Author Alan Shlemon
Published on 07/02/2018
Christian Living

Is It Reasonable to Vote Based on “Personal Religious Views”?

Should a Christian not vote against abortion because their view that abortion is murder is a theological claim, not a scientific claim? Alan responds to this question and shows how the premise is wrong to begin with.


Should a Christian not vote against abortion because their view that abortion is murder is a theological claim, not a scientific claim?

Even if the premise of this question were true that abortion being wrong is merely a theological claim, it shouldn’t prohibit Christians from voting their conscience. After all, why should a person be disqualified or discouraged from voting what they believe to be true simply because their view is derived from their religious convictions? It’s certainly not against the law.

I mean, for example, what if you held the view that stealing is morally wrong because the Bible says it’s wrong? Well, does that mean that you can’t vote against a bill that permits some type of theft? I mean, can critics say, “Well, that might be your personal religious views, but you can’t force them on everyone else”? Well, sure you can. Every law is an expression of a moral rule. Every law expresses some person’s personal convictions. The only question is whose morals are going to be expressed in law, and what viewpoint is going to be advanced?

Consider that many of our founding fathers of our country were practicing Christians. It makes no sense to think that they would have established a nation that would disenfranchise people just like themselves who hold religious beliefs.

Now, it turns out that the premise of the challenge isn’t even true. This question creates a false dichotomy. The claim about abortion is not either theological or scientific, it’s both. Not only the Scriptures claim that the unborn is a viable human being, but the reality is that even biology acknowledges what Christians believe.

The science of embryology is decisive on the question of when human life begins, and it’s at conception. From the moment that sperm and egg meet, you have a being with three characteristics: it’s living, it’s distinct, and it’s a human type of being. And in fact, those three qualities are true of the unborn from conception, and we know that from science.

We know, for example, it’s alive because it grows and it metabolizes nutrients and converts it to energy. We know it’s distinct from its mother because it has its own unique DNA and its own unique fingerprints. And we know it’s a human being and not some potential human or some other type of species because it has human DNA and its parents are human.

None of those evidences come from theology. So not only are our convictions about abortion supported scientifically, but we’re free to vote our conscience even on matters that might have theological origins. And that’s especially true if what we’re voting on is for the common good of society. And when it comes to whether innocent human beings should be killed, I think the answer is obvious.