Religious Right fanatic Roy Moore’s Senate campaign was an extreme example of Christian conservatives’ “ends justify the means” strategy to seize and hold power in our national politics.
However, many Christians do not agree with this approach, and worry about what they are losing by sacrificing their values to try and get people like Moore elected. Even before the fateful vote against Moore happened, the editor of prominent evangelical magazine Christianity Today announced that “the biggest loser” in this election was Christianity itself.
Wrote editor Mark Galli in his bluntly titled piece “The Biggest Loser in the Alabama Election” in his influential magazine, “No matter the outcome of today’s special election in Alabama for a coveted US Senate seat, there is already one loser: Christian faith. When it comes to either matters of life and death or personal commitments of the human heart, no one will believe a word we say, perhaps for a generation. Christianity’s integrity is severely tarnished.” He continued, calling out fellow Christians for lowering themselves in backing Donald Trump, “The race between Republican candidate Roy Moore and Democratic candidate Doug Jones has only put an exclamation point on a problem that has been festering for a year and a half—ever since a core of strident conservative Christians began to cheer for Donald Trump without qualification and a chorus of other believers decried that support as immoral. The Christian leaders who have excused, ignored, or justified his unscrupulous behavior and his indecent rhetoric have only given credence to their critics who accuse them of hypocrisy. Meanwhile the easy willingness of moderate and progressive Christians to cast aspersions on their conservative brothers and sisters has made many wonder about our claim that Jesus Christ can bring diverse people together as no other can.”
While making his case for the social conservative beliefs that he and other evangelicals hold, Galli still conceded, “This is not to excuse some statements by conservative leaders that cannot be interpreted in any other way than as a slur against gays, Muslims, Mexicans, and others. Some conservatives are fearful beyond reason. Some conservatives clearly worship political power as much as they do Jesus Christ.” He later added, “Our concern here is with a cabal of noisy conservatives, whom the press has apparently (and unjustly) appointed as spokesmen for all conservatives. This group pretends that the choice for someone like Moore represents unalloyed godliness and refuses to unmistakably criticize immorality in other leaders they admire. To justify or ignore the moral failings of a politician because he champions your favored policies—well, that is to step onto the path of self-deception and hypocrisy, which according to Jesus, leads to no less place than hell (Matt. 23:15).” Are you glad Galli spoke out so forcefully against Christian supporters of Moore and Trump?