Sorting Out the Election Aftermath

Election Night ended relatively early for political observers anxious to see if President Obama would prevail in his re-election bid and if his Democratic Party could maintain control of the U.S. Senate. Though he did not win in a landslide, President Obama won decisively. He and his allies can be expected to pursue a governing mandate that deeply concerns many evangelicals, especially with regard to religious liberty, abortion, and traditional marriage. How, then, can evangelicals work in the next four years to find common ground with the President, pray for him, and pursue priorities where we disagree?

In the latest edition of Going Deeper with TGC, Mark Mellinger and I connected with Russell Moore to sort out the election aftermath. Dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Moore previously worked on Capitol Hill and still closely follows the candidates and issues across the country. He talks with us about where evangelicals might support President Obama, how our churches should respond to demographic shifts, why the nation opted for status quo, and much more.

As the podcast continues, The Gospel Project managing editor Trevin Wax talks with George Robinson about how the Law fits in the grand story of God’s plan of redemption. The also discuss common threads in the Ten Commandments. Finally, to end this installment of Going Deeper with TGC, Mark and I take a closer look at #TGC13, The Gospel Coalition’s upcoming National Conference, April 6 to 10 in Orlando, Florida. Moore will be there to lead a workshop, “Black and White and Red All Over: Racial Reconciliation and the Gospel in the Local Church” (click here to learn more). We’re also announcing a Christmas special (expiring December 26): now you can save $80 when you add your spouse to registration for only $125. If you’re a student or coming from outside the United States, you can add a spouse for $100.

If we learned nothing else from yesterday’s election, we saw the urgent need for the church to come together and encourage one another to stand fast with the conviction of God’s Word as we spur each other to reach out to our neighbors in the love of Christ with the power of the gospel. Hopefully #TGC13, and especially the missions pre-conference April 6 and 7, will aid in that effort.

You can stream the new podcast below, download the mp3, or subscribe to Going Deeper with TGC on iTunes.

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Going Deeper with TGC, 11-7, with Russell Moore

  • Neo

    Sounds like a good podcast. I’m a big fan of Russell Moore.

  • Terrance Tiessen

    Would it be possible, please, to provide a web address for subscription to the podcast by those of us who have generic mp3 players, not Apple products? I use My Ziepod to aggregate the podcasts to which I am subscribed, but I need an .xml address to set up a subscription, I think.

    Thank you.

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  • Akash

    This was really relieving. I was so depressed earlier today and last night.

    Russell Moore is amazing!

  • Steve Cornell

    I was glad to hear another person emphasize that this election does not indicated a huge shift to the left. Although the folks on that side are aggressively marketing it as such, President Obama’s re-election was nothing close to a national mandate for his ideology. Half (and, given electoral apathy, probably far more) of the nation adamantly opposes Obama’s big government philosophy.

    6 out of 10 Americans say that they don’t pay attention to politics. Watching cable news or following politico gives one the misleading impression that politics matters much more than it does to tens of millions of Americans. But what does it tell us about the process when pervasive apathy and growing disillusionment have become a majority posture? Ask the average person if he thinks his vote makes a difference. Two of the most common opinions are that “nothing ever gets done” and “they’re all (politicians) corrupt and a bunch of liars.” I am certain most of these non-participating Americans do not trust or support the Obama Administration.

    In a recent survey, only 39 percent could even identify the name of the vice president. People say that they’re too busy to be bothered and have lost interest in the whole political scene. It’s reported that 131 million Americans (or two-thirds of eligible voters) voted in 2008. This left more than 15 million registered voters who didn’t participate and an additional estimated 30 million unregistered Americans. Projections tell us that the number eligible voters casting a ballot will be fewer in the 2012 election.

    This is not mere apathy because the sentiments run deeper, even among those who did vote. Is the moral climate drifting in a bad direction? Yes. But let’s not fall for the notion of any national mandate in this election.

    We should see this as a challenge to increase our efforts to foster many more informed, gospel-postured conversations about what is good for us as a nation.

    “Politics is a field in which the consequences of culture play out; it is not the field in which the culture itself is formed” (David Bahnsen).

    • Matthew

      “Half (and, given electoral apathy, probably far more) of the nation adamantly opposes Obama’s big government philosophy.”

      Opposing Obama’s big government philosophy with Romney’s big government philosophy does not indicate much opposition to big government philosophy.

      • Ashley

        Amen, Matthew!

      • Steve Cornell


        I think you’re hitting an important point about the general angst with government intrusion and control. People don’t want it whether it’s Obama or Romney. Former president Ronald Reagan said it best: “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

        This is why we need to revisit and revise the way we view government in general. Here are 12 excellent points to facilitate a starting point for conversation:

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  • Spence

    I’d agree with Moore’s assessment that we are a center-right nation. But we have to bear in mind that that’s a statement of our sociology and not our ideology. In other words, in our center-right nation, people are generally going to opt for that which seems to them to be the most socially stable and predictable option.

    That explains why Akin and Mourdock lost. Most women probably aren’t sure how they’d feel if they were impregnated in the course of a sexual assault. And they may want to preserve their right to get an abortion under such horrific circumstances. So, maintaining the status quo becomes the more predictable and stable option for women of childbearing age, especially for those who work and who are single.

    It also explains why same-sex marriage will become the law of the land. Some 3-4% of post-pubescent men are more strongly attracted to members of the same sex than the opposite sex. In decades past, the stigma of being gay was sufficient to lead most of these men to marry, have kids, and settle down into beorgeois professions. Being gay was viewed as radical: Only artists and wierdos came out of the closet. That’s not as much the case today. It’s not uncommon to find openly gay people who are successful doctors, lawyers, engineers, and the like. Many of these guys are not particularly effiminate, and may have traditional masculine interests. Elton John is no longer the picture of the gay man; Neil Patrick Harris and Anderson Cooper are. Thus, as a larger number of “normal” guys come out of the closet, beng gay itself is no longer viewed as radical (at least not on the Coasts and the Upper Midwest). Thus, the center-right option is not to ban same-sex marriage; that seems radical. No. The more stable and predictable option is to expect gay couples to marry, adopt monogamy, and buy a condo in a quiet neighborhood.

    I suspect that our center-right nation has little stomach for more debt and more spending. On the other hand, we also don’t like the excesses and extravagance of Wall Street. So, we opted for the status quo in the White House, and voted for a Republican candidate for the House.

    I also suspect that we will continue to make slow progress on abortion, as long as we are pragmatic. Our center-right nation, however, will not permit a “radical” approach that refuses to permit exceptions for rape and incest.

    Same-sex marriage is lost, though. Our center-right society is just not going to tell nice, clean-cut young men like Anderson Cooper and Neil Patrick Harris that they can’t marry those whom they love. These days coming out of the closet is about as eventful as announcing that you suffer from ADHD. Sure, it’s not the ideal, but it just isn’t a big deal.

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