It’s curious how the Democrats have rediscovered a love for things they’d long since outgrown during the impeachment process.
For instance, the Constitution is now vitally important to them. So is the wisdom of the Founding Fathers — even the ones who owned slaves! And now, thanks to an editorial in one magazine, they’ve rediscovered Christianity.
Yes, INRI has suddenly become relevant again thanks to Mark Galli and the folks at Christianity Today. Galli, in case you aren’t a fan of cable news bluster of the Trump variety, is the editor in chief of said publication, a periodical almost nobody at MSNBC and CNN cared about until it published an editorial calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal from office.
Galli is now a minor celebrity in the impeachment mill industry, as proven by the fact he was an MSNBC guest on Friday. I’m not sure if you’re a fan of the peacock network’s quasi-socialist cable subsidiary, but it’s generally not known to give time over to the editors of niche religious magazines.
Well, at least Galli didn’t disappoint. It didn’t take but a minute and a half for the editor to compare the president to a physically violent husband:
“Up to this point, it’s been my judgment that dealing with Donald Trump is like a woman who’s married to a man who is verbally abusive. But he’s a great provider and he’s a good father to his children, and she puts up with some of his loss of temper. She weighs that in the balance and says, ‘I can still deal with that,'” Galli said.
“Then the husband turns physically violent and all of a sudden, the balancing doesn’t make any sense, even though he’s still a provider and still a good father. He’s now become physically dangerous. The wisest thing to do is not to balance the books and say one the one hand, on the other, but to have him leave the home.”
Wonderful. Way to trivialize domestic violence.
Here’s a future ground rule I think we should all use when speaking about politicians: Just as the only people you should compare to Hitler are actual Nazis and those you compare to Mussolini are actual fascists, the only people you should compare to abusive partners are abusive partners.
Beyond that, I think we should probably examine what Christianity Today had to say in its fundamentally unserious editorial that’s responsible for all of this attention. The basic message was this: Sure, the process that impeached Trump was unctuously politicized and rigged from the start, but morality (or something like that)!
“Let’s grant this to the president: The Democrats have had it out for him from day one, and therefore nearly everything they do is under a cloud of partisan suspicion. This has led many to suspect not only motives but facts in these recent impeachment hearings. And, no, Mr. Trump did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story in the House hearings on impeachment,” the editorial said.
“But the facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”
Furthermore, Orange Man Depraved: “The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone — with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders — is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.”
Galli and Co. are fantastic parrots, taking the Democratic line that not only did the president and his administration introduce dissembling and political bloodsport in Washington, but they have engaged in it to such a level that Trump represents some sort of modern-day Caligula.
All of this, mind you, is presented in  format, as if we all knew and agreed on these points but were just afraid to say it because Trump has been good for conservatives. I present the analysis for summary judgment and allow you to draw your own conclusions, just as Galli and friends didn’t.
But wait, there’s less: The editorial staff at Christianity Today wants you to know that they didn’t like Bill Clinton either and wanted him removed.
Here’s their editorial from 1998, when our 42nd president was impeached: “The President’s failure to tell the truth — even when cornered — rips at the fabric of the nation. This is not a private affair. For above all, social intercourse is built on a presumption of trust: trust that the milk your grocer sells you is wholesome and pure; trust that the money you put in your bank can be taken out of the bank; trust that your babysitter, firefighters, clergy, and ambulance drivers will all do their best. And while politicians are notorious for breaking campaign promises, while in office they have a fundamental obligation to uphold our trust in them and to live by the law.”
“Unfortunately, the words that we applied to Mr. Clinton 20 years ago apply almost perfectly to our current president,” the 2019 editorial continued.
“Whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office by the Senate or by popular vote next election — that is a matter of prudential judgment. That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.”
Here’s the difference: In 1998, we knew the president had committed perjury. In 2019, the high crimes and misdemeanors, such as they are, are nebulously defined and vigorously debated.
But I doubt that’s the point here. MSNBC didn’t come a-knockin’ when Christianity Today’s writers covered the Trump administration’s defense of religious liberty or complained about the Obama administration’s overreach on such matters.
They’re not terribly curious about the Christian perspective on this, they’re curious about what they see as a man-bites-dog story. After all, to them, all Christians are the same — we all uncritically defend anything Trump does since we’re all dead-eyed Republican automatons who believe Trump is Christ’s vicar in the White House.
So Galli is having his 15 minutes of fame, which is roughly equal to one news cycle in 2019 time.
How to extend it? Say Donald Trump is like an abusive husband, because that’s clearly not designed to push the right buttons to get in the mix for at least one more cycle.
Galli has pitched his revival tent in the impeachment circus and seems thoroughly enamored with a more earthly reward. Which is fine; more power to him.
However, just as this impeachment doesn’t have anything to do with preserving the Constitution or the vision of the Founders, it also doesn’t have a thing to do with preserving Christian morality.
The pretense that it does should insult us all.
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