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Russell Moore, John Piper 'let down the pro-life movement' by opposing Trump, Penny Nance says

March for Life
Thousands of pro-life demonstrators attend the 2020 National March for Life in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 24, 2020. |

The head of a national pro-life activist organization has criticized a handful of well-known evangelical leaders for not supporting former President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, arguing that they “let down the pro-life movement.”

Penny Young Nance, president of the socially conservative Concerned Women for America, shared her thoughts about the future of the pro-life movement and the United States less than a month into the Joe Biden presidency in an interview with The Christian Post.

Penny Young Nance
Penny Young Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, poses with a "Women for Amy" sign on the "Women for Amy" tour bus in Washington D.C. on Oct. 12, 2020. |

She expressed disappointment with some of the “pro-abortion, anti-life, anti-women’s dignity” policies implemented by the new administration. She also contended that a lack of urgency regarding the consequences of the 2020 presidential election among some high-profile evangelical leaders hurt the pro-life movement.

“Evangelical leaders let down the pro-life movement by not standing firm on the fact that we needed a pro-life president,” she argued. 

“People like John Piper and Beth Moore and Russell Moore and others let down the pro-life movement by not understanding or caring that hundreds of millions of dollars were going to be shifted to destroy life if Donald Trump lost.”

In the weeks leading up to and following the 2020 presidential election, the aforementioned figures were outspoken critics of the former president. 

Piper, an influential pastor and writer, announced that he would not vote for Trump or Biden. In October, he authored a blog post without mentioning Trump's name, arguing that “it is a drastic mistake to think that the deadly influences of a leader only come through his policies and not also through his person.”

According to Piper, “This is true not only because flagrant boastfulness, vulgarity, immorality, and factiousness are self-incriminating, but also because they are nation-corrupting.”

Piper took issue with those who claimed that they were “saving human lives and freedoms” by supporting Trump, suggesting that by acting like “policies and laws that protect life and freedom are more precious than being a certain kind of person,” they were ignoring the destructive effects of a “self-absorbed, self-exalting leader.”

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, stepped up his criticism of Trump in the weeks following the 2020 presidential election. 

Moore urged the former president to resign with just weeks left in his term, citing Trump’s reaction to the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a group of his supporters on Jan. 6 as Congress was certifying the election results.

Beth Moore, a popular evangelical Bible teacher and the founder of Living Proof Ministries, recently tweeted out an assertion that she had “never seen anything in these United States of America” that she found “more astonishingly seductive & dangerous to the saints of God than Trumpism.”

Moore’s comments drew criticism from many evangelicals and conservatives who argued that she should have directed her outrage toward the ongoing assaults against other issues critical to her community, including the right to life and religious liberty.

Russell Moore did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Nance argued, “People who know better made a mistake. People who should know better made a mistake. They said it didn’t matter and now we have proof that it does.” 

Looking at polling conducted by McLaughlin & Associates on behalf of his website, All Israel News, evangelical author Joel Rosenberg concluded that a percentage of evangelicals “could not look past what they regard as Trump’s character problems,” a phenomenon that could have cost him reelection.

Nance pushed back on the notion that “it doesn’t matter” who won the election because both candidates were flawed. She believes that “it does matter.”

star spangled banner event FRC
(l-r) Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas); Dr. Mark Harris, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in North Carolina; Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America; Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor; and Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council at the Star Spangled Sunday event celebrating the 200th anniversary of America's National Anthem at First Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. |

“It matters who is in charge of government. It matters to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars that pay for the destruction of life,” Nance declared.

Nance was referring to Biden’s overturning of the Mexico City Policy, which prevented federal tax dollars for funding abortions overseas. 

She estimated that as a result of the executive order, approximately $100 million would “be shifted to destroy life abroad.”

In addition to the Biden administration’s abortion policies, Nance expressed concern about Biden’s executive order banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in healthcare, housing and education. 

“It’s telling schools that they have no ability to make distinctions between male and female when it comes to women’s private spaces,” Nance said. “It has to do with how charities like domestic violence centers and homeless shelters for women and their children, women's prisons, how they're able to make distinctions and protect women.”

Despite the challenges faced by the pro-life movement in light of the change from a pro-life administration to a pro-choice administration, Nance maintained that the movement's work remains undeterred.

“The pro-life movement is not impacted by whichever party's in charge,” she said. “I will say that our work becomes more much difficult when you have a pro-abortion president and vice president and a 50/50 split in the Senate. But it makes people like Joe Manchin, who is a self-described pro-life Democrat, all the more important.”

“Our beliefs are unchanging because they're tied to Scripture, they’re tied to the belief in intrinsic value in every human life, and they’re not based on our circumstances,” she continued.

Nance, who worked to ensure that Justice Amy Coney Barrett secured a spot on the U.S. Supreme Court, told CP that Trump’s three appointees to the Supreme Court are “even more important now than they were at the time."

“It’s going to be essential as … we shift to a state-by-state strategy that we put forward the very best cases in order to gain traction on policy in the states,” the activist explained. 

While Nance acknowledged that the pro-life movement would face difficulties in light of unified Democratic control of the federal government, she expressed optimism about the movement's future. She referenced the fact that 30 pro-life Republican women now serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“The sweep of pro-life women and the bright spot for the last election is the fact that … every single Republican woman in the House of Representatives is pro-life,” she noted. “And we have many brand new ones that are frankly, I believe, the future of the Republican Party.”

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