On this Sunday morning, just a little over three weeks before an election that could restore democracy to a partisan, divided America, I wonder — as I and others do — think about those who have spent a good part of their lives supporting a Christian faith that abandoned its support of morality.
Stephanie Ranade Krider, former vice president and executive director of Ohio Right to Live, shares those concerns.
Krider resigned this summer from her position in the right to life movement. She said she could no longer tolerate the hypocrisy of the movement to abandon morality by supporting a corrupt and immoral president.
“The combination of Trump’s callousness toward those suffering amid the pandemic and his indifference toward the Black Lives Matter protests following George Floyd’s death made it too difficult to stay in my position,” she writes. “The organization I worked for remained silent about the pandemic and racism. As protests began in the streets below, we were in our office, promoting a tele-town hall hosted by Pro-Life Voices for Trump, touting his pro-life accomplishments and preparing to endorse pro-life candidates (including some who, like the president, diminished or outspokenly opposed the Black Lives Matter cause).”
The hypocrisy, she feels, also exists in the religion that she has supported and believed in for most of her life.
“On June 30, I resigned, citing my concerns over his presidency and the damage I believe it will ultimately do to the pro-life movement, and to the reputation and witness of the church,” Krider says.
“Considerable damage has already been done. Throughout my time in the pro-life movement, colleagues have often told me that the movement does not get involved in other human dignity issues like the death penalty, or issues of immigration or race, because it might dilute our messaging. Under this president, it’s become resoundingly clear that these matters are no longer considered merely ancillary or a distraction: They are now rejected as outright obstacles on the path to power.”
Krider blames both the right-to-life and evangelical movements.
“The chief executive of the conservative Christian group Concerned Women for America praised Trump as a “street fighter” and said that under his administration, “there is no doubt America is experiencing the blessing of renewal,” she says. “The president has frequently claimed to be on the side of God, when in fact what he preaches is a vision of America with himself as savior, a sort of nationalist gospel of his own definition.”
“Unfortunately, by endorsing Trump and defending him at every turn, our movement has placed power ahead of all else,” she adds. “We cannot look to politics and expect to find a savior there.”
While Krider supports the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, she questions the way it is being done.
Should Barrett be confirmed, I would welcome a Supreme Court ruling that recognizes the humanity of the vulnerable, unborn life in the womb. Yet even if such a ruling comes soon, it will be at the cost of the pro-life movement’s integrity. I am confident that, in advocating for this president, we will have lost our soul. The church is meant to be known for our unconditional love of others. By supporting Trump, we show only our love of power.
The questions Krider posed deserve examination. Are those who preach faith using their positions as servants of God or puppets of an immoral president?