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ERLC President Rejects Proposed Chinese Tariffs Because It Might Hurt Lifeway’s Business and Stifle Supply of Bibles

by | Jul 9, 2019

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If there is one person in all of Evangelicalism that you can find opposing the current president on virtually every issue raised, it’s the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty (ERLC) president, Russell Moore. Moore has stood as stark opposition to Donald Trump since his announcement to run in the primaries. Moore has painted Trump as the most vile and immoral person who has ever run for the U.S. presidency in all of history and painted those who would vote for him as “sellouts” to Christianity.

In short, Russell Moore isn’t fond of Donald Trump.

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Yet, Trump has time and time again proven to be one of the most politically conservative presidents in modern history. Yet, because Russell Moore’s first career aspirations were Democrat politics (Moore was an aide to former Democrat congressman, Gene Taylor), it comes as no surprise that many of his policy positions are left-leaning.

It is no secret that Russell Moore is an open-borders zealot — it is also public knowledge that Moore accepts financing from left-wing billionaires like George Soros through his open-borders National Immigration Forum (NIF) front group, the Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT). (You can read more about that here and here.) In other words, Southern Baptists and left-wing billionaire, George Soros collude — whether knowingly or not — to fund Russell Moore’s progressive political lobbying habits.

Moore’s latest attempt at undermining the Trump administration’s policies is his opposition to the proposed tariffs on Chinese imports. The administration has proposed 25% import tariffs on certain products produced in China which include printed materials such as books. Not to get into basic economics, but is is proven that if imposed properly as part of a larger plan, tariffs on imported goods — especially goods that are already produced in the United States — actually have a positive impact on the economy and protect vulnerable domestic industries that are difficult to compete with in under-developed economies. One thing the U.S. has no shortage of is printing and publishing. The economy will survive.

That being said, Moore took to his official position in the Southern Baptist ERLC office to write to the Trump administration to declare that the tariffs are not only going to cause a mass shortage of Bibles but hurt the business of an already failing Southern Baptist entity — Lifeway. He writes,

The proposed tariffs will significantly impact a diverse readership who benefit from books and other educational, scientific, and religious resources printed in China.

For example, LifeWay Christian Resources (LifeWay) is an entity of the SBC that equips churches, Southern Baptists, and other evangelical Christians. LifeWay is entirely funded through its sales; any excess revenue is used to support its own ministry work and other ministries around the world. Higher manufacturing costs for Bibles, prayer books, and other church literature covered under 4901.00.00.40 would make Lifeway’s work—and the ministry work of other religious organizations—infeasible.

Well, who can argue with that? Honestly, the less Lifeway produces and sells, the better. Interesting, God’s Word was able to spread all throughout the world for two thousand years unfettered long before the invention of low-priced Chinese printing presses. Albeit God used the invention of the printing press to help spark the Reformation, it should go without saying that God does not need our printing presses to do what He wills.

Essentially, Moore’s argument is that these tariffs are going to hurt the economy affecting mostly poor people. I’m not an economist, but I don’t think it takes one to see that an improved and protected domestic economy will only have a positive impact on the country. But the bigger issue here is that Moore is constantly spending his time opposing anything and everything coming from the Trump administration.




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