The no-compromise issue for any election, for me, has always been defense of life–the abolition of legal abortion in America. For the cause of life, I will abandon any political loyalty to a party or group that forsakes that sacred right.
In January, 2015, Erick predicted a cataclysm for the GOP, breaking RedState’s own posting rules when he wrote “[maybe] it is time for a third party to give the GOP competition.” He called upon the pro-life movement to “stop being the whores of the GOP.”
Well, we know where that ended up. None of the major political parties have proffered a solidly pro-life nominee. It’s not like we didn’t have the chance–and in fact we still do have the chance, because Donald Trump is doing everything he can to open the hatch on his submerged campaign and sink it deep into the sea.
But if the GOP does not avert disaster and reject the vomitous profligate now stitched to the top of its neck like Frankenstein’s head, could there be another option?
Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist, thinks there could be.
The agenda of a Party of Life is easy to draw up: it is opposed to the destruction of innocent life, and seeks to make the practice illegal. Agenda items could include the appointment of pro-life judges; ending of state taxpayer funding of abortions via Medicaid; the institution of the Reagan Rule regarding federal taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations; passage of 20 week bans on abortion at the state level; removing the employer funding requirement of Obamacare for IUDs; requiring additional oversight of abortion clinics; and ultimately, the passage of a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution.
On the surface, it would seem Domenech is describing something that already exists: National Right to Life, which operates a PAC, a Victory Fund, and an extensive legislative and candidate endorsement operation. But National Right to Life isn’t a party with its own candidates. Domenech thinks that’s an important distinction, although he doesn’t mention any organization by name. He cites pro-life donors sitting on the sidelines because there are no acceptable options. Therefore pro-life groups have to hold their endorsements, and their cash. This ultimately hurts the cause.
The point of transforming this cause into a single issue party would be to reassert the importance of the pro-life agenda after decades of it being a low priority for politicians. It would also be an attempt to undo the great sort that has led pro-lifers into a monopartisan alliance with Republicans, an alliance that has produced little good in the past three decades.
But the problem we have is that politics is downstream of culture. In order to effect change in politics, we first must energize those who defend life, and find a way to spread that energy to the country, which has prioritized life low on the totem pole this election. Disaffected voters don’t follow parties–they follow candidates. They don’t vote policy, they vote ideas and specific issues.
At this time, although abortion is a huge issue for many Christian voters, and a majority of Americans favor the pro-life argument, it’s not the top of the list that filters down into political choice for mainstream America.
Ultimately, abortion is an issue for God to deal with. He feels every one of those deaths, even if the ghoulish staff doesn’t. Even if some of the soul-seared mothers are proud of their murders, God knows the pain of loss.
You must understand, abortion is like the last great abolition movement, slavery, was in the mid-19th century. The Republican Party was not birthed as a political knife to lead the abolition movement. It was birthed as a vessel to hold a movement which had already been birthed in the culture by God.
For there to be a Party of Life, there needs to be a predicate revival of the Cause of Life. That is God’s business, and He is working (always).
Our options in 2016 are rather limited. Either the GOP will reject Trump in favor of a more pro-life candidate, in which case I will vote Republican, or there will be no acceptable candidate for me and millions of other pro-life voters. If there is to be a third party, it will follow, not precede, the spiritual death of the GOP.
P.S. Here’s a synopsis of how I believe God might energize a pro-life cultural revival in America.
I don’t have enough space to make all the connections here (read this piece I wrote in 2014 for the full story) but God raised up revival preacher George Whitefield, who influenced businessman John Thornton, whose sister was the aunt of William Wilberforce. Wilberforce joined John Newton (who wrote Amazing Grace) and they spent their lives dedicated to ending slavery in England, which they eventually did.
Amazing Grace became the most famous hymn in America in the early 19th century–today they’d call it a top ten hit, a chartbuster. It sparked a revival, in fact. Meanwhile, the politicians made deals and equivocated, using the abolitionist movement as their leverage as they needed it for other priorities (like westward expansion into Kansas).
Then the preacher Henry Ward Beecher pastored a church in New York, and in 1847 his sister Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom’s Cabin (or Life Among the Lowly). It was the most popular book in America by 1855. The abolition movement had pierced the hearts of the culture of America, and the result was Abraham Lincoln’s candidacy in the newly-minted Republican Party.
This is how God words, in hearts, not voting booths. Candidates and parties are the outworking of cultural trends, not the cause of them.
Producers of The Gosnell Movie raised $2.3 million on Indiegogo in 2014 to film a drama based on the despicable life of abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell. That movie is now nearly completed and may soon be released. When it happens, I am praying that God moves mightily in people’s hearts. While our culture may reject the actual horrors of Planned Parenthood, just like it rejected the actual horrors of slavery, those horrors may find a blade to piece the heart through art, as they did 161 years ago.