Doug Pagitt, a Minneapolis pastor and the executive director of Vote Common Good, has been a fantastic activist for the Religious Left. He’s an evangelical Christian who realizes that the current Republican Party is doing all kinds of things Jesus would never do — tearing kids away from parents, fighting to punish millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions, promoting lies and ignorance in order to advance a conservative agenda, etc. — and he’s doing everything in his power to use religious voices to help swing districts go blue in the midterms.
Because, after all, those happen to be the candidates who best align with his evangelical values.
In a recent opinion piece for USA Today, Pagitt argues that it makes no sense for evangelicals to support anti-abortion Republicans. If they really wanted to prevent abortions, they would support candidates who don’t want to criminalize the practice.
Many of us are taught from a young age that abortion is the issue on which our vote should always hinge. The hope among many evangelicals is to make abortion illegal. Evidence, however, suggests that criminalization does not reduce abortions. In fact, studies show that criminalizing abortion does nothing to protect babies, but instead endangers mothers.
With the midterms just a couple of weeks away, we face a critical juncture in our country: restore some power to those who would govern with compassion, or continue ceding moral ground for the sake of abortion. Will we continue to vote out of fear of God’s wrath, or will we turn a corner and vote to spread God’s love for all people?
He’s absolutely right. Unfortunately, that’s why most white evangelicals don’t give a damn about what he says. They don’t care if the world burns as long as a fetus is safe. The irony, of course, is that comprehensive sex education, accessibility to contraception, and improved health care options — all things Republicans oppose — would decrease the number of abortions without putting women’s lives in danger.
But there’s no martyrdom in that option. There’s no pretending to be a victim. You don’t get to present yourself as a superhero that only rescues the unborn.
Honesty isn’t currency in the evangelical world, but Pagitt and his allies are working to change that. If only other Christians would listen up.
(Screenshot via YouTube)