Seminary president and Trump supporter Albert Mohler is cautioning Christians against making “generalized charges of voter fraud” and is urging patience while the votes are counted in the presidential race.
Mohler, the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, made the comments in Thursday’s edition of The Briefing, saying the path to the necessary 270 electoral votes favors Democrat Joe Biden more than it does President Trump. Mohler did not vote for Trump in 2016 but reversed himself this year, saying he was voting for Trump because of the president’s positions on religious liberty and his support for the pro-life cause. Trump thanked Mohler in an Oct. 31 tweet.
Thank you @albertmohler for your vote of confidence. You and I agree we can never compromise on Religious Liberty. #BeliversandBallots get to the polls and vote to protect Religious Liberty! https://t.co/MiucOF3KIs— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2020
“Americans should be agreed that every single vote of every single citizen should be counted,” Mohler said. “Furthermore, we must believe that an election isn't over until every single vote of every single citizen, rightly and lawfully cast, is counted. And that means also that every single American citizen should be unsatisfied if there is any question about the actual veracity of the voting process.”
Mohler noted that “President Trump has pointed to what he considers to be election irregularities,” yet Mohler said “there is no serious credible concern” about voting irregularity “that is a matter of public record.”
“If there is any credible evidence that there was some effort to commit voter fraud on any widespread effort, then that needs to be identified and investigated, and if it does change the results of the election materially, American should deal with that,” Mohler said.
Social media has been filled with rumors about voting and counting irregularities since Election Night. For example, one rumor claims Biden gained 100,000 votes in Wisconsin because of a 4 a.m. “ballot dump,” implying irregularity. The change in numbers took place because of Milwaukee County adding 149,520 votes for Biden and 31,803 votes for Trump. The votes were from absentee ballots, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The disparity can be explained by two factors: 1) Milwaukee County is a Democratic county, and, 2) Democrats were far more likely than Republicans this year to vote early.
Claiming voter fraud without evidence, Mohler said, can endanger a country’s existence.
“It can happen and it has happened,” he said, referencing fraud during the 1960 election, “but making generalized charges of voter fraud without specifics that can be investigated, that's quite dangerous to America as a nation.”
If Americans “continue to argue the elections indefinitely,” Mohler said, “there is no future for this Republic.”
“We recognize that in a fallen world, a form of self-government, constitutional self-government is itself rather fragile. Indeed over history, it has revealed to be extremely fragile,” Mohler said. “... The stability of our constitutional order is indeed the marvel of the world and it is a stewardship for Americans and every generation. It's a stewardship for us now. But we have to understand that the most crucial test of a democratic form of self-government when it comes to the electoral process is what happens when there is a change of party identification at the top of the ticket.
“That is the huge question, and of course it ricochets throughout the entire political order. Considering where we are right now, it would have to do with whether or not there would be a respect for a change in the partisan leadership of the House or of the Senate, or for that matter, a continuation of the pattern. It has to do, more than anything else, when the party that has held the White House loses and thus must vacate the White House and acknowledge the presidency of the opposing party.”
Debates over policy, Mohler said, can and should continue after an election. But the debate over the election results, he said, must have an end.
“It is important at this stage that the vote to be counted with integrity, all votes, every vote, the vote everywhere in order that Americans can be assured of the credibility of this election,” he said. “And then we'll have to deal with how Americans decided.”
Photo courtesy: Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.