A 20% Theocracy and Other Dangers of a Baptist Majority
by Bruce Gourley
In one of his recent radio programs, Al Mohler scoffed at ever-louder charges coming from the middle and the left that theocracy is a goal of the Religious Right. Dismissing Balmer, Goldberg and others who have documented theocratic ambitions among the Religious Right, Mohler suggested that "conservative Christians" are really only interested in controlling about 20% of the United States government. He offered no details as to his 20% theocracy proposal, but he did declare that the New England Puritan colonies were not really theocracies. In fact, according to Mohler, about the only example of true theocracy he can think of is Cromwell's Commonwealth.
In the midst of redefining theocracy, Mohler repeatedly turned to a curious argument: it is easy for a minority group of Christians within a non-democratic nation to know how to behave as a religious minority (referring to Baptists in early colonial America), yet when conservative Christians are a majority voice within a democratic nation (referring to contemporary America), it is difficult to gauge the extent to which the political process should be utilized to try and implement their moral views upon the nation as a whole.
Our Baptist forefathers, a religious minority persecuted by colonial theocracies (Mohler's redefining notwithstanding), did not fight merely for their own religious rights, but for full religious liberty for all citizens ... including all manner of non-Christians and atheists.
Today's Baptists, who now as a religious majority have the privilege of holding a powerful voice in American life, should do no less than did their forefathers in the faith. That is, they should fight for full religious liberty for all citizens, including all manner of non-Christians and atheists.
For Mohler to try and justify conservative Christians imposing their will upon the nation as a whole betrays his feigned indignation against theocracy. And that Mohler is only concerned with his own view of religion and morality ... and the granting of rights and privileges to those who share his particular religious/moral convictions ... demonstrates that he has lost his Baptist moorings.