Christians are often accused by progressives as “single-issue voters.” Many times, this is in response to opposition to pro-choice candidates and is rooted in the biblical belief in the sanctity of life of the unborn.
However, this critique is shortsighted and oftentimes misleading. Constitutional principles like religious liberty, Second Amendment rights and many other issues are deeply important to the evangelical community. The deeper issue is that many of these issues are so nuanced and much more complex than a “single issue.”
There are underlying issues within the broader topic of religious liberty alone that make it vitally important for Christians in the upcoming election. Understanding and exposing the incorrect interpretation of separation of church and state, held by secularists and most progressives, lies at the heart of the concern that the constitutional value of religious freedom is protected.
Michael McConnel, a professor at Stanford University’s Constitutional Law Center argues that there is “nothing wrong with having religion in the American culture.” The founders sought to prevent government regulation of religion, not an outright banning of religion in the public square. Ironically, belief systems like atheism and secularism, which strive to keep religion completely out of public life, are religions in their own right.
Another concern many evangelicals have regarding the preservation of religious liberty pertains to the dangerous legislation that progressives want to see enshrined into law. The Equality Act, for example, would force employers and workers to conform to new sexual norms or they could potentially lose their jobs.
This legislation would politicize medicine by forcing nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals to offer drastic treatments not based on science but on political agendas. In addition, it would lead to the removal of gender-specific facilities, sports leagues, and other areas. Lastly, the Equality Act would heavily regulate non-profits and potentially churches. Given the ramifications of this legislation, it does not seem very surprising that evangelical Christians are strongly opposed to it.
The ramifications of caring for the unborn go much deeper than simply a belief that life begins at conception. Last February, Democrats filibustered both the Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would give survivors of botched abortions medical treatment for survival and prohibit abortion after twenty weeks’ gestation.
Democrats have argued that both pieces of legislation were unnecessary, but recent polling shows a majority of Americans believe that infants should receive medical care once they have reached the point of viability. Democrats, however, were able to vouch for radical disregard for the unborn that is out of touch with millions of Americans, due to media coverage.
Knowing that increased late-term abortion is a significant possibility in a Biden-Harris Administration and under a Democrat-led Congress, it is easy to understand why many evangelicals see the pro-life issue as much more multi-faceted and immanent than a “single issue.”
While the debate over religious liberty and the sanctity of life may seem like “single issues” to some progressives, there is deep complexity within these broader issues. Each of these broad topics has specific intricacies, such as the Equality Act, flawed interpretations of separation of church and state, and complete removal of restrictions on late-term abortion.
Seeing such dangerous legislation stopped in its tracks is not just a political priority for Christians but a reality firmly rooted in the belief that the rights of an individual come not from government but from God, and those rights last from conception to the grave.