy Graham’s granddaughter, Jerushah Duford, accuses Trump of misogyny and poor treatment of refugees. She has signed on to the “Pro-life Evangelicals for Biden” effort.
Others overlook their qualms about abortion access law because they worry about losing the Affordable Health Care Act, and so on.
The no effect reasoning. These Christians argue that voting for the pro-life candidate has NOT made a discernible impact in the number of abortions. So what’s the point? They think the fight against abortion should be carried out at the local level, trying to persuade individual mothers to choose adoption. Never mind that Democrats right now are voicing full-blown panic that the current Supreme Court nominee might be the tilting vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The Bible spin. A number of websites actually perform exegesis on scriptures to attempt to show that life starts at birth — or at least cast doubt on the traditional understanding. But it is impossible to determine if these articles are written by actual Christians or pro-choice advocates.
The compassion reasoning. There are Christians who feel sorry for unwed mothers and believe bringing the child to term will foreclose future options. Or they feel sorry for a baby born in poverty or abusive circumstances.
The separation of church and state. The Founding Fathers didn’t want Europe’s bloody religious wars, so they established a wall of separation between church and state. Liberals have extended the concept to get prayer out of school and politics out of the church. Christians sometimes excuse their vote for abortion by saying it’s not right for them to impose their morality on others.
The guilty conscience reason. It turns out that Christians get abortions, sometimes to hide their shame. Of course, there is forgiveness, but it’s hard to be militant in opposing abortion with a guilty conscience. But how can a follower of Jesus turn a blind eye to the slaughter of over 60 million babies since 1973 in the U.S.?
America is roughly divided 50-50 on abortion. Polls are notoriously unreliable because the language of questions can slant responses. According to NPR, 40% of voters see abortion as “very important.”
“Because many conservative Christian voters talk about seeing abortion as wrong because of their religious beliefs, abortion is closely tied to their core identity,” NPR reports. These Christians can’t understand why their fellows have abandoned ship.
R.C. Sproul minced no words: “In a hundred years, if God should be so gracious, we will be looked upon as that godless generation of the church that watched tens of millions of babies go to their deaths. Indeed, we’ll be remembered as those ‘Christians’ who elected men to office who believed that the state ought to protect the rights of some mothers to murder their babies.”
Michael Brown mocks the “pro-life evangelicals” who support Biden. According to the Christian author and seminary professor, they are in essence saying: While we think the slaughter of tens of millions of innocent babies is a bad thing, and we’re willing to sacrifice
their lives before they even enter this world, we do prefer the other policies of the Democrats, so they get our vote. How much different is this than saying, “While we have a problem with Pol Pot’s genocidal policies, we do think his other reforms serve in the best interest of the country, and so he gets our vote.”
When it comes to abortion, it’s hard to get straight talk. Just Google images under the search term “abortion.” What do you get? Not one photo of an actual abortion. Almost all the pictures are pro-choice rallies. The same is done when an oddball evangelical supports abortion; media, social media and tech companies amplify his voice. Pro-life talk gets buried.
Don’t let the propagandists win. Vote your conscience; vote for life!
Michael Ashcraft teaches journalism at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Santa Monica.