In a move done with a completely straight face and nary a smirk or an eye roll to be seen, the Religious Freedom Institute (RFI) presented the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Russell Moore, with their “2020 Defender of Religious Freedom Award.” The award is given to “a person who defends religious freedom for everyone, everywhere from within his or her faith tradition.”
Thomas Farr, President of RFI, said in a press release about their newly minted winner:
Dr. Moore is a brilliant, winsome, and tireless advocate for religious liberty. Whether making his case from the pulpit, or in the pages of The New York Times, Dr. Moore finds a way to speak so others can listen…
Dr. Moore defends the religious liberty of all people. He challenges believers to be better public witnesses to their faith, and he challenges secularists to have greater appreciation for the importance of religion in American public life. Dr. Moore stresses: ‘One thing we need to be very clear about is that religious liberty is not a government “benefit,” but a natural and inalienable right granted by God.’
I suppose from their clearly warped perspective, it makes sense to give the award for “defending religious freedom” to the man who has been on the record multiple times saying that the government has a right to shut down the churches and that churches must comply with restrictions on if they can gather, when they can gather, how many they can gather, and what they can do or can’t do when they gather.
In fact, he’s on record as saying that God gave the government the right and authority to shut churches down, and when we obey the government and not have services, or not have services in a way that the government forbids, we are in fact “rending what is due both to God and to Caesar.“
Prohibiting singing? Moore’s ok with that. Required to put up signage in the Church? That too. Forced to write down the names and contact information of every person attending Church, or requiring pre-registration? Straight into his veins, man.
Thoughts on John MacArthur’s months-long struggle to stay open amid national and international scrutiny? We have no idea because Moore has been utterly silent about that one.
But hey – according to the RFI he writes winsome articles in the New York Times.
That’s got to count for something, right?
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