The recent leak of a memo indicating that the Supreme Court might overturn Roe v. Wade has created a huge backlash by millions of Americans. They (and I) believe that the ultimate decision on whether to discontinue a pregnancy should be left up to the woman, not to state governments under the banner of “preserving states’ rights.”

The majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Even 56 percent of Catholics share that pro-choice view. Conversely, 75 percent of white Christian evangelicals believe that abortion should be illegal.

I’ve been trying to understand the collective mindset of white Christian evangelicals ever since 81 percent of them voted for Donald Trump in 2016. That figure stayed firm at 81 percent in 2020, even though they’d had four years to witness the inflammatory rhetoric and erratic behavior of the nation’s 45th President.

After the 2016 election, I asked a woman who was raised in a conservative Christian family in the midwest why 81% of white Christian evangelicals voted for Trump rather than Hillary Clinton. She immediately responded. “Sexism and racism.” She might have added that Trump had promised to appoint “conservative” justices to the Supreme Court meaning, no doubt, judges who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. These people are now delighted that Trump appointed three such justices.

Trump, himself, took a victory lap after the leaked memo, noting, ‘“You know, nobody has done more for Christianity, more for religion of all types, than me.” Take a moment, dear readers, to digest that statement.

I am trying to understand the views of a segment of the American public with whom I so strongly disagree. I’m more inclined to side with John Pavlovitz, an author and pastor, who states, “These people are not followers of Jesus despite the trappings and window dressing. They are Jesus-less extremists, blind zealots for nothing but power. They have been conditioned by decades of polluted theology and Fox News alternative facts to see diversity as a threat, to see progress as attacks on America, and to interpret more people being treated with dignity as attacks on white people.”

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Author Frank Schaeffer deeply regrets that he created anti-abortion films as a young activist in the conservative fundamentalist movement. He believes that today’s evangelicals aren’t really “pro-life,” because they’re against child tax credits and other programs that benefit single mothers and poorer families. He states that Donald Trump is the apotheosis of today’s far right movement.

Here, then, are some questions for white Christian evangelicals who have stayed loyal to Trump and strongly committed to overturning Roe v. Wade.

Do you believe that America is a “Christian nation,” even though that belief flies in the face of the separation of Church and state concept?

If you believe that coaches and teachers should be allowed to lead students in prayers in a public setting in school, do you also believe that students from other religions have the right to openly practice their beliefs in schools?

Should certain books be banned because they address issues of gay life that, in your view, might be indoctrinating? Do you believe the Bible should be banned for the same reason?

Do you believe that America’s real history of discrimination should not be taught because knowing the truth might make some white students feel uncomfortable? For example, should students be taught that the KKK used burning crosses as a symbol because they stood for white Protestant Christianity? Did you know that hundreds of “Christian academies” for whites were started so that school districts didn’t have to integrate public schools in many areas of the south and midwest?

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Did you know that Donald Trump was pro-choice before he ran for President? Does his cynical politicization of the issue disturb you?

Do you believe Donald Trump was God’s choice to save America and put it back on track?

Are you aware that by supporting Donald Trump you have lifted up a man who has broken every commandment in the Bible?

Should abortion be totally outlawed even in cases of rape and incest? If so, you’re saying that a 12-year old girl who has been raped by her stepfather should be forced to have a baby.

Are you concerned that banning Roe v. Wade would mainly affect poorer people, especially minorities, because wealthy people like, say Donald Trump, can always get access to an abortion?

Did the fact that Donald Trump led an insurrection to overthrow the results of a legitimate election lessen your admiration for his leadership?

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Do you believe that Jesus Christ was a white man? Would he be a proud member of today’s Republican Party and a strong supporter of Donald Trump?

By the way, this piece is not intended to put all Christians on the hot seat. I, myself, am a white Christian man who regularly attends church. I believe in the values modeled by Jesus Christ: living by the Golden Rule; treating all people with kindness; practicing forgiveness; and trying to be a light for the world

I encourage any white Christian evangelical who is offended by this article to answer the aforementioned questions in a letter to the Times Record or an op ed piece. Thank you.

David Treadwell, a Brunswick writer, welcomes commentary and suggestions for future “Just a Little Old” columns. [email protected]

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