The Pen

Russell Moore Issues Scathing Rebuke On Hillary’s Escape From Justice … no, wait …

In a scathing rebuke of the evident failure of American justice in what, to most, seemed a clear cut case of more than mere malfeasance, Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore editorialized on the stunning news yesterday, July 5, that Hillary Clinton will face no recommendation for an indictment from the FBI.


Hold on.

No. No, he didn’t. My bad.

Russell Moore did not issue a scathing rebuke. He did not offer an editorial.

In fact, with the single exception of the re-tweet of a self-evident statement from a writer at the National Review, Russell Moore has been silent on Hillary’s latest slide past accountability.


Maybe he’s trying to figure out what to write. Or maybe he won’t write anything.  Maybe there was a pressing mosque building effort that demanded his attention … and support.

While he’s served as the de facto evangelical anti-Trump cheerleader, Moore has remained curiously mum on that other-side-of-the-aisle icon of questionable character. While attacking Trump on a scale that might be likened to one of Joshua’s sword-wielding men storming the fallen walls of Jericho, slaying the ungodly in his path, Moore’s commentary on Hillary has been more akin to the pounce of a kitten on a ball of yarn … if that.  

Receiving far less Baptist ecclesiastical news scrutiny than it deserved, Moore invited several notable candidates for the high office to a “civil forum” held in the midst of the North American Mission Board’s 2015 SEND Conference. Participating in that event were non-Baptists Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.   Noticeably uninvited were actual Baptists Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Lindsay Graham (had he announced by then, I’m not sure.)

Also invited, though not participating was Hillary Clinton. Moore regretted her no-show.

We also invited Hillary Clinton, and she declined. I regret that, since I think it would have been respectful conversation that would have enabled her to speak to questions evangelicals have, and could have modeled our disagreements with her with civility.   Russell Moore  (Source)

Umm, “respectful conversation”? “Modeled our disagreements with her with civility?”  Huh?

“What concerned me was the cloaking of Trump in spiritual garb, saying that he has as Jesus taught us, borne fruit. If character matters, as evangelicals have been saying for fifty years, then character matters. This is a man who has broken up two households, who had made money off of breakup families and exploiting the poor in the casino gambling industry, and has used racially-charged slurs against various people and groups.”  Russell Moore  (Source)

Moore, himself a former DC Democrat staffer, seems to be tacitly working for the Hillary campaign.  Eager to show her “civility” among obvious disagreements between her platform and the convictions of evangelicals, Moore is all too eager to blast Trump, her now singular opponent.

Regardless of whether you even have a horse in this race, it seems that Moore, given the ecclesiastic nature of his ERLC ordained wardrobe, would be equally broad, and civil, in his assessments on either side of the aisle.

But, no. It’s one thing to attack Trump, who has obvious problems, regardless of the lofty support he has from notable evangelicals like Robert Jeffress and Jerry Falwell, Jr. But it’s quite another, apparently, to attack the candidate of the party from whom your salary had formerly been paid … not to mention who agrees with you on such things, say, as open borders.

What’s the deal, Russell?   Is there not enough morally-questionable smoke from the fires of decades of Clintonesque brushes with illicit conduct to draw your ire? Is there nothing about Hillary about which evangelicals ought to be concerned? Are there no Democrats within the SBC who might need the ethical guidance you similarly give Republican believers in the convention?  Does Hillary’s recent skate past accountability not register on your “this is wrong and I’m gonna write about” scale?

In the non-scientific polling procedure of  assessing “whom does he attack more?” one could only presume that Russell Moore barely knows Hillary is even in the race.

The mission statement of the Ethics and religious Liberty Commission reads as follows:

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission exists to assist the churches by helping them understand the moral demands of the gospel, apply Christian principles to moral and social problems and questions of public policy, and to promote religious liberty in cooperation with the churches and other Southern Baptist entities.

As it’s president, Moore, one would think, would be eager to provide ethically informed insight to churches on each candidate, neither of whom represent the long-yearned for, stellar characteristic of statesmanship, much less moral impeccability.   Instead, Moore attacks the one and ignores the other, leaving void massive opportunities for commentary on her own far less than admirable, if not illegal, qualities.

What’s going on? Is this one of those “silence is consent” situations?

(To be fair, on his personal blog site, Moore does have several entries that include the search phrase ”Hillary Clinton.” The most recent one, excepting his blog on the 2015 “civil forum,”  is dated from 2011.  So, that oughta tell ya’ something, I guess!)

[Contributed by Bud Ahlheim]