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Trump vs. Biden on 3 key issues important to Christian voters -- Abortion, Religious Liberty, Immigration
Christian Post ^ | 10/22/2020

Posted on 10/22/2020 8:00:36 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

As Election Day draws near, President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger former Vice President Joe Biden are being scrutinized by voters who are looking at their records and positions on many issues, including abortion, religious freedom, and illegal immigration.

The Christian Post has summarized Trump's and Biden's record and positions on these issues :


The Trump administration has been called the “most pro-life administration” by many national advocacy groups for his actions in defending life at every stage.

In January, Trump became the first president in U.S. history to ever attend the March for Life in person. Similarly, Mike Pence was the first vice president to attend the annual march in 2017.

During the first two years of the Trump administration, three separate legislative attempts were made to defund Planned Parenthood and all other abortion providers, as well as ending Obamacare's funding of abortion.

These attempts were in the form of two healthcare bills and one repeal: An attempt to repeal one part of Obamacare to end taxpayer funding of abortion providers; reversing former President Barack Obama's regulation permanently banning states from withdrawing funding to Planned Parenthood; and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. All three passed in the formerly Republican-controlled House but only one passed in the Senate in 2017.

At the time, Republican Sens. John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins all voted against ending Obamacare's funding of abortion, and the repeal failed. Collins and Murkowski also voted against allowing states to prohibit family planning funds from going to abortion providers. With a 50-50 split in the Senate on that vote, Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie in his role as president of the Senate, providing a victory to the Trump administration.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which passed in the House in 2017, has yet to be voted on in the Senate where that version of the bill is authored by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who is up for re-election.

In January 2017, Trump also reinstituted the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits the funding of abortion providers by foreign nongovernmental organizations. He proposed an expansion of that policy last month.

Originally, the policy only applied to family planning organizations, but under Trump’s proposed expansion the policy would also apply to all global health organizations that receive federal funding. The policy is seen as a ping pong issue between administrations. The policy was enacted by President Ronald Regan, rescinded by President Bill Clinton, re-instituted by President George W. Bush, rescinded by President Barack Obama, and re-instituted with a proposed expansion by Trump.

The Trump administration also attempted to codify the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions outside of circumstances of rape, incest, or a medical emergency.

Also under Trump, Planned Parenthood, which receives $500 million in taxpayer dollars annually, opted to forgo $60 million in federal funding after Trump said that Title X family planning funds would no longer go to abortion providers or clinics that refer patients for abortion. Instead of dividing its business to separate abortion from its other services, Planned Parenthood decided to opt-out of the program and close some of its clinics that don't perform abortions.

Like many Catholic Democrats, Biden has faced the struggle of balancing his political views with the Catholic Church’s teachings against abortion.

In 2012 he said: “My religion defines who I am. And I've been a practicing Catholic my whole life. And it has particularly informed my social doctrine. … With regard to abortion, I accept my church's position that life begins at conception. That's the church's judgment. I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews. I just refuse to impose that on others.”

Biden also said at the time that he does not believe “we have a right to tell other people that women can’t control their body.”

While he has received some criticism in the past for being more moderate on the issue than other Democrats, he’s grown more progressive on abortion in recent years.

During the Democratic Party presidential primaries, his views on abortion were labeled “inconsistent” by some abortion-rights proponents.

For example, for many years Biden has been in favor of the Hyde Amendment, which bans tax dollars from being used to pay for or promote abortion. Last June, an aide to Biden even confirmed that the former vice president maintains his support for the Hyde Amendment. But days later, it was reported that he had reversed his support for the Hyde Amendment on grounds that some states are enacting laws to place gestational limits on abortion.

He later clarified his remarks, saying he would still support the Hyde Amendment if women of all incomes are allowed to access abortion. He denied claims that he changed his stance out of political expediency.

Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, has said she believes that the Hyde Amendment should be repealed, arguing that it hampers poor women’s ability to obtain abortions.

During a July 2019 debate, Kamala challenged her then-contender (Biden) on his inconsistency with the Hyde Amendment, saying: “Only since you’ve been running for president this time, you said that you in some way would take that back or you didn’t agree with that decision you made over many, many years and this directly impacted so many women in our country.”

On the issue of Roe v. Wade, During an NBC town hall on Oct. 5, Biden promised a questioner that if elected president, he will work to pass legislation codifying the right to abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court were to ever overturn Roe. “The only responsible response to that would be to pass legislation making Roe the law of the land. That’s what I would do.”

Additionally, Biden has said he will reverse the Mexico City Policy and Trump’s expansion of the policy.

Biden’s position on abortion has drastically changed since the 1973 Supreme Court decision. At the time, the then-senator said the court went “too far.” A year later, Biden said a woman shouldn’t have the “sole right to say what should happen to her body.” He also consistently voted against allowing federal employees' health insurance to cover abortions.


President Trump has taken tangible steps to protect religious liberty in the U.S. and internationally.

In May 2017, Trump signed Executive Order 13798, titled “Presidential Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.” The order intended to “vigorously enforce federal law’s robust protections for religious freedom … to the greatest extent practicable and to the extent permitted by law.”

Trump’s executive order also led to subsequent guidance on religious freedom issued to all federal agencies by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions late that year. In accordance with the order and guidance, federal agencies have, over the course of the last several years, issued their own documents on how to best protect religious freedom.

Sessions' guidance stated that the U.S. Constitution provides not only “the right to believe or the right to worship,” but also the “right to perform or abstain from performing certain physical acts in accordance with one's beliefs.”

The order had practical implications in 2018 when Air Force Colonel Leland Bohannon faced disciplinary action after refusing to sign a spousal “letter of appreciation” to one of his male airman’s husband. Over a lengthy appeals process, Bohannon was cleared of all disciplinary action and had his record expunged of any wrongdoing. The final decision (see pg. 9) cited Trump’s order, among other supplementary laws, saying it was “very clear that the free exercise of sincerely held religious beliefs deserves the highest protection.”

The Justice Department has submitted multiple amici briefs to the Supreme Court and other judicial bodies on behalf of those who are facing adverse litigation for their religious convictions.

In 2017, the DOJ defended Jack Phillips after a six-year legal battle related to his refusal to custom-design a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012, at a time when same-sex marriage wasn't even legal in Colorado. The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in Phillips’ favor, though he continues to face litigation from others for similar reasons.

In 2018, the Justice Department filed a brief in support of Montana citizens who argued that a Montana law that barred religious schools from accessing state aid was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the law was indeed unconstitutional.

This year, the Trump administration filed a brief to the Supreme Court in support of Catholic Social Services, which sued after the city of Philadelphia stopped working with the organization because it refused to change a policy of not placing foster children in homes of same-sex couples.

In June 2018, the Justice Department developed the Place of Worship Initiative to advance the protection and implementation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUPIA), a federal law that protects places of worship and other religious uses of property.

In July 2018, the Department of Justice developed the Religious Liberty Task Force to ensure Trump’s order on free speech and religious liberty was effectively implemented throughout the federal government.

In 2018, the State Department hosted the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom summit. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a devout Christian, hosted the event again in 2019.

This year, the State Department announced that the 2020 summit would be hosted by Poland, but that event had to be canceled due to COVID-19.

In January, Trump gathered representatives from multiple religious backgrounds in the Oval Office to discuss the importance of prayer in school.

Also in January, Trump signed a bill authorizing $375 million in grants for houses of worship to defend against violence amid rising hostility to religion, specifically anti-Semitism.

In June, Trump signed executive order 13926 that instructs the U.S. State Department to prioritize international religious freedom in its implementation of foreign policy and budget $50 million per year toward the advancement of religious freedom.

The order states that “religious freedom for all people worldwide is a foreign policy priority of the United States,” and intends to advance training for federal officers in combating international religious oppression. The order also provides $50 million in resources “intended to anticipate, prevent, and respond to attacks against individuals and groups on the basis of their religion” and help “improve the safety and security of houses of worship and public spaces for all faiths; and to protect and preserve the cultural heritages of religious communities.”

For his part, Biden, a lifelong Catholic, said he would work hard to protect religious liberty. However, some of his policies directly and adversely impact this liberty, in some cases, the Catholic Church specifically.

According to his campaign website, Biden plans to provide increased security grants to religious communities, establish a faith-based law enforcement program and strengthen prosecution of hate crimes.

The website elaborates that funding will go toward infrastructure reinforcement to protect parishioners in the case of an attack while also training armed personnel in houses of worship.

While Biden produces strong rhetoric in defense of religious liberty, he also supports policy ideas that undermine the integrity of such defense.

For example, according to his campaign website, Biden would repeal religious exemptions that he says discriminate against the LGBT community.

“Religious freedom is a fundamental American value. But states have inappropriately used broad exemptions to allow businesses, medical providers, social service agencies, state and local government officials, and others to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people,” a section of the Biden website focusing on his plan to protect the LGBT community states.

“The Trump-Pence Administration has deliberately and systematically attempted to gut protections for the LGBTQ+ community by carving out broad religious exemptions to existing nondiscrimination laws and policies across federal agencies. Biden will reverse Trump’s policies misusing these broad exemptions and fight so that no one is turned away from a business or refused service by a government official just because of who they are or who they love.”

Biden would also repeal a proposed rule implemented by the Trump administration that allows religious adoption agencies to refuse to place orphans into the homes of same-sex adults.

Biden said he would also make The Equality Act a “top legislative priority.”

The Equality Act would codify federal discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and passed in the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives in 2019. The legislation poses a severe threat to religious institutions, according to senior legislative assistant Mary Beth Waddell of the Family Research Council, a Christian conservative activist organization.

Waddell describes The Equality Act as an “inequality” act since it demands religious organizations to forego their convictions in place of cultural beliefs.


One of President Trump's major campaign promises in 2016 was to address illegal immigration. During the 2016 campaign and after he was elected, Trump brought attention to the issue by sharing the stories of several angel families, those whose loved ones were murdered by immigrants who were in the U.S. illegally and weren't deported under previous administrations.

Part of his plan to slow down illegal immigration and human smuggling was to replace eroding existing border wall and to construct new border wall. So far, 341 miles of border wall has been constructed and over 516 miles of border wall has yet to be erected.

The Washington Times reported in August that new wall construction is being erected at a "rate of 10 miles a week," and federal funding has been allocated to complete more than 730 miles of the wall.

Nearly 1 million migrants were apprehended at the U.S. southern border in fiscal year 2019, which was an 88% increase from 2018. Among those numbers were 480,000 family units, 280,000 single adults, and 73,000 unaccompanied children.

While the number of illegal border crossings dropped to 400,000 in fiscal year 2020 (which ended in September), with April seeing a low of just over 16,000 apprehensions the first full month after the president declared an emergency at the border, crossings are again on the rise.

In September, according to figures released by U.S. Border Patrol to The Wall Street Journal, “Border Patrol agents caught 54,771 migrants crossing the U.S. border with Mexico last month and immediately expelled 48,327 of them, making it the busiest September at the border since 2006."

Trump also said he wanted to crack down on human trafficking. In September, the Department of Justice announced it will be providing $100 million in grants to support groups that assist victims of human trafficking. It also allocates funds to task forces across the country as well as local, state and tribal jurisdictions.

According to the White House: "More than 30% of women are sexually assaulted on the journey to our southern border," and "Nearly 70% of migrants traveling north to the United States are victims of violence."

"In 2018 alone, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations made 1,588 human trafficking arrests and identified 308 victims. Of the 1,588 arrests, 1,543 were for sex trafficking violations," The White House said.

Trump has issued two executive orders to combat human trafficking. The first, signed on Feb. 9, 2017, was to disband transnational criminal organizations that traffic humans. The second, signed on Jan. 31, pertained to online child trafficking and sexual exploitation in the U.S.

During the four years of his first term in office, the president also signed nine pieces of legislation into law to help target human trafficking.

According to estimates, there are between 11 million and 14 million people living in the U.S. who entered the country illegally or have overstayed their visas. Among those numbers are some 700,000 temporary DACA recipients, those who were children when they were brought to the U.S. illegally and were younger than age 31 by June 15, 2012.

The temporary DACA program was enacted in 2012 by the Obama administration to allow those who were brought into the country as children to apply for a temporary two-year status that authorizes them to work. The protection lasts for two years at a time, and is renewable. At the time it was enacted, former President Barack Obama stressed: "this is not amnesty ... this is not a path to citizenship, it's not a permanent fix ..."

The Trump administration announced in 2017 that it intended to end the program. Trump said at the time he planned to do away with the program to push Congress to come up with a legislative fix, but Congress did not act.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration cannot end the temporary DACA program, as it had planned.

Trump’s plan to rescind DACA drew the ire of not only those on the political left but also some evangelical Christian leaders, including those within the National Association of Evangelicals and the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

They argued that immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, most of whom know no other home since they grew up in the U.S., should not be punished for the actions of their parents.

In 2018, the Trump administration released a proposal to provide a pathway for citizenship to up to 1.8 million young immigrants living in the country illegally, including DACA recipients in exchange for $25 million toward the border wall and other changes to the immigration system. That plan, however, was opposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

According to the Biden campaign website, a Biden administration would not only put a stop to building a border wall within his first 100 days, but he would also give DACA recipients access to federal student loans, and create "a roadmap for citizenship" for the 11 million to 14 million immigrants who are living in the U.S. illegally.

Biden, who once supported having a barrier along the Southern border, now opposes border wall construction and said he would halt any remaining construction if he's elected president.

“There will not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration, No. 1,” Biden said during a virtual interview with NPR and other reporters from the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists back in August.

"I'm going to make sure that we have border protection, but it's going to be based on making sure that we use high-tech capacity to deal with it. And at the ports of entry — that's where all the bad stuff is happening," the former vice president added.

Back in 2006, then-Senator Biden supported funding for a 700-mile “secure fence,” along the U.S.-Mexico border, as did Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and then-Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Barack Obama, D-Ill.

Like Trump, Biden said he wants Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, which it has failed to do under former Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and during the first four years of Trump's administration.

Biden also said in August that he plans to expand DACA and include protections for their parents. Biden also said he would look at reviving the Obama administration's DAPA program, even though it was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

While the Obama administration was lauded for DACA, it was also blamed for causing family separation and criticized by immigration groups for deporting a historic number of immigrants.

Since launching his presidential run, Biden has faced criticism from immigrant rights advocates over Obama-era enforcement policies and his own voting record. Under the Obama administration, deportations were higher than they have been under Trump.

From 2009-2011, Immigration and Custom Enforcement deportations topped 385,000 each year "and hit a high of 409,849 in fiscal 2012," Axios reported.

The Obama administration was also criticized for detaining Central American asylum-seekers and their families and then "rush them through a fast-track court process and authorize raids to round up and deport migrants after they were ordered removed," Roll Call reported.

For his part, Biden has expressed regret for the high number of deportations under the Obama-Biden administration.

“The ‘deporter-in-chief’ moniker that Obama got, [Biden] was hit with that. He did admit recently that that [Obama-era] approach was a mistake — that was a departure,” said Muzaffar Chishti, a senior fellow and director of the Migration Policy Institute office at the New York University School of Law in an interview with Roll Call.

On Monday, the Supreme Court said it will take up two cases involving Trump's immigration policy. One is to grant hearings about the border wall construction, the other pertains to the administration's asylum policy, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols and more commonly called the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

The Remain in Mexico policy requires people from Central America to remain in Mexico while their asylum cases are being processed in the U.S. instead of allowing to live in the U.S. while their claims are being processed. This was done in an effort to deter migrants from making bogus asylum claims. It also reduced the migrant surge.

Biden has said that if he's elected, he will end the Remain in Mexico policy.

TOPICS: Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: biden; christians; elections; trump

1 posted on 10/22/2020 8:00:36 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

The Christian Post and “Christian” organizations don’t typically represent any Christians in the United States.

2 posted on 10/22/2020 8:24:57 AM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

And what does your comment have to do with the contents of the article?

3 posted on 10/22/2020 8:26:31 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
And what does your comment have to do with the contents of the article?

The article cites "Evangelicals" mad about DACA. And also, the Christian Post is ordinarily trash.

4 posted on 10/22/2020 8:46:19 AM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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