the atlantic cover issue october 2018

The Tiny Blond Bible Teacher Taking on the Evangelical Political Machine

Emma Green
Published by The Atlantic in 2018

When one of the most perceptive religion journalists publishes a piece on one of the most important evangelical women, I stop writing, make a cup of tea, and dive in. 
I love so much about this. “Trips to the bathroom were a lost cause.”
“Evangelical-famous.”

But mostly this sort of careful analysis:

Above all, what women seem to want from Moore is to be seen. Her work is mostly about drying tears and praying through daily suffering and struggle. In the public imagination, evangelicalism has become synonymous with political activism. But inside the evangelical world, many people are looking for something simpler: A community. A prayer. Hope.

Many of these same women have been put off by Moore’s political turn, which was not in evidence onstage that night. Even those who might disdain Trump see her outspokenness as divisive and inappropriate for a Bible teacher. “I don’t think this is the avenue for political discussions,” said Shelly, 56. “I think it should stay focused on God.”

Moore believes she is focused on God. The target of her scorn is an evangelical culture that downplays the voices and experiences of women. Her objective is not to evict Trump from the White House, but to clear the cultural rot in the house of God.

Moore has not become a liberal, or even a feminist. She’s trying to help protect the movement she has always loved but that hasn’t always loved her back—at least, not in the fullness of who she is. This mission has cost her, personally and professionally, but she told me her only regret is that she’d let others dictate what her place in the community should be: “What I feel a little sorry for, looking back over my shoulder, is how often I apologized for being there.” She told me to note that she had a smile on her face. It was what she said during the most painful moments in our conversations.”

“The Tiny Blond Bible Teacher Taking on the Evangelical Political Machine” by Emma Green

I’m especially curious what my Christian women friends/Beth Moore fans think of this. 


Thank you, Emma Green. I have a feeling I’ll be citing this in the future…

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