While a majority of Americans are breathing a sigh of relief that the midterm elections did not further erode democratic norms, Al Mohler views the election as “an unmitigated disaster for the cause of the sanctity of human life.”
In his Nov. 14 podcast “The Briefing,” the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary lamented Republican losses in the midterms but conceded even those setbacks were worth it because the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
The title of the third segment of his Monday broadcast is: “Republicans Traded the Election of 2022 for a Generational Goal: The Reversal of Roe. Was It Worth It?”
In short, he says, yes, it was worth it.
Mohler cites the conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat at length. Before he does so, however, he explains to his listeners and readers that it’s OK to pay attention to Douthat because even though his article was published by the New York Times, a “very liberal newspaper,” Douthat is “a conservative writer.”
“Republicans in 2022 traded a larger margin in the House, and maybe a Senate seat or two for a generational goal, the end of Roe v. Wade.”
He references Douthat’s column titled “What Pro-Lifers Lost and Won” published Nov. 12. There the columnist notes: “In other words, Republicans in 2022 traded a larger margin in the House, and maybe a Senate seat or two for a generational goal, the end of Roe v. Wade.”
One of the known factors driving voter turnout in favor of Democratic candidates was a backlash against the Supreme Court’s summer decision ending a federal right to abortion.
Mohler explains what he finds as the essence of Douthat’s argument: “If you were to go back to say January or February of 2022, and you could say to pro-life voters, ‘Look, here’s the deal. You could have a disappointing election in November, but you can see the end of Roe v. Wade, or you can see a more successful election in November, but you have to give up hope of ever reversing Roe v. Wade.”
And Mohler has a ready answer for that deal: “I would take the reversal of Roe v. Wade over the electoral win. Now again, our job is to try to achieve both, but the fact is that the election was a disappointment for the pro-life cause. But nonetheless, we are still going into the end of 2022 with the most significant headline news story being the reversal of Roe v. Wade after almost 50 years of deadly precedent.”
Douthat, in his column, acknowledges that the pro-life position he and Mohler share is not the majority opinion in America.
“Tuesday’s results confirm the anti-abortion movement’s fundamental disadvantages.”
“Tuesday’s results confirm the anti-abortion movement’s fundamental disadvantages: While Americans are conflicted about abortion, a majority is more pro-choice than pro-life, the pro-choice side owns almost all the important cultural megaphones, and voters generally dislike sudden unsettlements of social issues,” he wrote.
Mohler likewise concedes: “Several states voted directly on abortion, and every one of them was a disaster for the cause of human life.”
He quotes an earlier Douthat column that referenced a 2006 comment by television comedian Stephen Colbert, who said: “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.”
Douthat had predicted the midterms would prove, instead, that “reality has a conservative bias.”
Colbert’s statement was “condescending,” Mohler said, but Douthat’s was not. It’s just that Douthat’s prediction didn’t come true.
Douthat and Mohler alike are determined their view on abortion is morally superior and must prevail.
“Even as you’re looking at reality, it doesn’t have a conservative or a liberal bias,” Mohler concluded. “Reality is reality, but conservatives and liberals are at the point now of disagreeing even over what reality is. In some cases, when it comes to, say, moral principles, you have many on the left who are arguing there is no reality behind moral statements whatsoever.”
Mohler famously endorsed Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, dismissing Trump’s lengthy record of distorting reality and trafficking in lies.
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