The Briefing, Albert Mohler

Monday, June 6, 2022

It’s Monday, June 6th, 2022.

I’m Albert Mohler and this is The Briefing, a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview.

Part I

Multiple Polls Report Majority of Americans Support Abortion as ‘Morally Acceptable’ — The Big Catalyst? The Supreme Court Leaked Document

The issue of abortion is front and center right now in the American conscience and the American consciousness and of course, this comes with massive issues of worldview importance and what could be more important in this sense, as we’re thinking about current headlines and the sanctity and dignity of every single human life.

Well, that doesn’t just end as an issue with abortion, but it certainly starts there. And as we are looking at headlines right now about abortion, the big news over the weekend is that two different organizations, the Gallup organization, and The Wall Street Journal have released polls indicating that, right now a majority of Americans, more Americans than not, say that they support something like a pro-choice or some form of a pro-abortion position.

Now, what does that tell us? Well, for one thing, it tells us that this is where the question stands, in this kind of nationwide sample right now. But looking at both of these studies, what’s most interesting is the fact that both of them indicate a change and in both of them a change that probably is coming after the leak Supreme Court document, that would represent a reversal of Roe v. Wade and thus a completely different constitutional and legal order in the United States, at least at the national level, when it comes to abortion.

Something else we need to recognize, is that the most cited of these surveys or polls come from the Gallup organization, and that’s the longest standing American public opinion firm, and it goes back to George Gallup, it goes back to the rise of this kind of statistical opinion study in the United States in the 20th century.

One of the things we shall see is that there are huge worldview issues here. There are also just some huge mathematical or survey instrument issues for us to address. But first of all, let’s just look at the story.

Lydia Saad reporting for the Gallup organization tells us, “A Gallup poll conducted mostly after the draft of a Supreme Court decision addressing abortion rights was leaked finds a market shift in public attitudes over the past year.” The article continues, “After a decade in which Americans’ identification as pro-choice varied narrowly between 45 and 50%, the percentage has jumped six points to 55% in the latest poll, compared with the prior measure a year ago.”

Now, if we’re looking at this kind of survey or both of them together, we’ll look at The Wall Street Journal piece in just a moment. If we’re looking at these kinds of surveys as an accurate representation of what Americans believe on this issue, or at least say they believe, you’re looking at a big change. You’re looking at a big change, probably over just the last few weeks.

Man, as a matter of fact, you’re looking at a big change that probably had a catalyst, and that catalyst was the leaked draft Supreme Court decision. Saad, who is Gallup’s director of U.S. Social Research said, “The prospect of the Supreme Court overturning the case that established women’s right to seek an abortion has clearly jolted a segment of Americans into identifying with the pro-choice side of the issue and expressing more unequivocal support for abortion being legal.”

Now, as you’re looking at that, just to understand what she’s telling us. She’s telling us that the catalyst for a very significant statistical change they’re reporting here in terms of American supporting of pro-choice position, that is caused by the public being jolted by the news of that draft Supreme Court decision or opinion. Well, you think about that for a moment and you recognize, we’re being told right up front that this might be completely evaporating in the future. It might be completely ephemeral. It might be something that is just catalyzed or prompted by this news story.

But then again, it might be something deeper, but as you’re looking at Social Science Research, one of the most important things we as Christians need to understand is that, we don’t do morality. And even as we’re going to see you really don’t do politics by this kind of poll. Now, the reason you don’t do morality by this kind of poll, is that morality is not up for a public opinion survey to decide what’s right, and what’s wrong.

It’s interesting for us to know what Americans or some other population might think is right, or think is wrong, but Christians understand the rightness or wrongness of something, the rightness or wrongness of an act of an ethical action that is not dependent upon any polls not determined by a poll. It’s determined by an objective morality that is revealed by God and ultimately reflects God’s own moral character.

One of the other things we need to understand is that you can’t even really do politics by this kind of poll, unless maybe you’re trying to factor this into some kind of national election like a presidential election, because as you’re thinking about Congress, and that means both the Senate and the House in two different ways, you’re talking about states electing senators, you’re talking about congressional districts, electing members of Congress, members of the House of Representatives and so a nationwide poll is of actually very little use.

The other thing you need to note, is that what makes that clear is if we could look at a map of these particular responses, because even as these studies indicate, the closer you get to Red America, the more pro-life it is. The closer you get to Blue America, Democratic America, the more pro-abortion it is, or to put it another way, right now the Democratic Party is so pro-abortion that the greatest challenger to an incumbent Democrat is probably a more abortion positive, Democrat running against the incumbent Democrat in a primary.

On the other hand, the same thing is true about the Republicans. It is a pro-life challenger, who’s more likely to win against an incumbent against… We’ll say the prospect of someone running to the left on this issue. Both parties are now extremely well identified, extremely well situated, and as I pointed out, worldview explains that.

It is because the longer through time you deal with an issue, the more you have to deal with a fundamental divide about what is right, what is wrong? Is it a human life? Is it not? What are the consequences? Eventually the logic works out in such a way that the two positions don’t move together, they move apart, because the logic of the pro-abortion position works its way out over time, and so does the position of the pro-life argument.

Let’s look a little closer at the actual Gallup study. The study tells us that just in the last few weeks or months, Americans have turned more avidly pro-abortion or as is phrased in at least part of the study, pro-choice. I mentioned the fact that the Gallup officer actually said that the leaked Supreme Court document actually “jolted” a segment of Americans into identifying the pro-choice side of the issue.

Now that tells us something else, even as you’re looking at two arguments that have grown ever more logically distant from each other, as you’re thinking about the pro-abortion and the pro-life argument, it’s also true that most Americans don’t know much about the issue and don’t think much about the issue and so, one of the sad things about the American populace, and this is basically true of any voting population.

Most people are pretty badly or poorly informed about, just about everything, but from a Christian worldview perspective, the most interesting and alarming part of this Gallup study is, where we are told that for the first time, “A majority of Americans say abortion is morally acceptable.” So that’s more than saying, the law should say this or the law should say that.

The big issue here is moral acceptability. Now do most Americans believe that abortion is morally acceptable? Again, it might be the case that somewhat answered the question in such a way as to suggest that, but the reality is if you press most Americans beyond just a casual asking of this question, well, it shows that their views are actually more complex than any survey like this, might well indicate.

We keep hearing that a majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade, but that same majority of Americans really doesn’t have much of a clue about Roe v. Wade and what it actually represents. When someone points out that Roe V. Wade is a far more liberal position on abortion, than is found in virtually any Western European country. Well, people back up and say, “Well, maybe it’s more extreme than I thought.” Well, maybe you need to think.

But for Christians, it should be alarming that we are told in this study that for a first time on the moral acceptability of abortion, “A majority of Americans, 52% consider abortion morally acceptable, while a record low 38% call it morally wrong.” Now let’s just think about what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the termination, let’s just use that word for a moment.

The termination of an unborn human life, under what circumstances would that be morally acceptable? Well, I think most people would accept, it would be an extremely limited circumstance. Limited, for example, to saving the life of a mother, a situation that clinically is not impossible, but frankly doesn’t even really register in statistical terms.

A more fundamental question would be, who do these Americans think that the inhabitant of the womb is? How would they identify that unborn child? The fact is, that when that child is wanted, that’s exactly how they refer to it. It’s a baby, or it’s a child. It’s only when that baby might be less than wanted, theoretically or practically that people all of a sudden start to talk about pregnancy in a very different way. That’s why the pro-abortion movement can’t talk about a baby. It can’t, it talks about a baby, it immediately surrenders. It loses because a baby cries out. I’m a baby just in terms of moral importance.

And so instead, they’ll talk about a woman’s reproductive health. They’ll talk about a woman’s autonomy and choice, what they all talk about now, women’s healthcare, and of course with the transgender revolution, it is healthcare for pregnant people. That’s just how deep our moral confusion is and it’s not stopping here.

But there’s something else really interesting in this Gallup study, and that is the fact that, most of the increase in pro-abortion or pro-choice opinion here is coming from among Democrats. There’s really not so much movement at all among Republicans, that also tells us that this isn’t all that surprising because after all you add, just about every major figure in the Democratic Party, decrying that draft opinion as if it is all of a sudden withdrawing what they define as a constitutional right, which of course isn’t in the constitution. We’ll be talking more about that in coming days, but this is politically predictable.

Now, as I said, this won’t matter that much in terms of how politics happens in the United States and let’s remind ourselves of why? It is because Congress isn’t elected nationally. It’s also because people often don’t vote in ways that correspond to how they might respond to this kind of poll or survey.

The fact is politics are more complicated than that. And the fact is that a lot of the people who answered these questions probably will have changed their mind once or twice, at least in terms of how the question might be answered, depending upon how it’s framed. The reality is that Americans just don’t think as much as they should on even the biggest issues of the day. And so a good deal of what you see here, is a kind of feedback loop.

The report from Gallup itself summarizes this way, “The imminent threat to Roe is causing these same Americans to be less equivocal in their support for abortion rights, with more saying it should be legal in all or most cases, and in all trimesters. And, given that the ruling is coming from the conservative side of the court, most of this reconsideration has occurred among Democrats.” Pretty much what we figured.

Catherine Lucey reporting on The Wall Street Journal, N-O-R-C or NORC organization survey. NORC is the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. We are told that according to this recent survey, 68% of respondents said that they don’t want to see the court completely overturn Roe v. Wade, while we’re told 30% say they support the reversal of Roe v. Wade. Again, thankfully the Supreme Court is not supposed to be operating according to poll, but rather according to the constitution.

But one of the persons behind this survey said something very interesting in the report by Catherine Lucey published in The Wall Street Journal, Jennifer Benz, who is the vice president of Public Affairs and Media Research at NORC, that’s the National Opinion Research Center said, “There’s still obviously a lot of nuance in people’s abortion opinions.” We’re told that she added that research shows that “many people who say abortion should be legal for any reason, also have limits on that view, especially when it comes to abortions later in pregnancy.”

So here you see again, the confusion that mark so many Americans, “I’m for abortion, with just about no restrictions, except when I think about it, I really do believe there should be some restrictions.” That just shows the kind of confusion that’s rooted in a lack of any clear set of convictions or any clearer coherent worldview on the part of so many Americans. We’ll be looking more at this in days to come and the Supreme Court’s likely to make certain of that fact.

It’s also interesting that just over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal ran another article telling us that Wall Street is now being forced into the debate on abortion. The journal report tells us, “Shareholders have placed abortion rights proposals on the proxies at three big retailers this spring: Walmart, Lowe’s and TJX,” that’s the company that holds TJ Maxx in related companies. We are told many more could follow next year.

The article goes on to tell us “that development is pressuring asset manager, such as BlackRock Incorporated, Vanguard Group and State Street Global Advisors to confront the issue because they hold significant stakes in those and other companies on behalf of millions of other investors.” Very interesting, but you’ll notice that the elite of the investor class tends to be quite liberal or at least they say they are, they might not invest in ways that actually would show any consistent liberalism, they’re rather consistently looking for a return on their investment.

But nonetheless, they are part of a social class that at least thinks it’s supposed to say that it is unreservedly in support of abortion rights, and it just might be that they will put their shareholder power behind that kind of conviction. But clearly the journal recognizes this could be a problem for business as the journal report tells us, “Abortion rights is a polarizing issue.” Yes, indeed it is.

And if American businesses are going to get into this in a big way, and if shareholders, especially moving from the left are going to be moving for shareholder action, in order to get more corporations into an unabashedly publicly, pro-abortion position. Well, the rest of America and the rest of American investors had better take note and were indicated take action.

Part II

No Room Left For You Anymore: How Democrats Put Up Unwelcome Sign for Those Holding to a Pro-Life Position

But finally, on this issue today, I want to turn to another piece that ran in The Wall Street Journal over the weekend.

This one was in the Houses of Worship column and the headline, “How the Pro-Life Democrat Went Extinct.” The subheads really important. It tells something we’ve talked about on The Briefing before, what’s important today is that this just appeared in The Wall Street Journal. The subhead is this, “The party,” that means the Democratic Party,” once a natural home for millions of Catholics is now utterly hostile to anyone who opposes abortion.” Jayd Hendricks is the author of the article.

And it’s interesting how there’s a little bit of a shift here because the headline is about pro-life Democrat, but then the subhead’s about Catholics, but there’s a big story there, and that story is worthy of our attention. If you were to go back to the midpoint of the 20th century, the majority of Catholics nationwide would’ve voted repeatedly, predictably, for the Democratic Party candidate in national elections. That was not just true.

In 1960 John F. Kennedy, the first Roman Catholic elected president of the United States. It would be true looking throughout just about the entirety of the 20th century, until something changed. And what changed was not just Roe v. Wade, not just the abortion issue, but the Democratic Party, going way off to the left in progressivist, social and moral stands. And that meant that an awful lot of Catholics were left behind.

As a matter of fact, not just Catholics, an awful lot of blue collar Americans, more conservative Americans who had their home in the Democratic Party, found themselves basically kicked out of that party. The Democratic Party shifted to a new base, a new base made up of knowledge class workers and social progressives, particularly the academic class and the cultural creative class. And they’re the people right now, who are still dominant in the Democratic Party and in its politics, and frankly, they’re now if challenged at all, being challenged from their left.

But it is really interesting that Hendricks in this Houses of Worship article, goes to the fact that the pro-life Democrat tended to be also Roman Catholic, or more likely than not to be Roman Catholic. And the entire point of this article is that, if you look at the leadership of the Roman Catholic church in the United States, you do see a divide.

You see those bishops and archbishops who are willing to tell pro-choice and pro-abortion Democrats, they are not welcome at the communion table. And there are Catholic leaders who are doing exactly the opposite. But the point of this article is that it’s the Democratic Party that is made it virtually impossible for anyone who holds to a pro-life position to have any future or present influence in that party. The parties made a choice.

Now parties are not people, they’re not rational individuals, but they are rational organizations. Parties make decisions based upon how they see an opportunity for political gain. The Democratic Party saw the opportunity for political gain in the ’70s and beyond by swerving left after the ’60s. The Republican party did basically the opposite.

And as you’re looking at now, 50, 60 years later, the patterns are just even more accentuated. Hendrick, summarizes, quote, “Ultimately the Democratic Party, once a natural home for millions of Catholics has become unwaveringly hostile to the Catholic citizen. Yet pro-abortion Catholic Democrats act as if they’re in good standing with the church and that is somewhat understandable because there’s been no ecclesial consequence to their support for abortion, the preeminent social issue of this era.” End quote. Yes, that’s a challenge to the leadership of the Roman Catholic church, to be consistent and upholding the sanctity of human life.

But it’s also a very clear sign, that the Democratic Party has put out an unwelcome sign for anyone of pro-life conviction Catholic or otherwise.

Part III

‘The Moment You Sell More Adult Diapers Than Infant Diapers is a Bad Moment for Society’: Japan Faces Plummeting Fertility Rate

But next, a couple of really big population stories over the weekend, both of them demand attention. Both of them, point to patterns we really knew about, but we actually need to pause and think about a bit. First of all, let’s turn to Japan.

The big news from Japan and it’s being reported on across the media, is that the birth rate, the fertility rate in Japan has fallen so low that the government is basically having to give up efforts to try to correct that trend, and instead has to figure out how to live with fewer Japanese people, and those fewer Japanese people getting much, much older as the society moves into the future. Miho Inada reports for the journal, quote, “In the world’s most aged country thinking about the low birth rate has shifted. Instead of trying to lift it up dramatically, both the government and outside specialists are looking for ways to manage population decline.” End quote.

The total fertility rate in Japan is now slipped to 1.3. It has to be over two, if the nation is to just remain stable in population. Now, something we need to think about in worldview terms, is that a following birth rate is not usually a biological issue, certainly in the modern age, it’s a moral issue. And what we see here is a society that is evidently lost interest in reproducing itself.

Now for Japan, that’s an even more acute issue than it might be for some other nations, which is why this story begins by pointing out that Japan is now the fastest aging population in the world, or in this case, the most aged country in the world. And the worldview issue, I’m talking about here is the fact that Japan is a very insular country, basically shut off from any widespread immigration for people moving in, and Japan intends to remain Japanese. Very solidly, very consistently, very culturally, but that’s going to become more and more difficult.

One of the things we pointed out, is that years ago, the sales of adult diapers in Japan exceeded the sale of infant diapers. Now, the moment you had more old people wearing diapers than young people, you have a problem in your society.

The most interesting thing about the headlines coming out of Japan just over the weekend, is that the Japanese government has decided if you can’t beat them, well, change your policy and adjust. But how exactly do you adjust to having no children, to a society having fewer and fewer babies? How do you adjust when the population is not plummeting simply because the population is growing older, but when the population grows older, it does not grow more productive. It grows more expensive.

One of the things that was interestingly reported, in the various responses that had been proposed in Japan, one of the things is to allow workers to stay on the job until they are 70, up from what was basically the standard retirement age of 65, so that adds five years. Well, maybe that’s possible. Now, it’s likely that there are a lot of Japanese people who would actually like to work another five years and can healthfully and successfully do so, but let’s just state the obvious.

Just a few years from now, when they try to move it another five years, that’s going to be less likely. Five years after that, when they try to move it another five years for retirement age. Well, at that point, you’re going to be up to 80. Let’s just state the obvious. That’s not likely to be very productive or to put it another way, that’s beyond logical refutation. There is at least we have to admit, a limit to how old you can expect people to work.

The data coming out of Japan right now, this is not forward projected, this is right now. Nearly three in 10 people, in Japan are 65 years older, older. Three in 10. That number is going to go up. It’s going to go up fast. It’s going to go up faster, than any society can now adjust and respond, and it’s going to go up. The big question is, what is Japan going to do? And in this case, it’s not just Japan.

Japan is the most aged society on planet earth right now, but we need to note, that following birth rates elsewhere, including in the United States and in Europe will come with the same inevitable, if delayed consequences. The big issue for Christians here is to understand that a following birth rate represents a huge worldview collapse, because the very first responsibility of any civilization is to replace itself, and for that matter to grow. And let’s recall that even as there are people in our society, in its increased secular confusion, who aren’t sure that’s a good idea, the Bible begins with that, not only as an idea, but as a command.

Later this week, we’re going to talk about another population collapse, but this one’s explained by something very different. We’re going to be talking about the population collapse in Ukraine. And just to hear, the name of the nation, tells you, this is going to be a different story. It’s another alarming story, and there is more to it than just war.

But what we need to recognize is that country by country, worldview is working its way out, surely in legislation, in public policy, yes. On an issue like abortion. Absolutely, but also in something as simple and fundamental and visible and yes to the glory of God, honorable. How many children are there? How many babies are there in the nursery? It has even captured secular attention, that the more religious a society is in almost every case, the higher its birth rate, the higher its fertility rate.

In Orthodox Judaism, the birth rate is high, so high, that orthodox Judaism might outnumber all other forms and branches of Judaism, far more liberal branches in a city like New York city, it’s visible already, and this is certainly true when it comes to Christianity. It’s certainly true, when you look at conservative versus liberal Christianity.

One of the big questions is, is there a gay pride flag out front? The other is, are there any many babies in the nursery? It just might be those things are correlated, but that’s a conversation we’ll have to continue in a future edition of The Briefing.

Thanks for listening to The Briefing.

For more information go to my website at You can follow me on Twitter by going to For information on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, just go to For information on Boyce College, just go to

I’ll meet you again tomorrow, for The Briefing.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

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