Abortion debate appears to be at forefront of 2022 midterms

Christian leaders object to VP Harris’ claim they don’t have to ‘abandon’ faith to support abortion

Vice President Kamala Harris reiterated again this week her position that Americans do not have to “abandon their faith” to support abortion rights which several faith leaders who spoke with Fox News Digital objected to. 

“I say this, one does not have to abandon their faith or their beliefs to agree that the government should not be making that decision for her,” Harris said this week. “It’s literally that basic.”

Harris has made similar statements in recent months as the Supreme Court debated, and ultimately overturned Roe v. Wade, including in July when she said, “It’s important to note that to support a woman’s ability, not her government, but her, to make that decision does not require anyone to abandon their faith or their beliefs.”

Dr. Bart Barber, pastor of First Baptist Church of Farmersville in East Texas and president of the Southern Baptist Convention, told Fox News Digital that it’s “sometimes difficult to know what politicians like Harris actually want Christians to do with their faith when it comes to politics.

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US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during the Democratic National Committee Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington, DC, US, on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.
(Leigh Vogel/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“If we fail to apply the teachings of our faith to questions like immigration or Herschel Walker’s behavior or Donald Trump’s behavior in the way that she thinks we should, we wind up being scolded and encouraged to let our faith shape our moral and political decisions more aggressively,” Barber said. 

“But when it comes to questions like abortion, she is willing to offer instruction about how we should divorce our faith from our moral and political decisions. I choose to let the teachings of Jesus instruct me about how to apply my faith. I show respect for our Vice-President by praying for her and by loving her as my neighbor, and I show respect for the fellow human beings waiting for their chance to be born by opposing their slaughter in the abortionist’s chamber.”

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McKayla Wolff left and Karen Wolff, joined hands as they rallied for abortion rights at the capitol in St. Paul, Minn

McKayla Wolff left and Karen Wolff, joined hands as they rallied for abortion rights at the capitol in St. Paul, Minn
(Jerry Holt/Star Tribune)

Bishop Robert Barron, bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester in Minnesota, and founder of Word on Fire: Catholic Ministries, told Fox News Digital that abortion is an “objective evil” and a “willful destruction of human life” that should not be determined by a “consultative process.”

“If there is a ‘choice’ to be made, it seems to me, that fidelity to Christ would obligate a Christian to advocate for saving life, rather than destroying life,” Barron said. 

“Perhaps the Vice President was talking about a different faith than the one ‘that was once for all delivered to the saints,’ as Jude wrote,” Brent Leatherwood, President for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, told Fox News Digital.

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US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a surprise visit to the site of a shooting which left seven dead in Highland Park, Illinois, 

US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a surprise visit to the site of a shooting which left seven dead in Highland Park, Illinois, 
( KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

“That faith speaks of the precious dignity bestowed upon each individual at conception, their immeasurable worth, and why it is necessary for the state to wield its authority to save defenseless lives. To characterize it otherwise is to be discussing a different faith altogether.”

Leatherwood continued, “Christians seek the wellbeing of our neighbors—both born and preborn—and, as a result, believe our laws should help people live and flourish. So the question isn’t about abandoning what we know to be right and true, but whether we will abide by it in all that we do, regardless of the consequences.”

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Rev. Lawrence R. Rast Jr., president of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and a former Lutheran pastor, told Fox News Digital that the vice president’s comments “trivialize the importance of one’s faith for making difficult decisions.”

“She does this by deflecting the issue to the question of whether the government can limit choices for individuals,” Rast said. “Within the context of faith, however, this is not a question of government directive, but rather a question of biblical teaching and its implication for personal life choices. The Scriptures clearly teach that life is sacred from conception until natural death. And thus one cannot reconcile the Christian faith with the willful killing of children.” 

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

President Biden has faced criticism in recent months for his strong support of abortion despite being a practicing Catholic. Last month, the White House declined to say whether the president supports any limits on abortion 

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