For weeks now, President Trump has led a jaw-dropping, cavalier display of indifference to human life. He has boosted efforts to characterize opening the economy — and tolerating covid-19 deaths on a possibly massive scale — as the lesser of two evils compared to a recession, an ideology shared by senior advisers and others, such as: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; senior economic adviser Larry Kudlow; Republican senators and congressmen; Fox News hosts; Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the right-wing propaganda machine; ludicrous figures such as Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil (who’s not a real doctor); the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and a throngs of online Trumpers. (Disclaimer: I am an MSNBC contributor.)

In Wisconsin earlier this month, Republican lawmakers insisted that elections not be delayed nor the deadline for mail-in ballots extended, thereby forcing people to line up at the polls and risk illness or death if they did not want to lose their right to vote.

And all that sure seems odd for the “pro-life” party. It has not gone unnoticed by those who do political and legal battle on a regular basis with this crowd.

For years now, abortion-rights groups have inveighed against those pushing for restrictions on access to abortions under the guise of the “sanctity of life.” When Trump’s administration put kids in cages, separated them from their parents and oversaw deaths of those under detention, pro-choice advocates and groups declared their pretensions to be “pro-life” fraudulent.

Now, NARAL Pro-Choice America is releasing a series of 15-second digital ads underscoring the pro-life movement’s gross hypocrisy. Here are a few:

Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, explained in a news release: “These times make crystal clear what we’ve always known: for so many of these officials, ‘pro-life’ is a smoke screen, not a commitment that they care to uphold.” She added, “When it suits them, they’re happy to endanger lives to push their agenda forward as we have seen all too well during this COVID crisis. From exploiting the pandemic to close clinics and endanger women who need abortion care to asking people to go back to work before it’s safe, their actions demonstrate a distinct lack of value placed on lives.”

This is not merely poking a finger in the eye of political opponents; it is dismantling the opposition’s entire argument. The justification for outlawing and severely limiting abortions is that from the moment of conception, human life has infinite value and is deserving of protection, the pro-life groups say. Some even argue that not even rape or incest — let alone the lifestyle choice or economic needs of the woman — justify the taking of an innocent life. It is nonnegotiable.

But if that line of argument is just an excuse for this crowd, then what possible justification do they have for their anti-choice crusade? (Of course, since history shows that women will always seek abortions, laws outlawing or severely limiting abortion simply have the effect of forcing women to undergo risky or even life-threatening illegal abortions. It’s a formula that inevitably undervalues the lives of women — especially poor and nonwhite women.)

Frankly, in the era of Trump, the anti-abortion movement — which overlaps considerably with conservative evangelicals — have lost the moral high ground on “character” and much more.

David French, a conservative and evangelical Christian, recently wrote:

The deal white Evangelicals have struck is now increasingly clear. Their leaders will get unprecedented Oval Office access. They’ll get a few good religious liberty regulations. They’ll get good judges. Those judges will almost certainly issue rulings that protect religious liberty. They might issue rulings that marginally protect life (though the pro-life battle is fought far more in the culture and in the states than in the courts). Those will be important and good things. They are not the only things.
White Evangelicals will have also squandered any argument that character matters in politicians. That means we’ll have more politicians of low character.
White Evangelicals are squandering any argument that they seek to love their enemies. That means we’ll see more hate from America’s bully pulpit.
White Evangelicals are not only squandering any argument that competence matters, they are working hard to try to force more incompetence on their American community. Trump’s impact on the welfare of the American city is increasingly clear. It’s more division. It’s more hate. It’s more incompetence. And now that terrible combination has yielded a series of dreadful errors in the face of a deadly pandemic.

Add to that: White evangelical Christians have squandered any argument that they care about human life. Their willingness to sacrifice others in the name of capitalism or simply in the name of Trump has revealed them to be a warped death cult.

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