Mohler Calls Trump a ‘Huge Embarrassment’ but Alternative Is ‘Unthinkable’

Zondervan Academic

In an interview published by The New Yorker on Monday, Dr. Al Mohler shared his thoughts concerning President Trump and the 2020 election. Although he considers the president to be a “huge embarrassment,” he believes the alternative is “unthinkable.”

Reluctantly Voting for Trump in 2020

Southern Baptist Seminary President Al Mohler had a very candid conversation with Issac Chotnier of The New Yorker. Approximately halfway through the discussion, the journalist asked Mohler if Trump had been an embarrassment.

“Yes. President Trump is a huge embarrassment, Mohler unequivocally answered. “And it’s an embarrassment to evangelical Christianity that there appear to be so many who will celebrate precisely the aspects that I see Biblically as most lamentable and embarrassing.”

Despite the embarrassment, Mohler admitted that he plans on voting for Trump in this year’s election after not doing so in 2016.

“I intend to vote for Donald Trump in 2020. But my shift is from reluctantly not voting for him in 2016 to what you might call reluctantly voting for him in 2020,” Mohler added. “I’m hoping for his reelection because the alternative is increasingly unthinkable.”

Two Different Definitions of ‘Evangelical’

Mohler also corrected a common misconception on what “evangelical” actually means. When Chotnier stated that conservative evangelicals were “happy” with President Trump, Mohler decided to clarify a few things.

“When I define evangelical, I’m really talking about a self-consciously orthodox classic Protestantism that is deeply connected to the church and… the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he explained.

“And then you have the media definition of evangelicals. It means anybody who isn’t Catholic or Jewish or something else and… identifies as some kind of conservative Protestant. People just call them evangelicals. That’s the problem.”

He added that there is “a tremendous reticence” to associate with the “Make America Great Again” movement. He said that although it appears evangelicals are happy with Trump, that’s only because of how the media defines the term.

Criticism for Mohler’s Support of Trump

Mohler doesn’t expect to come away with voting for Trump unscathed. He understands the criticism that will follow. In fact, one pastor already openly criticized his decision.

“It grieves me to say you have, in my estimation, lost all moral credibility. You no longer have a prophetic voice. Now, you simply blend in with popular, politicized evangelical thought,” Louisville Baptist Pastor Joel Bowman wrote in an open letter.

“Rather than being an apologist for the Gospel, you have become an apologist for political conservatism.”