For a long time, I thought that Russell Moore wasn’t good for much. A longtime staffer for a Democrat congressman, he somehow managed to hoodwink the Southern Baptist Convention into making him its point man for defending “religious liberty” against … Democrat administrations. Moore’s groups have taken money from George Soros fronts to advance open borders—which flips red states blue and makes candidates who actually favor religious liberty increasingly unelectable. Moore finally lost his Baptist sponsors, belatedly, after years of pious whining about what a threat Donald Trump and his supporters posed to the witness of Christianity, or something like that.
Now Moore is editor of Churchianity Yesterday [fact-checker, please see if I got that right!], which for years has served as the fainting couch for upwardly mobile evangelicals and the house organ of the sorority Beta Dogma Stigma. If you want to read essays on “winsomeness” scrawled by David French in tiny lavender cursive on fragile onion skin paper, this is the magazine for you. Likewise if you’re too pure and otherworldly to prefer a vulgar populist patriot to trans-addled globalists linked by longtime corruption to Chinese spies and Slavic oligarchs.
Enough, enough, John, get down off the barstool. … I come not to bury Russell Moore but to praise him. Because like the fictional Doctor Doolittle, Moore has divined the secret of talking to the animals. Specifically, he has found a way to translate from Weasel into English. In his latest editorial, Moore makes it obvious what he really wants to say but manages to weasel out of stating it directly.
What Moore means by his meandering, carefully-hedged essay (not a “Yes, yes” or “No, no” in sight) is this:
We Christians should support the arrest of Donald Trump. We should nod at the weaponization of election law and the corruption of district attorney’s offices by Soros-funded prosecutors. We should smile at the use of past, repented sins alleged about a candidate’s personal life to manufacture crimes with prison sentences. Also, we should abandon all charity in interpreting the words of those whom we find distasteful and assume that when they say “protest” they mean “riot.” And we should treat such protestors as rioters and insurrectionists, which is why it’s good that the Jan. 6 protestors got the Tiananmen Square treatment.
We should do all these things because Donald Trump doesn’t live up to the high moral standards we consider essential for leadership, the way Joe Biden … wait, that won’t fly. Try again: We are not obliged as Christians to consider grubby virtues like “prudence” and think through the obvious, real-world consequences of our actions. To do so is worldly, sordid, and smacks of … Constantinian Christianity (which did end Roman infanticide, stop the persecution of Christians, and start evangelizing the West, but let’s not get distracted here).
We, as Christian elites, can excoriate one candidate constantly and shame all his supporters. We can offer no plausible alternative and refrain from attacking his opponent. But no one should hold us responsible for that opponent’s victory. That’s “utilitarian” pragmatism, and suggests that the end justifies the means. Never mind that the “means” suggested here, choosing the lesser of two evils to wield the sword of Caesar in a fallen world, is not intrinsically evil. St. Paul could commend obedience to Nero, but we cannot say the same of a reluctant GOP vote. Because we’re purer than St. Paul, more evolved in our Christian worldview, and we have more advanced academic degrees than he had.
Our refined sensibilities and delicate consciences are the reason that we can accept cash from leftist, pro-abortion billionaires who hate Christianity, but you rubes in the trailer park can’t accept political protection from right-wing populists. We know how to balance all the intricacies of these nuanced, complex moral questions. You don’t. Put them down before you hurt yourself or damage the fragile mechanisms.
Go back to watching NASCAR and leave the deep thoughts to us. We gave you George W. Bush and “compassionate conservatism”; we delivered juicy, satisfying wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What more do you people want?
It’s our job to evangelize the culture, which is upstream of politics. We must keep good relations with elite media outlets, top-shelf universities, federal enforcement agencies, and deep-pocketed donors. Your flag-waving and Bible-thumping buffoonery endanger such critical synergies.
Think of us as your trusted ambassadors to Caesar, Mammon, and Sodom. And leave that job to the professionals, to lifelong courtiers like us.
Such arguments must have sounded better in the original Weasel.
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