A conservative activist disagrees with the recent comment of a Southern Baptist leader who thinks evangelicals need to tone down the rhetoric on political and hot-button social issues.
Dr. Russell Moore, who is president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said during a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal it's time for evangelicals to tone down the rhetoric and pull back from politics and the culture war. Moore cites what he says is a "visceral recoil" among younger Christians on such topics as abortion and homosexuality.
Robert Knight, a senior fellow and executive director at the American Civil Rights Union, thinks Moore is taking Southern Baptists in the wrong direction.
"Now is not the time to call for a truce in the culture war,” states Knight. “When only one side calls a truce, that's actually a surrender.”
And the other side in the culture war, he points out, has not declared a truce. “The Left is waging a very aggressive culture war against Christianity in this country – and if Christians say Well, we're not up to that fight anymore, then they're surrendering. They're not merely calling a truce."
The Washington Times columnist explains this is not the first time the Southern Baptist Convention has drifted to the left.
"Years ago when the Convention was drifting and becoming liberal, they put in staunch conservatives – and [it] became a bulwark in the culture war,” Knight recalls. “I don't think the people in the Southern Baptist Convention ought to sit by and watch as the Convention drifts toward liberalism again. They ought to put up a fight. They ought to call for changes."
Other conservative groups like the American Family Association have also taken exception to Moore's comments. AFA’s director of issues analysis, Bryan Fischer, writes that Moore himself appears to have succumbed to a threat he warns evangelicals of – being “co-opted” by the political process:
“[Moore] appears to have been co-opted by the slide of young evangelicals into moral relativism and by the Republican Party elites who want the GOP, in the Journal’s words, ‘to back off hot-button cultural issues.’ Moore’s softer, gentler Christianity will give him a place in their inner circle. But it is more important to stand for the right principle than to sit at the right table.”