It appears that no outrage is too great for the religious right to even rethink its near-fanatical loyalty to Donald Trump. The nation’s so-called moral guardians refuse to even consider ending their campaign to bully the nation into bowing down to him. Far from it, actually. With less than a month to go before Election Day, the religious right has instead chosen to churn out red meat by the barrelful.
From the looks of it, the religious right’s response to the mounting evidence that Trump mishandled the coronavirus pandemic eight ways to Sunday has been to pound abortion above all else. We’ve seen the most obvious manifestation of this already in the form of the Senate Republicans’ efforts to ram Amy Coney Barrett into Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s old Supreme Court seat so close to the election–an effort that began before Ginsburg’s body even grew cold.
But this isn’t the only evidence. Not by a longshot. For instance, religious right activist and pastor Jim Garlow took to Facebook this weekend to openly question the faith of any Christian who even considers voting for someone who is pro-choice.
Uh huh. So we can’t vote for someone who is pro-choice, but we can vote for someone who revels in degrading women, out-and-out lied to the American people about the seriousness of a pandemic, is a racist, etc., etc.? Apparently for the religious right, the answer to that question is “yes.”
More proof of this comes from a recent column in The Stream, the Christian conservative blog helmed by religious right activists James Robison and Michael Brown. A prominent conservative activist called for Joe Biden’s bishop to refuse Communion to Biden until he recants his pro-choice views.
Jason Scott Jones, a senior editor at The Stream and a veteran religious right activist. He was Hawaii state chairman of Young Americans for Freedom, national youth director of the American Life League, and public relations chief of Human Life International.
His most recent column at The Stream served notice that he is as strident now as he was in the 1980s. It took the form of an open letter to W. Francis Malooly, the Bishop of Wilmington and the spiritual leader of the 240,000 Catholics in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore. In it, Jones called for Malooly to have a not-so-pleasant conversation with his most famous living “spiritual son,” Biden.
Jones argued that because of Biden’s support for abortion on demand, it was a “mortal sin” for him to receive Communion. As Jones sees it, Biden wants to bill himself as “the same kind of lax, fair-weather Catholic who voted for Obama.” Such Catholics, Jones says, want “Communion without Confession, salvation without repentance, cheap grace without works or faith.”
For Jones, there may be only one way for Malooly to get Biden’s attention–publicly call for Biden to “repent” of his support for abortion. He thinks Malooly should go further and order the priests in his diocese to refuse Biden Communion until Biden renounces his pro-choice views.
Jones believes that if word got out about this, a number of Catholics who are swing voters might consider Biden “an outsider from the ‘tribe.'” More seriously, he believes that if Biden sees that his bishop puts a premium on “the most fundamental issue of politics, protecting innocent life,” it will be enough for him to repent.
Well, that’s interesting, Jason. Unless I missed something in your past articles, you haven’t expressed this sort of indignation about Trump’s mishandling of the coronavirus, as well as his admission that he knew all along how serious this pandemic was.
If you’re so concerned about “innocent life,” shouldn’t you be concerned that the president mishandled the most grave domestic violence since the Depression–one that has killed over 200,000 people and sickened at least 7.5 million more? And of that 7.5 million, a good number of them will be saddled with severe complications for the rest of their lives. Are we supposed to ignore that just because Trump opposes abortion?
Many of you know that I walked out on the pro-life movement in part because its leaders expect us to support any schmuck, any reprobate, any slimeball just because he or she crows about being for “the sanctity of life.” If Jones is calling for Biden’s bishop to refuse him Communion just because he’s pro-choice, while ignoring Trump’s mishandling of coronavirus, it exemplifies the mentality that led me to walk away.
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