Religion

Southern Baptist minister: ‘Christianity has died in the hands of evangelicals’

An op-ed published on a Christian website this past November is creating quite a stir in the world of religiously conservative politics. Writing for Baptist News Global, social ethics and Latinx studies professor Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre declared that evangelical Christianity as many know it is now dead, thanks to the “Faustian bargain” it made for the sake of gaining a deeper foothold in American politics.

“Evangelicalism ceased being a religious faith tradition following Jesus’ teachings concerning justice for the betterment of humanity when it made a Faustian bargain for the sake of political influence,” De La Torre writes. “The beauty of the gospel message — of love, of peace and of fraternity — has been murdered by the ambitions of Trumpish flimflammers who have sold their souls for expediency.”

According to De La Torre, no greater proof is needed regarding the death of Christianity than the case of former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who Christians rushed to defend after it was revealed he sexually groomed and even assaulted teenagers when he was in his 30s.

De La Torre’s powerful rebuke of evangelicals in the age of Trump comes in the wake of a new sex scandal currently enveloping the President. According to various reports, Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen allegedly paid $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels in an attempt to keep her quite about an alleged affair she had with Trump — right around the time Melania had given birth to their son Barron. When the news broke, some of the most prominent evangelical leaders appeared on cable news to defend him. This new brand of evangelical “forsakes holding a sexual predator, an adulterer, a liar and a racist accountable, instead serving as a shield against those who question POTUS’ immorality,” writes De La Torre.

Trump’s history of alleged sexual misconduct runs deep. On top of the 19 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct, many feel that evangelicals failed a crucial moral test when news of the infamous Access Hollywood video broke, where a hot mic captured Trump openly bragging about sexually assaulting women. Even after the release of the video, evangelicals rallied behind Trump and gave him 80 percent of their support in the run-up to his election.

De La Tore’s piece even tied modern-day evangelism to the resurgence of white supremacy in American culture, saying that evangelicals have “constructed an exclusive interpretation which fuses and confuses white supremacy with salvation” that hides the gospel of Jesus behind “their fear of blacks, their fear of the undocumented, their fear of Muslims, their fear of everything queer.”

Evangelicalism either remained silent or actually supported Charlottesville goose steppers because they protect their white privilege with the doublespeak of preserving heritage, leading them to equate opponents of fascist movements with the purveyors of hatred. Jesus has yet recovered from the vomiting induced by the Christian defenders of torch-wielding white nationalists calling for “blood-and-soil.”

De La Tore says he’s always considered himself an evangelical, but he can no longer allow his name to be tarnished by a “political party masquerading as Christian.”

“Like many women and men of good will who still struggle to believe, but not in the evangelical political agenda, I too no longer want or wish to be associated with an ideology responsible for tearing humanity apart. But if you, dear reader, still cling to a hate-mongering ideology, may I humbly suggest you get saved.”

Read the entire op-ed here.

Featured image via gcorr.org

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