Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF
- Christian leaders criticized 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden for “deceptive ads” highlighting the former vice presidents faith.
- The seven-figure ad buy features three new ads and two 30-second television spots running on Evangelical and Catholic programs.
- “We agree with Joe Biden that there’s a battle for the soul of America,” said Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance, “but unfortunately he’s on the wrong team.”
Christian leaders criticized 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden for “deceptive ads” highlighting the former vice president’s faith to Catholic and Evangelical voters.
Biden’s campaign is launching a seven-figure ad buy in October targeting religious Americans, Religion News Service reported Thursday, featuring three new ads and two 30-second television spots running on Evangelical and Catholic programs.
“We are running these ads to highlight to faith-motivated voters that Joe Biden is the clear moral choice in this election,” Josh Dickson, the Biden campaign’s faith engagement director, told Religion News Service in a statement. “Religious voters matter to this campaign and are a key part of our broad, diverse, and robust coalition.”
The first ad targets Catholic voters and is called “Principles,” according to Religion News, showing Biden discussing Catholicism with the editor-in-chief of the liberal America Magazine. The second ad, “Morning,” targets Evangelical Christians and discusses how Biden’s faith has helped him deal with the deaths of his wife, daughter, and son. In the third ad, “A Man Guided by Faith” a member of Biden’s parish describing why she believes Biden is a man of faith.
Christian leaders criticized these portrayals of Biden.
“We agree with Joe Biden that there’s a battle for the soul of America,” Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance, an evangelical, said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation, “but unfortunately he’s on the wrong team.”
“Religious voters across America aren’t fooled by Joe Biden’s deceptive ads featuring his Catholic faith,” said CatholicVote President Brian Burch in a statement provided to the DCNF. “Joe Biden has pledged to gut religious schools, strip away fundamental religious freedoms, and for the first time in American history, force taxpayers to directly pay for abortion.”
Burch reminded voters that Biden has promised to to renew legal action against the Little Sisters of the Poor if he should win the election.
“Look no further than the unprecedented assault on the Little Sisters of the Poor that Joe Biden has pledged to restart if elected,” he said. “CatholicVote’s Biden Report for Catholic Voters documents his decades long anti-life and anti-faith record and policy agenda. Both Biden and Harris have made clear they will prioritize the agenda of Bernie Sanders and AOC, and will destroy everything Catholics and all people of faith hold dear.”
The ad buy comes as both Biden and Trump battle for the Catholic and Christian vote in the upcoming election.
President Donald Trump’s campaign emphasizes the work he has done to protect religious liberty and to defend unborn babies throughout his presidency, issues that many religious voters prioritize.
Critics of the president have attacked Donald Trump’s personal faith, particularly after the president walked through Lafayette Square on June 2 and held a bible aloft in his hand as he posed for a photo in front of St. John’s Church. The church was covered in graffiti and charred from fires after nights of violent rioting in the nation’s capitol.
The scene sparked a backlash when journalists and others argued that police used tear gas to clear the president’s path to St. John’s. The city’s curfew was not set to go into effect for another hour, and Daily Caller reporters said the protests in D.C. that night were largely peaceful.
CATHOLICS, President Trump has something to say to you! pic.twitter.com/PY2AMcaBMA
— CatholicVote.org (@CatholicVote) October 2, 2020
The Biden campaign frequently highlights Biden’s Catholic faith, but the former vice president has drawn criticism for supporting and advocating for policies which the Catholic Church explicitly opposes, such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has warned that Catholics in politics “have an obligation in conscience to work toward correcting morally defective laws, lest they be guilty of cooperating in evil and in sinning against the common good.”
Earlier in his career, Biden frequently referenced his faith as a reason for his pro-life votes in the Senate. Biden has since changed his abortion stances and today champions almost unlimited abortion access as a presidential candidate, prompting a priest to deny Holy Communion to Biden during mass at a Catholic church in South Carolina in October 2019.
Biden has also promised that as president, he will reinstate Obama-era policies requiring the Little Sisters of the Poor to give employees access to birth control — though this violates the Catholic religious beliefs of the sisters, and despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled July 8 that the Catholic nuns are exempt from Obama’s contraceptive mandate.
The former vice president also advocates for same-sex marriage, though the Catholic Church teaches that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
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