Lindy West’s op-ed piece, Of Course Abortion Should Be a Litmus Test for Democrats, underscores that the latter have a major religion problem. 80% of white evangelicals and 52% of Catholics voted for Trump; that figure goes to 60% for regular Mass attendees. Hispanics are becoming the majority of American Catholics and they tend to be socially conservative re. life issues. Does the Democratic Party want to write off this constituency, especially since the Electoral College tends to favor the Republic Party (cf. the George W. Bush and Trump victories)?
A study by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution addressed issues that affected the 2016 elections (How Immigration and Concerns about Cultural Change are Shaping the 2016 Election; June 23, 2016). The study found that there were serious concerns of discrimination against Christians. Nearly half (49%) of Americans say discrimination against Christians has become a big problem in America. 74% of white evangelical Protestants say that discrimination against Christians now rivals that of other groups. Substantially fewer white mainline Protestants (54%), white Catholics (53%), black Protestants (53%), and Hispanic Catholics (50%) agree. West’s op-ed piece would tend to confirm their concerns. If a pro-Life mayoral candidate in Omaha, NB cannot run under Democrat auspices, that is de facto, a religion problem.
West also says since 70% of all Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade (citing the Pew Research Center) that this number (and others) do not indicate controversy.
Not so fast. According to a Marist Poll (conducted December 12-19, 2016) Americans do support abortion restrictions. According to the poll, “significant majorities of Americans oppose the use of tax dollars to fund abortions and want the Supreme Court to rule in favor of abortion restrictions.” The poll found that among Americans overall, nearly three-quarters (74%) want abortion restricted to, at most, the first trimester. Nearly six in ten (59%) say it is either an immediate priority (34%) or an important one (25%) to limit abortion to the first trimester. This includes 78% of Republicans and almost half of Democrats (47%). Even among those who identify as pro-choice, more than 40% say restricting abortion is an immediate priority or important (44%). To say that unrestricted abortion does “not indicate controversy” strains one’s credulity.
Finally, West says that Abortion is normal, which may suggest that it is normative and to outlaw it is indefensible from a “human rights standpoint.” Re. that same Marist Poll, regardless of their views on whether abortion should remain legal, almost six in ten (59%) believe that abortion is morally wrong. This includes 80% supporters of President Trump and nearly four in ten supporters of Secretary Clinton. They believe abortion is wrong because it takes the life of an innocent human being. Moreover, the right to Life, takes precedence over Liberty concerns. As Thomas Jefferson stated in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights: that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Note which comes first: one can’t enjoy Liberty without having Life.
In order to maintain “absolute ideological purity,” West is ready to discard those who are pro-Life since “abortion is not fodder for such compromise.” Her rigidity bares a family resemblance to the NRA. Indeed, it seems that that NORAL and the NRA exert a stranglehold on their respective parties and both are obstacles to inclusive participation.
Deacon Jim McFadden