A month before the 2016 elections and just days after the infamous Access Hollywood video came to light in which Donald Trump boasted about sexually assaulting women, Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., a Southern Baptist Convention leader, wrote in the Washington Post that conservative Christians should not vote for Trump because they could not “allow a national disgrace to become the Great Evangelical Embarrassment.”
It was a courageous statement at the time, and it came from a man who was rarely described as “courageous” in any other context.
And now even that flicker of hope has died out. Mohler now says he plans to vote for Trump in 2020.
Must be nice to keep your head in the sand for four straight years…
Mohler explained that he’s basing his vote solely on a single issue: abortion. Trump appointed a slew of anti-abortion judges to lifetime appointments, implying that he must be rewarded for it.
In an interview on Wednesday, Mohler said his opinion on Trump began to change during the 2017 Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Neil M. Gorsuch, who then was an appeals court judge. That’s when Mohler said he began to believe that Trump would do what he had promised during his campaign — to nominate judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision.
Mohler didn’t mention how tens of thousands of people have died in the past few weeks because of Trump’s utter incompetence. But as long as women suffer, he’s all for it.
This isn’t necessarily surprising. It was news in 2016 because no one expects conservative Christians to say anything sensible. When Mohler spoke up to say, Hey, maybe we shouldn’t throw all of our eggs in this sexual predator’s basket, it was headline news. Even a few months ago, when the editor of Christianity Today said Trump should be removed from office — which is obvious to damn near everyone except white evangelicals — it went viral immediately.
Noting a Southern Baptist leader’s hypocrisy is… normal. They don’t care who Trump hurts, or how many refugees have died because of his policies, or how he’s dismantled government agencies from the inside, or his long history of racism, or how many lies he tells, or how much of a global embarrassment he’s become. They don’t care because they never truly had a moral core. They just like to pretend they do. (Mohler’s son-in-law Riley Barnes, by the way, works for Trump’s State Department.)
The irony, of course, is that voting for Joe Biden may very well end up decreasing the number of abortions in the country because we’ll be able to count on the government to provide comprehensive sex education and better access to birth control. Trying to ban it outright never works. It merely pushes the procedure underground, where it’s less safe.
Mohler doesn’t give a damn because he’s not really interested in decreasing the number of abortions.
He just wants to be on the side of those who want to ban it.
By the way, Jonathan Merritt has a lengthy piece at Religion News Service explaining his own frustration with Mohler’s flip-flop.
(Thanks to Patricia for the link)