A piece at The Bulwark takes-up the incandescent hypocrisy of Albert Mohler’s recent endorsement of Donald Trump.
Most of Trump’s association with evangelicals has been dubious; he has spent time with prosperity-gospel preachers who dabble in outright heresy, such as Paula White, while also courting megachurch pastors within established denominations, like Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church of Dallas.
More recently, though, Trump has earned a backhanded endorsement from a far more intellectually and morally serious evangelical figure: Albert Mohler, author, radio host, and president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
It pains me to take public issue with Al Mohler.
I’m already tuning out, because Albert the Pious is neither intellectually nor morally serious. If he were intellectually serious, he would not be a theologian and would not lazily presuppose the foundations of his beliefs; No, he would undertake to prove them.
As it says in — What do you know? — the Good Book.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.
A man who insists that the well-being of his club should have precedence over marriage is not morally serious; he is merely a cult-leader.
Evangelicals mistake a certain gravitas for seriousness, and it sets them up for plucking.
You might argue that religious anti-liberalism has a certain nihilistic bent, but you’d hardly get that impression from Mohler, with his three-piece suits, rep ties, and cleanly polished Allen Edmonds shoes. Still Mohler’s position creates a framework that allows him to take public positions that leave him vulnerable to a variety of criticism.
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Consciously or not, when Mohler recently pledged his support of the Republican party, he gave theological cover to the party, from Mitch McConnell’s cunning Senate moves all the way up to President Trump’s troubling rhetoric.
This is a valid criticism. Though Mohler doesn’t deserve the high regard accorded him, he does enjoy a certain standing amongst pious morons, and now the left-behind, malice-eaten fools in the pews can point to Mohler to validate their support for Trump. It’s a sort of argument from authority — even if the authority is bogus and convincing to only the poorly-educated.
Soon after Trump’s election, I predicted that the consequence of their support would be devastating to evangelicals.
Third, 81% of white evangelicals voted for Trump, and that will eventually sink into public consciousness, as in, Wait a minute! What are you saying? The church people gave us that piece of sh*t p***y-grabber?! Yep, they did — and that will be the tale of how the Evangelical Right and ‘movement so-called conservatism’ committed political suicide. They might make some noise, occasionally score a small victory … but they are done. The Trump administration, with its inevitable serial indecencies and corruptions, is their achievement, and they will never live it down.
Few people actually pay much attention to evangelicals or have any idea who Mohler is. For those who do, and haven’t surrendered their common decency, Mohler’s support for Trump must have them wondering whether there is a scintilla of decency to be found anywhere on the Evangelical Right.