According to a recent Pew poll, President Trump’s support among white evangelicals has dipped slightly in recent months. He garnered a whopping 81 percent of the white evangelical vote in 2016. The new Pew poll now has him at 78 percent. That’s still a huge portion of a key demographic. But among the other 22 percent of evangelicals can be found an emerging voice of thoughtful dissent. And from those dissenters a group calling itself Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden is making some waves.
The Biden-supporting group’s website boldly declares,
AS PRO-LIFE EVANGELICALS, WE DISAGREE WITH VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN AND THE DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM ON THE ISSUE OF ABORTION. BUT WE BELIEVE A BIBLICALLY SHAPED COMMITMENT TO THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE COMPELS US TO A CONSISTENT ETHIC OF LIFE THAT AFFIRMS THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE FROM BEGINNING TO END.
A bit further down in the group’s seminal statement, it adds, “Poverty kills millions every year. So does lack of healthcare and smoking. Racism kills. Unless we quickly make major changes, devastating climate change will kill tens of millions. Poverty, lack of accessible health care services, smoking, racism and climate change are all pro-life issues. … Therefore we oppose ‘one issue’ political thinking because it lacks biblical balance.”
The “one issue” referenced in the group’s statement is, of course, abortion. Abortion is—at least outwardly—the primary issue that drove those 81 percent of pretentiously pious white evangelicals into the arms of the most pagan presidential candidate in our nation’s history. It was, as many have correctly noted, a seedy business transaction. In exchange for their unwavering support, Trump promised to appoint “pro-life” judges. He carried through on his promise, and now—despite the president’s myriad scandals and reckless decisions—white evangelicals are upholding their side of the Faustian pact.
So, not surprisingly, Trump’s evangelical loyalists have been swift and strident in defending their business-partner-turned-messiah and denouncing his Biden-supporting detractors. For example, in a Townhall op-ed, Michael Brown—who, by the way, opposed the reality TV star’s presidential bid directly after his announcement but later turned into a fawning disciple—wrote the following:
With all respect, I say this: Do not talk to me about “biblical balance” while urging evangelical followers of Jesus to vote for the party that justifies the slaughter of more than 60 million babies in their mother’s womb and will fight tooth and nail to codify Roe v. Wade.
What Brown and Trump’s other defenders conveniently ignore is that, for all Trump’s bold promises about their premiere policy issue, nothing much has changed. According to a Guttmacher Institute/CDC report, cited in the super-conservative Daily Signal, U.S. abortions increased in 2018 over 2017.
Those same Trumpists also seem oblivious to this cogent fact: Abortion rates have been dropping over the decades since Roe V. Wade, regardless of which party is in power. And, in fact, the largest declines appear to have occurred during Democratic administrations. If it is indeed true that abortions decrease under Democratic presidencies, the reasons likely are many, but the most likely cause of the decreases would be the improved incomes of working-class folks.
A financially struggling couple that suddenly discovers they’ll soon have a new family member to care for is more likely to abort than is that same couple if their finances are solid.
That’s why the Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden statement says,
Knowing that the most common reason women give for abortion is the financial difficulty of another child, we appreciate a number of Democratic proposals that would significantly alleviate that financial burden: accessible health services for all citizens, affordable childcare, a minimum wage that lifts workers out of poverty.
Yes, the pro-life cause is bigger and more complex than most white evangelicals have portrayed it to be. Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden understand that. And because they—we, as I have now signed onto their statement—do, we have come under heavy, vitriolic fire from Trumpists. Those Trumpists who regularly crow about and vilify what they refer to as “the cancel culture” want to silence evangelicals who disagree with them.
We will not be silenced. If you are a Pro-Life Evangelical for Biden please go to their website and sign their statement of support for Joe Biden.