Back in April, Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., a Southern Baptist Convention leader, announced he would be voting for Donald Trump this November.
It’s hardly news that a conservative Christian was backing Trump, but this was seen as a big deal because, in 2016, Mohler 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 the latest sign of how pathetically low evangelical Christians have sunk during this administration. They have become their own Great Embarrassments.
Mohler spoke with the New Yorker‘s Isaac Chotiner yesterday to talk about his switch. This passage, responding to his Post essay from 2016, may be the most illuminating:
Yes. President Trump is a huge embarrassment. And it’s an embarrassment to evangelical Christianity that there appear to be so many who will celebrate precisely the aspects that I see Biblically as most lamentable and embarrassing. So I have to make a distinction between voting for a candidate and rationalizing for a candidate, much less being enthusiastic about what I would see as the character faults of a candidate. I intend to vote for Donald Trump in 2020, but my shift is from reluctantly not voting for him in 2016 to what you might call reluctantly voting for him in 2020, and hoping for his reëlection, because the alternative is increasingly unthinkable. But I will not become an apologist for the misbehavior of the President and for what I see as glaring deficiencies in his private and public character.
Never again should evangelical Christians get away with pretending they ever have the moral high ground.
“The alternative is increasingly unthinkable”?! Of all the things not to like about Joe Biden — and progressive Democrats have a very long list — his opposition to religion is literally nowhere on the list.
Every conscious American can surely come up with a long list of Trump’s disasters and cruel policies and utter incompetence. As one book title bluntly claims, everything he touches dies. He hasn’t even been good for religion! The only thing he’s done is offer lip service to white evangelicals and nominated the same sort of Federalist Society judges to the bench that any modern Republican would have done.
And yet Mohler thinks the alternative — an annoyingly centrist Democrat — is unimaginable?!
Only in the bubble of right-wing Christianity are basic human decency and political moderation fatal flaws.
Mohler’s “endorsement” of Trump says more about the corruption and moral bankruptcy of evangelical Christianity than anything else. Even the people who once had courage to go against their Christian peers have now caved.
We already knew no decent person could defend Trump, and that’s been proven time and time again. But it’s quickly getting to the point that people who dare to call themselves “Christian” will have to immediately follow that up with an apology.
Don’t blame that on Trump. Blame that on completely spineless religious leaders like Mohler who spent decades lecturing everyone else about good and bad, right and wrong, black and white, only to bow down to the most obvious incarnation of Satan without any nudging from the outside.