Fox News – “Christians slam Newsom for ‘disgusting’ pro-abortion billboards quoting Jesus: ‘Satanic’… Some versions of the billboards, all of which urge women… to come to California to get abortions, advertise the state’s easily obtainable abortions by quoting Mark 12:31, where Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.””
The Expected Response from Conservatives
There are many Christians and, of course, conservative politicians, who will quickly jump on Governor Newsom for using Scripture to support his new website, abortion.ca.gov.
The billboards the California Governor has put up so far are in seven states. I would expect the cost of this abortion advertising comes from his reelection campaign since the copy typically includes “PAID FOR BY NEWSOM FOR CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR 2022”.
As an aside, does anyone believe the Governor of California is using these funds for a local vs a national election?
If one goes to the website, it offers clinic locations for abortions, teledoc options, along with warnings on such things as “Fake social media accounts” and the need to avoid “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” that can provide false information, and coercion and are NOT affiliated with the states abortion clinics.
The website warns, “Search results online may include clinics that do not perform abortions. These “clinics” may provide false, medically inaccurate information online or in person about abortion to convince you not to have an abortion. They are sometimes called crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs).”
A search engine is offered on the site for trusted abortion clinics, and direct links to Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation.
Finally, there are links provided to know “Your rights”, “Getting an abortion”, and “Support”.
Perhaps some Christians are shocked at Newsom for going beyond simply endorsing abortion and actually promoting it as an advantage for living in, and being transported to, California.
Perhaps some Christians are both angered and appalled at Newsom using the Bible to promote his abortion agenda.
Perhaps many Christians assume that the Governor’s tactic will fail miserably on a national basis in advance of 2024. I would differ.
The Likely Reality
Why would Christians be shocked at the strategy Newsom is employing with his website and billboards? The latest polling from YouGovAmerica suggests that “Americans are most likely to support establishing a national right to abortion (50% support, 37% oppose) and least likely to support a national ban on abortion (29%, 60%).”
The governor is not pandering to Biblical Christians, he is playing to his base and independents who are fearful of a wave of anti-abortion, state-by-state limits on their personal freedoms.
Further, why are Christians surprised that Newsom uses the Bible to state his case for compassionate care of women to the exclusion of the unborn? So many Americans (including many Christians) today see Scripture as unreliable on many levels, or as handy “bumper stickers” to be appropriated out of context for any cause or purpose.
There remains one single Biblical concept that is universally accepted across nearly all religions and by agnostics… We need to love our neighbor which is the greatest commandment of God. Just the verse the Governor chooses to put on his billboard. Those who don’t accept anything else from the Bible naturally gravitate toward placing that love onto a woman’s right to choose, rather than on a group of cells within her body.
As Biblical Christians, nothing should surprise us. Newsom is wisely using Scripture just as Satan did while tempting Jesus (Luke 4:9-11).