Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Face Facts: The Religious Right Has ALWAYS Been Pro – Abortion

Posted by Job on October 19, 2007

The Roe v. Wade decision in 1972 (the year of my birth) pretty much created the religious right. While a great many political, cultural, and economic developments that offended fundamentalist, evangelical, traditionalist, and other theologically conservative Christians had been happening for decades, it was state – sanctioned murder of the innocent that A) caused a great many Christians to cast off the notion that it was not appropriate or fruitful to become active in the political arena and B) caused these same Christians to cast off the real theological, doctrinal, denominational, regional, cultural, etc. barriers and cooperate. Of course, the left denies this steadfastly, claiming that it was instead the civil rights movement. Their main canard was Lyndon Johnson’s claiming “this will cost us the south for the next twenty years” when voting for civil rights laws. The media and historians always conveniently ignore that the south and midwest continued to reliably elect Democrats afterwards until 1994, and even then Democrats still had no more trouble getting elected to statewide offices in those regions than do Republicans in the northeast and west (Georgia, for instance, elected their first Republican governor since Reconstruction in 2002). Further still, when was the last Republican to be elected to governor or US Congress on a platform of overturning civil rights laws? No, it was abortion alone that caused South Carolina Southern Baptists to join hands with California Pentecostals and Michigan Opus Dei Catholics despite many of them being utterly convinced that the guys on the other side of the handshake was going to the lake of fire.

This religious right movement first led to the defeat of Gerald Ford in 1976, the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, the Republican Congress in 1994, and the election of George W. Bush in 2000. What is the result? Well consider this. When Reagan entered the White House in 1980, Roe v. Wade only enjoyed a 5 – 4 margin of support on the Supreme Court and an even slimmer majority amongst likely voters. Since then, SIX PRO – ABORTION JUDGES have been placed on the Supreme Court (Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, David Souter, Anthony Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor). NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM faced organized or substantial opposition from the religious right either in the halls of Congress or on a grassroots level, not even Ginsberg, the general counsel of the ACLU. Instead, these folks saved “advise and consent” duty to scuttling the prospects of the likes of Lani Guinier, David Foster, and Johnetta Cole for the all – important positions of associate attorney general for civil rights, surgeon general, and Secretary of Education.

The result of this failure has been devastating. Where Bill Clinton brazenly declared that a person had to be fully committed to unrestricted access to abortion before they could be so much as an gopher whose job was to shred documents and go out for sandwiches in his administration, today the only way that a person with pro – life views can be confirmed by the U.S. Senate for virtually any post is to be silent about them. Where Roe v. Wade had barely majority support in the late 70s and early 80s, it now has almost 2 to 1 support. At this point, even if both Alito and Roberts oppose Roe v. Wade (it is actually far more likely that neither of them do) overturning Roe v. Wade at this point simply is not going to happen. Leaders of the pro – life movement admit as much, stating that Christians should resign themselves to a long battle of incrementally restricting the policy – and with it the number of abortions – until such time as it can be overturned outright.

This state of affairs should surprise no one. GOP candidates run on tough pro – life stands in the primary, but switch to taxes in the general election and pass corporate welfare measures once in office. Realize that these folks didn’t even demand evidence that Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter, or O’Connor would vote to RESTRICT abortion despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans opposes late term abortion and minors receiving abortions without consent before allowing them to be confirmed without a fight. Further still, realize that Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush were elected President despite long histories of supporting abortion. Reagan and the elder Bush claimed to have changed their views, the younger Bush not only made no such claim but specifically rejected the pro – life position, claiming that “America’s heart is not right on the issue.” And yes, the leading candidates for the GOP nomination do not inspire confidence on the issue, yet the religious right leaders are steadily lining up behind one or the other. And the Republican leaders of Congress … the majority (or minority) leaders and speakers of the House? More of the same.

Look, there is a difference between being nominally pro – life (meaning that you will generally vote the way that National Right to Life tells you) and being someone that is a dedicated activist on the position and willing to expend real political capital on it. We have not had a dedicated activist GOP President, Republican National Committee leader, or Congressional leader on pro – life issues that I can recall. (It is interesting that House speaker Denny Hastert actually tried to keep Dr. Tom Coburn, a pro – life activist, out of the Senate, claiming that “he isn’t a team player … I would actually rather have a Democrat win that seat.”) But we have not had any major GOP leader that has been as zealous to overturn Roe v. Wade as they have been on reducing taxes, providing amnesty to illegal aliens, putting Saddam Hussein and other thugs in power and propping them up, corporate welfare, fighting wars, signing free trade deals with not only our competitors but our enemies like China and Russia, etc. Oh yes, and fully funding and being obedient lapdog to the United Nations! (GOP leaders may bait “the base” about the UN, but when it comes down to it its leaders give the UN whatever it wants and does whatever it says. )

So in every way, the religious right has been a massive failure on the abortion issue for 30 years. They have failed to effect real policy change. They have failed to identify and elect leaders that would advocate policy change (and withhold support from those that will not). And most important, they have failed to influence public opinion on the abortion issue. Not only that, there is no evidence that the religious right has even TRIED to do these things, especially the last one.

And who has been held accountable for this massive failure? No one! The religious right is being led by the same bunch now as it always had. The same leaders that popped up on the scene starting in the late 70s and into the 80s with their grand goals are now the very ones telling us that we should strongly consider Romney or even Giuliani because “they are better for us on more issues than Hillary Clinton is.” Since when do people get to preside over such massive failure with no accountability whatsoever? Why has there not once been a challenge, one demand for new leadership, new blood, new ideas, new SOMETHING save lowered expectations in the thirty years of this failed movement?

And that, quite honestly, is why this weblog has among its aims to cause Christians to investigate the leaders of the religious right. Look at who they take money from. Look at who they do business with and socialize with. Look at the organizations that they belong to. Now if there was ANY EVIDENCE that the pro – life political movement was winning on ANY battleground ANYWHERE save in the state of Mississippi, and if there was ANY EVIDENCE that ANYONE PROMINENT in the movement or in the Republican Party was suggesting that after thirty years of raising money, distributing leaflets, and getting people out to the polls that we should have more to show for it than a few states having “Choose Life” license plates (that always only have pictures of white kids on them!) and suggesting that JUST MAYBE changes need to be made, then none of this stuff would matter.

Maybe it wouldn’t matter that so many of these folks JUST HAPPEN to be affiliated with the Council on Foreign Relations. Maybe it wouldn’t matter that so many of these folks JUST HAPPEN to be taking money from Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Maybe it wouldn’t matter that so many of these folks JUST HAPPEN to be accepting campaign donations from corporations and big – time donors that are well known abortion supporters. Maybe it wouldn’t matter that so many of these folks JUST HAPPEN to be such great buddies socially and politically with “the other side.”

But since the pro – life movement has been no less than a spectacular failure in every way for so long AND NO ONE CARES, then these things DO MATTER. Quite honestly, we Christians need to start considering the real possibility that the true aim of the religious right from the very beginning has been to 1) distract and divert the attention, energies, and resources of America’s theologically conservative Christians from what they ought to have been doing (which could include but certainly would not be limited to making an EFFECTIVE or at least ACCOUNTABLE pro – life movement) and yes 2) to over time get these very same theologically conservative Christians to compromise to the point where they would accept virtually anything and anybody. Case in point of 2) in particular: ecumenism between Christian groups has been the official policy for decades now. Judging by the (probably orchestrated) Anne Coulter comments, so is dual covenant theology. George W. Bush has been running about spouting universalism for how long? And that speaks nothing of the growing “tolerance” for homosexuality among the “Christian” right.

The religious right may have been nothing more than a big deception from the very beginning. It is high time that Bible – believing Christians face up to this fact and start considering what to do next.

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