A prominent Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) leader has garnered criticism for a selfie he took and posted to social media, with opponents describing the photo as a shameful act of self-promotion and an instance of “virtue twerking” – a term used to describe the most obscene and transparent cases of “virtue signaling.”
Russell Moore, the head of the Ethics and Religious and Liberty Commission (ERLC) recently took a personal hit when he was torched by the SBC’s Executive Committee for the way he runs his organization, summarized by the phrase, “the direction of the ERLC is a significant source of division and creates a very real challenge to reversing CP [Cooperative Program] decline.”
Now, not content to merely note that he received his vaccine or perhaps show a picture of his paperwork, Russell Moore tweeted out a picture of his new prize. From inside his parked car. All alone. No one around. With the windows probably rolled up. In the image Moore wasn’t just wearing one mask but rather two – a necessary accessory if one is to properly broadcast evidence of one’s moral goodness.
This hobbit is vaccinated (round one, anyway).— Russell Moore (@drmoore) March 9, 2021
Thankful for the astounding skill and speed of medical science to help rid us of this plague. pic.twitter.com/gNHelHmqfN
This is nothing surprising coming our favorite progressive Democrat. After all, there’s some virtue to signal, and it ain’t going to signal itself.
Moore also uploaded one of his WaPo articles, where he wrote last month:
We have all lost much during this pandemic. For Christians, one of the most awful aspects, apart from the deaths of those we love, is the isolation we have had from one another, along with our feelings of powerlessness to change the situation. The vaccines change that equation.
By getting vaccinated as soon as our time is called, we can actively work for what we have been praying for — churches filled with people, hugs in the church foyer, and singing loudly together the hymns we love.
This, of course, is only true for those who have been shut down like Moore’s church and other disobedient shepherds and congregations. For many, their church has been filled with people, hugs, services, and public worship this entire time, or with very brief intermission over the last year. For this reason, the vaccination has no role in determining whether not a church opens up and worships God, doing absolutely nothing to change any equation.
But if by doing so Moore can get a few eyeballs his way, signaling his virtue and ethical virtuosity with all the subtlety of a man running naked across a football field during halftime, then we expect he will do that very thing. We await the next picture of lying in bed at home, triple masked, with a newly installed particle air filter in the background that’s hashtagged #SafeAtHome and #GospelIssue.
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