Why Christians Should Not Vote Republican Part I: Abortion

Many Christians in America align themselves with the Republican party. Once upon a time, I was among their number, but after a renewed commitment to my faith, I found that the more I studied and understood my faith, the more my old conservative ideology crumbled away. Today, I am convinced that the Republican party and its values are far from the values that God would have us embrace and that Republicans and many Christian leaders in America today have more in common with the Pharisees than with Jesus.

90 percent of the time, when you ask a Christian why he or she votes Republican you will find that a big factor is that he or she finds voting for a politician who supports abortion unconscionable. I’ve been there myself as a fellow pro-life Christian and know that the intentions are honorable, but the sad truth is that the issue of abortion is simply a political football in American politics. While Christian voters pat themselves on the back for pulling the Republican lever election after election, nothing has changed to stop the deaths of millions of unborn children every year and nothing will if Christians keep allowing themselves to be manipulated by politicians.

Consider that it has been over 30 years since Roe v. Wade, and we are no closer to overturning that decision today. More importantly, Republicans have had control of all three branches of government for six of the last eight years. From 2000 to 2006, we had a Republican majority in Congress, a Republican President, and 7 Republican appointed judges out of the 9 justices on the Supreme Court. And yet, no legislation was ever passed to challenge Roe v. Wade.

Instead of making excuses for the Republicans, we need to call a spade a spade: the abortion issue is a wonderful carrot to dangle in front of Christians to get their vote every election cycle, and the Republican party sees no reason to take that carrot off the table any time soon. Keeping things the way they are is a win-win because it keeps the Christian vote coming in while preventing the Republicans from experiencing the serious political damage that they should expect from any serious attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade. A majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade and have supported it ever since 1973 with little fluctuation. While sad, it is the reality that we face, and the Republican party is not going to risk turning off so many voters for the benefit of a voting block that they can evidently keep in their pocket with little more than lip service.

So where does that leave us if we admit that Christian voters are being manipulated for political gain?

Well, for starters, we need to realistically look at the limites of electoral politics. As indicated above, no political party is going to have the political capital to legislate the overturning of Roe v. Wade any time soon. When it comes to government actions, we are left with embracing policies that can reduce the number of abortions performed.

It so happens that policies that fight poverty supported by the Democratic party (and other left-leaning parties such as the Green Party and independents like Ralph Nader) and opposed by the Republican party can reduce the number of abortions because many woman get abortions out of a sense that they will not be able to financially support a child. Easing the economic strain of low-wage earners, making child-care accessible to single mothers for work and for school, and ensuring that all people can receive decent health care – these moral and Biblical issues of standing up for the poor while fully worthy as issues in their own right have the virtue of reducing the conditions that tempt people into getting abortions.

So if you are a Christian, consider voting next time for a candidate whose policies will better honor God’s concern for the poor and thereby better combat abortions, instead of voting for an empty promise.

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  1. Very well said. I wish more people in this country that claim their vote is guided by their faith would take this sort of look at the issues. Even if this sort of investigation didn’t change their minds about voting Republican, it would be a big step since I think most voters keep themselves relatively isolated and ignorant. I know both major parties have a good bit of party rhetoric upon which they can never truly deliver due to the reasons you stated (real progress on some of their agenda items may alienate too many of their constituents), so examining the records are a good start. Another complaint I have about the Republican party has to do with their rhetoric of small goverment. They have been a “big government” party starting with the Reagan administration, and their clinginess to “supply-side economics” mandates that they remain so, especially in these economic times (regardless of their rhetoric). I see this post is only part one, so I apologize if I’m getting ahead of you… Do you plan a similar series of posts about the fallicies of the Dems? (like their continual movement from left positions to centrist [almost right] positions on things like foreign policy, international security, and healthcare…)

  2. I’m glad you liked the post. It was a long time coming. Yes, it is intended to be the first of a series, and I will naturally get into some of the other issues with the Republicans including their using the “small government” rhetoric as a means of killing or crippling social programs that they oppose while bloating government in areas that they support. I might very well dig into the Democrats at some point as I am not a fan, but I will probably not approach them from the same angle as I find voting Democrat more compatible with the Christian faith than voting Republican because at face value the Democratic party’s values when it comes to the poor and oppressed are in good keeping with Christian values. However, in reality, the history of the Democratic party reveals quite a different character than the face value so you won’t find me endorsing the blue donkey.

  3. You’re an idiot!!! President Bush has banned partial birth abortion and Obama wants to overturn that! If Obama is elected, the blood of every baby killed by abortion under his administration will be on the hands of the voters who voted him in. No one has the ‘right’ to decide if a baby lives or dies, that is up to God. The Bible tells us that He (God) knew us before we were formed in the womb, every life is important to God. I will never vote for pro-choice, I refuse to be a part of senseless, cruel murders that take place every year because of abortion. You need to go to http://www.nrlc.org and get correct information on where the candidates stand and exactly what you are voting in when you vote for Obama. I believe with God all things are possible and I will always vote for people who keep Pro-Life a high priority, together we CAN make a difference!

    VOTE FOR LIFE……McCain/Palin 2008

  4. Is calling a stranger an “idiot” how you go about being the salt and light that Christ calls believers to be to a world in need of God’s redemptive love? Is that how you show God’s love to anyone – let alone a fellow believer that you’ve never even met?

    You incorrectly assume that I am voting for Obama. The article was “Why Christians Should Not Vote Republican Part I: Abortion” not “Why Christians Should Vote Democrat”.

    I am familiar with the partial birth abortion ban passed under Bush. That is simply an example of the Republicans throwing a bone to their faithful dogs. As I argued in my post, if Republicans were serious about the abortion issue, they could have overturned _Roe vs. Wade_ and outlawed abortion while they enjoyed control of all three branches. They didn’t do so because the political cost is too high.

    I am a pro-life Christian and agree that “every life is important to God”. I just happen to understand “every life” to also include Iraqis, Afghanis and other victims of Bush’s wars as well the poor and the uninsured in America and around the world.

    You “refuse to be a part of senseless, cruel murders that take place every year because of abortion” and yet by supporting Bush you are complicit in senseless and cruel murders (and maiming) that result from Bush’s illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    By supporting McCain, the blood of innocent Iranians will be on your head should the Senator follow through with the action implied by his thoroughly callous and distasteful singing about bombing Iran.

    As a follower of the Prince of Peace, I cannot support warmongers like Bush, McCain, or for that matter Obama nor can I support the party of the rich and powerful when the Lord I serve is the champion of the meek, the poor, and the oppressed.

  5. Very well put. I’ve been screaming this same thing from the mountain tops lately. I also fell for the Republican lies. I’ve just done my home work and I looked at things logically for the first time and I see that the Republicans are using abortion as an emotional button for voters. With control of the Executive branch along with the legeslative branch and the Judicial branch for at least two and half years of the Bush administration, ( to include enough votes to counter any swing from any conservative senator or represenative suddenly showing liberal tendancies) the Republicans have done nothing to over turn Roe v Wade. Instead they rammmed more funding for the war in Iraq down everyone’s throat.

    What most people fail to realize is that the Republicans have used for their litmus test for judicial appointments is that the nominees must interpret the Constitution in a literal sense not as a constantly evolving document. With that demand, the judges are doing their job extremely well as there is nothing in the Constitution that guarantees the rights to an unborn child. The 14th admendment, passed in 1868, that every anit-abortionist quotes does only guarantees rights to citizens born and naturalized… nowhere does it say anything about unborn, so any law currently passed will not be constitutional in the eyes of the court. Simply and plainly, Congress has to pass an Admendment stating that the unborn are guaranteed the rights of the Constitution. The admendment, once passed goes to the individual states for ratification with only 2/3 majority (36 states) passing the admendment. In terms of abortion, it seems that our Republicans only talk the talk but refuse to walk the walk and would rather ramrod more war funding down everyone’s throat. Enough is a freaking nuff.

  6. Do not forget that before the high court made the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, abortion was already legal in California due to a law signed in 1967 by REPUBLICAN Governor Ronald Reagan.

    google “California’s Therapeutic Abortion Act.”

  7. Thank you! I will forward your article to my good christian friends who are unable to look at the deeper issues because of the abortion issue “smoke screen”

  8. I know this comment is a little late, but I think it is worth noting that this past election season Roe v. Wade DID hang in the balance. Right now on the supreme court there are 4 pro-life justices, 4 pro-choice justices, and one that is a swing vote. 2 of the pro-choice justices won’t last very much longer simply because of their age, meaning the next president will most likely appoint at least 2 justices. With 5 pro-life justices, as soon as the right case got to the court Roe v Wade would be overturned. So this is not just a carrot waving in our faces. Delayed justice in the political realm doesn’t give us a reason to give up and stop voting for and influencing government toward a higher standard of morality (specifically with the abortion issue). We’re not talking about a little issue here. We’re talking about 50,000,000 dreams of God and all the women and men who are affected by this. Some issues transcend others according to their value. We just have to ask, “How valuable are these lives?” I’m not putting down the significance of other issues, but rather highlighting the transcendence of this one. 3,500 lives a day is quite a bit for the heart of God to bare, and probably more significant than our slight disagreements on taxes, economy, health care, and even the war in Iraq. THE ABORTION ISSUE IS NOT HOPELESS. DON’T GIVE UP. We can be a voice for those that don’t have one. Please let me know what you think of my reply.

  9. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for your comment!

    I hope you understand that I agree that abortion is wrong and that it represents the taking of an innocent life. However, I do not agree that it outweighs what you call “slight disagreements” on taxes, economy, healthcare, and war.

    When I read the Bible, I come away with a profound sense of God as the champion and defender of the poor, the weak, the alien, and the oppressed. With the exception of the unborn, these are precisely the people that the Republican party vilifies, ignores, or oppresses. I argued in my post that the Republicans do not even defend the unborn, but merely use the issue as a carrot for believers.

    I understand your point about the Supreme Court balance, but I think that this is just a red herring. The fact remains that the Republicans controlled the Presidency and the Congress from 2000 to 2006 and could have acted to make abortion illegal without the Supreme Court. Year after year, Congressman Ron Paul introduces the Sanctity of Life Act which would overturn Roe v. Wade by removing abortion from the jurisdiction of the Court and would make abortion illegal by defining life as beginning at conception and by declaring the personhood of every unborn child.

    The Republicans allowed this bill to sit and collect dust.

    Christ said “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

    The Republican party and the Democratic party care about winning elections – not about principles. The Republicans know that they can hold on to the votes of huge numbers of single-issue Christians as long as they continue to use anti-abortion rhetoric. Election after election this voter base has shown that it will remain loyal to words without effective action. At the same time, the Republicans know that should they ever carry through with the implicit campaign promise of making abortion illegal, they will lose their firm grip on this important voter base and simultaneously galvanize the majority of Americans who favor legal abortion. This explosive combination could deliver a crippling blow to the party’s power. It’s really a simple matter of cost and benefits analysis.

    Christians who put their faith in Republicans are being extremely naive and/or willfully ignorant about the character of the candidates that they support for the sake of this single issue of abortion. With John McCain as our most recent example, there were countless warning signs illustrating that this man can only be trusted to do one thing and that is to shamelessly pander, slander and say anything to get himself elected. The John McCain who ran against Bush in 2000 is hardly recognizable as the man who ran against Obama. McCain has a long history showcasing enormous character defects that should have made anyone – especially Christians – give pause before casting a ballot for him. It is deeply troubling that any Christian would lend their support to a man who so shamelessly slandered Obama with suggestions (cooly phrased and calculated for plausible deniably) that he was a sexual deviant, a terrorist, or a socialist (a bad thing – mind you – only in the American public’s mind).

    Coming back to the “slight disagreements” on taxes, economy, healthcare, and war…

    These are not matters to be treated lightly.

    Our Lord proclaims that how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, and the least of these is how we treat Jesus Himself. God destroyed Sodom because she had “arrogance, abundant food, careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy”. Nothing in the Bible limits this concern for the poor and the sick and the oppressed to personal charity as many Republicans and Libertarians would have it. How we as a society treat those in need is very important and in our presumed democratic society, the Christian’s role as an example of God’s Love and Mercy should be clear and should stand in contrast to a Republican party that assumes the worst of the poor and thinks highly of the rich and comforted.

    Our Lord is the Prince of Peace, and He preached and exemplified the amazing Love of the Father and expects His followers to practice that amazing Love by showing love to all – even to those we might perceive as our enemies. To practice violence or support wars flies in the face of the Sermon on the Mount and the entire thrust of Christ’s earthly ministry where He modeled for us the perfect life of loving submission even unto death – a death that through God’s Redeeming Mercy and Love offers salvation and transformation to the world. Christians are called to emulate Christ and walk in His humble path as a servant who loves and serves, turning the other cheek, and not resisting the evil doer with violence, but instead overcoming evil with good.

    I couldn’t agree with you more whole-heartedly when you say on your family blog description that “Life is so valuable and precious”. That is why my heart has been grieving and bleeding over these last six years as I’ve watched President Bush’s administration launch two wars that have brought death and ruin to so many beautiful and wonderful human beings in the small and poor nations of Afghanistan and Iraq. It is all the more bitter when I think of the obscene amounts of money wasted on making the weapons that inflict this cruel destruction – money that could instead go to lifting up those in need.

    In summary, given my firm belief that progress in stopping abortions will not be achieved through supporting the Republican party (which by _no means_ implies that I have lost hope or given up on the abortion issue), I think that we must consider how far from God’s loving heart the Republican party is on the important matters of social justice and peace when entering the voting booth. More importantly, I think we as Christians need to present a consistent reflection of God’s Love and Mercy to the world around us – one that stands up in love for the lives and needs of the unborn, the poor, the sick, the immigrant, and the outcast instead of spending our energy and time trying to pass laws against sinners instead of loving them. If we do that, God will use our love and our sacrifice to draw unbelievers into His Kingdom. It is through the advance of the Kingdom and its practice of loving care for the needs of others, that God will do away with the abomination of abortion.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts. This year is the first time I decided that I could not vote for Republicans because the abortion issue is an empty promise and a way to scare Christians into blindly voting for those whose other policies do not seem Christian at all. I tried to explain this to friends and family but could not explain it as well as you have here.

  11. I have a question regarding this issue?? Overturning Roe v. Wade would not technically make abortion illegal correct? It would only overturn that judgement back to 1972 and would then switch to state-by-state correct? So even if the unlikely scenario of it being overturned, it would then just be made legal by the state governments right? Before it was made legal (nationwide) in 1972 it was a state decision.

  12. correct. It not make it illegal and it would, in all likelyhood go to the individual states for them to do as will.

  13. I read this before the recent election and am revisiting to see what else was said. I agree with your arguments and some of the points you made hadn’t even crossed my mind before! This year I also became a first time non-Republican voter. As a college student, I have noticed most arguments made by Christian Republicans are meant well, but are often misguided by Christian leaders without all the knowledge about how the government works. After taking a Government class this year I was suprised at how much I didn’t know about the way the laws and cases work. It definitely made me question my previous Republican affiliation. I’m glad NDzackerie asked about the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. It’s amazing how much we are left in the dark or influenced by goal-oriented leaders. I really wish more people were told the truth- not what they want to hear, but the truth. Thanks for giving your honest opinion and knowledge! God Bless!

  14. I thank you for making this post. I have tried to reason with my pro-life brethren for years about this and they will not budge.

    I wanted to add one more thing: seven of the justices that presided during Roe v. Wade were appointed by Republican presidents. In the 7-2 decision, FIVE of those seven Republican president-appointed justices (Burger, Brennan, Stewart, Blackmun and Powell) sided with Roe. A Republican was president when that ruling was made, too (Nixon).

    So abortion was made legal nationally by a SCOTUS dominated by Republican-appointees. I tried to tell someone that…a person that I respect so I just reported it as blandly as I could. He flew into a rage. Some of our pro-life brethren are so caught up in the revolution that they no longer consider the cause.

  15. Why in the world would Republicans make abortion illegal? Republicans net 4 million votes nationally on this single issue. With elections being decided be several hundred votes, why would they ever give up this goose that laid the golden votes? How could Republicans (who either deregulate or do not enforce business regulations where oil companies triple oil prices due to unchecked speculation, investment bankers squander 40% of America’s retirement money making themselves rich in commissions, torture the enemy – while hoping people holding American soldiers have higher morals than they do , allow health care cost to spiral so far out of reach that one night in the hospital cost more than the average American salary, squander America’s wealth on paying their own companies – Halliburton, KBR etc., where the top 1% of Americans earn 22% of the America’s yearly income and we cut their taxes, etc. etc.) convince people to vote Republican?

    How can you convince people to vote so clearly against their economic interests? You have to use an issue where people feel so viscerally passionate about that they are willing to ignore and even rationalize all of those things.

    If abortion is illegal, how then do Republicans convince people to blind themselves to their actions (and probably more importantly, their inactions) and vote against their own economic interests? Republicans will NEVER overturn Roe v. Wade, they will NEVER kill the golden goose.

  16. @Sheila
    Hey Sheila .. maybe you should read the facts presented that the Republican party has done NOTHING to over turn Roe V Wade. As a matter of fact if you look up the original decision you will find that most of the justices that voted to make abortion legal WERE republican.

    Stop believing the lies. Provide assistance to desperate women so they won’t feel the need to abort…. that will go much further than the constant lies of the republican party to end abortion.
    Oh and another note …abortion used to be illegal .. people were still doing it.

  17. Excellent article. I’ve been feeling this way for a long, long time, but haven’t been able to articulate it as well as you have. When I read the Bible, I see so many examples of helping the needy not abandoning them. Thank you for putting this into words for me.

    God bless.

  18. @Sheila
    Sheila….. you are THE reason I became an atheist, long ago. Or should I say; people LIKE you. When I was a Christian, I couldn’t understand why conservatives were so against social programs that help the poor! It didn’t make sense!! Now as an atheist moderate liberal, I have more “christian” morality and compassion in my little finger than Sheila will EVER have in her empty judgmental hypocritical “xtian” heart. Most Christians are phony and hypocritical anyway. They still eat shellfish while they condemn homosexuals. Go figure.

  19. No Christian who believes that abortion is immoral is ever forced to have an abortion. Christians, and there are many, who see abortion as the best of two bad choices, do not force their ideas upon Christians who say they are “Pro-Life”, but Pro-Lifers want big governemnt to limit or ban the availability of birth control and abortion for people who disagree.

    Who is for Big intrusive governemt and who is for small governemnt protecting the privacy of other citizens? Pro-Lifers are for Big Government!! Pro-Lifers are disrespectful of differences of opinion.

    People disagree, moral people disagree, but our founding fathers knew full well the danger of one set of religious ideas being forced upon others. Pro-lifers want to force their ideas upon the rest of us, but WE DO NOT WANT TO FORCE ABORTION OR BIRTH CONTROL UPON PRO-LIFERS.

    Having abortion available to those who morally see it as the best of two bad choices keeps government small, respects differences of opinion, and intrudes not one bit in the way all of us lead our morale lives. No one is forced to have abortions.

    Pro-Lifers are not really against abortions anyway. Good sex education and use of birth control cuts down Abortions 50%. 50%!

    So who is making abortion less frequent? “Pro-Lifers” or Planned parenthood? That’s right. It’s Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood cuts down abortion rates, by making sex education and protection available for those who want it.

    Even if birth control were seen as morally wrong, is it worse than abortion? Put your compassion where it needs to be, respecting differences of opinion between one group of good people and another group of good people, both American, both moral. Put your compassion for women, especially poorer women, into making birth control more available not less…in order to do what is for you the morally correct thing, making Abortions less frequent.

  20. Hey guys… I stumbled across this article recently and just wanted to articulate something to you all who were misunderstanding Sheila. She was having what you might call “Righteous Anger”… which is biblical mind you. Jesus himself saw that people were making his fathers’ house a den of thieves and threw the tables over and yelled at everyone to get out. Although she could have minced her words and spoke to her fellow believers “in love”, I agree with her standpoint. Remember, everyone has a right to be angry sometimes… I apologize for her for using the term “idiot” as well.

  21. Thank you very much for this! I can’t stand that we have parties anyway. I’m Christian and this helped me even more into not putting my hope into the GOP. I’m looking foward to your other articles. Chris, I see your point, I’m sorry that those kinds of “Christians” made you turn away from Jesus. And also Chris, I sin, A LOT, but the beauty of Jesus is that he paid for it all, but it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try to fight sin of course. I don’t hate homosexuals, I mean, they are not worse than me. Hate the sin, not the sinner. Jeff, again thanks for this, I don’t follow politics much(I’m pretty young) but a poem video I saw said, “Voting Rep. really wasn’t His mission, Rep. doesn’t automatically mean Christian.”

  22. Thank you Sir,
    An actual attempt at finding a solution to one of many complex social issues that face this Nation and divide us as one people. I will not use your forum to air my other concerns for those of the Christian faith…. You give me hope that i might no longer feel the hate that has been thrown at me and my family, because we are not Christian and believe this is our Nation and history also. I believe we can again become ” WE the People” and continue to form a more perfect Union….

  23. After reading the above comments I find that Michael Bernard has spoken for me, and spoken well. I will reiterate and expand on two important points, the best ways to reduce abortions to the absolute minimum possible is to empower women and educate men on respecting them, and to make the health and reproductive services that prevent unwanted pregnancies readily available to all who want them. The goal is to keep abortion legal and safe while doing all that we can to make the need for the procedure a vanishingly rare occurrence. I seriously doubt that it is ever an easy or casual decision to have one. No woman in that position should be stigmatized for it.

  24. I want to say thank you for bringing this “political carrot” to light. I have many friends and family who are “Devout Christians” who are hardcore republicans. I want to tell them that God is not a republican, and that the teachings of Jesus Christ is in no way similar to the GOP…I do not think Christ Jesus would have anything to do with any politics in this country, Democrat or Republican. There are points each party have which are more Christian, however neither one is rooted in righteousness, neither one has a hold on the truth. I try to encourage people to vote with their biblical wisdom, not with a political point a party is trying to secure votes with…again, thanks for posting this!

  25. Gracias a Dios, despuès de lee este artículo del señor Jhon, quedo màs que convencido que los políticos tanto demòcratas como republicanos, son coyotes de la misma loma. Son un montòn de mentirosos, manipuladores, farsantes, traidores, oportunistas y engañadores. Se Han hecho millonarios con el dinero del pueblo. Sin quitarle nada al artículo ” Porqué un Cristiano no debe votar Republicano” igualmente sentencio la misma premisa de ” PORQUE UN CRISTIANO NO DEBE VOTAR DEMÓCRATA ”
    Por las mismas razònes que Jhon expuso y con el agregante que se vuelven más hipócritas que Los primeros PORQUE con el cuento de ayudar a los pobres dicen que desminuyen Los abortos, lo cual es mentira y la Biblia dice que los mentirosos ni Los hipòcritas, etc. No entraran en el reino de Los cielos. Ahora con el cuento que los demòcratas quieren ayudar a Los pobres? Con el dinero de quien? No hay que saludar con el sombrero ajeno

  26. I am a Christian. I worship with the Church of Christ. You are dead-on accurate with the carrot illustration. I am fully convinced that politicians as a whole are a bunch of 2-faced lying hypocrites for sale to the highest bidder(s). They only care about what garners riches and power.

    The perfect birth control method: hold a penny between your knees.

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