LOUISVILLE, Ky.– Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler addressed issues relating to the political landscape in America in his Mon., Jan. 7 edition of The Briefing, Mohler’s daily podcast which features his commentary on current events.
The two main topics Mohler addressed involve the new look of the 116th Congress, as newly-elected officials were recently sworn in, and the status of the current government shutdown, which is beginning its third week.
Opening his talk about the new Congress, Mohler emphasized the importance of separation of powers implemented in U.S. Government, including the three “separate coequal” branches – executive, legislative and judiciary. He also said the design of the three branches has “a very great deal to do with the underpinnings of the Christian worldview.”
“This separation of powers is rooted in the Christian worldview in the understanding of the reality, and the corrupting power of sin,” Mohler said. “Lord Acton famously said that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That was one of the insights in basic form behind the framers of the American constitution, making certain that even as they had created a strong presidency…”
Mohler pointed out the major transition happening in the House of Representatives, as the Democratic Party is now in control and California Rep. Nancy Pelosi was elected Speaker of the House. Pelosi, though, may be House Speaker for a limited time, Mohler points out, as many Congressional members are younger and “to the left” of Pelosi. Many Democrat leaders, Mohler said, “have demanded that (Pelosi) serve only four years.”
Partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans is a major issue in American politics today, Mohler said, but a “worldview collision” within the Democratic Party could be more interesting. With the majority of the Democratic leadership being near 80 years old, Mohler projected this would not last with the “insurgency of younger liberal members of the Democratic Caucus in the House.”
“That means we’re going to see something of what is going to become the democratic future in the younger Democrats, who begin to gain power, grab the microphone, and frame the issues going forward,” Mohler said. “Of course you have to add to that the fact that we are now entering into the 2020 presidential election cycle, so buckle your seat belts. It’s about to get very interesting…”
Mohler concluded his Briefing podcast addressing the question “Is the government shutdown a real or manufactured political crisis?” Mohler’s assessment is the shutdown is a manufactured political crisis that resembles “a giant political game of chicken.”
“The Republican president, Donald Trump, and the democratic leadership in the House both saw it to their own advantage to force this government shutdown in order to send a message, and in order to gain some kind of political leverage on the issues important to them,” Mohler said.
He also said this political standoff has an even bigger dimension, which involves the Christian understanding of sin.
“Both sides in this political conflict, this manufactured crisis, believe that the American people will see them as the good guys rather than the bad guys,” Mohler said. “We’ll see the situation as being brought about more by the intransigence of the political opposition than themselves. President Trump is betting that the American people, or at least a sufficient number of the American people, will see the Democrats as the problem and will believe that he is right to demand $5 billion in funding in order to build the wall, which means to extend the border wall between the United States and Mexico. The Democrats are betting the exact opposite, that the American people will eventually blame the President, and that his support for the wall will decline, and they see themselves as having the upper hand because, in the view of the democratic leadership in the House, the President has already shot his bullets. His gun is now empty.”
Mohler gave an objective assessment on which side appears correct and said that time and future elections will determine the political victors, including the 2020 presidential election.
“That’s what’s really behind this manufactured situation,” Mohler said. “That’s what’s behind the political calculations in this giant game of chicken. Don’t believe for a moment that somehow the American taxpayer is going to be saving money because of this government shutdown. Eventually, all 800,000 of those federal workers will be back paid everything they earned, or would have earned during the period of the shutdown.
“Furthermore,” he continued, “restarting that giant apparatus of the American government after a partial shutdown costs billions of dollars. The big bottom line in all of this thinking about our discussion on The Briefing today is understanding that politics really matters; elections have consequences. We’re looking right now at some very serious consequences for those of us who care everything about the sanctity of human life, by upholding certain political and moral values that we consider to be of biblical importance.”