Welcome to my weekly digest for October 28, 2022. For new subscribers, this contains a roundup of my recent writings and podcasts, as well as links to the best articles from around the web this week. You can control what emails you get from me by
When I look at figures like Russell Moore with charity, I think one reason they think the way they do is they grew up in a time and place in which they internalized the idea that the Christian right is a powerful force, while in my formative years (in a secular-right-leaning family living in a purple area in the 90s) I internalized the idea that it's a weak, basically irrelevant force.
I look at him and my initial reaction is that a prominent evangelical figure is doing things like criticizing what I might think of as trailer park Christians in the pages of the NYT -- people who have little worldly esteem and don't even occupy the heights of evangelical officialdom -- and I'm inclined to frame it as a religious elite punching down at his social and possibly intellectual lessers in order to score cheap points in the eyes of powerful worldly elites. Not a good look. But inside Moore's head, I imagine he's not a religious elite but an embattled evangelical who is actually punching up at modern-day Pharisees and Sadducees who are far more powerful than he within the church and who have links to powerful worldly figures in the Republican Party.
To that point, he probably perceives the Republican Party more as it was in his childhood, a party of powerful elites and corporate interests, while in my heart of hearts I think of it as the Mr. Magoo of political parties, the "Stupid Party" with Trump as Magoo-in-Chief and only the most tepid, grudging, and heavily paid-for support from a minority of economic elites. Putting much trust in figures like Trump might be stupid, but in my mind it's an act of desperation and weakness and not an association with the power that truly runs this world (and that clearly favors the Democrats).