The Briefing, Albert Mohler

Thursday, November 11, 2021

It’s Thursday, November 11th, 2021.

I’m Albert Mohler, and this is The Briefing, a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview.

Part I

Are We Witnessing the Dismantling of Conservatism? Why the Term ‘LGBT Conservative’ is an Oxymoron

The news story was reported as if it should make perfect sense. Fox News was reporting the story about what was described as a political happening. A newsworthy political happening, but actually I’m going to argue that this political event was actually a moral earthquake. It was disguised as a social celebration. It was reported as a political event. When did it happen? Just a matter of last weekend. Where did it happen? It happened at the home of the 45th President of the United States and the former First Lady. It was held at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. Who was there? Well, for one thing, the group known as the Log Cabin Republicans, that is an LGBTQ action group within the Republican Party, or at least organized by Republicans in order to influence the Republican Party.

Who else was there? Well members of the Republican Party leadership, including the head of the Republican National Committee. Who else was there? The former President of the United States, Donald J. Trump and the former First Lady, Melania Trump, who as it turned out was one of the honorees of the evening. But even as Fox News reported the story, we were told that a high profile group of attendees was present there in order to establish a new beachhead for outreach to the LGBTQ community on the part of Republicans. The event was advertised as the Spirit of Lincoln Gala. Now you’ll notice Lincoln Log Cabin Republicans. The claim here is astoundingly enough that the party of Abraham Lincoln would be an inclusive party, particularly when it comes to LGBTQ identity and that political intersection of sexual identity and identity politics.

But my point is this. Even as this was built as a political event, a turning point perhaps in the history of the Republican Party, even as Mrs. Trump was honored as someone who has given advance and encouragement to the LGBTQ community within the Republican Party, the spirit of Lincoln Gala really does represent a moral transformation. As I said, a milestone in the death of American conservatism. My argument comes down to this. You can have one or the other. You can have conservatism, or you can have the LGBTQ revolution. You can’t have both. We’re going to talk about why that is the case. And we’re going to talk about why the phrase gay conservative or LGBTQ conservative is actually an inconsistency. It’s an oxymoron. You can’t to push the LGBTQ issues and actually be in any legitimate sense, a conservative. I want to explain why.

Now remember the central purpose of the Log Cabin Republicans is to advance the LGBTQ movement within the Republican Party. RNC Pride was launched over the weekend. That’s Republican National Committee Pride as a coalition “partnering with the Log Cabin Republicans to invest and mobilize LGBTQ communities ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.” The head of the Log Cabin Republicans, President Charles Moran told Fox News, “When LGBT conservatives are included in Republican campaigns, we win.” Well, there’s the phrase of our concern, “LGBT conservatives.”

My argument is this. That makes sense only if conservatism now means nothing more than dismantling human civilization more slowly than the Left would de demand. We see two rival models of conservatism. Two rival visions in the United States right now. The Log Cabin version representing moral liberalism just wants what amounts to as, a more orderly transition to a new ideological age. But true conservatism based in the impulse to conserve, to conserve the truths, traditions, and principles that are necessary for human happiness and lasting civilization. True conservatism is committed to a metaphysical vision. That is a vision of reality that transcends just this earthly reality. And that is a metaphysical vision that includes understanding that we are made by God and that sex and marriage are not plastic realities to be reshaped at will.

We understand that marriage was created by God, not by the Supreme Court. We understand that sexual morality centered in marriage was also revealed by God. We understand furthermore that God revealed his creation of human beings in his image and of an understanding of human sexual morality, sexual behavior, and sexual identity based in the fact that God made us, he determined us as male and as female. And furthermore, he created marriage. He centered human civilization in marriage. But he’s revealed this not only in Scripture. The Lord has also revealed these truths in creation. Now here’s the point.

Here’s the central conservative understanding. Successful civilizations obey, respect, and revere those necessary truths, necessary institutions. Marriage as the most necessary of those institutions and conservatives understand that marriage is pre-political. It is also pre-social when it comes to human beings. We didn’t invent marriage. Marriage was given to us. No civilization, this again is a key conservative insight that Christians must understand. No civilization can survive if it undermines, subverts, rejects, or seeks to manipulate marriage in such a way that it weakens it. And by the way, the definition of marriage given to us by the Creator is the exclusive union of a man and a woman. That’s what it is. That’s what it always will be. It can’t be anything else.

Now that has been a central conservative commitment. That’s a cardinal conservative insight. I want to define conservatism in line with the definition of the late Sir Roger Scruton. He rightly said, “Conservatism is about freedom, yes. But it is also about the institutions and attitudes that shape the responsible citizen and ensure that freedom is a benefit for us all. Conservatism is therefore about the limits to freedom.”

That’s the point. Conservatism is indeed about freedom, but it’s also about what must be in place before freedom can be known, experienced, or honored. What must be in place is an understanding, a foundational understanding of truth, of the permanent things, of the principles and institutions that preceded us and must be respected by us. Conservatives recognize that there are limits to freedom. There are also limits to what we can do in terms of dismantling the institutions, the gifts, the structures that God has given us, the moral principles that he has revealed without bringing absolute disaster into human life and ending the project of human civilization.

But that authentic conservative vision is now being undermined by many who would call themselves conservative. And that’s not a problem just here in the United States. For years, I’ve been watching developments in the so-called Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, in Great Britain. That Conservative Party, that party is sometimes known as the Tory Party, was the high party, the Conservative Party in terms of British politics. But nowadays it is basically just somewhat arguably more conservative than the Labor Party, which had actual roots in socialism.

Going back to the midpoint of the 20th century, the Conservative Party, along with the Labor Party basically made a pact to support the welfare state. The difference is, the extent of that welfare state. The argument in Britain is not about whether or not there should be a welfare state, but how large it should be and how much of the economy the National Government should control or even should own. But when you’re thinking about moral issues, and here we’re talking about the Log Cabin Republicans. We’re talking about the argument that conservatives can include LGBT conservatives. Well in Britain that so-called Conservative Party, well, back to the year 2005 began moving towards the acceptance of what were then described as domestic partnerships. Now all the way to same-sex marriage.

The Conservative Prime Minister at the time was David Cameron. And he at the time, and in retrospect, said that he’s extremely proud that it was the Conservative Party in the UK that moved to the legalization of same-sex marriage. It was the Conservative Party that led in the UK that drive to legalize same-sex marriage. It was David Cameron who boasted and I’m quoting in here. “So I don’t support gay marriage despite being a conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a conservative.” Now, how could he even make that argument?

Well, it’s not an accurate argument. It’s a profoundly false argument. But the reason he made it is because he has a moving sliding malleable definition of conservative that means that you can take those institutions that are necessary to human civilization and tweak them a little. But of course, here’s what we know. In same sex marriage, we’re not talking about a little tweak, a little modification to marriage. We’re talking about an absolute refutation of the central inside of marriage, which is the union of a man and a woman. That also we should point to leads to the likelihood, the outcome of procreation. Procreation is not God’s gift to every married couple. It’s not the necessary end of marriage, but it is to be the normative expectation or result of marriage. And to put it another way, you can’t have procreation without a man and a woman.

But here’s a hint. You’re not a conservative if you support same-sex marriage. If you support a rebellion against marriage as exclusively the union of a man and a woman, you are not a conservative. No matter what you call yourself, no matter what you call your party. Same-sex marriage is not a reform of marriage as an institution, it’s a rebellion against marriage and against morality. Now, the examples coming to the United States are many. David Brooks is billed by the New York Times as a conservative columnist. That is blatantly false advertising.

As far back as 2013, David Brooks told his readers at the Times that “same-sex marriage will be a victory for the good life.” David Blankenhorn was known as a conservative of some sort. He was the founder of the Institute for American Values. And once he led the fight against same-sex marriage. But all that changed in 2012. He answered why: “I changed my opposition to gay marriage because of personal relationships.” Well, here’s another clue. If you change your understanding of an institution as basic as marriage, if you change your understanding about sexual morality because of your personal relationships, you are not a conservative.

Andrew Sullivan is a brilliant intellectual force. He is sometimes referred to as a conservative, but only in a very odd and fundamentally unhelpful way. He famously made what he claimed was a conservative case for same-sex marriage. His argument echoed by others was that same-sex marriage would serve as a restraint on gay or homosexual promiscuity. And thus conservatives, he argued, should be “among the first to support it.” That’s an absurd argument, but it has traction in our world today in which there are many people who want to call themselves conservatives, but act and believe and vote, advocate in such a way that undermines the very possibility of conservatism. And for that matter, rejects the central conservative principle. To conserve what is necessary for human civilization.

Well you might say, maybe this is an intra conservative argument. Maybe this is the kind of argument that these kind of worldviews, these kind of political situations have from time to time. It’s just an argument, but it’s really not an argument among conservatives. It’s an argument between authentic conservatives and those who want to call themselves conservatives, but just want to get basically where the Left is pushing, albeit a little more slowly, or perhaps with some qualifications that might be offered.

Andrew Sullivan, by the way, has lately been known for also complaining about the “T” in LGBTQ. Andrew Sullivan’s very clear. He doesn’t think the transgender argument is on the same moral plane and makes as much sense in moral terms as the gay male or lesbian female, the “L,” “G,” or even the “B” makes sense. But there you notice, if you’re going to unravel sexual morality, someone’s going to take that unraveling further than you want. It’s also interesting to note that there are those who want to redirect conservatism to non-conservative principles, and that would include Andrew J. Bacevich, who’s the editor of the recent volume entitled American Conservatism Reclaiming an Intellectual Tradition.

Bacevich chose Sullivan’s argument for same-sex marriage as a key chapter in the book. And he described Andrew Sullivan as “arguably the most influential conservative public intellectual of his generation.” Well, if that’s true, conservatism is dead. If conservatism is not accountable to the moral law, it’s nothing. If would be conservatives fall all over themselves to celebrate the Log Cabin Republicans, we are doomed. Driven by love of neighbor, our Christian concern must be to conserve the institutions and truths necessary for healthy human society. And make no mistake, the defense of marriage is the union of a man and a woman. The defense of the ontological distinction between male and female. Those are at the very top of a list of that, which must be defended.

What do we do with the Republican National Committee announcing this new initiative for GOP Pride? What does it mean that the Republican leadership, at least in some sense, this representation of Republican leadership wants a big tent, we are told, when it comes to building a conservative movement that is very broad? Well, the problem here is that it’s so broad it includes those who are fundamentally not conservative, even unconservative. It also points to something else. For a long time, Christian conservatives have had the very sober assessment that there are those who have posed as our political allies who will throw us overboard the first sign that we are a part of the problem, rather than the solution. A part of the past, rather than the future.

Political parties do what is in their own party’s best interest as they best understand it. Otherwise, they cease to be a political party. That should also humble American Christians who understand the limits of politics and the limits of political parties. Politics is important. Our political engagement is absolutely necessary. But as we see here, there are bigger issues here than politics. That social event at Mar-a-Lago just a few days ago, maybe a sign of conservatism in eclipse in America. Let’s not let it go down without an argument and let’s make that argument as best we know how. Let’s make that argument pointing not only to conservatism as a political tradition, let’s point to the truths that must be conserved. Let’s point all the way back to creation. That as Christians know is where we have to start.

Part II

Political Lessons From the Virginia Election: A Party That Can’t Say No to its Progressivist Activists Just Might Hear No from Voters

But next, as we’re thinking about the ongoing big political argument in the United States, and we understand that political parties are institutional representations of those arguments. That is to say, there’s a Republican argument, and there is a Democratic argument. We understand that on the Democratic side, there are some fast knitting arguments going on within the party. Now just about everyone who pays any attention to the current situation knows there is an argument between the newly ascendant Democratic Left, which clearly seems to be in the driver’s seat in the party, and those who are less liberal.

It’s not to say they’re conservatives. It’s not even true in all cases that they could be described accurately as moderates. But they certainly do look more moderate when compared with the Left wing. And here we mean not only the squad, but political leaders such as Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, a San Francisco Democrat, and increasingly the President of the United States, Joe Biden. Who we should point out, ran as a moderate. But once office has been leaning overwhelmingly to the Left wing of his party. So much so that routinely, even in the liberal press, it’s assumed that Joe Biden ran as a moderate. But President Biden is seeking to govern as a so-called progressive, that is in line with the Left wing of his party.

But as we’re looking at that for a moment, we need to go back to last Tuesdays off your election. Glenn Youngkin elected very clearly as the Governor of Virginia. A state that had been declared blue. You look at the police initiative in Minneapolis, that is to abolish the police going down in flames. 57% of the voters voted against that proposal. You look at what’s been going on in school boards. We’ll talk more of about that. You look at what’s gone on, even in the city of New York, where Eric Adams, who’s going to be the new mayor, is considerably, at least as he presents himself and as he has a record. By the way, he’s a former police officer. He’s considerably more conservative, even as a Democrat than the current outgoing Democratic Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio. So it would seem that the voters sent a very clear signal and they’ve been sending this signal for some time.

But what’s really interesting, and this is one of those developments, not exactly seismic, but it’s very important. Even the editorial board of one of the nation’s most liberal newspapers says that President Biden and his advisors have misread the situation. That the Democratic Party is actually veering far to the Left of the American electorate. Now, again, the big issue here is not that someone’s saying this, but that the Editorial Board of the New York Times is saying this.

In an editorial entitled, “Face Reality, Democrats,” the editorial board spoke of that Tuesday election a week ago and wrote, “Many the president’s party point to that election as proof that congressional Democrats need to stop their left center, squabbling and clock some legislative wins ASAP by passing both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a robust version of the Build Back Better plan, the larger social spending and environmental proposal.” The editors went on to say, they believe this will give their candidates concrete achievements to run on next year and help re-energize their base.

But here’s the crux of the argument from the editors of the New York Times. “But the election results are a sign that significant parts of the electorate are, “feeling leery” of a sharp leftward push in the party, including on priorities like Build Back Better, which have some strong provisions and some discretionary ones driving up the price tag.” The editors, then say, “The concerns of more centrist Americans about a rush to spend taxpayer money, a rush to grow the government should not be dismissed.” Now the editors of the New York Times, point to evidence in the electoral results that are actually quite alarming, at least they should be, to the Democratic Party. And that is the fact that blue collar voters are abandoning that party. And blue collar voters, by the way, say a half century ago, were the very center and base. They were the foundation of that party.

Now, a very interesting thing’s taking place here. You do have in the Democratic Party, the fact that even as there are Democratic leaders who acknowledge the party is now veering far to the Left of the American electorate. There appears to be little mechanism for trying to pull the party back to the center. And that means little will where that will is actually being exerted. You wonder how can that be? How can the New York Times Editorial Board warn about a leftward disaster for the Democratic Party and for President Joe Biden, and yet gets so little traction? Well The Economist, and I often cite it as one of the most influential magazines in the world, is published in London, ran an article entitled, “The Democrats Disadvantage.” The subhead, “The Party Faces Long-term Hurdles That Will Be Hard to Overcome.”

Now, this is not a write off of the Democratic Party and it’s prospects. After all, they hold majorities right now in the House and the Senate, albeit extremely slim majorities. They are likely to lose, especially in the House in the midterm elections next year, they hold the White House. But the point is they won the White House with a candidate who advertised himself as a moderate, but he hasn’t governed as a moderate. But trying to explain that, The Economist offers several different proposals. But the most interesting was offered by Jonathan Rodin. He’s a political scientist and he is trying to explain why left-leaning parties worldwide have been doing poorly with rural working class whites and other voters.

And his argument is, “Their candidates struggle to differentiate themselves from the party’s ultra-progressive elected officials from the big cities.” That makes a lot of sense. The Democratic Party is now increasingly tied to the very Left wing politics and the Left wing candidates and in many cases, the very liberal voters in America’s most populous cities. We often discuss on The Briefing the fact that the closer you get to a coast, the closer you get to a city, the closer you get to a campus. Well, the closer you get to political liberalism, moral liberalism, the closer you get to a secularizing culture.

And so here’s just an interesting argument. And from a worldview perspective, trying to understand the world around us, this makes a lot of sense. But it also makes sense in converse that in many ways, the Republican Party is increasingly a party driven by the concerns, the principles and the moral insights of more rural Americans and those who live in this suburbs. Those are the places where you tend to have fewer people by percentage who are single, fewer who identify as, for example, LGBTQ, and more who are married as in man and woman married to each other, and more who are raising children.

And here’s another central Christian insight. It has also been a central conservative insight. And that is those who are married, those who go to church and those who have children, end up voting and living according to more conservative principles than those who are single. Those who do not attend church, those who live in a more urban setting and those who are not giving responsibility to the raising of children.

Part III

‘Some Trans People’ Can Receive Federally Funded Fertility Treatment in Spain? We Live in the Most Confusing Times Imaginable — But Brace Yourselves

But finally, just one more milestone in the moral revolution taking place around us. In recent days, the Washington Posters reported that the nation of Spain, the government of Spain is now proposing to pay for in vitro fertilization. That is for reproductive technology for, here’s the headline, “Lesbians, bisexual will women and some trans people.”

The most interesting part of that headline are the words, some trans people. Well, which trans people? It really doesn’t matter. It just comes down to the fact that here you have a government deciding not only to join the revolution, but to subsidize it. To pay for it and to pay for in vitro fertilization so that people who can’t have children, in this case remember, we’re talking about the absence of the very institution that centers in procreation, to rather offer in vitro fertilization so that those who avoid marriage as the union of a man and a woman can still at least say they have had a child. We’re living in the most confusing times imaginable. At least we think, but there’s every reason to believe there’s even more confusion coming.

Christians, open your eyes and get ready to have to think ever more clearly.

Thanks for listening to The Briefing.

For more information, go to my website at You can follow me on Twitter or go to For information on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, go to For information on Boyce College, just go to

I’m speaking to you from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and I’ll meet you again tomorrow for The Briefing.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

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