One of the most prominent white evangelical women in the United States is breaking with her longtime denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, citing the 'staggering' disorientation of seeing its leaders support Mr. Trump, and the cultural and spiritual fallout from that support. — Ruth Graham and Elizabeth Dias, The New York Times
One of the most prominent white evangelical women in the United States is breaking with her longtime denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, citing the 'staggering' disorientation of seeing its leaders support Mr. Trump, and the cultural and spiritual fallout from that support. — Ruth Graham and Elizabeth Dias, The New York Times
Beth Moore, a Prominent Evangelical, Splits With Southern Baptists
A teacher on biblical topics, she cited the “staggering” disorientation of seeing denominational leaders support Donald J. Trump, among other issues.

From the outside, the marriage of convenience between white conservative Christians and Donald J. Trump looked like a devoted one: White evangelicals voted for Mr. Trump overwhelmingly in 2016 and stuck with him in 2020, brushing aside perpetual lies and sexual impropriety to support a man they saw as their protector.

However, not everyone was content.

Now, one of the most prominent white evangelical women in the United States is breaking with her longtime denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, citing the “staggering” disorientation of seeing its leaders support Mr. Trump, and the cultural and spiritual fallout from that support.

“There comes a time when you have to say, this is not who I am,” Beth Moore, told Religion News Service in an interview published on Tuesday. “I am still a Baptist, but I can no longer identify with Southern Baptists,” she added.


Her stature in the movement poses a serious challenge for the Southern Baptist Convention, which has already been embroiled for years in debates not just about Mr. Trump, but about racism, misogyny and the handling of sexual abuse cases. Its membership is in decline.

... Ms. Moore is not a traditional leader for the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the country. She does not lead a church — she is a woman, and the Southern Baptist Convention reserves the office of head pastor for men. But she arguably wields deeper loyalty and more influence than many of the men often called on as spokesmen for evangelicalism.

For most of her career as a Bible teacher, Ms. Moore, 63, avoided the culture and political battles that consumed the attention of many prominent evangelical men. She wrote extremely popular study guides focused on particular books of the Bible. And she spoke to arenas full of evangelical women about matters both spiritual and personal, mining biblical texts for lessons in purpose and encouragement.

But Ms. Moore has described the election of 2016 as a turning point. She began speaking out after the “Access Hollywood” tape, released just weeks before the election, captured Mr. Trump bragging about forcing himself on women.

Since then, she has become increasingly outspoken online and has exerted her authority and power in new ways that have challenged the male-dominated culture of evangelicalism.

... Within the denomination, her departure has so far been greeted largely by either silence or measured regret.

... Ms. Moore’s decision to step away from the Southern Baptist Convention quickly drew praise from other prominent Christian women who have walked away from white American evangelicalism.

“While there are a thousand ways we can robustly disagree as people of faith, there are and should be deal breakers: the defense of white supremacy, patriarchal abuse, moral bankruptcy, the crushing of human souls for proximity to power,” Jen Hatmaker, a popular podcaster and author, said.

About five years ago, Ms. Hatmaker broke with evangelicalism because of her opposition to Mr. Trump and her support of gay marriage.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/10/us/beth-moore-southern-baptists.html