Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote a piece this week criticizing the new Clergy Leadership Network (CLN). The CLN is the new faith group organized to help bring political change in America on issues like the environment and international military policies. Mohler attacks the CLN as if Karl Rove wrote his script:
Their goal of resurrecting and reinvigorating liberal Protestantism and an ecumenical phalanx of religious progressives will be an uphill battle all the way. They are still living in the sixties, looking for the next sit-in and reciting the old liberal creeds.
Liberals are all pro-gay and pro-abortion, Mohler writes. He nearly comes apart when discussing the religious diversity embodied in the CLN. Mohler charges that the Baptists, Disciples and Congregationalists involved don’t really believe in the Bible. He writes with distain about the involvement of former staff members of the World Council of Churches and National Council of Churches (which he believes are left-wing groups). No one who disagrees with his politics is a real Christian.
The truth is that Mohler is just another powerful Republican Party operative in the tradition of Jerry Fallwell and Pat Robertson. He makes this claim at the conclusion of his long attack on the CLN:
The Clergy Leadership Network will be interesting to watch--but nothing to fear.
Actually, Mohler must be afraid to spend so much time attacking. Maybe he is afraid that the American public will be exposed to a more progressive view of what Christian faith is. The energy Mohler seems to be expending worrying about the Clergy Leadership Network makes me think something really good is going on.