This post has been updated: The original post listed Douglas Wilson as the author because of the title, "Douglas Wilson’s Glorious Response to Russell Moore’s Racial Grandstanding." However, the post was written by JD Hall.
Yesterday, Fox News pundit Todd Starnes tweeted out an article by conservative pundit JD Hall defending the Confederate flag hanging next to South Carolina’s capitol building in the wake of the mass shooting at a historically black church in Charleston.
Hall criticized Southern Baptist Convention official Russell Moore for calling on the state to take down the Confederate flag, saying that instead of talking about the flag, people should be speaking about the “culture of death” in the U.S.
Hall wrote that Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of the Emanuel A.M.E. church and a state senator who was one of the nine people killed in the shooting, is partly to blame for this “post-modern culture of death” since he supported a woman’s right to choose.
“[T]his murderer was carrying out the foregone conclusion of Planned Parenthood and Clementa Pinckney’s worldview,” he wrote.
1. Before evangelicalism’s public relation experts jump on the Charleston shooting like white-guilt on rice, remember that the problem is not a flag, but is sin – and the solution is Gospel. Hashtagging your scolding tweets#TakeItDown as though the problem is symbolism of a bygone era dyed on a piece of cloth not only grossly oversimplifies history and is misunderstanding of abiding heritage, but it places the impetus for change upon the outside, external cup and not the internal hatred of the heart. As Russell Moore is calling for removal of the Confederate Flag, as a wholesale rejection of ALL of the southern state’s shared heritage, he overlooks the fact that the Southern Baptist Convention still has buildings named after slaveholders like Boyce, Broadus and Manly. Why not call for those buildings to be renamed, as they are representative of that same bygone era with a shameful and sinful asterisk belonging to slavery? Would it be because Moore could argue that the heritage left behind by Boyce, Broadus and Manly cannot be reduced to their ownership of slaves? No, he dare not make that argument – the press would devour him! So why not take the log out of your own eye? It’s because that wouldn’t be popular. His Southern Baptist base would crumble beneath his feet. That would receive no accolades.
So, instead of preaching the Gospel as the solution to racial reconciliation, Russell Moore is reaching for the low-hanging fruit of symbolic imagery abused by racist, sinful, maniacs. Evangelicals never cease to amaze me in their ability to overlook the “evangel” in almost every single important, teachable and tragic moment of our culture for the appeal of cheap applause.
2. And this one may be a hard pill to swallow: The problem isn’t the Confederate Flag. It’s a culture of death, in which men like Clementa Pinckney use their political power to fight for the “right” of parents to kill their children because they don’t want them around. It’s a heart bent on sin and fully corrupt that causes a young man to exercise his wicked choice to abort people he didn’t want around, either. The problem is that our post-modern culture thinks a baby is only a live human being if the mother wants him or her. A product of post-modern culture, this church shooter didn’t view these people as human beings deserving to live because he didn’t want them. This is the post-modern culture of death we live in; this murderer was carrying out the foregone conclusion of Planned Parenthood and Clementa Pinckney’s worldview. The problem is systemic and innate and deep, and can’t be summarized by something as simple as a flag. It’s not racism (alone) that is the problem, but our over-all lack of belief in the sanctity of human life, whether or not you want someone around – they’re still a person deserving life. Pinckney’s view and Planned Parenthood’s view and apparently Dylann Roof’s view is that someones’ life is only valuable if you personally want them. THAT, my friends, is the problem. We live in and promote a culture of death, and we get death. (emphasis added)