Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Why this passionately pro-life evangelical is not voting for Trump

In the past few weeks, I have heard many prominent evangelicals calling on Christians to vote for Trump because, despite his numerous flaws, he is still better than Hillary. Specifically, these leaders have pointed to Hillary’s unflinching support for abortion-on-demand. Trump may not be particularly passionate about the pro-life cause, but at least he will do less damage than Hillary. 

I sympathize with this argument. Evangelicals are in a very difficult situation. Every year in America, around 12,500 babies at 21-weeks gestation or later are dismembered and decapitated, often while still alive. (The words “dismember” and “decapitate” are not mine; these are the words used by abortion doctors to describe what they do.) I have been writing about this brutality for years, and I am convinced that there is no greater injustice in America today. Furthermore, I am convinced that if elected, Hillary will appoint judges and sign legislation which will further entrench abortion in American law. 

Nevertheless, I am still not voting for Trump. 

What these evangelical leaders have not considered is the long-term consequences of coupling the pro-life cause with Donald Trump. I suspect that nothing Hillary can do in four years will damage the pro-life movement as much as this coupling. By rallying behind Trump, pro-life leaders are strengthening the primary argument against the pro-life movement while at the same time weakening the primary argument for the pro-life movement. I fear this will have serious consequences in the coming decades.    

The Strongest Argument against the Pro-Life Movement

What is the primary argument urged against the pro-life movement? The pro-life movement has no concern for women but seeks rather to strip them of their constitutional rights. 

Of course this accusation is false. Pro-lifers are deeply concerned for the welfare of women; they simply do not limit their concern to women who are already born. Furthermore, pro-lifers are deeply committed to protecting women’s rights; they simply insist that these rights belong to all women, regardless of age. Furthermore, many leaders in the pro-life movement are women. The presentation of pro-lifers as soldiers in a war on women is a flimsy straw man. 

But Trump is the straw man come to life. He objectifies women, bragging about his numerous extra-marital affairs. He degrades women with vulgar and obscene insults. Furthermore, he promises to use libel laws to restrict the freedom of the press. His crass misogyny and disregard for the Constitution transforms a slanderous caricature into the truth. Trump takes a weak argument and makes it strong. 

The Strongest Argument for the Pro-Life Movement

What is the primary argument for the pro-life movement? The pro-life movement is committed to defending human rights and protecting the lives of innocent children. 

Trump is the living and breathing refutation of this argument. One day he rails against abortion; the next day he says that soldiers should be forced to target children. He openly incites violence at his rallies and suggests that we should match ISIS in brutality. A candidate who purports to be pro-life while at the same time displaying such a flagrant disregard for human life is precisely the candidate pro-abortion apologists are desperate to find. 


Pro-life leaders must not rally behind Trump. If they do so, they will damage the pro-life narrative, perhaps beyond repair.   

[Author's note: I wrote this piece several days ago, before I saw the disgusting video in which Trump discusses sexually assaulting women. I hope that video has made these comments unnecessary.] 


Dana S. Chisholm said...

Nope. We are not voting on a new spokesperson for the Pro-life Movement. We are voting to fill a job who will pass laws (as his job) that either support life or oppose life. And hiring a person for a position who will choose the next Supreme Court members. This person is not going to effect the Pro-life movement in any way - that's not their job. Their job is to pass laws and uphold those laws. If I made a list of all the politicians I have worked with over the decades on pro-life legislation who were not people I would hang out with on a Friday night - it would take too long. But, I don't need to like them or agree with them...I need them to vote on legislation that supports life.
While Christians are hanging out on their moral high ground and not voting for Trump because he may or may not be a sexist pig or whatever you think of him... babies are dying. Millions of babies. Every day (63,000 a DAY in China!) So take a step down from your moral superiority for a second and vote with strategy to win the war against abortion. Period. We don't have to like him, and we don't have to hang out with him. But, we do need him to do a job for us that Hillary will most definitely not.
We need the Supreme Court. We need a descent Attorney General. We don't need over-inflated Christians losing the election for us and allowing babies to die. Nope.

Ryan Lang said...

Well stated Murray. People who are voting for Trump on this one issue, that he supposedly changed his mind on when he started getting political, are blind. Unfortunately, this election there is no pro-life option. If you consider lives other than the unborn important as well, Trump might actually be the least Pro-life option.

Anonymous said...

Boy, do I share your frustration!! I have had the privilege of voting on the presidential election about 11 times. To date the choice has never been so dire from two perspectives. First, we have two candidates that neither are qualified to be president of this great nation from a character perspective or a moral perspective. So then how can you choose? By the over all platform not jus one issue. Which candidate will support policies and laws which mostly align with Christian values and morals. Which is mostly likely try to take away your choice of Christian values?

Second consideration is which candidate will impact the future, the Supreme Court, by placing judges opposed to our freedom of religion? There currently exist a strong movement taking away our freedom, a small bite at a time, under the guise of separation of state and religion. Which candidate is most likely to enhance this movement or slow it down?

In conclusion Spend much time in prayer and vote your conviction. In the end God will place who Will accomplish His will; to bring up our country or to destroy it. In the Old Testament God did punish Israel when they worship other gods and he has not changes we do!

Sheryl Ferguson said...

The stage is ultimately being set for the antichrist to appear. It's not about abortion rights or degradation of women or whether Trump is good enough to be judged a "Christian" it's about the end time scenario. And God will put the person in place that moves toward that agenda. If it's Hillary we are doomed as a nation. If it's Trump, maybe we can maintain our identity as an autonomous nation a little longer.

Debbie said...

Excellent article, Murray. This election season has been like a nightmare come true. I actually agree with both candidates on the bad things they say about each other. My question for those who cling to the idea that Trump will choose better Supreme Court justices is, "How can you trust him?" He, like Hillary, lies all the time. Do you really think he will FIGHT for conservative justices? Don't you understand that the Senate--run by Democrats whether they are in the minority or majority--will staunchly oppose any conservative nominee for the Supreme Court? Has Trump shown the kind of passion for the pro-life movement and, for that matter, the Constitution, that convinces you he will go to battle for conservative justices? What seems much more in keeping with his past behavior is that he will glibly tell people that he really wanted to choose someone off of his list that he held out during the election, but when he got into office he realized that those people could just not get nominated. So he has to go with someone who is more moderate. He will name such a person--and tell us that he/she is a very, very, very good person.
If there's one thing that Trump is good at, it is knowing how to manipulate people. If there's a truth he has spoken, it is when he said early in the primary that he could shoot someone, and people would still vote for him. I think the last months have shown the truth of those words.
We must not be like Judah, in its last days, who looked to Egypt to save them. We can't look to a man. We need to be earnest and constant in prayer to God to save us as a nation, and to turn us from the murder, lying, immorality, perversion, idolatry, blasphemy, covetousness, theft, lawlessness, and filth that now characterize us as a nation today--believers included and most guilty since we should know better. I've heard several people surprisingly tell me that Trump is the only one who can save our nation. NO HE IS NOT! ONLY GOD CAN SAVE OUR NATION, and we, as believers, need to truly repent before Him and plead for His mercy.