Southern Baptist exodus pushed by an absence of allegiance to Trump
To say that filthy Donald Trump is a polarizing figure is to massively underestimate his negative impact on America. But it is likely that most Americans never imagined that his sordid and deliberately divisive nature would negatively affect his most ardent supporters in the evangelical movement.
Evangelicals exposed their lack of fidelity to their so-called Christian values when they accepted Trump entirely as “anointed by God” to lead their unchristian religiosity to dominate and control America. In fact, as many commentators have pointed out, the main evangelical complaint about Trump wasn’t his boast of grabbing women by the pussy or paying for sex with porn stars or separating children from their parents. No, they didn’t like Trump cursing. Otherwise, he was her chosen one to lead her to the promised land, where American women had to cede control of their bodies to Catholics at the Supreme Court, people of color were evil inhuman creatures, and LGBTQ people were sin personified.
As allegiance to Trumpism drove even mainstream Republicans to the extreme right, the evangelical movement, led by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), took up the overthrow of the GOP on the far right to see who can be more extreme.
As the largest Protestant organization in the country, the race to the right has alienated many die-hard evangelicals and literally drove them out of the movement. This fact became blatantly clear recently when the man who “held a leading position in evangelical Christianity” Russell Moore left his position over the movement’s demand for undisputed allegiance to Trump rather than Christian values.
Make no mistake, Moore is a Protestant hardliner and has views that contradict the namesake of his faith. He was the head of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Freedom Commission and a passionate advocate of many of the group’s worst right-wing positions. He opposes equality for the LGBTQ community, especially marriage, and is one of the leading voices for exemptions from religious freedom to replace existing protection based on equality guaranteed in Amendment 14.
However, being an anti-equality advocate was not enough to keep Moore in the SBC’s favor, as he was considered disloyal to Trump. Apparently, saying anything negative against Trump is tantamount to criticizing Christian God, and Moore really crossed the line when he criticized evangelicals for their unwavering devotion to Trump – especially after telling his followers on January 6, 2021, to revolt against the United States had incited.
Mr Moore’s problems within the SBC began in 2016 when he criticized Trump as “someone who not only characterizes sexual decadence and misogyny, conveys cruelty and nativism, and displays a crazy public and private temperament – but who prides himself on these things” .
That bit of sincerity and the exact description of Trump’s hideous character almost cost Moore his job in 2017. Last month, Moore got fed up with the SBC’s call for absolute allegiance to Trumpism through “article of faith compliance” and he “allegedly” volunteered for a job with Christianity Today.
What apparently moved Moore to leave the SBC was the evangelical movement, which minimized Trump’s deliberate incitement against the United States. A riot that Mr. Moore “put right at Trump’s feet”.
After the coup attempt, Moore penned an editorial condemning Trump and accusing evangelicals of having lost all moral authority for minimizing the attack on America because it was led by Trump. Mr. Moore wrote:
“This week we saw a local terrorist riot that was instigated and fueled by The President of the United States Trump card. If you can defend this, then you can defend anything. If you can wave that away … then where is your limit? “
Moore ran into trouble with evangelicals in general, and at the Southern Baptist Convention in particular, for supporting humane immigration reform and opposing Trump completely by making his fight against systemic racism one of his main responsibilities as an evangelical leader.
Obviously, most evangelicals have no limits when it comes to their worship of Trump, and it’s no surprise that Mr. Moore is joining evangelical Christianity today, which is already considered disloyal to Trump – the man who became the god of evangelicals became on earth.
Evangelical magazine editor Mark Galli had serious trouble with so-called Christians in 2019 because he wrote that Trump should be charged and removed from office for his Ukraine crime. Galli then resigned his office, left evangelicalism and became a Catholic.
Another bog, the “wild” popular “Christian author Beth Moore (no relatives) was so disgusted with the SBC’s acceptance of Trump’s misogyny and racism that it announced that it “no longer considers herself a Southern Baptist”.
What these deviations from the SBC show is that evangelicalism is no longer a religion and rather corresponds to an extreme right-wing political cult. In fact, for the majority of evangelicals, faith is no longer about Christianity; Faith means whatever Trump says. And the SBC wonders why their numbers are falling.
Sound engineer and trainer for SAE. Write a comment that supports secular humanist concerns and exposes the oppression of women, the poor and minorities. An advocate for religious freedom and especially religious freedom.
Born in the South, raised in the Midwest and California to get a comprehensive look at America; it does not look good.
Former clergyman, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen Buddhist.