Evangelicals generally have a reputation of supporting conservative candidates for public office. But now, with Roy Moore and Donald Trump garnering evangelical support, some evangelicals are distancing themselves from that label to avoid association with those politicians.
Reverends Irene Monroe and Emmett Price joined Boston Public Radio Monday to discuss why some evangelicals no longer want to call themselves evangelical.
“I don’t think that any of us have the privilege to get rid of a term that we have proudly used over generations just because of some bad decisions,” said Price. Rather than get rid of the name, Price said that evangelicals who are no longer comfortable being associated with that term should reform their movement into something they can be proud of. “Evangelicals need to reform the evangelical movement, and we can’t do that by ditching the term and trying to find another one,” he said.
Price also said that the name evangelical does not inherently conjure up thoughts of immorality and perversion. Instead, he believes that the problem only comes from the association with specific people like Roy Moore. “There are a number of great people who are doing some phenomenal work," Price said. We cannot throw out the whole movement because of some bad folks.”
Monroe disagreed with Price. “Evangelical right now has a bad connotation,” she said. According to Monroe, racism, exclusion and anti-LGBTQ sentiments, are irrevocably associated with evangelicalism. “I feel that there are certain terminology and phrases that you cannot change in the time there is a struggle going on,” she added.
Reverend Irene Monroe is a syndicated columnist for The Huffington Post and Bay Windows, and Reverend Emmett Price is a professor of Worship, Church & Culture and founding executive director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. To hear All Revved Up in its entirety, click on the audio link above