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Sunday, December 29, 2019

Much to Do About Mr. Trump and His Supporters

Much to Do About Mr. Trump and His Supporters

I will only assume that readers of The Galli Report are aware of both my essay from last Thursday as well as the tsunami of reactions it prompted. Friday was the most intense day of my career, as I tried to handle dozens of media requests for interviews and respond to a few of the hundreds of emails and phone calls. I did as many interviews as I thought reasonable, just to make sure that the press and the larger world understood that I was not trying to make a political statement but a moral argument about the moral fitness of our head of state. In retrospect, I can think of a line or two that I could have better phrased to that end, but most readers who wrote in appreciation did not think it political at all.
I’ve had to practice what I preach and try to learn from my critics. But I will say I’ve yet to read an actual argument with my argument. I’ve been told I represent “Christianity Yesterday,” and that I’m out of touch with the larger evangelical movement, that I’m irrelevant, and that the essay won’t make any difference. Those are all forms of the bandwagon argument, which tries to assert that someone is wrong because they are not popular. I don’t find that sort of thing persuasive.
One criticism I happen to agree with went like this: “You questioned my spiritual integrity.” Well, yes. Of course. When a religious essayist notes a spiritual problem with some of his brothers and sisters, he’s implicitly saying they need to repent, that is, change their minds and/or behavior. That’s the point of an editorial. And that’s the point of their critique of me: they are saying I’m uncharitable and judgmental, that is, lacking in spiritual integrity in these matters. That’s how it goes with moral arguments between brothers and sisters in Christ—who are called to hold each other accountable. Defensive reaction is understandable, because all of us do that when criticized. But our best response should be, “Thank you for raising this issue. Let me pray about, because who know, there may be something in what you say.”
The guiding light for me in any controversy I find myself in is the Litany of Humility. I pray it regularly precisely because I fall so short of its ideals.
Readers of GR should also be aware of a very thoughtful response to “the Whirlwind” by our ministry’s president, Tim Dalrymple. It reminds our readers that, while CT magazine might have specific views on this matter and that, we also want to be a place where evangelicals of differing views have a place to express their ideas.
Slowing Down—Now?
During the most hectic season of the year, articles like this are most attractive to me: Slowing Down for the Necessary Thing. Father Stephen Freeman wrote this in November, but I link to it now as one idea for any New Year resolutions any might be pondering.
More Christmas Merriment
Also: Christmas is a time of year when we see a lot of UPS drivers—to say the least--so we ought to honor the work they do during this very busy season. They make Christmas happier for millions of people with their timely delivery of gifts from Santa. Apparently, the drivers have a Facebook page in which they share pictures of the dogs and other animals they meet on their deliveries. Enjoy.
Grace and peace,

Mark GalliMark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor-in-Chief, Christianity Today

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