What do I think of what Mark Galli said in Christianity Today? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
So there has been no lack of controversy in evangelicalism with Mark Galli of Christianity Today coming out and saying Trump should be impeached. Immediately, liberal atheists everywhere started taking Trump seriously. On the other hand, a number of evangelicals accused of sinning against God had a few words to say, with about 200 of them signing a statement against the article.
So let’s state bias upfront in this. I did vote for Trump. Why? Very simple. Hillary Clinton is why. I had had enough of the Obama years and did not want more of that. I did not want the Supreme Court to fall into the hands of the left. My honest first pick was Ben Carson, but he didn’t really last long. The left has been taking our country on a route I don’t like and I wanted it to stop, so I held my nose as it were and made my vote for Trump.
But since then, I have been impressed. I have not approved of everything, but generally, I have liked the way things have gone. I definitely appreciate what has happened with the Supreme Court. I also like that Trump doesn’t just roll over and play dead and give in. He’s a fighter. I admire that.
But Mark Galli wrote an article saying he should be impeached. One statement he made was that the facts were clear about what happened with the Ukrainian phone call. The reality is, they are not. This often seems to be a more partisan issue. Conservatives like myself say they’re not. Those on the left are equally convinced the other way.
So if you’re saying “The facts are clear, but only people who agree with me think that”, then you’re starting off on a bad note. I know many people who still can’t stand Trump and will say that no, the facts are not clear. Anything that was done does not rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.
Galli has also said elsewhere that,
“I know hardly anyone, let alone any evangelical Christian who voted for Trump. I describe evangelicals like me as ‘elite’ evangelicals … and this class of evangelicals has discovered that we have family members so different they seem like aliens in our midst. These other evangelicals often haven’t finished college, and if they have jobs (and apparently a lot of them don’t), they are blue-collar jobs or entry-level work. They don’t write books or give speeches; they don’t attend conferences of evangelicals for social justice or evangelicals for immigration reform. They are deeply suspicious of mainstream media. A lot of them voted for Donald Trump.”
And right here we have a major problem. The elitism. I know several evangelicals. I interview them on my podcast. I count many of them as friends. I also know many of them voted for Trump. My in-laws voted for Trump. Robert Gagnon has been quite explicit in his support of Trump and stance against NeverTrumpers. Eric Metaxas is another one. William Lane Craig has even criticized Mark Galli and Craig rarely gets critical like that.
You can say these people are wrong in their vote and you have all the freedom to do that, but if you’re an evangelical and really, even if you’re not, you can’t say they’re idiots. Many evangelicals who voted for Trump also do care greatly about Christian character. They saw themselves as voting for the lesser of two evils.
Galli goes on to talk about the character of Trump and says based on that, Trump should be removed from office. Unfortunately for him, that’s not how the system works. “We don’t like his behavior” is not a valid reason. I couldn’t stand Bill Clinton and didn’t care for his behavior, but he did get some things right. What got him impeached was not having an affair. What got him impeached was lying under oath about it.
Yet in a twist, Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, commented and said that his dad would have been disappointed. He had never wanted to say it, but then he told everyone that his dad voted for Trump. Therefore, the remarks Galli made would apply to the founder of the magazine he published them in.
A big problem we get to from all of this is the idea of “No true Christian would”. Why not say let each be convinced in his own mind? Many of us voted for Trump because we value the lives of the unborn and didn’t want Hillary to have power. The only means to do that was to get the other guy in instead. Interestingly, I know a number of people who were NeverTrumpers the first time around and have now decided they will vote for Trump because of what the Democrats have done.
Another interesting side effect now is that many of us, including some who I know at least did not support Trump the first time around, are convinced that due to the impeachment hearings, Trump has been sealed to win the 2020 election. Even the Babylon Bee had an article about this. It has been known from the beginning that they would not go anywhere and would be shot down in the Senate and it has been known that the Democrats have been looking to impeach Trump since day one and more and more people who support conservatives but did not support Trump, are willing to put a stop to that.
If anything, this also just furthered any divide. Most evangelicals would not mind disagreement on their vote for or against Trump. Most of them mind when they have their Christianity called into question because of it. It looks really like Galli wrote an article and knew he would retire and then went riding off into the sunset leaving the magazine to deal with the damages.
We can only see what will happen after the 2020 election. My prediction is Trump wins and wins bigger than last time. The Democrats will continue to seek to remove him, but at this point I am convinced they are hurting themselves more than the opposition and setting up a precedent they won’t like IF they ever get power again. I am also thinking it quite likely that the Republicans will retake the House.