By injecting Christianity into that debate, Galli inevitably suggests (especially to the left, for whom it is convenient) that people of the Christian faith are, in fact, obliged to condemn Trump and support his impeachment. This is risible. It is irresponsible. It also proved irresistible.
After more than a quarter-century of occasionally attempting to help direct traffic at the intersection of faith and politics – on radio, on PBS and in books – I am bewildered by Christianity Today editor Mark Galli’s column on Thursday, which has attracted so much love from the secular left. In condemning President Donald Trump from the pages of the magazine Billy Graham founded, Galli has blindsided more than half of the evangelical Christians in the United States.
The entire enterprise – the magazine plus online platform – will suffer even as Galli heads out to retirement in January. But Trump will not.
What is remarkable is the selfishness of Galli’s act and, whether he has the applause of his editors, chief executive or financial backers, his legacy at the magazine will be to have done exactly what precedes every schism in every congregation, this time within the “CT” readership, whatever its number: Take an absolutist stand on a radically divisive issue. But Galli is no Martin Luther.
“Christianity Today is a nonprofit, global media ministry centered on Beautiful Orthodoxy – strengthening the church by richly communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel,” proclaims the magazine’s mission statement. “Reaching over five million people monthly with various digital and print resources, the ministry equips Christians to renew their minds, serve the church, and create culture to the glory of God.”
Perhaps this is what it did before. It has now become just another content provider on politics, and of the left-wing sort. The real cost here is borne by readers who will simply shrug off appeals to resubscribe or give the platform a try. Americans are drenched in political conflict, and hundreds, even thousands, of outlets offer political commentary. Why in the world would anyone seek an absolutist political opinion from a website about evangelical faith? The answer is obvious: Most people won’t, and they will steer clear of another politicized platform. Has Galli’s column changed a single mind in America, except about the magazine he was supposed to steward?