There Is No More Religious Right
Collin Hansen, an Evangelical Millennial, says the latest Trump mess is “the last spastic breath from the Religious Right before its overdue death.” Mercy! More:
Trump can maintain nearly all his evangelical support in the voting booth despite unrepentant lying and cheating. But these same leaders still insist on a traditional, biblical ethic when it comes to views on same-sex marriage in evangelical ministries.
The latest evidence of Trump’s depravity hits at the same time one of the leading evangelical parachurch ministries, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, has come under scrutiny for requiring staff to believe that God intends sex to be enjoyed only in the context of marriage between one man and one woman. If you don’t see the connection between these two developments, then you’ll miss the story that will define evangelical unity and witness for the next generation.
To the older evangelicals planning to vote for Trump: You can try to explain the difference in electing a president and hiring a 23-year-old college graduate to evangelize students. You can say we’re electing a commander in chief and not a Sunday school teacher. You can say that God often raises up pagan leaders to deliver his people from their enemies. But no one is fooled by your arguments.
They can see you will apparently excuse anything in a Republican nominee so long as the alternative is a manifestly unqualified Clinton. And they will conclude that they don’t really need to listen to you when it comes to “traditional, biblical ethics.”
Boom! Note well that Hansen is a theological conservative. More:
Grace abounds for Christians who fall short of the glory of God and call on the name of Jesus for forgiveness and salvation. But woe to the hypocrites who hold the most powerful leader in the world to a lower standard than they do the searching young believer who desires to serve God and neighbor.
Some of the Evangelical Old Guard is still standing behind the crotch-grabbing molester. Bill Bennett, a Catholic social conservative stalwart, is not among them — but he’s stepping back for prudential reasons, not moral ones:
WILLIAM J. BENNETT, a Trump ally, to WaPo: Trump “should step down… It’s a shame, a crying shame, but he can’t win.”
— Robert Costa (@costareports) October 8, 2016
Not “because he is a moral disgrace,” but “because he can’t win.” Whoever thought we would see the day when a breath mint had more integrity than the Book Of Virtues author:
Tic Tac respects all women. We find the recent statements and behavior completely inappropriate and unacceptable.
— Tic Tac USA (@TicTacUSA) October 8, 2016
I don’t know what kind of shape the GOP is going to be in after November, and I don’t think anybody can say. But the future of the Religious Right is a lot more clear. There will still be religious conservatives in America, even among Millennials and Xers. But they will be done with the Old Guard.
When the smoke clears after November, the Benedict Option will be all we will have left.