If the Rev. Albert Mohler could rewind history, he says he would have had a different judgment on President Donald Trump.
But the well-known evangelical figure does not feel remorse about his decision to support the president’s re-election and advocate that others do the same.
“I stand by the comments that I’ve made at every point,” Mohler said on Wednesday evening. “If I could rewind history and know then what I know now, we’d be talking about a different kind of judgment. But we have to live life in a temporal line and seek to be faithful in those moments.”
Mohler is the longtime president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s flagship seminary in Louisville, Ky., and is a contender to lead the SBC when the faith group elects a new president in June.
The evangelical leader has forcefully condemned Trump over the last half-decade, characterizing him as a sexual predator at one point and, after Trump clinched the Republican Party nomination in 2016, Tweeting simply: “Never. Ever. Period.”
His decision late last year to support Trump’s re-election set off a firestorm as the SBC, the second-nation’s largest faith group, continued to grapple with race issues and, before that, its longstanding relationship with conservative politicians.
Since then, Mohler has spoken out against Trump several times, namely as the outgoing president continued his false claims of widespread voter fraud.
He spoke to the Chronicle on Wednesday evening about the violence and chaos that broke out in the nation’s Capitol earlier in the day.
Here is a transcript of that conversation, edited for clarity:
Chronicle: As you reflect on the events of the day to this point, what are your thoughts?
Mohler: Well, my first thought is that we’ve seen the unfolding of an American tragedy and scandal. This is a sight I never thought Americans would see: The necessity of the National Guard called out basically to protect the United States Capitol and the work of Congress in fulfilling its constitutional responsibility.
There were people erecting crucifixes, waving Jesus 2020 banners. How does that make you feel?
Well, it just adds to the scandal to have God dragged into this equation as if there’s divine sanction for this kind of unconscionable activity.
But we must not be naive. Attempts to co-opt Christianity for political purposes go back to the Roman Empire. So there’s no shock in that pattern. But there is absolute shock in the extent to which it was on full display in Washington.
What role do you think you and other evangelical leaders have had in that?
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SOURCE: Houston Chronicle, Robert Downen