So guess what? That guy with the bad hair who yells “you’re fired” at people on the Apprentice? Yeah. He just got elected President.
While the reactions are mixed across the political spectrum, the result could be good news for social conservatives across the country.
Here are ten reasons social conservatives (whether you voted for him or not) have some reason for optimism.
- Planned Parenthood can be defunded. The House and Senate both passed legislation to defund Planned Parenthood that was vetoed by President Obama. Trump has said he would sign legislation if it came to his desk which would require Planned Parenthood to go fund themselves.
- The Supreme Court will not be stacked with progressives. When Justice Antonin Scalia died, it left a vacancy on the court that remains unfilled. If Hillary Clinton had nominated Scalia’s replacement, the harm to the First Amendment and life could have been devastating. However, if President-elect Trump follows through on his commitment to nominate an originalist justice to the bench, it will likely mean good things for civil liberties and the protection of the unborn.
- ObamaCare can be repealed. Multiple times, Congress passed legislation to repeal ObamaCare along with its promotion of abortion and multiple threats to conscience rights. President Obama, however, was in no mood to repeal legislation that is the foundation of his legacy. President-elect Trump has promised repeatedly to repeal ObamaCare and will begin his term with Congressional leadership that has repeatedly shown a willingness to do so.
- The open bathroom mandate can be removed. Earlier this year, President Obama issued a memo telling every school district in the country that they would lose education funding unless they forced the girls in their schools to share showers and locker rooms with boys who believe they are girls. A new memo from a new President can eliminate this threat as quickly as it was created.
- The Health and Human Service Mandate can be repealed: After ObamaCare was passed, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate that requires all employer health plans to provide free contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs, regardless of any moral or religious objections. This is the mandate that put Little Sisters of the Poor, a nunnery, at odds with the federal government because they did not want to pay for contraceptives. However, since this mandate was simply an agency directive rather than an act of Congress, a new directive from new agency leadership can solve the problem quickly.
- The Hyde Amendment will not be repealed. The Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion and the abortion industry has wanted to get rid of it for decades. Secretary Clinton had promised to do her best to get rid of the Hyde Amendment if elected. However, with pro-life majorities in Congress and the White House, the Hyde Amendment looks to be very safe.
- The Johnson Amendment can be repealed. For years, churches in America have lived under threat of IRS punishment if they did or said something “political”. This is because in 1954, then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson passed a rule prohibiting religious 501(c)3 organizations from engaging in “electioneering”. While the threat is largely a paper tiger (no church has ever lost their tax exempt status for saying something about politics) it remains a source of great confusion in religious communities. During the campaign, Mr. Trump promised to repeal the Johnson Amendment to clarify that churches are free to speak and act according to their faith without fear of IRS reprisal.
- Hope for the Pain-Capable Abortion Act. Earlier this year, Congress passed the Pain Capable Abortion act making it illegal to kill a baby who is capable of feeling pain after 20 weeks gestation. While Trump has not made a public statement about this legislation specifically, it is difficult to imagine him using a veto on it if it were to pass Congress.
- Hope for the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). Earlier this year, legislation was introduced in Congress that would prohibit the government from discriminating against people because of their beliefs. The legislation is necessary because people like Chief Kelvin Cochran are increasingly being fired from public sector jobs simply because of their beliefs. FADA was well received in Congress but almost certain to be vetoed in a Clinton Administration. Now, it has a very real chance.
- Protecting Religious Education. This year in California, progressives attempted to pass legislation that would cut off religious institutions from access to federal loans or aid because of their beliefs about marriage, gender, and sexuality. If that effort was successful at the federal level, estimates are that sixty percent of Christian universities would be forced to close their doors. While state battles around this issue are likely to continue, yesterday’s election results all but guarantee this assault on religious education is no longer imminent at the federal level.
One election does not solve our cultural or political challenges, but for social conservatives who have been wandering in the wilderness for eight years, there is reason for optimism.
But do not be naïve enough to believe the work is over now that the election is over. Political pressures will once again pressure those who talked a good game during campaign season to take the path of least resistance during legislating season.
As the saying goes, if it is to be, it is up to me. Let’s make it happen.