The people of Mississippi rejected a state constitutional amendment that would classify a human embryo as a “person” entitled to all legal protections. According to the latest count, the margin was 59% to 41%. This, even though both Republican and Democratic leaders in that conservative state supported the amendment. See Mississippi anti-abortion ‘personhood’ amendment fails at ballot box – The Washington Post.
Some pro-life activists opposed the tactic of trying to push through a personhood laws, something also being considered in other states, reasoning that while it can be demonstrated scientifically that a fetus is a human being, the notion of “personhood” adds all kinds of philosophical considerations that are likely to be voted down, to the harm of the pro-life cause.
If a personhood amendment can’t be passed in Mississippi–MISSISSIPPI!–then where can it be passed? And this failure suggests certain inconvenient truths:(1) The voting public is not as conservative as conservative activists. Voters are not liberal, exactly, probably more centrist or center-rightists. But they will vote against anything they consider, rightly or wrongly, “extremist.” We conservatives, being purists, tend to hunt for the most conservative candidates. But the most conservative candidates cannot be elected. (I lament that, but I submit that this is a fact. As I do so often, I hope I am wrong.)
(2) Christians and Christian causes these days are not popular in the political arena. We think people like us, but they don’t.
(3) These two points are not reason to pull away from political engagement, properly entered into, but they make it harder than certain activists realize that it will be.