Remember the kid in high school who snitched on the other kids smoking in the bathroom? It was an awkward moment if you were friends with the snitch, and probably did not enhance warm relations (unless you were also a snitch). But was there ever any kid who praised the kid who snitched, who went out of his way to get on the side of the informant’s moral indignation, and who praised the principal for suspending the offending smokers?
Well, David French is not the snitch. He’s the student who praises the snitch and seeks the principal’s approval. Take a look for yourself:
Christians, let me ask you a question. When the #MeToo movement launched, and you learned that Harvey Weinstein was a predatory monster, what was your response? When you heard allegations rolling in against Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Bryan Singer, and so many others, did you think, “Stop obsessing over scandal. Most members of the media and most folks in Hollywood are good people”? Or did you think that multiple powerful American institutions were beset with deep cultural and spiritual problems?
I know that I wrote thousands of words condemning corruption and exploitation at the highest levels of the American cultural elite. I argued that the comprehensive corruption undermined the moral authority of the progressive elite. I critiqued modern sexual morality, with a specific focus on a consent-only sexual ethic that perversely facilitates the sexualization of everyday life. Conservatives cheered those words, and I stand by those words. #MeToo did reveal moral rot.
But let’s flip it all around. When you heard about corruption and sexual misconduct at America’s largest Christian university, what did you think? What did you think when you read about the sexual scandal at Hillsong or when you learned about Ravi Zacharias’ record of abuse and his ministry’s terrible mistreatment of whistleblowers? Did you pause to consider the larger implications of a decade of sexual predation at one of America’s largest Christian camps or the camp’s efforts to intimidate and coerce victims into silence?
What do you think now, when you read Moore’s words–and when you read that they’ve been corroborated by multiple SBC insiders?
You know this reflects an unhealthy eagerness to gain the principal’s approval because the analogy between Russell Moore and Harvey Weinstein completely breaks down. What Moore did would be the equivalent of someone inside Weinstein’s company, Miramax, resigning and then releasing letter’s written to other company officers upon his or her resignation. That did not happen.
The reason it did not happen — and here’s the other way French’s grandstanding of an analogy breaks down — is because we knew the names of people like Weinstein, Lauer, Rose, and Spacey. No one needed to go back into files to produce business correspondence because the press had already taken over. In Moore’s case, all we have is his own version of events that led to his resignation. He alleges cases of abuse in SBC congregations but provides no names. He talks about SBC executives who made disparaging comments about women and people of color but mentions no names.
Why doesn’t David French criticize Russell Moore for protecting the names of offenders in the SBC? Could it be that rebuking Moore would not make French look good?