Mohler and Moore: Americans spoke out on values in presidential election

Communications Staff — November 4, 2004

George W. Bush’s victory in Tuesday’s presidential election demonstrates that mainstream America is more conservative than many people thought, R. Albert Mohler Jr. said Wednesday shortly after the Bush’s victory speech.

The sea of red states that colored America’s heartland on the final result map showed that Americans had moral issues on their minds while visiting the polls, said Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Eleven states passed constitutional amendments forbidding same-sex marriage, including Kentucky.

“I think there’s no doubt that America spoke on values issues yesterday,” Mohler said.

“You can look at an electoral map and you can see that the great heartland of America voted very clearly for the candidate that stood, as they understood it, for family, for the defense of the union of a man and a woman as the very definition of marriage – that stood for life against the wanton destruction of human embryos and a whole host of issues.”

Mohler said issues such as marriage stir the collective conscience of American citizens because it profoundly impacts their everyday lives.

“These moral issues are where we live everyday. You can’t get more intimate in terms of where human beings live than the question of marriage,” Mohler said.

“When you’re dealing with this whole host of issues, you’re dealing with the things that reach the heart of a population. Citizens, when they went into the voting booth, voted head and heart together — a real affirmation of marriage, a real affirmation of life.

“Even tax policy, the war in Iraq, the war on terror – those are moral issues. Persons of deep moral conviction may disagree on how best to understand those things. But when you get to something as simple as marriage, I think that’s where we discover there really is a deep reservoir of common conviction, a consensus among the American people…and we can be thankful for that.”

Russell D. Moore, dean of Southern’s School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration, said the most important aspect of Bush’s reelection is the implications it holds for the U.S. Supreme Court; during the next four years, the president will likely appoint one or more judges to the bench.

Most of the 11 state marriage amendments passed by landslide majorities, which shows that the affirmation of same-sex marriage is animated by judicial fiat and not grassroots America, he said.

“The most important thing about this election was the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary,” he said. “I think with the re-election of President Bush we see some forces of cultural revolution held back for a time. That will impact Gospel proclamation in terms of the cultural context in America.

“It (the passage of marriage amendments) is a reaffirmation that same-sex marriage is being imposed in the American people by the judiciary. This is not something that the American people want for themselves. The rush toward same-sex marriage is not democracy in action. It is judicial tyranny in action.”

Mohler says the 2004 election was a landmark moment in American politics, one that is telling as to where the nation stands on pivotal social and moral issues that are important to evangelical Christians.

“What happens when we have a great election day like yesterday is that you really find out where the nation is,” Mohler said. “And I think, on these issues, it’s clear that America is a more conservative country than a lot of people thought. That’s not due to any kind of organized political effort. It’s just a deep conviction.

“On other issues, I think there are many levels of debate. In this country, there’s a clear division, which really needs our attention, between persons who have very different worldviews on these issues. But I think, in the long run, we will look back at yesterday as an historic election when the American people spoke very clearly about what was most important to them.”

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