When you prioritize something above everything else, when you bow down to something or someone to the exclusion of everything and everyone else, that is worship. If that worship isn’t direct to God, it’s idolatry.

What began in the 1970s with the “Moral Majority” as a marketing campaign has become nothing more and nothing less than idol worship.

Altar - CC0 - pixabayChristian “shepherds” and their “flocks” call it  “single-issue voting,” but what it is is idolatry.  Idolatry of the fetus. Or not even the fetus, the cause. The Pro-life cause. (“Pro-life” of course, is just a label that means “anti-abortion.” Pro-lifers are traditionally opposed to many life-giving and life-extending issues unrelated to saving the unborn.)

This idolatry is the sublimation of all other good causes for the service of the One True Righteousness–denying women abortions.

Many will admit to this priority proudly and loudly (often with signs). Opposition to abortion is the only thing that matters, and whatever might aid in that fight–even if there’s only the tiniest possibility of the smallest possible movement toward their goal of no more abortions ever–is where all their energies will go.

People will get sick and die. There will be crime in the streets. There will be injustice everywhere. There will be a morally corrupt, spectacularly unfit man in the Oval Office because–and I heard this over and over and over again during the campaign–The Supreme Court, and all that meant was: “there’s a tiny chance we’ll get a court that maybe might someday perhaps overturn some of the provisions of Roe V. Wade.”  For that slim-to-none chance, they voted TrumpPence. Because Fetus Uber Alles. Nothing else matters.

Throughout history, there have been differing views of abortion across religions. Typically, live birth was determinative of “personhood,” but now this is extended philosophically by Evangelicals and Fundamentalists to the exact moment the sperm enters the egg. I’m not here to talk about whether abortion is right or wrong, in what stage, age, mental or physical defect, etc. That isn’t my point here. That is a large and fraught question, and I have deep moral concerns about abortion, even in early stages of pregnancy.

Opened Bible Altar - CC0 - pixabayMy point here is that when you only consider abortion when you vote, you have made an idol out of this issue. And why is that? I can answer that: it’s because the Moral Majority decided in the 1970s that this was an issue that had legs. It would run and run. You can wring cash out of people when you talk about dismembered babies. Period.  Prior to the Moral Majority, this question was more nuanced, more private. Moral Majority weaponized it and made it a litmus test for Righteousness, to the extent that it is considered actually sinful by many if you are not a single-issue Pro-Life voter.

What Did Jesus Say?

Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Who is my neighbor, Lord? Jesus answers:  it’s the homeless guy who’s been robbed and thrown in the ditch. The one you might shout, “Get a job!” to. The one you might deny healthcare to. The one you might drug check before allowing him to get food stamps. That guy. That marginalized, wounded, sick guy.

Jesus said, “Give him transportation and shelter.”

Jesus said, “Feed and clothe him.”

Jesus said, “Cover his health care costs.”

Good Samaritan - CC-By - sbhland at flickr
Creative Commons By – sbhland at flickr

When you vote only pro-life, you have effectively left your needy live-born neighbor in the ditch, in the street, with no job and no healthcare. When you focus solely on the issue of abortion, you ignore your neighbor.

And maybe, just maybe,  if you fed, clothed, housed, and paid for your neighbor’s healthcare, as Jesus so carefully explained to you, she wouldn’t feel the need to end her pregnancy.

I’m asking you to move your eyes from your neighbor’s uterus to her face. Consider her as your neighbor, your priority, your civic duty. Jesus didn’t tell you to get into her private business. He told you to get her out of the ditch, get her to the inn on your donkey, and pay for her costs. Is there any little part of that you are willing to do? If you are a fetus worshipper, the answer will be no, and you will blame me for being a liberal, not yourself for ignoring the words of Jesus.


Sharon Hambrick grew up in Fundamentalist Christianity and still “defaults” Fundy much of the time, to her own consternation. A licensed California lawyer, mother of five, wife of one, writer, inveterate road-tripper, and burgeoning feminist Democrat, Sharon wept away November 9, but woke up on November 10 determined to do something. When the idea of a Pence Watch was presented to her, she eagerly hopped on board.

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