Southern Baptist’s Job on the Line Due to Politics

Russell Moore’s position as the president of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Church is in contention. The Washington Post article outlines how Moore has continuously critiqued President Trump throughout the campaign period and his first few months of presidency. The Southern Baptist Church is traditionally conservative, and thus typically support Trump’s platform– more than 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump. The article notes that this could be tied to a hope for nominating a Supreme Court Judge that would oppose abortion rights. Moore’s disagreement with Trump has consequently caused contention between the congregation members and leadership. Furthermore, “46,000 churches have threatened to cut off financial support for the SBC’s umbrella fund,” according to the president of the executive committee, Frank Page. This deprivation of funds could cause serious strife for the Southern Baptists. Page continued to insinuate that asking for Moore’s resignation is not out of the question, although he hopes that he can work with those who oppose him to reconcile the disagreement. Moore has been complimented for working towards racial justice, and for encouraging older generations to appeal to more modern politics (this is an inference from the article, but I am assuming this means a push from conservatism towards more liberal politics).  The article notes that having Moore removed from the church would be a loss in terms of implementing racial equality within congregations.

This news story is yet another example of the close tie between politics and religion. I find this story to be particularly interesting, however, because it outlines the contention that takes place when their is political disagreement within a church, when I would assume that religious beliefs could be separate from political party affiliation. This has seemingly proved to be false, which is demonstrated with the potential loss of Moore’s job.