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Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Galli Report - September 11, 2015

The Galli Report newsletter
September 11, 2015  

A-Maze-ing Testimony
I mentioned a few weeks ago that we were starting to publish a delightful testimony as a serial. But then, belatedly, we realized that the narrative flow was lost in breaking the story into parts every other day. We've now published the full version, which reads much better, in part because the opening is a slow build that only pays off as you get into the middle. The piece is much longer than our usual fare—so this counts as this week's long read! Really long. And well, well worth it. The author, Samantha Blythe, has a unique voice and speaks frankly and vulnerably about the twists and turns in our relationship with God, and the unexpected moments of grace that startle us. As Samantha put it in her opening limerick:
There was a life, phase after phase,
Which oft felt like running a maze
But no matter how odd, 'twas all planned out by God,
to Whom be all glory and praise.
Enough of A_____ M______ Already
Too many of us were titillated by learning that hundreds of pastors may have been on the hacked list of a certain website that encourages affairs. Unfortunately, everyone reading this can fill in the blanks and know exactly what website I'm talking about. Which may be precisely the problem. As Leadership blogger Karl Vaters put it,
Where did all these pastors, and many other seemingly upright family men, first hear about a website for cheaters? I'm guessing most of them didn't suddenly decide to Google "website for married men who want to have an affair." Some of them must have heard about it like I did. Through blogs and news outlets warning us about this sleazy, but obscure website.
I admit the media (including CT) is part of the problem. While, yes, a good news story should include verifiable details, there are times when reporting a scandal in detail may do more harm than good.
Is Kim Davis "Winning"?
We've read or overheard many a screed regarding county clerk Kim Davis's refusal to issue marriage certificates to gay couples—whether this is legitimate civil disobedience, whether she should have just quit her job, whether she's doing more harm than good, and so forth. In such moments, I'm on the lookout for articles that tell me what is actually going on legally and politically. As is often the case, I find that balanced view in The Atlantic. One is tempted to think that the writer, Emma Green, holds a brief for the conservative cause, until you read her other religious stories. So when she says, "Kim Davis Is Winning," it's not a "hurrah!" as much as it is her analysis of what may actually be happening.
The only journal that does a better job at this sort of thing is, well, Christianity Today! Here's our latest on the larger context of the Kim Davis story.
Airport Rankings
Today is an anniversary that, among other things, reminds us how much air travel has changed in 15 years. Hardly anyone agrees that air travel is enjoyable these days, which may be the reason for this story on "The Worst Airports in the World." To be fair, it also talks about the best airports. The piece breaks down airport experiences in three categories—waiting times, cleanliness, and shopping opportunities—and then offers an overall rating. Only one American airport made any of the "Best Major Airports by..." lists, and at least three or four made each of the "Worst Major Airports by..." lists. The lesson: Do what you can to get to that one American airport before flying overseas!
Grace and peace,
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor, Christianity Today

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