Friday, October 28, 2016

Top Baptist puts it on the line in land mark speech

A speech by Russell Moore the head of  Southern Baptist Convention spells it all out on Trump. It will be in First Things but I only have a review by By ROD DREHER •

Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore delivered one 
hell heck of a speech Monday night in New York. When First Things magazine tapped Moore to deliver its prestigious annual Erasmus Lecture, I wonder if the editors imagined how consequential the speech was going to be. It amounts to a eulogy for the Religious Right, delivered by a conservative Southern Baptist who has had enough. I believe it will be seen as a generation-defining speech, a line in the sand between the Old Guard and the Next Generation, as well as a line in the sand marking the end of an era and the opening of a new one.

Moving forward to the political situation today, Moore said that economic and foreign policy conservatism will come out of the 2016 election beaten up, but they will adjust and recover. It’s different with religious conservatism, because “the reason for the
existence of religious conservatism is, after all, about moral formation and family values.”
And here’s where Russell Moore started throwing punches. Hard ones:
The crisis before us now is that of a national Religious Right political
Russell Moore (from>
Russell Moore (from
establishment that has waved away some of the most repugnant aspects of immorality — from calls for torture and war crimes to the embrace of an “alt-Right” movement of white identity ethno-nationalists and anti-Semites to the kind of sexual degradation of women we could previously avoid by not choosing to listen to Howard Stern on the radio or the subscribe to Hustler magazine. Some of these—mostly evangelical—political leaders have waved away misogyny and sexually predatory language as “locker room talk” or “macho” behavior. Some have suggested that their candidate has never claimed to be “a choirboy”—thereby defining deviancy down to such a degree that respect for women and respect for the vulnerable and respect for sexual morality is infantile and unrealistic. One said that his support for this candidate was never about shared values anyway. Others suggested that we need a strongman, and implied a strongman unencumbered by too many moral convictions, in order to fight the system and save Christians from a hostile culture. Some Christian political activist leaders said that those who could not in good conscience stand with either of the major party candidates this year were guilty of “moral preening” and of putting our consciences before the country, sometimes even putting the words “conscience” and “witness” in scare quotes worthy of an Obama Administration solicitor general.
Moore went all-out condemning religious conservative figures who, in his view, traded their moral principles for first-class seats on the Trump Train. The same movement that condemned Bill Clinton for his immorality and denounced feminists for their hypocrisy in sticking by Clinton for the sake of holding on to power has produced leaders who have done exactly the same thing. For Moore, they are morally bankrupt, and the world knows it, even if they don’t. And it’s their own fault:
Mr. Trump did not give us this. This is a preexisting condition. The Religious Right turns out to be the people the Religious Right warned us about.
Significantly, Moore drew a distinction between religious conservatism per se (which he said is doing pretty well), and politicized religious conservatism, which has committed suicide this year.
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bbrown said...

You can hear the speech on the "First Things" podcast. That's available on the First Things website. I listened to it last night. I am always amazed how much Moore sounds like Al Mohler.

bbrown said...

One other thing. I think that Moore is overgeneralizing. Most of the "religious right" stands up for the values he mentions, specifically Godly morality, virtue, and the priority of the natural family. It's been a small subset of the so-called religious right that have gone full Trump, and it seems to me that these are all folks who, though they have big megaphones, could have been predicted to compromise. Case in point: I live in Lynchburg, VA and whilst the national media continues to represent Jerry Falwell Jr. as a "spokesman for the Christian right", he is well known to be far from that by those of us know him. He is far more of a social liberal than a representative of the religious right.
In any event, the term needs to be put to bed, as it does no one any good. Christian morality is clear; there's just not that much that is open to interpretation. The religious right were mere Christians, and so we can all do fine without that label.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

I am sure the majority of Trump voters are holding their noses as they vote. But they are still pulling the lever. Thanks for the info about pod cast.