Opposition to abortion is the quintessential lynchpin in the evangelical sellout to alt-right conservativism. It is the glue that makes it possible for evangelicals to tolerate and even embrace Donald Trump. It is as ubiquitous as gravity in the universe of the evangelical community, so much so that many people would be shocked to learn that, like gravity, as forces go it is also the weakest. Indeed, the “Pro-life” movement part of Christianity is so prevalent as to almost qualify it as an article of faith, and so weak that most evangelicals spend precious little time thinking about it.
That all may seem counterintuitive. But having been involved in the evangelical community from my late teens to my late twenties, my personal experience bears it out. Anecdotal experience aside it explains the most recent extent to which evangelicals are prepared to once again embrace Donald Trump in his headlong rush to reopen schools and endanger children. If evangelicals are truly as pro-life as they say they are, not only would they be appalled and outraged by Trump’s policy of separating families and putting children in cages (and yes, that is still ongoing), but they would be equally appalled and outraged at Trump’s headlong rush to return children to school during a worldwide pandemic, merely so he can protect the S&P 500 and get his economic numbers back up in time for the election.
But evangelicals are blind to Trump’s perfidies, and they are voluntarily blind in the name of an anti-abortion article of faith that they care little about. That they are measurably lukewarm about abortion is demonstrated in their utter heartlessness when it comes to protecting the lives of actual children, as opposed to theoretical ones. This blindness is also a convenient way to hide the ugliest side of the Pro-life movement: the subjugation and disempowerment of women.
The only personal evidence I can bring to this topic is so subjective that, in the end, I can only rely on that familiar old saw that “you had to be there.” To be sure there exists within the camp of the evangelicals people who are genuinely concerned about abortion and its moral implications. But the fact that they fret about it at all in the first place is usually down to the fact that they were screamed at by their preachers, Sunday after Sunday, and told to start fretting. The screamers themselves rarely gave a crap. The same goes for most of the rank and file. If ever there was a case of lip service, this is it.
But when Trump laments that Dr. Anthony Fauci May be “playing both sides” in a supposed excess of caution when Fauci worried that reopening schools might be dangerous to the health of children, evangelicals predictably jumped onboard the Trump train. While it is true that coronavirus susceptibilities and deaths are sharply lower in children than they are in adults, they still happen and there are some other emerging and very worrying pathologies. Kawasaki Disease and a form of chilblains known informally as “COVID toe” are becoming strikingly common in children, and, while the causal relationship to COVID-19 has not been established, the rocketing incidence is disturbing. Certain neurotoxic and hepatotoxic results are also beginning to present in children. The truth of the matter is we just don’t know how bad it can be. But while economic slowdowns can be temporary, many of the devastating consequences of COVID infection may turn out to be permanent. Death certainly is, of course.
Most evangelicals simply don’t care about abortion. They even practice it themselves when it’s convenient to do so, in order to cover up that other bugaboo of theirs: “sexual sin outside of wedlock.” It’s one sick thing leading to another, so never be in doubt of its rank insincerity. They won’t tell you that they’re secretly pro-choice because they’re afraid of what others will think.
It is upon this phony bedrock of this hypocrisy, “the compliment that vice pays to virtue,” that we have been given Donald Trump. Even the supposed reason that many people voted for that child-raping murderer is, in its most fundamental place, a lie. We must remove Trump and remove that lie in November. Our lives and the lives of our children depend upon it. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.