Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Equal time with Al Mohler


Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., was quoted widely concerning the re-election of President Barack Obama. If afforded equal time, here’s how I would respond to comments attributed to him Nov. 8 on NPR, the New York Times on Nov. 9 and his blog on Nov. 7.
Mohler: “Millions of American evangelicals are absolutely shocked by not just the presidential election, but by the entire avalanche of results that came in. I think this was an evangelical disaster” (New York Times).
De La Torre: Brother Al, you confuse evangelicalism with white, male America. Continuing to fuse white/right political leaning with the message of Christ does a disservice to the gospel.
A majority of Christ-believing Hispanics, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, women and the young -- a good number who are evangelicals -- saw this election as a blessing from God. Most of us feared Romney, because he was very open about his allegiance to the Golden Calf of Wall Street and capital. We were shocked by your support for those who follow such false gods.
Mohler: “It’s not that our message -- we think abortion is wrong, we think same-sex marriage is wrong -- didn’t get out. It did get out” (New York Times). “Our message was rejected by millions of Americans who went to the polls and voted according to a contrary worldview” (NPR).
De La Torre: Amen! White evangelicals made up 26 percent of the electorate -- 3 percent more than in 2004. But what you and Gov. Romney failed to realize is that the evangelical share of the population is both declining and graying. The message of Christ was not rejected, just your interpretation of the message of Christ -- a subjective interpretation based more on your social location than what the gospel calls for.
If you think abortion is wrong, then don’t get one. If you are against same-sex marriage, then don’t marry a man. If you are against contraception, then have more than two children. These are your rights as a U.S. citizen, but what you do not have a right to do is impose your interpretation upon others. In a pluralistic democratic society, no religious leader or group -- no matter how much truth they claim to hold -- can impose their interpretation of faith upon others who disagree.
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