taking the words of Jesus seriously

Once again, abortion is being used to justify supporting a political candidate that deserves nothing but condemnation by Christians. Repeatedly, we find that opposition to abortion “covers a multitude of sins.” More specifically, it is support for a legal ban on abortion that justifies backing politicians and policies that don’t remotely resemble the Way of Jesus.

Roy Moore has made himself famous with his Ten Commandment monument stunts. Twice he has been removed as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for ethics violations. He has not built his reputation by actually following Jesus. His grandstanding behaviors most certainly do not reflect the priorities of our Lord. He is not known for doing anything that would be rightly regarded as bringing “good news to the poor” (Luke 4:16-21). Moore has shown no love for the agenda of Jesus.

Nevertheless, many conservative Christians regard him as a hero of sorts, because of his symbolic actions that really have nothing to do with discipleship. Now even though it is well-known that he molested underage girls years ago, some Christians are standing by him. The accusations of the women – who are all conservatives – are far more credible than his denials. But his supporters don’t care.

So-called “values voters” in Alabama appear to be abandoning all values worth having in order to support Moore. Some have gone so far as to straightforwardly state they would rather vote for a child molester than a Democrat. Churches have even posted signs comparing criticism of Moore with the false accusations Jesus endured. Where is the integrity?

Writing for The Federalist, Tully Borland made it crystal clear why conservative Christians continue to stand by Moore. It isn’t about Jesus. It is about abortion. Specifically, it is about Moore’s support for banning abortions. Despite the fact that nations that have banned abortion do not have lower abortion rates than nations with legal abortion, Moore’s supporters cling to the misguided idea that a ban will end abortion in America.

Borland accuses Moore’s opponent of “supporting killing babies in utero” and declares him “a moral monster.” He insists that a vote for Moore’s opponent is “a vote for the greater of two evils by a wide margin. It’s hard to imagine much worse than the mass murder of innocents.” This language is all too typical of those who justify extreme partisanism in the name of “saving unborn lives.” But such talk is deceptive.

Equating opposition to banning legal abortions with actual performance of abortion is a manipulative political ploy. To make matters much worse, however, is that people like Moore are the ones more justifiably accused of being implicated in “the mass murder of innocents.” Why? Because Moore and other conservatives like him oppose policies that actually have reduced abortions!

READ: Why This Pro-Life Christian Does Not Support Banning Abortion

As I argued in an earlier article, abundant evidence shows that abortion is far more effectively reduced by insuring easy access to contraceptives, sex education, and strengthening the social safety net. Yet these are things that conservatives undercut, even as they give lip service to opposing abortion.

Banning abortion as a means of ending abortion is fruitless. But it is politically useful to claim otherwise in order to get people to vote for candidates who push policies that are detrimental to the poor and middle class while helping enrich the wealthy elite. Among the tragic outcomes of the inequality that result from conservative economic policies is more abortions.

So a vote for Moore is a disgrace both because it is a vote for a man who has a background of molesting underage girls and because the sorts of inequality-exacerbating policies he supports in fact lead to more abortions.

If anyone is a “moral monster,” it is not his opponent but Moore himself. And Christians who give him support are reflecting that monstrosity as the whole nation watches.

About The Author


Craig M. Watts is author of Bowing Toward Babylon: The Nationalistic Subversion of Christian Worship in America (Cascade Books 2017) and minister of Royal Palm Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Coral Springs, Florida.

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