Have you heard about the Believers for Biden?
Although it is understandable for a campaign to want to reach out to various demographics, there’s something sad and tragic about Joe Biden reaching out to people of faith to bolster his presidential campaign.
The effort raises a question: What kind of believers is he talking about?
Does he mean the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, whose antics include a blessing of a Texas facility that kills children in the womb?
Or this other group that gathered outside the late-term abortion killing center of Dr. LeRoy Carhart in Maryland? One of the pastors involved insisted that long before Roe v. Wade legalized child sacrifice in our nation, God said it was OK because abortion “affirms a woman’s moral agency.”
I am not advocating for an unconstitutional religious test for public office. But I am advocating for the honesty and transparency that would acknowledge that support for unrestricted abortion is not exactly the kind of “belief” that countless believers and their churches have historically embraced, or embrace today.
Perhaps the people who join Believers for Biden will come primarily from the faith groups that embrace abortion “as part of their robust commitments to gender equity, family well-being and social justice,” as described by a writer for the Religion News Service. That’s sociology mumbo-jumbo meant to mask the fact that some Christian denominations long ago gave up believing that the Bible should inform their faith and now believe in whatever feels right to them at any given moment.
And what about the freedom of the Church? American “believers in Biden” need to know how those three realities intersect: How will Biden allow believers in America to practice their faith? For almost a decade now, American believers have had to fight, quite publicly, an Obama-Biden mandate all the way to the Supreme Court (three times, in fact) in order to have the freedom to live out their faith.
The mandate required employers — including us at Priests for Life, the Archdiocese of Washington, the Catholic University of America, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and numerous others — to include forms of early abortion in the health insurance coverage we offer to our employees.
It was the Trump administration that freed us from having to make that onerous choice between following our faith or following the law.
And no sooner did the Supreme Court rule just a couple of weeks ago in favor of President Trump’s action to protect the freedom of believers than Biden came out and said he’d put the mandate back the way it was before.
So, do “Believers for Biden” know this, and are they OK with it? What kind of believers want government to hinder their right to practice their own beliefs?
It would be interesting just to sit back and watch the assortment of strange bedfellows that will join up with Believers for Biden. But since the stakes of this election are so high — a choice, literally, between the culture of life and the culture of death, between religious freedom or religious oppression — we cannot let these impostors dominate our national conversation and get away with disguising who they are.
Again, there’s no religious test for public office, and there should be no civic pressure on anyone to be or not to be a believer. But if a campaign is launching an outreach to believers, it owes the public a bit of honesty and transparency about what that candidate believes and how he’ll treat what they believe.