The campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden has touted his religious beliefs in a series of new advertisements released last week that will target religious television and radio outlets, in the hopes of appealing to religious voters.
In the “Principles” video, which has as of Monday morning over 153,000 views on the platform, Biden talks about his Catholic background, which includes believing that “everyone is entitled the dignity.”
“My father would say the cardinal sin of all sins is the abuse of power, whether its a man raising his hand to a woman, whether it is the government abusing its power,” Biden says in the ad. “You have an obligation to reach out and be inclusive.”
For the “Morning” ad, which has as of Monday morning around 120,000 views, a narrator explains that “Joe Biden’s faith has carried him through dark times.”
“The loss of his wife and daughter. The death of his eldest son, Beau,” said the voiceover. “But he’s never lost hope, because Joe knows what it means to find purpose in service to others, to be your brother’s keeper. And right now, that’s exactly what we need.”
The ad included a soundbite from Biden speaking at a church, quoting Psalm 30:5, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
A third ad, released Sept. 30 and titled “A Man Guided by Faith,” featured a woman named Bernadette, a parishioner of the Wilmington, Delaware parish St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine, talking about Biden’s faith practices.
“Joe Biden has been part of our parish for more than 40 years,” she explained. “Even now, when Joe’s back home, we see him at Mass on Sunday. You can tell how important Joe’s faith is to him. It’s what motivates everything: Joe’s beliefs, his values, the kind of president Joe would be.”
According to The Washington Post, the advertisements are slated to run in 14 battleground states ahead of the November election.
Conservatives have been critical of Biden’s overall faith outreach, given that the practicing Catholic strongly distances himself from the Catholic Church’s teaching on issues like abortion and homosexuality by embracing left-leaning positions on those topics.
In a statement emailed to The Christian Post, CatholicVote President Brian Burch called the new Biden ads “deceptive,” adding that religious voters “aren’t fooled” by them.
“Biden has pledged to gut religious schools, strip away fundamental religious freedoms, and for the first time in American history, force taxpayers to directly pay for abortion,” stated Burch, referring to Biden’s support the repeal a federal measure that bans federal tax dollars from being used to fund abortions.
“Look no further than the unprecedented assault on the Little Sisters of the Poor that Joe Biden has pledged to restart if elected,” Burch added, noting the order of Catholic nuns that sued the Obama administration over the Obamacare birth control mandate.
Josh Dickson, national faith engagement director for the Biden campaign, told CP in an earlier interview about the campaign outreach to faith communities.
“We have evangelical leaders who will be supporting the vice president publicly. We are doing listening sessions with evangelical leaders to hear from them,” said Dickson to CP back in August.
“We're hearing from people; we're engaging people, we're developing relationships. We are going to be including evangelical voices in our 'Believers for Biden' events, and we are also going to be launching 'Evangelicals for Biden.’”
Last Friday, evangelical leaders launched the group Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden, who describe themselves as evangelicals who disagree with Biden and the Democratic Party Platform’s stance on abortion but feel that “Joe Biden’s policies are more consistent with the biblically shaped ethic of life than those of Donald Trump.”
The signatories include Richard Mouw, president emeritus of Fuller Seminary in California; Ronald Sider, a Trump critic and president emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action; civil rights leader, author and pastor John M. Perkins; as well as retired Florida megachurch pastor Joel C. Hunter, who said he voted for President Donald Trump in 2016.