Miguel De La Torre, professor of social ethics and Latino/a studies at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO has an opinion piece up at Baptist News Global that is a response to the Republican National Convention and the evangelical embrace of Donald Trump. This piece is well worth the time investment of reading it.
Asking who is the “whore of Babylon” in this place and at this time?
“So the question with which to wrestle is who today, in this particular historic period of time, best signifies the whore of Babylon? Sadly, I have to consider if we, who call ourselves Evangelicals, are filling this role. There was a time when Evangelicals had a disproportionate say in American politics, a constituency group that helped a divorced actor, more interested in astrology, win the presidency over and against a Sunday school Bible teacher. No doubt, the 1980s were the Evangelical heydays, influencing conservative social positions based on personal piety. But much has happened in the past 35 years: same-gender marriage, white births representing less than 50 percent in demographics. Affirmative action, that for centuries ensured job opportunities and college acceptances for white males, has been challenged. Police officers are scrutinized and held accountable for what once was the unchallenged norm: killing unarmed people of color.”
The loss of privilege undoubtedly feels like oppression to those used to wielding it, but De La Torre asks isn’t that what the Gospel commands?
“As I witness the Evangelical Religious Right rush to present a non-Christian as a God-faithful servant, I cannot help but wonder if we are pimping the Body to the highest political bidder? Let’s be clear, no political party, especially the Republicans or Democrats, are God-ordained. No president, emperor or prime minister is the Messiah. This does not mean Christians shouldn’t be engaged in the political process; it means their involvement is to be a conscience to those within their own party pointing to how the policies of their party fall short of the Good News — not to coronate the new emperor as medieval popes once did. And yet, as I have been watching the Republic National Convention this week, I cannot help but wonder if indeed we Evangelicals are prostituting ourselves.”
And finally asking us to look deeply at our own selves as we seek to live out the Good News in our lives and in our world
“And finally, maybe I am asking the wrong question, falling into the trap of naming the Other the “Whore of Babylon.” Maybe, what this biblical imagery is supposed to elicit is the same question that arose during the Last Supper when Jesus stated that one at the table was going to betray him. Like the disciples, when trying to figure out who is the “Whore of Babylon,” we might make more progress if we begin by asking: “Is it I, Lord?”