Elections have consequences: How 2016 gave birth to the most historic pro-life moment of the century

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By Brad Jurkovich

Pastor, First Bossier

June 25, 2022

The decision by our United States Supreme Court, June 24th, is such a generational moment. 

Generations have prayed, marched, and fought in the courts to overturn Roe v. Wade. Now that it has been overturned, we have future generations who will be even stronger because of the culture of life being affirmed now in our nation. 

As I reflect on this generational moment, I think about how thankful I am that millions of Southern Baptists—both pastors and church members—ignored the message from the immediate past president of our Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Dr. Russell Moore. 

In the fall of 2016, two candidates were campaigning to become the next president of the United States. Hillary Clinton said clearly that she would not only lead the nation to greater access to abortion but that any Supreme Court nominee she would put forth would not dare be one who might overturn Roe v. Wade. Then-candidate Donald Trump made it explicitly clear that he was pro-life. And, in an incredible move, Donald Trump put forth a list of names that he promised he would use to make any nominations for the Supreme Court. The names he provided were conservative, pro-life judges. And with that, many Americans recognized the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned had become an even greater reality.

What millions of Southern Baptists heard from their ERLC president, though, was an outpouring of disdain for Donald Trump. Dr. Moore consistently showed a condescending attitude toward anyone who claimed to follow Jesus and who supported Donald Trump—the one presidential candidate who clearly had the conviction to see Roe v. Wade overturned. 

Many Southern Baptists, like myself, were left wondering why they were employing someone like Dr. Moore who openly questioned their Christian witness for simply supporting a presidential candidate who promised to nominate pro-life judges to our nation’s highest court. 

It was after the second presidential debate in October 2016, that I had seen enough from Dr. Moore. I wrote him a letter asking him to apologize to fellow Southern Baptist pastors and churches and that I would welcome a visit with him. A few days after I sent the letter, Dr. Moore called me. 

During our call I reiterated the concerns I had outlined in my letter to him, and after I listened to him explain his concerns about Donald Trump, I just simply asked him, “What if Trump wins?”

Without hesitation he said, “He’s not going to win. Hillary’s going to win, and we need to have the moral witness to speak into the issues her administration will bring.”

I knew in that moment that we were not operating from the same position. 

Well, a few weeks later, not only did Donald Trump win but he kept his word regarding justices for the Supreme Court, and now we all know what can happen when Christians pray, stay engaged, and vote: Roe v. Wade is overturned. 

Reflecting on this historic generational moment, I am thankful for the courage and conviction that millions of Southern Baptist pastors and churches showed in 2016. They pushed through the mocking and condescending treatment from some of the very people they employed, and because they did, the lives of the unborn will be defended even more for many generations to come.