Columns 2016

Hey, Evangelicals, here’s an idea

One of the most puzzling features of the current campaign for me is how evangelical Christians can stick with Trump. On the surface, he would seem to be everything they rail against – multiple marriages, mistresses, talking about women as though they were merely pieces of meat for his delectation – how does anyone put these together with Christian values and come up positive for Trump?

The answer, as best I can tell, is that for some evangelicals, there is really only one issue in this campaign that matters. That issue is the Supreme Court and who will get to nominate judges to it in the next four years. These evangelicals want to see Roe v Wade and the marriage equality decision overturned. They feel their only chance for that to happen is to get the right person in as president. Apparently, in order to achieve this goal, they are willing to overlook the smelly pile that is the candidate they support.

Since I have to assume most evangelicals, like most of America, wishes they had a better candidate to support, I’d like to offer them perhaps another solution to at least one of their concerns – abortions. Instead of protesting against abortions and abortion providers, how about preventing the pregnancy in the first place? Wouldn’t that resolve the issue back at the starting line instead of halfway through the race?

Let me go on record here as saying that I cannot imagine ever having an abortion. But I also can’t imagine interfering with another woman’s right to make her own decisions about something so personal. So it seems to me that if you want to stop abortions, the best way to do that is to stop a pregnancy from ever happening. And the best way to do that is through education and access to good reproductive health care for everyone.

So for just a moment here, imagine with me what could be. Think what evangelicals could accomplished if, instead of picketing Planned Parenthood or harassing medical practitioners, they channeled that energy into seeing that every man and woman in America had access to the education and products needed to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Because the reality is that for every unwanted pregnancy that doesn’t happen, you have one more abortion that doesn’t happen.

So when I think about the energy evangelicals put into demonizing supporters and providers of abortion services, I have to wonder why they aren’t trying to do something positive about preventing unwanted pregnancies rather than railing against the ones that already happened. Imagine if these same people fought to see that all women had free access to birth control. Imagine if sex education was required throughout every school in this country.

I realize that for many evangelicals, sex outside of marriage is considered a sin. I realize many believe the only place their children should hear about sex is in the home. That would be great if that actually happened and if the conversation in the home covered the real facts. And the real facts are that sex is one of the most powerful driving forces of nature. Also, it’s fun and feels good. This makes abstinence only programs pretty much of a wash out as we here in Alaska know from the personal experiences of our infamous Valley family.

Donald Trump does not represent the values of any form of Christianity that I have ever encountered. Based on the teachings of Jesus, he’d have one heckuva time getting through the eye of that needle. He’s not only rich, but his riches were acquired on the backs of the middle class every time he chose bankruptcy over paying his contractors. He thinks heroes are losers and not paying his fair share of any given bill makes him somehow better than the rest of us. His charitable foundation uses its money to pay his legal bills. It’s been years since he even made a contribution to it.
I could go on, but you get the idea. While evangelicals might say that we don’t know what’s in his heart, I will venture to guess that he hasn’t been to a church service that didn’t advance his career his entire adult life.

So what about it, evangelicals? How about channeling your energy into preventing abortions through universal sex education and birth control? It’s a goal we can all get behind. Then maybe in the future, you wouldn’t be forced to support a candidate that made you gag.