On Wednesday, President Joe Biden said abortion was an inherent right God gave everyone.
One day later, the Rev. Franklin Graham swiftly debunked that claim.
Biden made the comment during a news conference at the White House.
“This is about a lot more than abortion. … This reminds me of the debate with Robert Bork. Bork believed the only reason you had any inherent rights was because the government gave them to you,” the president said.
He was referring to former President Ronald Reagan’s rejected nominee to the Supreme Court. As head of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time, Biden presided over Bork’s confirmation hearings in 1987 and voted against his confirmation.
“I said, I believe I have the rights that I have not because the government gave them to me, which you believe, but because I am just a child of God, I exist. I delegated by joining this union here to delegate some … rights I have to the government for social good.”
The first half of Biden’s assertion is a traditional American view. The Founding Fathers believed humans had inherent rights that were not given by the government, and that idea is woven into the country’s founding documents.
Yet Biden’s argument in this case differs from the views of conservatives in two main ways.
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First, conservatives hold that the government exists to protect humans’ inherent rights. This is a fundamentally different belief from the one Biden expressed when he said he delegated some rights “to the government for social good.”
While Biden’s view of the role of government is not a conservative one, this disagreement is purely political. It simply represents the difference in the way modern liberals and conservatives view the government’s purpose.
The second way the president’s statement breaks with the view of conservatives is both political and moral, and this is the one with which Graham took issue.
While conservatives agree humans have inherent rights from God, they do not believe abortion is one of those rights. Nothing in the Bible suggests humans have the right to end an innocent life.
“Yesterday President Joe Biden said that the right to an abortion comes from being a ‘child of God,’” the evangelist wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday.
“Mr. President, that is just not true. Being a child of God does not give you the right to take the lives of the innocent. Abortion is a sin — simply put, it’s murder.”
In the Bible, the prophet Jeremiah recounted what he heard from the Lord regarding his life.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations,” Jeremiah 1:5 says.
Christians believe this verse and others affirm babies in the womb represent human life, and therefore aborting those babies is murder.
While it is one thing for Biden to have a different view of government from conservatives, using Christianity to make an inherently non-Christian argument is another thing entirely.
Graham was not ready to let this go unnoticed.