Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr. is a leader in the Southern Baptist Convention who, back in 2016, urged evangelicals against supporting President Donald Trump, saying it would ruin the movement’s credibility. In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Mohler referred to support for Trump as “the Great Evangelical Embarrassment” and wrote that “continued public arguments that offer cover for Donald Trump are now not only implausible but excruciating.”
But that was four years ago. In a new video, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky said that he’ll not only be voting for Trump in 2020 but he plans to exclusively vote for Republicans from now on, barring a rightwing policy shift on things like abortion, religious liberty and the issue of Supreme Court Justices. In an interview, Mohler said that he was encouraged by Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
“In retrospect, I made my vote of minimal importance,” he said. “I don’t intend to do that in 2020. There’s a bit of regret in that.” (Mohler also criticized Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton during the election and now says he did not vote for either of the major nominees).
Evangelicals provide the bedrock of Trump’s support going into 2020, even as Trump’s divisive actions have drawn significant criticism from other Christian platforms like Christianity Today, which called for his impeachment. In 2016, a reported 80 percent of white evangelicals pulled the trigger for Trump, and while his support has wavered a little over the course of his administration, his re-election campaign is reportedly preparing a huge push into Christian circles.
Mohler’s announcement comes as Democrats attempt to coalesce around former Vice President Joe Biden, who is dealing with his own history of making women feel uncomfortable, amid more serious allegations. Karen Swallow Prior, an English professor at Liberty University, tweeted that she will not be voting for either major party nominee this year.
This is refusing to accept a bar so low.
I will also ask God to bless—and multiply—this vote and others like it. Not to “win” in a worldly sense, but in a more eternal one.
I believe God will bless and use a remnant of voters.
If you are with me, please pray likewise.
— Karen Swallow Prior (Notorious KSP) (@KSPrior) April 15, 2020