It has always sounded so sensible and proper: Bible believing Christians should organize and work to elect likeminded political leaders who will implement, or preserve, our values and vision for our secular society. One major expression of that has been that ‘our’ president would nominate and the Senate would confirm Supreme Court justices who would make the ‘right’ decisions.
I’m a retired SBC pastor who bought into this with the Reagan tide of 1980. At a modest level I put out voter guides, preached an occasional sermon that might address the latest outrage du jour, and engaged in a bit of civil religious celebration worship. It took some time but I relinquished the idea of a theocracy some time ago. I’ve seen churches give Sunday worship over to politicians, though I never did so. I’ve been to churches where the cross, our main Christian symbol, was covered up by an American flag for a worship service.
Sisyphus has nothing on politically minded Southern Baptists these days. If you are one, how do you like being immersed in such longrunning, crushing disappointment?
Our hip-connection to the Republican Party has been called a Faustian bargain. I’ve seen the opera. Dr. Faust and a lot of others don’t come out too well.
The Bostock SCOTUS decision has “seismic implications” says our own SBC sort-of-lobbyist, Russell Moore. I don’t disagree. But if this decision was a surprise, one could surely have seen it coming. Our highest court has never strayed much to much from public opinion, would you say? A large majority of Americans favor broad gay and lesbian rights.
Political disappointment should be expected by now. We have had Southern Baptist presidents and vice presidents, at the same time. They weren’t our kind of Southern Baptists. We’ve had control of congress, the Senate, and the Presidency, sometimes all at once. Fourteen of the last eighteen SCOTUS appointments have been made by Republican presidents. Maybe political control is a chimera. We should aim higher, I think.
Nonetheless, the recent decision will energize the ecclesiastical political industrial complex to greater activity, especially fundraising.
But, enough of mythology and politics. What’s an American conservative Christian to do? Maybe put our hope in nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.
My ordination and MDiv didn’t make me an expert on matters of constitutional law but, apparently, other reverends feel highly qualified. Feel free, brethren. Just don’t cover the cross up when you have your big Independence Day Worship Political Rally.