Donald Trump has done conservatives a great service. He has taken tongs, a blowtorch and a sandblaster to the rusted rivets at the joint between the Republican Party and what they call “social conservatives.” He’s blasted it down to the bare metal and exposed something so weak that it was only held together by the layers of new paint that get applied every election cycle as candidates pander to religious voters.
The joint itself is, in fact, fatigued to the point of failure. The GOP stands ready to expunge itself of the religious right, and Hallelujah, let it happen, Lord.
It needs to happen because we fight for them, and they don’t. The New York Times described the battle lines in conservative media, naming Erick as the leader on the anti-Trump side, and the rest of practically everyone else on the other side. They characterized the battle over Trump himself. But it goes very much deeper than that.
I don’t care if you (reader, and voter) vote for Trump. I don’t care if he wins. I won’t rehash all the reasons he and Hillary Clinton are both unacceptable. There is a bigger battle to fight, and the GOP doesn’t have the stomach for it, no matter who is in the White House.
That battle has been going on since 1973, and it’s who we on the religious right fight for. We fight for the unborn.
Yes, religious freedom is important. Yes, the battle between rights of conscience to not bake a cake, or rent a room, or play a gig, or take photographs, or perform a wedding ceremony, or what-have-you are important. Yes, marriage as a biological family unit is important. Yes, stopping our descent into absurdity of gender confusion is important. But all those issues have one glaringly obvious shared property. They’re all fights involving living people who have been born.
On September 21, 1980, almost exactly 36 years ago, Ronald Reagan debated independent John Anderson by invitation of the League of Women Voters–a debate Jimmy Cater declined. Soma Golden, editorial writer from The New York Times, asked both candidates “should a President be guided by organized religion on issues like abortion, equal rights, and defense spending?”
Anderson referred to a “litmus test” for judges, based on a “view” of the sanctity of life. Reagan replied:
REAGAN: The litmus test that John says is in the Republican platform, says no more than the judges to be appointed should have a respect for innocent life. Now, I don’t think that’s a bad idea. I think all of us should have a respect for innocent life. With regard to the freedom of the individual for choice with regard to abortion, there’s one individual who’s not being considered at all. That’s the one who is being aborted. And I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born. I think that, technically, I know this is a difficult and an emotional problem, and many people sincerely feel on both sides of this, but I do believe that maybe we could find the answer through medical evidence, if we would determine once and for all, is an unborn child a human being? I happen to believe it is.
Beyond all doubt, scientifically, an unborn child, after fertilization and the creation of a zygote, is a human being. Dianne N. Irving, M.A., Ph.D., published in the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, in 1999, wrote:
Philosophically, virtually any claim for so-called “delayed personhood”–that is, “personhood” does not start until some point after fertilization–involves the theoretical disaster of accepting that the idea or concept of a mind/body split has any correlate or reflects the real world. Historically this problem was simply the consequence of wrong-headed thinking about reality, and was/is totally indefensible.
Pro-abortion advocates try to hold to any definition of person that doesn’t include an unborn baby, even to the point of agreeing a woman who kills her baby immediately after giving birth deserves the most severe judicial punishment but a woman whose baby is killed by a doctor during delivery is exercising a right of choice. To them, it doesn’t matter where the line of personhood is drawn, as long as it’s drawn before the umbilical cord is cut.
These unborn humans who have no voice is who we’re fighting for.
Donald Trump says he is pro-life, but he has no stomach for the fight. The GOP says they are pro-life, but in the fight, they become poltroons. Trump called his sister–a federal judge–“brilliant” (he also said she signed a bill, which judges don’t do). Maryanne Trump Barry wrote an opinion in 2000 defending partial birth abortion. He (claimed, jokingly) suggested she would make a great Supreme Court judge.
Maybe Trump–if he wins–will nominate justices from the list he published, all solid conservatives. Do we know if any of those judges would pass Reagan’s litmus test? Maybe some would, maybe some wouldn’t. But if you search Trump’s entire website, all his positions, for the word “abortion” you will probably get the results I got: zero. That’s what we can expect from Trump in this fight.
The GOP just passed yet another continuing resolution giving Democrats more money for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, that sells baby parts, corrupts prosecutors in Texas, controls the media, and overall engages in whatever lies to continue its ghoulish and evil infanticide business.
Republicans are fine dealing with the purely political arms of the pro-life movement, who shake the religious tree to fill their coffers, and endorse candidates in exchange for vows they never intend to keep. It’s disgusting. But a GOP-controlled Congress with a majority unseen since before World War II should have been able to get funding for Zika, Flint (Michigan)’s water supply, and cut off Planned Parenthood.
If the president vetoed the funding bill without Planned Parenthood money, then the government shutdown can be on him. But Republicans are so scared of having that millstone placed around their necks, just to save a few million unborn non-voters, they wouldn’t dare. It was all talk.
It’s always all talk. The GOP has no intention of being pro-life, or Christian in anything but smarmy platitudes. The “Christian right,” or “social conservatives” is always treated as the Democrats treat African Americans and liberal Jews. They are reliable voters along for the ride, but not really worth fighting for actual issues.
We voters are grown-ups. We can handle our own problems. We can sue in court. We can raise funds to pay grossly unfair fines. We can resist forced re-education. We can even sit in a jail cell in protest. But the unborn can’t do any of those things. They can only be born, or be killed. They are people with no voice. Even their mothers, in moments of stress, don’t speak up for them.
It’s not enough just to promise to appoint good Supreme Court justices. It’s not enough just to say pro-life things. This is an active fight. Doing nothing leads to heinous and disastrous laws like SB 1564 in Illinois (signed into law by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner), which forces crisis pregnancy centers to refer patients to abortion clinics.
California’s awful “Reproductive FACT Act” was rammed through the legislature and eagerly signed by Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown. Now crisis pregnancy centers that don’t post prominent signs that they do not offer abortion, and don’t refer patients to free or low-cost state abortion clinics, can be fined up to $1,000. Regardless, some are refusing. Republicans who don’t have the courage to even cut Planned Parenthood funding could never roll back these state initiatives.
One positive is Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signing a law to allow the state to fund up to $2 million per year for crisis pregnancy centers. The law requires the centers to disconnect from overtly “political or religious purposes,” and that’s just fine. The fight for the unborn isn’t one that requires a cross or an elephant to win–only a conscience. The death-merchant ghouls are as furious as demons.
Thanks to Donald Trump, we no longer have to pretend the GOP speaks for us, or represents our views. We can simply raise hands at a Trump rally and tell everyone how wrong Muslims are–because that’s what the GOP thinks Christians are.
Many of those self-identified evangelicals don’t know enough about the Bible to defend a pro-life stance. They don’t know enough about Jesus to lead an atheist to faith. They don’t know enough about Jesus to teach their own children so they will not wander from Biblical truth. That’s fine. Let’s them ride the Trump train and take it where it leads. It likely won’t be stopping at any pro-life stations–if history is any guide (and it is).
Christian, pro-life conservatives have a fight on our hands that will not go away on its own. It’s a more important fight than budgets, trade policy, immigration, or even ISIS. If you don’t think so, then you’re probably not part of the “religious right.” Let’s not argue about definitions, or, as The New York Times called it, incorrectly, who is “the guardian of what it means to be a conservative.”
I can tell you what it means when Ann Coulter, who published a book titled “Godless: The Church of Liberalism,” tweets this:
Coulter and the rest of those rabid Trumpkins are not going to fight for the unborn.
Truth be told, it’s probably time for a new party. The Republican Party was born out the the last great moral failing, where the Whigs compromised on slavery until it led to war. Slaves had Frederick Douglass, Dred Scott, Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth to speak directly for them. The unborn have nobody but those who have already been born–and the occasional survivors of botched abortions.
This fight is not going away as long people are murdered for no reason other than the convenience of a mother unwilling to birth a child, even to put him or her up for adoption. As Cal Thomas once said, I’ll give you the life of the mother, rape, and incest, if you’ll give me the rest. (They won’t.)
With Hillary Clinton, we’ll have unlimited abortion, because the GOP won’t fight. With Donald Trump, we get “There has to be some form of punishment,” perhaps the most unintelligent, harmful, and uninformed statement on the pro-life movement ever uttered. Trump won’t fight for life.
We will fight for the unborn without them. And we will win without them.