Based on his comments, Joe Biden's never had much use for evangelicals. As far as he's concerned, they're "virulent people," the "dregs of society." But those "dregs" also vote. And Joe's hoping they'll forget what he's said and the policies he pushed long enough to support him.
It's an ambitious strategy, trying to win over a group of people you've spent the last several years insulting. And yet, Biden's campaign is leaving no election stone unturned, including, it turns out, the president's staunchest base. In an interesting announcement from the former vice president's camp, Biden confirmed he's hired former Republican Josh Dickson to oversee his "faith engagement." The liberal media, which, like Biden, usually has nothing but disgust for orthodox Christians, rushed to applaud the move, suddenly finding some use for the religion it usually maligns.
The press's flattery wasn't lost on everyday people like Patty McMurray, who couldn't believe the same CNN that routinely mocks Christians was rushing to "prop up Joe Biden as some sort of deeply religious man." Then again, they probably don't see his faith as a threat, since it never seems to translate to policy. Deputy Political Director John McCarthy admitted that evangelicals "might disagree on a particular issue" (or 20), but insisted that "for faith and values voters," Biden's "spiritual authenticity is the quality they're looking for."
As Scripture points out, who can know a man's heart? Maybe Joe Biden, a self-identified Catholic, is personally spiritual. But "authentic?" Surely, no one who's followed his four-decade career could conclude that Biden shares Christians' values where it matters: in the public arena. And yet even Dickson himself tried to sell the former vice president as the real deal because he "love[s] our neighbor" and "care[s] for the poor and vulnerable." But what does he consider children in the womb, if not vulnerable? This is man running on a vision, not only of abortion-on-demand, but abortion right up until -- and perhaps after -- birth. To cap it off, for those Americans who do have a biblical or moral objection to abortion, he says they should still have to pay for them with their tax dollars. How does he square "authentic" faith with those radical positions?
The reality is, FRC's David Closson points out, that "while Joe Biden is touting his faith and courting evangelicals, his policies remain odious to anyone whose view of the world has been shaped and formed by Scripture." Last year, the one-time defender of the Hyde amendment traded his 40 years of integrity for the support of groups like Planned Parenthood. From there, he swore to appoint only rabid abortion activists to the bench and bulldoze every state pro-life law. He told nuns they'd have to fund birth control, churches they'd have to cover abortions, and U.S. taxpayers that overseas abortion would be our newest export. Someone please explain how this is a candidate that can connect with Christians "through a shared worldview?"
And that doesn't begin to scratch the surface of his radical LGBT advocacy. Biden, who brags that he forced Barack Obama's hand on same-sex marriage, is so outside the mainstream that his first act as president would be to gut religious liberty -- destroying Christian schools, Catholic hospitals, and nonprofit charities from food banks to homeless shelters. We're talking about a piece of legislation, the Equality Act, that hunts down and punishes the same evangelicals whose vote he claims to want! One that also ends women's sports, girls' and boys' bathrooms, Christian counseling, privacy laws, conscience protections, millennia of biology, medical ethics, parents' rights. If you can imagine a man in every girls' shower and a drag queen in every library, that's Joe Biden's priority. "This is our soul, da**it," he said. "This is who we have to be..."
Now, there are some who will say that Joe Biden is a more acceptable choice to Christians because he's less brash and confrontational than Donald Trump. But if a kinder, gentler Biden was what Americans were expecting on the campaign trail, a gentlemanly statesman is not what they got. Biden's tirades in local townhalls have been the stuff of internet legend, as he berates, profanes, and shouts his way through the heartland. If Biden is supposed to be the angel to Trump's devil, no one told him. As for his personal conduct, there are at least eight women who would question that he's more suitable choice for the office than the current occupant.
"Obviously," Michael Brown said on "Washington Watch," "people have to vote their conscience, and they have to do what they feel is right before God for their own lives. But the big question is, what are we actually voting for?" Evangelicals don't support Donald Trump because he'll hold up a Bible -- they support Trump because his policies are based on what's inside. No administration in history has done more for Christians in America and around the world than this president. And I'll be the first to admit that, four years ago, I didn't think that was possible. No one is rationalizing or excusing Trump's failings. But consider what he's accomplished for the unborn, religious liberty, Israel, persecuted minorities, the military, our economy, the family. He's had a backbone of steel to push back against LGBT extremism, political correctness, America's enemies, and the world's tyrants.
This isn't blind allegiance on the part of evangelicals. This is reasoned support for a political leader who has made and kept his campaign promises. As for Joe Biden, it's going to take a lot of outreach for Democrats to prove that he's even mildly sincere on the evangelical issues that matter. So far, as his record shows, the only way faith has been a "central part of [Biden's] persona" is his willingness to attack it.