Earlier in April, Reformation Charlotte reported that Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and one of the most influential leaders of the denomination, had a change of heart and decided, against his position in 2016, that he would be voting for Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. After four years of maligning and criticizing conservatives who dared to support the president, the sudden change of heart comes on the heels of a string of leftist attacks on conservatism.
Mohler, while less blatantly vocal about his positions than some others, has quietly supported and orchestrated the anti-Trump movement from within and strategically placed people in positions of vocal leadership to carry out this movement. One of those men is Russell Moore. Moore spent the entire year prior to the presidential election in 2016 criticizing Donald Trump and insulting any Christian who would dare support him — at one point even drawing the ire of Trump himself, who referred to him as a “nasty guy.”
In April, Mohler said that even though he didn’t vote for Donald Trump in 2016 over his moral issues, today calls for a different strategy, and he will be voting for the Republican ticket no matter who’s on it — including Donald Trump. He also spent an inordinate amount of time lambasting the Democrat party for their “evil” and “wickedness.”
Now, Mohler has doubled down, saying that even though Donald Trump is an “embarrassment” to Evangelical Christianity, he’s going to vote for him anyway. Mohler recently spoke to the New Yorker and was asked,
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You said, in 2016, “Perhaps the best we can hope for in this sad election cycle with these two unsupportable candidates is that we do not allow a national disgrace to become the Great Evangelical Embarrassment.” Trump is now supported by a huge majority of American evangelicals. Has it been an embarrassment?
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.
He then admitted that there would be many Evangelicals “angry” with him for that. Mohler has played stupid games for years by building an empire in the Southern Baptist Convention that is hostile to conservatism. Now he’s winning stupid prizes. But the bottom line is that this is his mess and he is going to have to clean it up.