Conservatives and Evangelicals hoped to see great gains on election day in the United States, but the results were painfully disappointing. In spite of crime, inflation that has been devastating for middle-class prosperity, and the open borders issue, the Republicans did not make significant gains in the key races. All this despite President Biden’s polling with very poor approval ratings.
The most alarming and disappointing result for me was Ohio approving an abortion change to its state constitution that makes abortion legal through all nine months of pregnancy. National liberal groups poured money into this contest. While national polls previously showed that most would approve of abortion restrictions and preclude it after 15 weeks (closer to the European standard) this radical change to the constitution passed.
The second most disappointing election was in Virginia. The governor, Republican Glenn Youngkin, was elected in 2021, on a platform to support parental rights in education and to see woke and LGBTQ indoctrination removed from schools. He gained control of the Virginia Lower House of Representatives. The hope was that he would hold the House and gain the Senate. He supported an abortion ban after 15 weeks which had not yet passed. He lost both the House and the Senate. The struggles over education continue locally with some materials in children’s libraries being pornographic and the transgender issue boiling where biological boys and teens are permitted to use girl’s bathrooms and locker rooms. Louden County Virginia has become nationally famous for the struggle. Younkin was backing the conservative parents in this battle. This has certainly been a setback.
Some Republicans did win governor’s races, but a red state Kentucky (Republican) re-elected their Democratic governor.
Many thought that with election of Youngkin, Virginia was an indicator that the country was changing in a positive way, but now we realize that abortion is deeply ensconced in both blue states and purple states like Virginia that can go either Republican or Democrat.
This leads to comments on the law. Some misunderstand the view of Christians who desire a return to the law that is more in accord with the Jude0-Christian heritage of the United States. We see in this misunderstanding the alarm of some on the left due to the very strong Evangelical faith profession of the new speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson. They think Christians want to impose their faith/values on the nation and paint them like fundamentalist Muslims. However, most of these folks want a return to some of the values in the country that prevailed historically. This was not a radical harsh society.
It is well to respond with some reflections. Unless there is a dictatorship or control by an elite that represses the rest of the population (more a potential of the left today than the right), the laws of a society reflect the moral consensus. There can be tolerance for the dissenters but when there is truly a strong democratic aspect to a society, the minority cannot impose but has to win the consensus and become the majority in the society. For example, the consensus 60 years ago was that abortion was terribly evil and should be illegal. That consensus was lost and now it appears that legal abortion is the consensus. The law now reflects that consensus.
There are some important takeaways from this election.
- Many are only now realizing how deeply committed the majority are to abortion in many states. It trumps other issues, even the economy, crime, education, open borders, and more. This is the reason many lost at the polls.
- That the people are so choosing for abortion is bringing their states and perhaps the country into judgment. This is not something now imposed by the courts, but something chosen in elections, in referendums on abortion. People voted for more pro-abortion politicians. The United States is indeed in great peril of the judgment of God. God does judge nations by his most basic law standards. Abortion is the most painful manifestation of evil in our society.
This all raises a larger question on how to see reform in the United States. Yes, we want to see our laws more in accord with the Bible, but how much can be gained by the political processes if there is not a change in the moral consensus of society first? Yes, we should be involved in civic life and bring better laws where we can, but changing the consensus is the more crucial matter. For me, that means that without a mighty revival and reversal of the decline in the Evangelical Churches of America (by this I include Pentecostals and Charismatics) there is not much hope. These elections convince me more than ever that we will not see much progress before a great national revival in the Church that will affect the consensus of the society.