Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Remember when?

I'm sixty-four years old. I remember a lot of things that have changed—many for the better, and some for the worse. We could probably argue about some of them as to whether they are better or worse. And there are some changes that are a mixed bag. Actually, most changes are that way. You gain something, but lose something else. That's the nature of change and life.

But there is one change that baffles me, and has for years. Back in the 1980s, the Republican party bought the (mostly white, middle-class) Evangelical vote with a promise of a constitutional amendment against abortion. Remember that? At the time they proposed it, they didn't have enough clout in either of the houses of congress to make it happen. But, then all of a sudden they did.

Do you remember any of them introducing a constitutional amendment? Me either. But they kept promising it. Until they stopped. Then they just started promising judges who were anti-abortion. But the evangelicals decided that was enough.

Here's the thing, though. Historically, abortion rates have gone up, not down, under Republican administrations. Why? Because outside of the white, middle-class world where abortions are matters of a convenient way to keep status, another mouth to feed means real economic hardship. The Republicans have traditionally reduced spending on social programs, hence to aid for those who need it. Ergo, increased abortions.

A side note, but not unrelated: Since the 1980s, the party that has been the most war-happy and bomb 'em into submission, has been the Republican party (it was the opposite during Vietnam in the 1960s). How is that "pro-life"?

Don't recite to me the litany of evils about the Democrats. There are plenty! Government is a human institution with plenty of institutional sin to go around for all!

All I'm asking is that if you label yourself as an evangelical Christian, you need to take a closer look at why you vote the way you do—by taking into consideration the entire New Testament. Especially the Beatitudes and one of my favorites: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27 NIV

Dismantling the social safety net doesn't seem to be in line with that, does it? Think about that the next time you endorse a candidate only because they claim to be "pro-life." It might turn out that they are simply "put a judge in there who claims to be pro-life" and has all kinds of other baggage that is morally questionable, at best.

No comments: