What's at Stake this November - October 16, 2020
Americans will soon be deciding who will be the next president of the United States. They will be determining whether they want to re-elect President Donald Trump or whether they wish to hand over the reins to the Democratic candidate, Senator Joseph Biden.
During this election season, I am repeatedly asked, “What are the most critical issues for people of faith in the election?” To me, the answers are clear-cut: religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and judges.
These three issues intersect because many of the attacks on religious liberty and the sanctity of life have come through the judiciary, which at times, has chosen to legislate from the bench, rather than fulfill its constitutional role of interpreting the law. This has been particularly true in cases involving religious liberty and life. That is why it is crucial to have judges who interpret, not make the law, and the next president will likely nominate at least two to three Supreme Court justices as several of them are in their 70s and 80s.
It is important that Christians and other people of faith be able to practice that faith in the public square without fear of governmental reprisal. Medical professionals, ministries, and family-owned businesses need to maintain the right to exercise their freedom of conscience when it comes to the issue of protecting human life.
In addition, it is critical for faith-based ministries and family-held businesses to be allowed to operate in accordance with their beliefs on human sexuality. Without conscience protections in place, faith-based adoption agencies and foster care agencies could be forced to close because they allegedly engage in “discrimination” because they adhere to faith-based standards when it comes to child placement. Faith- based schools and colleges also face potential legal attacks and closure if they require students to adhere to the school’s statement of faith and faith-based standards.
That is why it is essential that whoever is elected president takes steps to ensure that all Americans, regardless of their beliefs, can continue to live out their beliefs and exercise their freedom of conscience in the public square.
Sadly, over the past 60 years, we have seen that ability to practice one’s faith and abide by one’s conscience under increasing attack. The result of these attacks is a diminished voice for the church and its members in our public discourse. When faith is silenced, societal fissures occur, such as lack of civility we are presently experiencing and the breakdown of the family, which was recently documented in a report to the U.S. Senate. This is indeed a tragedy, and it is my hope that whoever is elected this November will encourage, rather than discourage, faithful Americans to take their rightful role as a strong and vibrant voice in our culture.
So, these are the serious issues that each faithful voter must consider whether they vote by mail or in- person. We must all seek God’s guidance as we make our choice because our decision will not impact the America of today, but the America of the future – and whether we, as believers, can be salt and light in our culture.
Tim Goeglein is vice-president of External Relations for Focus on the Family.
Need a new podcast to download? Issues, Etc. host the Rev. Todd Wilken discusses a new study entitled “The Protestant Family Ethic” with Dr. Brad Wilcox of the Institute for Family Studies. Click here to listen.
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“The state should be interested in religion for this purpose: We produce good citizens. So stop attacking us. We are in every way a blessing for this country. We feel attacked for our fundamental convictions as if we're a detriment to our country. And that is a lie." – Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
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