Two years ago, during the lead-up to the election, I wrote two articles, one just some general thoughts on the election, and then a follow-up about why we shouldn’t be single issue voters. The follow up was necessary, as I was attacked but fellow Evangelicals for not supporting Trump. Mostly, I was accused of supporting abortion (I don’t). That is also a refrain I heard often during the election, ‘well, he’s a terrible person, but…something, something, Supreme Court.’ Of course, but Supreme Court, they meant abortion. I laid out all my reasons not to think this way in that post, so please check it out. I welcome any feedback or thoughts. I received a few after posting that, including a bizarre interaction with a former Sunday School teacher and mentor, before cut of all contact with us (after accusing us of being Godless).
So, I bring this up now as the confirmation hearings continue for Brett Kavanaugh (unrelated fun fact, his name means follower of Kevin). This is Trump’s second appointee; and he will be appointed, despite the Kabuki Theater of the hearings, he already has the votes and this just a time for politicians to grand stand. I guess it’s all worth it now, right? We’ll overturn Roe?
Maybe. Maybe not –
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has said she would not vote for a nominee who threatens Roe. She said that in a meeting with Kavanaugh, he referred to Roe as “settled law.”
Feinstein specifically asked Kavanaugh about that Wednesday.
“Senator, I said that it’s settled as a precedent of the Supreme Court, entitled the respect under principles ‘stare decisis,’ ” referring to the legal principle of not overturning precedents. “And one of the important things to keep in mind about Roe v. Wade is that it has been reaffirmed many times over the past 45 years.”
One of two things are going on here. First, he is an unprincipled liar who want stand up for what he believes and when he gets on the court, he will vote to overturn Roe, once challenged. I have to assume this is alright with most Evangelicals, as 81% voted for Trump. Second, he actually believes what he is saying. I actually lean towards the latter, and still believe, as I did two years ago, that Roe will be not be overturned. It’s also important to remember, Roe did no legalize abortion – it made it illegal for state to ban abortion. Were it overturned, the issue would be relegated to the states, many of which will keep it legal.
Of course, you could be cynical and say that Trump doesn’t care at all about Roe, but rather likes Kavanaugh due to his devotion to presidential power. However, if we turn over Roe, would it be worth it? It is a serious question, considering the damage supporting him has done to what little reputation we may have had. The hyprocsy with our reaction to him paying off a porn actress and a playboy model for affairs he had with them, as compared to the reaction many of his supporters had during the Clinton issues in the 90’s. That is one reason why this quote from the now famous Op-Ed stuck out to me –
The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.
Again, all this would be fine, I suppose, if he wasn’t considered the ‘Christian candidate’ or if Evangelicals hadn’t voted for him in record numbers. It is fine to vote for Trump, nothing wrong with it at all. If you are rich, or think Mexicans or Muslims are the greatest threat to the country, or you are a nationalist, then Trump was a great choice (the best, believe me). However, none of the makes him the ‘Christian’ choice and I think that distinct will bother me to no end, for as long as I live. I don’t believe that is the main reason for our support for him. I think the main reason is fear.
I’m not the only one either. Michael Horton recently wrote the same thing. Read anything from John Fea ( or check out my review of his book). In a strange irony, we as conservatives are looking for power in the government now more than ever, we look there for a sense of right, or protection, to expand and enforce our will/influence. So, here we are, about to have another Justice. Maybe I’m wrong, and Roe will be challenged next year and overturned. What if is isn’t? What will we say then?
6 thoughts on “Trump and the Supreme Court”
Sound and fury (from your tag line) signifying that I (among others) am a ‘loose cultural Christian’ (from your earlier post). For someone like yourself who reasons well, such a label for a person like me who accepts the need for regulated legal abortion indicates to me that you have not thought out this problem.
You admit you are not old enough to remember the back room abortions when they were illegal. You have not considered how often abortion occurs in nature where we call it a miscarriage. You have not been in the body of a raped or abused woman. But you have recognized the statistic that correlates abortion with poverty. That’s a beginning.
I don’t know anyone who is in favour of abortion. It is never a good solution to the social ills we find ourselves in, but it is the least of many evils.
One of the most disturbing things in the current trouble in the US is that people – believer and unbeliever alike – have put in power a loose cultural cannon. And people have done it for all the wrong reasons. The believers have done it in the case of abortion, so that they can have power through the courts over other people’s bodies. It was Nietzsche I think who identified the will to power as the main trouble with humanity. Such need for power is all I hear about in the Christians of the US at the moment.
I met a fundamentalist the other day in the park. Within moments, all he wanted to do was to convince me that men should be in charge because God made the sexually undifferentiated human from the dust first. He was versed in the Bible but completely unable to use his rote learning except to seek power over someone he had just met.
I think that is the definition of sin. Was this a stillborn second birth?
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Thanks for your comment. I don’t often hear from someone who is more supportive of abortion. One thing I have learned is that, if I am going to post about this topic, whether I hear from someone who is supportive or from someone who wants it banned in all situations (I am neither of these), they are likely going to patronizingly question my intelligence. I have hoped that maybe it’s a generational thing, but I think people are just far more passionate about this topic than me.
I hope you weren’t offended by my comment, the politics are likely different in Canada, but here, the vast majority of people who are supportive of abortion typically fall in to a loose culture Christianity. I don’t know that I’d agree that it is the least of social ills.
I also don’t see a way to compare abortion and miscarriage. We experienced a miscarriage earlier this year, and it certainly wasn’t something we had a choice in. The comparison seems odd and disingenuous. Similarly, I don’t see the power over other people’s bodies. It’s possible some people may have that belief, I know I’ve never seen it.
Seeking power is a major problem right now, that is why I linked the Horton article and John Fea’s website. There is a clear issue with Christians, here, giving in to fear and spending all effort on seeking power.
Thanks again for your comment, please feel free to clarify anything I may have mistaken.
Definitely I am not offended. God knows if I am loose or not. I work only on the basis of my faith especially when I am speaking to those who also are in the household of God.
First I did not say that abortion is the least of social ills. I said it is the least of many evils – those evils all being related to abortion: viz back room illegal abortions, dangerous, expensive, exploitative, or the denial for a woman of control of her own body, just to mention two.
Yes there is a difference between abortion and miscarriage or stillbirth. The last two are devastating for hopeful parents. Is God the agent of an abortion in a miscarriage? Perhaps not. But Ecclesiastes 11:5 notes: As you have no knowledge what the way of the spirit is, with respect to the bones in the filled belly, so also you do not know the deed of God that does it all. (my translation).
Since I do not know – all that is going on in the womb or all that is going on in those who are the protagonists in the problems at hand, I think policy should leave the decision in the hands of the people who are most affected. Yes there is choice – but it is not my choice – it is the choice of those who are involved.
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