Like all modern Christian "culture warriors", Al Mohler has fallen pretty much into the trap of promoting selective morality.
Take a look at his blog. Better still, go through past articles and you'll see what are the things that annoy him the most.
On May 13th 2004, Mohler actually posted about the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. When confronted with the plain facts about American prisoner abuse, Mohler throws his hands up in the air and essentially says "Well, we Christians believe in original sin. No one should be surprised when this happens." Then, in a manner typical of defenders of the war at the time, he then starts talking about horrid and evil those terrorists were who killed Nicholas Berg. This sort of rhetorical tactic is a veiled attempt to minimise the abhorrent behaviour of one group of people by mentioning how horrible another group of people are. Moreover, in its specific context, it also lumps the victims of American torture with the enemy themselves, thus reducing the crime of the American torturers in the minds of the readers.
The next day, Mohler writes another article. This one is a little bit more predictable, with him lamenting the fact that women are allowed into the military and that some of the Abu Ghraib torturers were women. How sad for these women - he then writes about them in such a way as to minimise their own personal responsibility for the abuse and paints them as being victims of modern feminist philosophy. The message? They were not to blame, nor were their superiors - but those godless liberals were!
And then Mohler goes silent. Since then other examples of prisoner abuse have surfaced, especially in Afghanistan. In my own country, a report that has gained international exposure shows footage of American soldiers buring the corpses of (supposedly) Islamic fighters and then showering a village with religious insults about the matter. Add to this the examples of torture at Bagram Airbase that surfaced earlier this year, as well as the examples of torture at Guantanamo bay, Cuba, and it becomes obvious that American forces have been committing acts of torture on prisoners for some time since 9/11.
And what is Al Mohler's stance on this? He is silent. He is happy to write such behaviour off as being "original sin" while at the same time intimating that, well, the torture victims were probably horrible people anyway.
But when it comes to gay rights, abortion, religion in schools and so on, Al does not use the "oh well it's all original sin" argument. No. He makes it very plain that these things are wrong, and that we should fight against them.
In recent days there have been all sorts of things going wrong with the Republican administration - much of which could be classed as sin. Born-again Christian Tom DeLay's charges of money laundering is not addressed. Nor is fellow Justice-Sunday speaker Bill Frist's charges of insider trading spoken about. And what about Christian Coalition leader Ralph "I put enemies in body bags" Reed, who is involved with a gambling scandal with fellow lobbyist Jack Abramoff? Al is silent there too. He has spoken out in support for Harriet Miers - but there is nothing substantial that attempts to defend her basic suitability for being on SCOTUS - something that most non-evangelical Conservatives are jumping up and down about.
And then there's the Plame affair. If some of the claims made about what has been going on in the White House are true, then Born-Again Christian president George W. Bush was complicit with the covering up of a felony and the deliberate creation of misinformation to convince America to invade a nation that posed no threat at all to US security - and kill nearly 2000 American soliders and tens of thousands of Iraqis in the process.
Al completely ignores any of these major problems. For Al, it's all about abortion, homosexuality and getting an originalist judge on the supreme court. Those who read his website at the moment are mercifully excused any reason to critically engage with the multitude of potential sins that are being exposed about the Bush administration and its Republican backers.
And why is that the case? Probably because Al himself is a tool of politics - being ordered to say this and do that by his political masters. Don't concern yourself with Plame or prisoner abuse or Tom DeLay - just keep on the message that the Republicans are wonderful and godly and the party that Christians should vote for.
Or, at least, these orders are simply been give to Mohler's ghost writer so that his celebrity blog maintains his public persona.
From the Correct and Rebuke Al Mohler Department
© 2005 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/
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