First, let’s look at the special election held in Ohio in early August 2023.
Issue 1 was a ballot measure placed before Ohio voters that would have raised the threshold for passing future constitutional amendments requiring a 60% supermajority along with requiring signatures to be collected in all 88 counties. This initiative was rejected 57% to 43%.
Now technically, Issue 1 had nothing directly to do with abortion. But in November 2023, there will be another vote in Ohio on whether to amend the Ohio Constitution to grant every Ohioan the right to make their own “reproductive decisions”. You have to love how those in favor of death use words to cover over the grisly nature of abortion – the intentional killing of a baby in a mother’s womb. The defeat of Issue 1 makes it easier for the November vote to pass.
So, what should we think of the August election and whether abortion gives the Democratic Party an advantage in upcoming elections at the state and federal levels? Sadly, I think there could be truth that allowing the killing of unborn babies could give an advantage to Joe Biden’s team despite his dismal performance. The Atlantic admitted as much. Yes, voters are unhappy about the economy, but abortion might help save the day.
However, there is more to this story in Ohio than just the subject of abortion. Pastor Shawn Meyer of Ohio shared with me his thoughts on the recent vote. He attributed the loss to:
- Poor messaging for the “yes” side.
- Much greater spending on the “no” side.
- Ohio citizens were led to believe that citizens would lose their ability to amend their own Constitution and give the legislature the sole ability to drive ballot initiatives.
- Silence of pastors and apathy among too many Christians.
Shawn lamented that it is estimated that nearly 3 million registered voters in Ohio attend church either weekly or regularly. There is a serious disconnect between Sunday church attendance and the ballot box.
We like to be optimistic as Americans thinking that we can solve any challenge before us. Didn’t we beat the British two times and win two world wars? Well, God has been very merciful and patient with our nation, but increasingly we see God’s hand of judgment not just in terms of economics but God giving us over to our rebellion as the Apostle Paul described in Romans 1 repeatedly.
I continue to give thanks and praise to our great God for the overthrow of the disastrous Roe v. Wade decision by the US Supreme Court in 2022. Further, I am thankful that in a good number of states, the grisly killing of the unborn has been decreased in a variety of ways. Many babies have been spared from a cruel death. And in even states like Illinois, I am thankful for those who continue to be a witness for life despite attempts to harass and shut down pregnancy centers. There is much work that is left to do, but let us not think that all has been lost.
We must be honest while facing the situation. Being naïve is not a Christian virtue. So what can we do? I am not an election strategist. I am a Christian pastor and teacher. As much as we can say each election is important or even the most important, we cannot trade principles for supposed short-term gain.
In states like Illinois and even in more conservative states, we cannot just hope for a political victory. The stand for life must continue to take place in our homes, churches, schools, prolife pregnancy centers, and outside the killing centers. We should also give thanks to the Lord that since 2008 an estimated 888,125 unborn babies have been saved through the efforts of pro-life centers.
While I don’t mean to bring a general indictment against prolife-conservative Christians, in some cases those intent on death are more determined and focused than we are in bringing a witness for life. And far too many pastors are silent on these important issues.
At the political level, we must pray and seek for true leaders rather than the milquetoast leaders that have too often characterized the Republican party in Illinois and other states.
Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul would soon have settled in silence. ~Psalm 94:16-17
How can you be a witness for life and God’s truth in your church, community, and state? Pray that the Lord will direct you and others to not give up. It’s too important.