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A twofer: A misreading of the blessing of adoptions and why evangelicals went for Trump

by | Dec 27, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-life President-elect Donald Trump

Pro-life President-elect Donald Trump

For the last post of the day, let me put two items together, one very negative, one quite positive.

If you follow the news closely—especially that composed by the army of Donald Trump haters– you already know there is virtually nothing that cannot somehow be connected back to pro-life President-elect Trump. Nothing, that is, that the author doesn’t believe is a negative.

So we have a letter in the New York Times yesterday commenting on a previous story that had been headlined “Emboldened by Trump’s Victory, Abortion Foes Vow ‘Onslaught.’” (As it happens, we made some observations as well about the same story.)

The writer’s point is that more children will now be “give[n] up for adoption,” a particularly outdated way of talking about making an adoption plan that is a blessing to the birth mother, the adoptive family, and the child.

But poor choice of language quickly gives way to a disastrous portrait of what is in store for the birth mother. This is awful enough (in addition to being untrue) but it is made worse when the letter writer contrasts adoption with killing the unborn child: “No credible research finds that an abortion leads to such life-altering, encompassing and cataclysmic reactions.”

That’s the bad news. The good news is an interview Jerry Falwell Jr. gave to Fox News Sunday yesterday. As he should, in his role as moderator, Chris Wallace was a dogged and thorough questioner. Here is one question he asked of the president of Liberty University:

WALLACE: Let’s look at the exit polls from election night a little over a month ago. As you can see there, Donald Trump got a higher percentage of the white evangelical vote than Mitt Romney did four years ago or McCain before him or even George W. Bush in 2004. How do you explain that?

Falwell said that Trump “made it very clear who his Supreme Court picks would be if he was elected. I think that was a big factor” (they would all be pro-life); the solidly pro-life platform plank adopted last summer at the Republican National Committee Convention; and the anticipation that, unlike the Obama Administration, the Trump Administration will not “silence conservatives and pastors.”

To be specific, President-elect Trump won 80% of the white evangelical vote. Mitt Romney carried 78% in 2012, as did President George W. Bush in 2004. In 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain drew 74%. This was hugely important.

“White evangelicals made up 1 in 4 of all voters in the 2016 election,” wrote Kate Shellnutt for Christianity Today. “The only demographics that broke for Trump more than white evangelicals were Republican men (90%), Republican women (89%), and conservatives (81%).”

So, white Evangelicals are a large voting bloc who were very much in Trump’s corner. What else made them particularly important November 8?

“Evangelicals also play prominently in swing states like Florida, where they are anticipated to make up 20 percent of the state’s votes,” writes the Washington Post’s Sarah Pulliam Bailey. “There they polled 85-13 percent. Their support for Clinton at 16 percent was less than evangelical support for Obama of 20 percent in 2012.” Trump carried Florida by 1 point.

Categories: Donald Trump