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This one is puzzling to me. In 2007, Moore and I were the featured speakers at a conference in Birmingham, Alabama. He was then, as I recall, Dean of the School of Theology at Southern Seminary in Louisville where he was a protégé to Al Mohler who was/is the seminary’s president.

Moore decried the evils of Veggie Tales. His argument was not without some merit, but this just wasn’t a hill I was willing to die on. In part, because I liked Veggie Tales and so did my children, and of the problems then convulsing the world, his complaints didn’t make the top, oh, one million. But the puzzling part is how a man who cannot abide Larry the Cucumber (my favorite) and the nuanced messaging of an animated Christian series for children can dismiss the insidious doctrines of Critical Race Theory as a “manufactured controversy.”

Moore says that he laments that evangelical Christianity is engaged in politics and culture wars, but he has possibly engaged in both—and on the wrong side—more than any other evangelical leader since Trump’s election. His Christian conscience, he says, would not let him vote for Trump. Fair enough. But where that same conscience might have led him to vigorously denounce the Left’s agenda, he has, like others on our list, maintained an odd obsession with Trump. As recently as yesterday Moore was quoted by CNN expressing his concern that Trump might run again.

Early in my writing career, I had to learn an important lesson: when such Leftist standard-bearers as The New York Times, CNN, The Atlantic, NPR, BBC, et al. wanted to feature my work, it wasn’t because they agreed with me. It was, I discovered, usually for one of two reasons: either they wanted to serve me up to their readership who they knew would maul me (see Karen Swallow Prior’s recent experience with the NYT), or they wanted to wield me like a stick to beat their conservative opponents.

Moore has become a favorite “featured conservative” of these same news outlets for the very same reasons. This can be heady stuff for the ambitious, and Moore is nothing if not ambitious. (He once entertained visions of becoming the Democrat Governor of Mississippi.) But it does not seem that he has yet discerned why they are so willing to offer their platforms to him any more than P.G. Wodehouse understood why the Nazis were eager to broadcast his cheerful reports of life in Hitler’s Germany. I assure you that it isn’t Moore’s unique genius or his brave stand against Bob the Tomato.

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Larry Alex Taunton is an author, cultural commentator, and freelance columnist contributing to USA TODAYFox NewsFirst ThingsThe AtlanticCNN, and The American Spectator.  In addition to being a frequent radio and television guest, he is also the author of The Grace  Effect and The Gospel Coalition Arts and Culture Book of the Year, The Faith of Christopher Hitchens. You can subscribe to his blog at larryalextaunton.com.

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