After watching evangelical Christians support alleged child molester Roy Moore at the same level they supported self-incriminating genital grabber Donald Trump, it’s easy to think they’ve lost all credibility. They’ve certainly lost the moral high ground.
But it shouldn’t have taken recent elections to show you the moral bankruptcy of the Religious Right. Those who have followed their leaders’ words and actions over the past several years (and decades) saw this coming a mile away.
D. Danyelle Thomas at Unfit Christian isn’t surprised that evangelicals have tarnished their brand. But it’s not like any of this is news to her. In fact, evangelicals may want to find solace in the fact that Roy Moore didn’t hurt their credibility because they really had none to begin with.
The Good News is that Roy S. Moore did absolutely nothing to tarnish our perception and image of Christian Evangelicals. The bad news for you all is that it remains untarnished because you have never been credible in our eyes and lived experience.
This video lays out some of those reasons evangelicals get little respect from the rest of us.
For example, she says, the way white evangelicals have remained relatively silent on the topic of police brutality is deafening. (Emphasis hers.)
In January 2017, Pew Research released the results of its survey regarding attitudes towards law enforcement. The racial division grew when Christians were asked to rate officers’ equal treatment of racial and ethnic groups. White evangelicals (68%) and white mainline Protestants (58%) were more than twice as likely than black Protestants (25%) to give cops a positive rating on this measure. It’s blatantly obvious that even a sprinkle of Jesus isn’t enough to mend the fences of Black folks’ incredibly different relationship with Law Enforcement — nor is shared salvation through Jesus Christ enough for white Christian Evangelicals to do work that removes the boots off the collective Black neck.
She also brings up the fact that evangelicals asked for prayers on behalf of fellow Christian pastors who abused children. (No, not that one, the other one. No, not that one either. Nope, keep trying.)
The only item I’d take any issue with is the claim that Southern Baptists refused to condemn white supremacy at their annual convention. While a motion to condemn it initially failed — and that story went viral — the reality was that most of the pastors weren’t aware there was even a vote happening and a few pastors requested relatively minor word changes to the resolution. No one spoke against the resolution. When it actually came up for a vote, it passed without controversy. As I said before, there are plenty of reasons to criticize Southern Baptists, but this wasn’t one of them.
Still, Thomas raises a lot of good points. The conservative Christian support of people like Trump and Moore aren’t signs that they have no credibility. They lost their moral high ground a long time ago. The elections were just more proof of that.