Why I Believe Mr. Trump’s Caustic Speech Is Not Mere Bad Manners

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Photo by Daniel Sandvik on Unsplash

[I’m reposting this from a year ago because of its obvious relevance this week–mg]

As I watched a recording of the Evangelicals for Trump rally on January 3 in Miami, I couldn’t help but admire one speaker who has worked tirelessly for pro-life concerns at California State University at Fresno (California). And I was grieved that the school’s administration tried to block their efforts at making their views known—and that it took a lawsuit for her student group to enjoy the right to present their views to the student body.

Examples like this energize Mr. Trump’s evangelical supporters, so much so they wonder why many pro-life Christians are so furious with the president’s public moral bearing, especially how in his Tweets and comments he insults and mocks his opponents. “When the lives of hundreds of thousands of babies in the womb are at stake,” they say, “why make such a big deal about the president’s bad manners?” They go on: “So he has a few rough edges; we need a leader who will stand up to the liberal bullies and rough them up a bit if we’re going to defend life in the womb and freedom of speech.”

I grasp the logic here, but I wonder if these Christians have thought deeply enough about the nature and power of speech, and how destructive is the culture of contempt the president is fostering. They seem to subscribe to the aphorism, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”—that is, actions count, but words are ephemeral and in the end don’t matter all that much.

That to me is a view the Bible does not support, and it fails to appreciate that Mr. Trump’s caustic speech will in fact hurt us more than do sticks and stones. Let me show why I think this, and do so in a way that conservative Christians I hope can appreciate.

All Have Sinned…

Let me begin by acknowledging that contempt for one’s political enemies did not start with Mr. Trump. I’m not sure when exactly it ascended as it has, but all of us now are tempted by this manner of speaking. Certainly Mr. Trump’s opponents are not guiltless, with the most notable example being Hillary Clinton’s dismissal of many Americans as “a basket of deplorables.”

And if we are honest with ourselves, we each have to confess that we’ve succumbed to the temptation. I know I have to fight this temptation to disparage others every day, and I’m not always successful. Even if I manage to refrain from caustic words, there is often a speech going on inside my head that is not exactly respectful of those with whom I disagree. So let’s at least acknowledge this sad reality, and that in the end, it’s not someone else’s fault but only our own.

The Trouble with Trump’s Tweets
And yet we live in a society that breathes the polluted air of contempt, and our nation is led by a man who, instead of working to clean up this caustic environment only adds more poisonous fumes to the mix. This only makes our battle with contempt that much harder.

In his tweets and comments, Mr. Trump habitually ridicules, describing his opponents as “unhinged,” “crazy,” “lying,” “disgraced,” “losers,” “crooked,” “phony,” “fake,” and people “of low I.Q.” He mocks political enemies with demeaning nick names, like calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas.” His comments, which rage every day of the year, are the epitome of contempt for other human beings. (See this online list for a depressing compilation.)

At last Friday night’s rally, Mr. Trump spoke of the need to love one’s neighbor. He clearly means only some neighbors. Other neighbors he delights in despising. To me, this is not, as many of my evangelical friends like to say, a man with “some rough edges,” but someone who is threatening to unravel the last threads of decency in our culture. And I believe this will only have disastrous consequences for many evangelical concerns.

What Does the Bible Say About All This?
My evangelical friends seem to have forgotten the many sobering biblical sayings about the great power of the tongue. Like:

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. —Proverbs 12:18 (ESV, and below)

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. —Luke 6:45

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak. —Matthew 12:36

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. —James 1:26

In the Book of James, in fact, we find the most sobering passage on this theme:

A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. (The Message translation, 3:4-6)

Is this not a near perfect description of what is happening in American culture today? Donald Trump may not be the cause of this, but he certainly throws gasoline on the fires that rage across our land.

An atmosphere of sanctity hung over much of that Friday event, with many pious words coming out of the president’s mouth about matters of faith. But as James put it long ago:

The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth! (3:7-10)

Again, this sounds like it was written yesterday, just for us.

It is not an accident that the Bible calls Jesus “the Word of God,” a Word that became flesh and dwelt among us, an event we Christians have just celebrated again. It is through the Word that redemption comes to our world, the Word that was, as John put it, “full of grace and truth.” Such phrases have overtones and nuances about which books have been written.

And yet at the simplest level, in describing Jesus as the Word, John is inferring that all our words have the potential to participate in grace and truth, that is, in the very life of God. This is why the Bible, from cover to cover, is so concerned with how we use words. How we speak can drive us and our communities toward life in God, or drive us far from it, as far as Hades itself.

This has specific import for Christians, of course. But it also speaks about the nature of language itself, no matter who is using it. From a Christian point of view, the degree to which a culture’s public conversation traffics in muck, the more godless it becomes. No, we’re not to expect any president to be our pastor in chief—of course not. But we can rightly expect that our leaders use language that treats others with respect, and even honors them when they do good things for our land—even if we disagree with their politics. Language that tries to bridge our differences, that fosters some level of unity in the midst of our diversity. Language that harkens to our nation’s greatest ideals and thus inspires us to let our better selves shine forth.

Who Should Disciple Us Here?
Our conservative Christian friends deeply worry about the degradation and even possible death of American culture. That’s what “Make America Great Again” is all about. What they don’t recognize, in my view, is that when our nation’s leader speaks with disdain and contempt about those with whom he disagrees, he’s making America worse. And even more troublesome: he’s discipling all of us to do the same. He’s teaching us by example how to treat our political and cultural enemies—and let us Christians in particular note: his example has nothing to do with love of enemies or turning the other cheek. He is modeling a speech that not only puts his soul in danger, he’s putting the soul of the nation in peril.

Let me note one specific consequence of this. If we ignore or even cheer on this culture of contempt, what do we think will happen to us and the life of the unborn when Mr. Trump’s opponents end up in power, as they inevitably will? Will they not treat the unborn and those who champion their cause with a revengeful contempt that we can now only imagine, and will not the whirlwind of their disdain demolish any judicial gains that Mr. Trump has made? I fear it will be so if we don’t change our ways.

I’m not questioning the politics of my friends, for I can still imagine an argument that justifies a vote for Mr. Trump, especially given alternatives. But it is mighty difficult for me to fathom how so many ardent Christians can suggest that his caustic public speech is a mere quirk of personality, and—according to the Scriptures we claim is our final authority—not something profoundly dangerous for the life of the nation.

So this is one reason I argued in my editorial that Mr. Trump is morally unfit for office. I certainly am in no position to judge his relationship with God– though I admit that some of my language seemed to suggest that. Who of us does not have a great deal to confess to God when it comes to personal failings? To be sure, we are getting a peek into the troubling state of Mr. Trump’s soul, for as Jesus notes, “for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” But in these conversations, I’m mainly interested in Mr. Trump’s public character, in his public actions and, in this case, his public words when he acts as president.

I’m sure some readers will disagree with my assessment here, and I welcome comments—as long as they rise above the culture of contempt 🙂



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59 Responses to Why I Believe Mr. Trump’s Caustic Speech Is Not Mere Bad Manners

  1. Steven says:

    Hello Mr. Galli,

    I just wanted to thank you for having the courage to speak what needed to be said even in the face of the scorn vomited by those who are blind to the realities of the current toxic atmosphere in our nation. I hope and pray that you continue to be brave, and that The Holy Spirit will guide you in sharing words of truth and wisdom inspired by faith, hope, and love.

    It is absolutely perplexing to me how any practicing Christian could support a president whose words and actions are completely antithetical to the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is equally disconcerting that any Christian could label our current president as “the chosen one”. If the president was indeed chosen, it was certainly not as a “man after God’s own heart” akin to king David as some have purported. Perhaps those Christians supporting this claim are forgetting that God has also chosen people to do his will who did not play the role of protagonist, but rather played the role of the antagonist like the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses or king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

    As evidence of this I would ask for all to evaluate the following and ask internally whether these things constitute the actions of one following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ:

    • A president who mentions the word “Civil War” when commenting on the topic of his removal from office. The U.S. Civil War represents one of the most difficult times in our nation. To use that term in a public tweet could only serve to embolden those crazy enough to commit violence against fellow Americans. This act itself could be considered treason against the United States.

    • A commander-in-chief who scornfully mocks a veteran who was captured and tortured during the Vietnam War claiming that he is not a hero, because “heroes don’t get caught”. What kind of moral person would ever tell someone who was tortured that “You’re not a hero”…even if you didn’t particularly like that person?

    • In an episode that sounds like it was pulled straight out of “the apprentice”, a commander-in-chief who derides his own joint chiefs of staff in his first meeting with them calling them “dopes”, “babies”, and “losers” when he was being briefed on the benefits of NATO and the reasons why the U.S. invests in protecting its allies. One of the golden rules of leadership is to praise in public and only to criticize privately in a constructive, instructive manner.

    • A president who actively defies U.S. law by withholding congressionally approved funding targeted for a foreign country for the sole purpose of forcing them to publicly announce an investigation into that president’s primary political opponent. There is overwhelming evidence of this crime, yet so many seem to be focused on democrats vs. republicans, liberal vs. conservative, instead of objectively taking a step back and seeing the crimes for what they are: corrupt abuse of power by a president.

    • A president who instructs the director of the FBI to be less objective and essentially “look the other way” concerning an investigation that impacted his own presidency. A president who then proceeds to remove that director when he does not comply with the president’s request.

    • A married man who at the time was well into his fifties who actively boasted about grabbing another woman by her genitals. Not even an apology let alone penance for having made this statement, because it was “justified” as “locker talk”.

    • A man who constantly seeks adoration and praise, and frequently turns a conversation back to himself, dwelling on his own greatness.

    • A man who vilifies any and all who criticize him and constantly dwells on how he has been treated unfairly.

    • A president who refuses to stop sending out disparaging tweets against the advice of some of his own closest (former) advisors despite the damage it causes to our nation.

    • A man who rarely follows any advice and rarely listens, but almost always insists on doing things his way, blaming others when things don’t go as planned and taking credit for many things not directly tied to him.

    With that said, neither I nor anyone else truly has the authority to judge other people, only God has that Power. Mark, you have rightfully emphasized the need for humility, mercy, and compassion in your opinion articles. As Christians we are compelled to open our hearts and draw strength from Jesus to become more merciful. Even when our own president is choosing a dark path for our nation, it is still important for us to pray for him and for our country, just as we would pray for ourselves and for others when falling into the trap of selfish and sinful behavior.

    A far better outcome would be a president who experiences redemption, who learns some sense of humility and embraces merciful acts. Spiritually, none of us benefits from the downfall of others, and I would rather see this outcome. However, that does not exempt us from speaking truth, and the truth is this president’s current behavior is toxic for our nation, and he should be removed from office.

    I hope and pray that the senators of the United States will have the courage to shunt aside concerns about their own longevity in office during the impeachment trial. I hope they will place the constitution above their own party and call forth the appropriate witnesses. I hope they will learn that supporting a corrupt leader is not moral, even when that leader claims to support their platform and party.

    For the record, I am a Catholic, centrist independent who voted republican during federal elections in the past, but I could not in good conscience vote for the current president back in 2016, nor will I vote for him in 2020. Back in 2016 I opted instead to vote for another conservative “write-in” candidate from Utah and his female front-runner who both still stand up for the Republic.

  2. So, you think our President is rough talking, after three years of being spied on and lied about by our horrible media. President Trump and family have no more Russian Connection than any of us. Yet he continues to do his job. And now the fake impeachment all because some folks have decided to throw arrows and stones from the cheap seats over his use of language and actions from decades ago. True Christians would approach this by running for office and showing us less worthy how it is done! Let them investigate you and tell lies about you, your family, mistate what you say. And let’s see how that works… Well you lose, you lose the U.S.A. and you think that is what God wants?

  3. Ken Smith says:

    Thanks. For years my wife and I focused on raising good, decent children and in doing so, we had lots of conversations with Christian friends about “appropriate behavior.” Who did we want our young boys to play with? What type of speech, attitude, behavior would we allow in the home? (Did we really want the boys going down the street to R—‘s house?)

    My wife and I would not have allowed a middle-schooler with Trump’s mouth and bullying to be in our home. We encouraged our sons to avoid such people. And our Christian friends would have agreed, at that time. So I really struggle to see those same people suddenly in denial over the effects of Trump’s speech and bullying. Indeed, some of their posts on Facebook echo him. They mock non-Trumpers as “liberals”, they make fun of “Fems” (a favorite term for Democrats) and they spread lies and half-truths and don’t seem to be bothered whether they have the facts right. (Didn’t they believe in an objective Truth?) And yes, this will all backfire. The gospel (in the USA) is being poisoned; in the next decade others will taunt US Christians for their lack of morality.”

    (I tried to post this comment last week while traveling and the internet conspired against me… so hopefully with good wifi, I can have the last word!? smile.)

    • RichStrikwerda says:

      I think our definition of politics has been coddled for over the last many years. In reality, for most of human history, politics has been actually closer on the scale of human interactions to war than it is to what we are used to (a bit heated at times but we are all still at the table discussing and working things out).

      I wish it were not that way but it is. And for a reason. As Chuck Colson and others have said, ideas have consequences and bad ideas have victims. In the 20th century it took WARS to attempt to fend off bad ideas (such as communism and national socialism) that ultimately produced victims (over 100 million deaths and suffering that robbed generations). In this century, major wars, including civil wars, may hopefully not be started or fought as the world could probably be destroyed in less an evening.

      That leaves us today in the 21st century with POLITICS as a primary tool God is likely putting in front of us to use against the ideas we see mushrooming today. Ideas that are and will produce many victims among those of us who have or will have the least power (young, old, unborn, groups deemed by those in power to not have victim status, Jews, Christians, groups deemed to hate, etc.). Thus, because of what’s at stake, and the victims and future victims being produced, politics today must be closer to a stand-in for war than the discourse we are used to.

      That prospect is very uncomfortable to most of us. As Christians we know God has not called us to be comfortable, but we probably all would like to be uncomfortable in ways we can control or choose. But I am not sure God is allowing us as Christians to choose against the hard reality of doing actual politics (not the way we would like politics to be) in the 21st century.

      The WW2 soldier risking his own life in Europe, killing another human much like himself, would probably have chosen another way to be uncomfortable. Some did as pacifists. Most did not and were used to limit or halt some really bad ideas that produced millions of victims.

      In our limited time on this planet would it not be best for some or all of us as Christ followers to look clearly at the actual ways God gives us to champion the rights and freedoms of large groups of people now and in the future? Such as people that do not or will not have the power to do it themselves?

      If we stand off for an election cycle or two, wait for a better pitch, that’s our option. Maybe being a pacifist while this all plays out is a valid or best option. That is the editorial in a nutshell. But is there also a valid argument for getting in there and working with what God is putting in front of us even if that means we have to to this while being very uncomfortable. I think we have been blessed with much in this country; traditions, rights and privileges that have allowed us to bless others for generations. As such we may be viewed as the servant in the parable of the talents (talents in this case being our heritage). Doing nothing was not an option that was pleasing to the master.

      These concepts may be difficult to explain, but I think that they sometimes are better understood internally by Christians who may not have had years of post high education. I’m not exactly sure why this is, but these people may be closer to the reality that God is in control and we are not. We would like to vote for a candidate who is not so flawed, or one that could be an example to our children etc., but we can’t always do that. People with less power or less perceived power may understand the control thing better than those more highly educated.

      The editorials presented do not, I believe, leave enough room for a two sided debate. Care must be given. Are we really willing to say the the 71 percent of evangelical Christian millennial women who voted for Trump (according to Christianity Today) need to be corrected in their thinking? Did they not carefully and deliberately weigh out the pros and cons of voting for this flawed man? I’m not sure what the end game is with these editorials, but more room for understanding and unity is sorely needed, especially by our leadership.

  4. Jose says:

    Hello Mr. Galli, thank you so much for the dec. 19th article. It was the voice we were lacking on a national level. The belief that if your pro life you have to accept all of president Trumps failings : believing Putin over our intelligence and state Department,Ukraine scandal,inviting foreign interference in our elections, not recognizing the equal power of the executive and legislative branches of government. The very dangerous view that a free press is the enemy of the people and only one favored outlet can be trusted. Many policy failings both foreign and domestic. That we should look the other way on all the negatives because if we don’t we are abandoning the fight for the life of the unborn. I feel that just because there is a law that says you have the choice to access an abortion and you are a believer you’ll never choose the protection of that law over the protection of the unborn life.
    Mark I would really like to read your view on whether Christians efforts should be on repealing Roe vs Wade or reaching those souls who have a disconnect with God or are in a situation where they feel they don’t have any other solution. I trust your research and view which I know will be a blessing to many of your readers. If it can save the life of one unborn child whose mom is going through a difficult time it will be a victory in Gods name.
    I had a request after one of my earlier post from a gentleman who wanted to know where in the Bible it talks about abortions. Maybe you can write one of your bible inspired essays or if you can repost one that I missed , it would be a blessing to me and many who grapple with this issue and the current evangelical political climate.
    Thank you for your voice and may God continue to bless the power of this forum.

  5. Rick says:

    Well said.

  6. Thomas Harkins says:

    Mark, with respect to your response to Daniel Hardwick, I do think there is a “difference” between saying someone is “morally unfit for office” and that he “should not be in office.” The reason is that you have to consider what the alternatives are. Many people have significant character flaws (Trump certainly does), but out of those we have to have one of them as President. We have to choose between those who are actually running fro office. As a result, we have to consider if there are valid objections to having any of the Democrats who are running being President instead of Trump. Certainly there are. The Democratic platform is in favor of abortion, which is worse than being a braggart and liar as Trump is. Also, regardless of a man’s character, he may be in favor of better economic and diplomatic policies which greatly affect the populace. So, we can’t just abandon Trump because he is “morally unfit for office.” He may nonetheless be the best option available. (Personally, I think it would be much better to have Pence, but he won’t run against Trump, so there you have it.)

  7. Daniel Hardwick says:

    While I agree that to any objective and knowledgeable observer Trump is a man that is profoundly immoral (even a narcissistic megalomaniac), I think the article went to far in saying Christians must support his impeachment. I think the Democrats failed to make a case for impeachment, but I also realize he isn’t fit to be in office. Those are two different things and I hope you, Mr. Galli, come to realize it. Nonetheless, I greatly appreciate your courage in bringing a long overdue debate to the evangelical community. What will the conservative evangelical leaders say when the next person in White House who behaves like Clinton comes along. They can say nothing without being ridiculed because Trumps exploits are far worse and more numerous than Clinton’s and yet you defended Trump. The entire movement is losing all credibility with the world and I question whether I belong anymore. It’s become embarrassing to call myself an evangelical due to the profound ignorance and hypocrisy of the many of the most visible leaders and 80+% of the people.

    • markgalli says:

      Thanks, Daniel. I may have gone to far if I implied that to be a “good Christian” you have to support his removal from office either by the Senate or in the next election. I will say that this is _my_ considered opinion. I will stand more strongly behind the idea that he is morally unfit for office. But of course, in saying that, what other conclusion can one draw but that he should not be in office :-). It’s a distinction without a difference in my view. But, as you rightly note, Daniel, it is a difference.

  8. Ed Lauber says:

    I suggest you talk to Marianne Williamson about whether Trump is particularly responsible for “the culture of contempt”. It looks very obvious to me that the contempt culture was largely created by the political left who know how to make it respectable behind a verneer of academia, and good manners. You’re right that Trump’s caustic speech is not just bad manners. What you haven’t seen behind yet the the polite, erudite, “concerned” facade that covers the primary creators of systematic contempt. Their polite speech is not just polite speech. Talk to Williamson. You may want to call for others to be removed too.

  9. Bonnie says:

    Thank you for your post, Mr. Galli. What you say about the importance of speech is undeniably true. But I don’t think it changes the question of HOW important, alongside other behavior.

    As you said, we did not elect a pastor-in-chief, or even a Christian-in-chief; we elected a president. We elect presidents to represent us and to accomplish certain things in office, not to guide us in how to speak (as you claimed), although we want their speech to represent us well. A president is a diplomat, and should speak diplomatically. But the fact that Trump doesn’t seems to be mostly offending people’s sensibilities, not causing deep damage, despite clamor to the contrary. What is the proof? People being offended is not proof.

    I do not believe that Trump is fostering a culture of contempt as much as unleashing one. There is an awful lot of mocking, contemptible speech coming from an awful lot of our politicians, as well as slander and gossip about Trump from our journalists and opinion columnists, who ought to be called out the same as Trump. (I will take their supposed concerns about Trump more seriously when I see them speaking with respect.)

    I agree that much of Trump’s speech is not presidential, and that he is not helping to civilize conversation in our country. But I’m not sure Obama or previous presidents did either. The nicest guy will be mocked and scapegoated if he’s perceived as an enemy, rightly or not. America didn’t need Trump for its hateful fires to rage out of control; it’s merely using Trump as an excuse. And if the nation stands or falls based on the personality of one man (or woman), even if it’s the president, then we are in a sad state indeed, and it’s not the president’s fault.

    Your original editorial outlined a case for Trump’s unfitness for office. You claimed it was proved by an impeachable offense, yet sober, honest people who watched the hearings did not see a clear case. So we are left with…what other reasons? Does his language alone make him unfit? Not all of it is incendiary. Some is actually quite good. His D-Day speech was especially good. I think often Trump’s statements are misinterpreted, not because of what he says but because of how others hear his simplistic and clumsy words due to the animosity in their hearts. Trump is responsible for his own speech, but not for others’ nasty response to it.

    I think much of the current trouble with evangelicals and politics is the legacy of the Moral Majority. We’ve inherited an expectation of getting Christians (or as close to Christian as possible) into office, especially in the White House. We expect said Christians to prove their salt by supporting all the “right” policies. Well, we got our man to uphold (mostly) policy, but now we’re expecting him to prove his salt by also “acting” Christian. But is this fair? We’ll never get Jesus as president. There will never be anyone “good” enough. Why not work the best we can with the best we can get?

    Perhaps, rather than excusing Trump’s caustic speech, some Christians who seemingly overlook it are actually taking the high road. By not using the same kind of speech themselves, they are showing that you can support a person without copying all their bad behaviors. Is this not redemptive? Is this not the best way to uphold what is good and true? Can we not support a politician without supporting his every flaw?

    • Spencer Capier says:

      One can quickly dispute that those who didn’t see a clear case for impeachment were neither sober nor honest. Additionally, to suggest giving a pass to Trump’s language and actions is not redemptive, it is condoning and hypocritical. They didn’t give either Clinton a pass, and gave Obama a bad time for wearing beige suits. To Christendom outside the American bubble this has become perverse.

    • Eileen Luebke says:

      Thank you for a most accurate and profound response to the negative writings and thoughts of those who find him not up to their standards. As a Christian, gratefully, I find a certain amount of arrogance afoot out and about. Sad.
      You have outlines exactly what I think and feel about our president. He’s not perfect but he’s is the hardest working, most prolific in his passion for the job he was elected to do. He is working on behalf of ALL people as the Lord wants him to do. Our frailties can open the door to someone who needs a helping hand. Perfection comes from the Lord and He loves us in spite of our frailties and imperfections. To me, that’s why Donald J. Trump got elected. President Trump gets down where people live. Blessings to you, Bonnie.

  10. Deborah says:

    Mr. Galli, It was indeed tempting to respond to some of the commenters here, but I’ve refrained per your request. So this is just to you, but I do hope it will be widely read. I’ve attempted to look up the verse in scripture that speaks of how God looks on the heart but man looks on the outside. I’ve been unable to find the exact reference, so I hope you’ll bear with me. I think this truth is vitally important to keep in mind however; that God can see within the human heart, but humans cannot see entirely what is in a person’s heart. That is God’s prerogative alone. I’d also like to address the issue of our divided country. In my view, these divisions (within both Christian community and also outside of it) began long before President Trump took office. In my readings of what’s happening in our country it seems to me that part of our national problem is a culture of blame. Therefore, it has become popular to blame President Trump for sins that we ourselves, as a nation, are responsible for. I suggest that we all repent, individually and nationally (I include myself here). 1 John 3:18 speaks of loving not just in words, but also in truth and action. Words are very important, but faith without works is dead as stated in the book of James. I’d also like to refer to Romans 8: 27-28 & 31-33. I won’t take up space quoting it here, but hope you and your readers will review these verses. I’d also like to add that the bible as a whole should be taken in context, not just a few verses here and there to fit someone’s agenda or point of view. Everyone has a point of view, and each one is valid, however the view that matters most of all is God’s point of view. I caution against the temptation to throw stones at President Trump, or anyone else for that matter. Jesus spoke of this to those who were about to stone the woman caught in adultery. He then wrapped up that scene by telling the woman that He did not condemn her. I pray we will follow our Lord’s example, and refrain from having a condemning attitude. Lastly, it is my understanding that our country has a Treaty with Ukraine. Encompassed within that treaty is an agreement between our country and Ukraine with regard to investigations of any suspected corruption. I encourage you to research this. President Trump has not committed any impeachable offense to my knowledge. He was within his legal right, indeed even obligation, to request assistance to investigate suspected corruption within our country as linked to dealings with Ukraine. I do not tweet, and have not yet read our President’s tweets, but I assure you I will access the link you posted. Likely I will not agree with some of our President’s language, but I do not agree that these things are impeachable offenses. As far as holding him accountable for his words, we do not know what counsel he receives behind closed doors. Publicly holding him accountable is no better than attempting to throw rocks at him IMO. He should indeed be held accountable, but the scriptures speak of this also. We are called to be wise as serpents yet gentle as doves. There is more I could say about how technology/social media has contributed to some of our ‘word’ problem in dividing Christians, but it is our own responsibility to use these tools in ways that do not displease our Lord. Are we all perfect at refraining from the temptation to retort in hurtful ways? Jesus died for each one of us, including Donald J. Trump. Paul has stated that we should look also to ourselves when someone is caught in a sin, lest we too be tempted. I can’t say I’d do any better if I had to walk in our President’s shoes. Could anyone else in our national Christian community? I wonder.

  11. Thank you Mark for the courageous December 19 editorial.

    I support your conclusions but I have to share my first and lasting impressions:

    Why did you publish it 3 years late and not in 2016? The Bible ask us to judge people by their fruits and a plethora of Trump’s fruits were public for all to see for the last 10 to 15 years. I read the explanations you gave for waiting 3 years but those are meek excuses. There was no reason to wait for the impeachment. We know God used even David, but God said David is “a man after my own heart, he will do everything I want him to do”, and in his own words David describes his heart for God to be humble, reverent, respectful, trusting, loving, devoted, faithful, obedient, and repentant. None of these traits have been observed in Trump’s fruits over the last 15 years. There was a time when your “patient charity” became dereliction of duty and I am not sure when you crossed that line but it was before the 2016 election.

    Why did you have to support a lie by stating “And, no, Mr Trump did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story in the House hearings on impeachment.”? Did you not see the public video of Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) inviting Trump to testify? So were his attorneys and other witnesses. Why lie and behave obsequiously towards so-called evangelicals who follow Trump rather than Jesus? These so-called evangelicals deserve the truth without sugar coating lies.

    And finally, why not recognize that pro-life advocate who cut the social programs that support poor children after birth in order to give a tax cut to the rich, are actually the hands and feet of Satan? Satan delights in single-issue voters because they open the door to dozens of anti-christian policies.

    I often pray for the President because he is not well, and I pray for the so-called evangelicals who abandoned Jesus, because they are mislead by false teachers.

    Since December 19, you gained my support because of the courage you showed in publishing this editorial, but I’ll be reading your works cautiously because you came short of that courage.

  12. Marty Jacobson says:

    On Nov. 10, 2016 you wrote:
    “Perhaps we can make space for those with whom we disagree, while continuing to champion the causes we believe further justice.

    And perhaps we can remind ourselves of some of the great distinctives of evangelical Christianity when we’re at our best.

    We are Christians, for example, who believe that the evangel—the good news of the gospel—triumphs over any news the media might lament or celebrate.

    We believe the most important political statement we make each week is not announcing to whom we’ve given our support but proclaiming the King who has given us his very life.

    We are a people who love Jesus first, whose Bible is their ultimate rule of faith and practice, who believe spreading the good news of Jesus’ lordship and salvation in word and deed is our most important contribution to the common good.”

    The power of your Christian witness in Nov. 2016 surpasses your recent writing.

  13. Steve Nettik says:

    Dear Mr. Galli,

    I, like many others, have followed you and your writings for many years; I was first introduced to you from my subscription to the Christian History magazine.

    An area that I have had very little luck in fostering a meaningful dialog with my Never Trumper Christian friends – friends I have known for more than 30 years, and of the Charismatic and Pentecostal flavor – is the possibility that the Lord has specifically placed Donald Trump in the Office of the President of the United States – for His Kingdom purposes.

    Have you (or CT) done any type of review of George Barna’s book “The Day Christians Changed America: How Christian Conservatives Put Trump in the White House and Redirected America’s Future”? George Barna claims it was a miracle of God that Donald Trump was elected President.

    What if this is true? Have you considered the possibility? When you mentioned several times in your CT editorial the founder of CT, his son Franklin felt the need to share that not only his father voted for Donald Trump, but “Believed that Donald J. Trump was the man for this hour in the history of our nation”.

    President Trump will be out of office in either about a year or about 5 years (assuming he isn’t removed by the Senate – which I find unlikely). His legacy for the federal courts and the Supreme Court will be undisputed among other things.

    I have found when discussing issues with my non-Christian friends, it’s not the “caustic speech” that upsets them (because I think that is part of the culture now – and it just didn’t appear with Donald Trump), but it’s the issues – it’s always been about the issues. And I would argue that President Trump has vocally and in action held to the “Christian” issues as much or more than past “Christian” Presidents.

    I’ve been a big fan of NT Wright lately and been really pondering his emphasis of his “On Earth as it is in Heaven” versus focusing on getting to Heaven and trying to measure whether others are getting to Heaven.

    I respectfully ask: what if your calling for the removal of President Trump is the opposite of what the Lord is trying to do?

    May the Lord bless you and your family!!

  14. Rick Gregory says:

    Mark, you explain well my observations about Mr. Trump and my fellow believers. I feel very sad for my brothers and sisters in the evangelical world who whole-heartedly embrace and excuse his words and actions which are so clearly against what scripture teaches us as Christians.

  15. Ray Giese says:

    Thanks for your courage to speak out. I could never understand how the Right can embrace Trump and believe he really cares about them and their causes. I saw Trump for what he was (and still is) before the election. I did not vote for him, nor did I vote for Clinton. The great tragedy is our Country’s lack of quality candidates (and the influence of big money) who can see both sides of an argument and find common ground. We have had similar divisions before (Civil War, segregation, etc.) and we have always come through it. I pray that we will do the same this time.

  16. Thank You Mark for this forum where I hope we can all gain understanding.

    You see Mark and Josie, I and many others, certainly President Trump, know there was no Russia Collusion. For three years, President Trump has had to govern under the constant lies backed up and repeated endlessly by the Mockingbird Media. But President Trump knew there was no Russia Collusion so he let them investigate. The Deep State, spied on him and two other GOP likely winners and continued on into the election, Once Trump Won, the FBI knew they were caught and would be exposed. They tripled down with the Mueller investigation… Finding Spies they themselves planted! Well the got caught, Many have been “Retired”, many more will be. Lots more news to come. Yes, the media is the enemedia! It is and was fake news! The Democrats have known the truth, but gone full speed ahead fooling their followers. And as far as the MAGA rallies, once again the Democrats were the ones caught paying trouble makers to go in and try to look like Trump supporters causing trouble. But if you knew the real truth like 65 Million, you would know how foolish those that still do not see look. I suspected these are the items you dislike our Great President for. And when you find out they are untrue. I hope you really reconsider and reevaluate where you get your information.

  17. markgalli says:

    Can I ask commenters to only leave one comment a day? I see conversations starting within conversations, and I’m not going to be able to keep up. What the comment section is for, in my mind, is to respond to the essay at hand, and not a forum for people to debate with one another. There are plenty of places in social media to do that. So can I ask you to address your remarks to me, and not to one another?


  18. Don Martens says:

    Do you think that the prominent Evangelical leaders who have publicly stood with and defended President Trump are speaking privately to President Trump to admonish and instruct him into behavior that Christians should work to exhibit in our life? Would this be wrong of them to be doing?

    One can be in favor of policies while still be critiquing for improvement.

    From a business law course I took several years back, I recall the concept of “agency” both declared and implied. I believe this concept also can be applied to myself as a believer. Others are looking at me and making assumptions about my “principal”…in this case, the Lord I profess…based upon the behavior they witness in me. To those people, I have become an implied agent for my God. This is a burden I try to be mindful of so that I do not damage the reputation of the Lord to whom I have given myself. He is on my mind and those who have yet to believe are on my mind.

    I believe the concept of ambassador may also be applicable. As a believer in Jesus Christ, I am an ambassador to an unbelieving nation/world. There is a relationship established and a responsibility that is conferred on me.

    Imagine what witness there would be if Donald Trump would change! I think of the conversion of Chuck Colson.

    In not admonishing Donald Trump regarding his behavior, for fear of damaging the policy agendas I want, seems to me more about “me” and what I want, rather than what is good for Donald Trump. Discipline is a good thing when it directs one to faith in Christ.

    Perception is reality. I believe that for Evangelicals not to be publicly critical of Donald Trump’s behavior is a detriment to the possibility of unbelievers seeking the God I know. Not good!

  19. Pamela says:

    I totally agree, Jose. And let’s not disparage good results even if they don’t totally achieve the pro-life agenda – such as the State of Colorado’s huge reduction in the number of abortions by a dedicated education campaign. Is it everything, no. But are there many, many fewer abortions than before, yes. Let’s stop attacking more liberal movements that help achieve a common goals. Let’s stop making people “evil” by virtue of their political affiliation. Trump is turning us against each other. There is common ground, and that is where one starts to reach people and gain a greater coalition.

  20. LeAnne Hardy says:

    Thank you, Mark, for bringing these issues to the forefront to be discussed by evangelicals of both political parties. I voted for Bush years ago because of the abortion issue. Nothing changed. After that I realized that I had to look at a broader set of issues–including the things that make some women think abortion is their only option.

  21. Jose says:

    I agree totally with Mark Galli, Let me be clear the over six hundred thousand abortions since Roe vs Wade decision are this nations great sins, along with slavery and Jim Crow laws. The idea that president Trump is the answer or solution for this sin is perplexing to me. That we should we should support a president with such moral and character failings because he can name conservative judges is being complicit in his behavior. The Supreme Court was majority conservative during the Roe vs wade decision. There are varied reasons why women have abortions. We have to consider many are atheists, many have a disconnect with God,Many find themselves in a situation where they feel there is no other solution. We should do Gods work at reaching those souls. There is a Godly disconnect in America that we have to make our mission field to protect the sanctity of life.
    Mark Galli keep speaking truth , be the voice Christians who don’t have the platform you have. You are right when you say what’s in the heart manifests itself when it comes out the mouth. Charlottesville “ there are fine people on both sides”that is an insult to veterans of our greatest generation who gave their all fighting Nazis in Europe. That’s what’s in his heart while we have Nazis and white supremacist marching in Main Street America. Lets pray for our president so that he can truly serve and represent all Americans. Pray for Americans who feel they have no other options , and truly work to protect life from the moment of conception.

    • Joel Parkes says:

      Hello, Jose –

      Please help me with a bit of confusion. I am unaware that Jesus had anything to say about abortion, and I’m unaware of a single Bible verse condemning the practice. Actually, since the science of human reproduction wasn’t understood at the time the Bible was written, I’m a bit confused as to how termination of a pregnancy can be the “be all and end all” for so many people.

      The Bible confuses me on a lot of issues. There are verses acknowledging slavery without objecting to it for example. There are verses urging all manner of slaughter. Seriously, it makes me glad I did not live in that time.

  22. Charles Daniel Duckworth says:

    Does everyone agree, his most morally corrupt behaviour to date was joking with Putin to turn over Hillaries Emails? If this is not the worse in your opinion, I would like to understand what others find offensive, so please tell. So we can all understand.

  23. Charles Daniel Duckworth says:

    Can you give some examples? Is it his Drinking? Drugs? How he treats Females that work for him? I just fail to see what you talking about? Is it that he plays Golf?

  24. Charles Daniel Duckworth says:

    Our President did nothing wrong. Investigating corruption is part of his job. Removing a President from office because you do not like his choice of words or style. Now that is wrong, plain and simple. Vote in 2020. I know I will and for the best President of our Time, Donald J. Trump! Love him and his entire family! They make the USA so Proud!

    • Joel Parkes says:

      Your president did a great deal wrong.

      First, investigating corruption in a foreign country is not – repeat not – part of his job. His job, as written, is to faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and to the best of his Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

      It is apparent from the transcript of his phone call to President Zelensky that Trump was extorting him to announce a public investigation of Joe Biden in order to receive approximately $400 million of military aid that had already been approved by Congress and which Trump had no business holding up.

      I don’t want him removed from office because of his choice of words or style. I want him removed from office because he is transparently incompetent and corrupt on a daily basis. He was laughed at when he lied at the U.N., he’s made the world an infinitely more dangerous place, and he is hastening man-made climate change by denying it exists. Science, and our understanding of it, is one of God’s gifts to mankind. I find denying it to be blasphemous.

      “Proud” is not a word I would use in connection with Mr. Trump.

  25. COL USA (Ret) David Matthew says:

    Agreed. 100 percent. He should change his ways. So then, what’s the alternative? Members of the other party do the same, and President Obama did the same albeit with a smoother tongue. That said, our choice is not between perfect and imperfect. It is between better or worse – and you don’t address policy. The policy implications are real – while we can admonish Trump, we should also know that he is policy-wise the only option at this time. If you want justice in the courts, the lives of the innocent protected, hope for those imprisoned or unemployed, there is only one, imperfect – but better option. It is a binary choice. In the Strategic Planning we learn that there are no 100% solutions or scenarios. We learn that there are better and worse outcomes. And while I commend your criticism of Trump’s rhetoric, I suggest you are straining a gnat and swallowing a camel when it comes to Trump replacement advocacy.

  26. Ron ROUINTREE says:

    Thank you for the courage to speak out on this subject. I particularly appreciate the temptation not to respond in kind. It’s interesting when I step back and hear one side say, “it’s known when he gets hit, he hit back harder”. And I’m wondering if this is the way we are to respond, to hit back harder. The way of Jesus might be different. This does not mean we do not respond to insults, untruth, injustice, cutting and hateful speech. We must, but not in kind. I believe your response has been appropriate, measured, and I would hope we continue to speak out. I always hesitate to quote scripture because too often I find it used out of context. But this one seems to apply. Ephesians 4 29.

  27. Beautifully written. Totally agree. Keep teaching us.

  28. Mary Rice says:

    You don’t seem to understand that he’s probably not a Christian actually.

  29. Steve Klein says:

    Hi Mark, President Trump’s incitable rhetoric is not something I approve of or appreciate, but it is something I’ve learned to tolerate. I hope and pray he improves in this area, but consider it secondary to his governing decisions, of which I generally approve (if not always in the way he goes about them). To hope for a perfect President is obviously pointless. Overall I’d say his good outweighs good his bad. And while as Christians our personal ethics must adhere to Biblical standards, regardless of what the world approves or allows, it would be unreasonable to expect that level of behavior in national politics.

  30. Bill Kish says:

    Let me say first of all, I didn’t vote for Trump. Actually voted third party for the first time in my 67 years. This next election will be the most difficult one in my life. With that as a setting let me ask a question. I am admittedly painting with a broad brush. When Obama was President, while he smiled and spoke politely, he and his party implemented and espoused legislation on many fronts that were in most cases contrary to the teachings of Christianity. We heard nothing on the same scale as we hear about Trump from you. Why? Now we have a President that is supportive, legislatively, not only to Christianity in general, but also to the description of the office he holds. This is the two party system choice. A person who is a jerk, but supports all things dear to the Christian community or a slick/polite talking person who undermines and abolishes, legislatively, all the things anathema to Christianity?

    • Pamela says:

      Other than support legislation that is pro-choice, what other “ things dear to the Christian community” has he supported? I really, truly want to understand, because I don’t see it.

      • Rick says:

        He has courted and given ear to many Evangelical leaders. I do not really agree with all of their eagerness to be around a President, but that is something President Trump has done.

      • It is a long list, and don’t forget after many Presidents Promised Trump actually did this!

        United States recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel. On December 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump announced the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the planning of the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

        Please, I beg! get your news from somewhere else.
        The MSM is poison!

  31. Adam H. says:

    Mr. Galli, I don’t know if you’ll even read this, but I wanted to address you, personally, instead of simply posting my feelings on Social Media. First, I want to thank you for your further explanation regarding your initial editorial in Christianity Today. It has helped to bring me back to think about the course I started on before Trump’s election.

    I’m a political, “tea party” conservative, but also one who strives to not put any politician on a pedestal, and to try and listen to both sides with an open mind. As you remind in this essay, “All have sinned.” I also firmly believe that especially Christians on either side of the political aisle agree with each other more than we think we do.

    I was disheartened that Trump won the Republican primary, as I was hoping it would be Ted Cruz. I was deeply concerned what would happen if he won the general election–notably due to his mean, immoral conduct, let alone not trusting he would keep any of his political promises–but even more concerned if Clinton would’ve won. Therefore, unlike many of my friends who held their noses and voted for Trump, I wrote in a candidate. There’s an underlying reason I did this:

    Without a doubt, Donald Trump has a charismatic personality. He’s remarkable in this capacity, and can suck people into his orbit very easily. When I would watch him on “The Apprentice”, well before his presidential candidacy, I would start to head that direction–I don’t know….something about his charm, arrogance, wealth, and accomplishments–but something inside of me would stop me from going there. I believe it was the Holy Spirit, and that He was telling me to “guard my heart” so to speak regarding him. (I’ve hardly told anyone this story, by the way, as I didn’t want to come off as being “holier than thou”, or discounting my friends who did reluctantly vote for him.)

    Since Trump’s been in office, however, I’ve been pleasantly surprised in that he has kept his political word. As a conservative, for the most part the policy decisions he’s made have been right on the money. And, despite his personal toxicity, I’ve been glad he won.

    But, I continue to have misgivings about him, and how he conducts himself moralistically. Come the 2020 election–even if his conservative decision making remains consistent, I can’t 100% say I’ll vote for him. I do under I’ll go into the voting booth after much prayer and deliberation. It could be possible I won’t vote for a presidential candidate at all, again due to his immoral behaviors.

    I couldn’t agree with you more about how so many Evangelicals cheer his harsh, hateful rhetoric but for anyone else would chastise. And, likewise, they have been doing it themselves in shutting the other side down hastily and meanly. To me, it’s hypocrisy. With that being said, however, I see the same issues for Christians on the other side of the political aisle. It’s all extremely destructive to the Church in America.

    The only thing critical I want to say now regarding your initial CT editorial is your statements that Trump clearly should be impeached due to he accusations made against him regarding the whole Ukraine thing–that he committed a crime. I venture to say there’s little to no facts to go on saying he committed any crime, and therefore the whole impeachment thing has been nothing but a political show against someone despised by the DNC. Had (or if in the future) there’s evidence he did commit crimes, I hope I would have the fortitude to say that despite all the good he’s done politically, he broke the law and therefore needs ejected from office. I also would hope many of my conservative, Christian friends who are now strong Trump supporters would do the same.

    There’s much more I could say, but I’m closing now. I trust you take my comments into consideration as you continue to address this matter. For better or worse, you certainly opened a can of worms, LOL. I pray for God to guide you in your thoughts and actions, and that you act in turn winsomely.

    • Pamela says:

      Impeachment is not the same as being convicted of a crime. Impeachment doesn’t require evidence of criminal behavior, but morally corrupt behavior is quite relevant to impeachment.

  32. Charlie Robinson says:

    Clearly, how we speak to one another is profoundly significant, both the positive words of love and the negative words of hate or abuse. Is it not true that many people carry into their adult lives demeaning words from friends and especially parents and close relatives? How many people require therapy because of words used against them. Christians are taught to take the Bible seriously; and the Bible is, after all, words.

  33. So, on target. You have given voice to what many of us have felt and believed regarding Mr. Trump. I am pro life, and in this spirit I pray that those Evangelicals who support this president would see the hypocrisy of such a stance. I did not, not cannot vote for such an immoral man to occupy the Oval Office, and be such a poor example to our children. My heart breaks because I believe he has unleashed some deep seated hatreds and prejudice within our culture as a whole. So sad.

  34. Ronald Baker says:

    This is fine and good but you fail to remember that God uses even evil rulers. Nebicanezer ( I might not have the correct spelling) was as horrible as any other king and or leader but had no less of a part of God’s plan.!! So I would caution you on use of the Bible with out useing it in whole!!! Oh and as I recall Pharaoh was also pretty bad and God used him as a foreshadowing of His plan of redemption!!!

    • Pamela says:

      Jesus, on the other hand, revolutionized the Bible by extolling the virtue of loving your neighbor. I have to laugh the way people justify Trump’s horrible behavior by quoting the Old Testament. Jesus put a rest to that, and we are beholden to him to act in his likeness.

  35. Dakota Gaines says:

    Your Christian Left is no different than the Christian Right. Both have allowed their political passions to define their version of the Gospel. Sexual ethics and economic justice are both valid causes. Neither one makes one side more or less righteous than the other. One way to test if one’s faith has been distorted by politics is to see if they treat both sides equally. I’m sure you know that “Swearing has become such a part of Democratic stump speeches that profane clips have become routine in DNC Chairman Tom Perez’s speeches” (CNN 4/24/17), that you recall Tony Campolo’ s famous outburst and that Marc Driscoll was known as the “cussing pastor”. Please post some past docs of equal outrage. Oh…and maybe something addressing Clinton’s sexual escapes – while in office no less. A consistent Christian should be consistently influenced by his faith rather use his faith as a hammer to inspire division among brothers and sisters over something as temporal as earthly as partisan politics. DG

  36. Cheryl Stacey says:

    I found this article to be thought provoking and affirming. I have been uncomfortable with Mr. Trump’s rhetoric and struggled to articulate my concerns. Additionally, the article convicted me to be more watchful of my own speech. I appreciate that your comments represent a succinct position statement based on Scripture. I find that many of my Christian friends who support Mr. Trump are very difficult to engage in thoughtful discussion, becoming quite emotional when any criticism is offered. Do you have a suggestion on how to begin a thoughtful discussion on this critical issue of speech?

  37. Susanne Fleming says:

    Thank You! As Christians (children of God) We are the hands, feet, body, face, and words of Christ! I am saving your Biblical Reminders of how much what we say matters!
    Satan is having a field day with both the religious Right and Left! The anger and contempt for our fellow Christians just because we disagree is destroying our creditability! This is not a Holy War it is a Holier Than Though War and it is not done with God’s Blessings! We may need 40 years in the desert to cleanse us of our ego’s and have us let God Speak!

  38. “Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us”- Thomas Paine

    Good and evil cut through every human heart.
    Free will means we get to choose which rules ours.
    What comes out of one’s mouth is an expression of that heart.
    Every one of us has enough interior work to keep us busy for a lifetime; and the inner journey is THE trip of a lifetime.

    Psychological projection is a defence mechanism whereby the ego protects/defends itself by denying the ‘evil’ within themselves while projecting/attributing those traits to others; such as a habitual liar will accuse others of deceit, a habitually rude person will accuse others of being rude.

    Thomas Paine also wrote: “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right… Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man… Every religion is good that teaches man to be good; and I know of none that instructs him to be bad… Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”

  39. Thomas Harkins says:

    Mark, I totally agree with your assessment of President Trump. But, as I think you might possibly agree, there may still be a reason to vote for him in the next general election, should he turn out to be the Republican nominee (which I hope he won’t be, but realistically expect he will be). That is based on my “doctrine of competing principles,” by which I mean that something that is bad in itself may still be the “lesser of two evils,” and therefore is the “right choice.” For an example, consider Corrie Ten Boom and others who may have lied to the Nazis about whether there were any Jews in the house. Lying is wrong, but giving people up to be executed is worse, so you lie. Trump is bad, but those who support abortion are worse, so I will vote for Trump.

    • Pamela says:

      Since the RNC won’t allow anyone on the Republican stage, Trump is the nominee. Surely there is a better person to represent the the Religious Right than him. Why are we not insisting that we be given a choice.

  40. Rick says:

    As someone who has faithfully read your Galli Report for some time now, I was confused by the recent op-ed about removing President Trump from office. Recently, however, I read a report containing a disturbing quote fro you after President Trump was elected in 2016:
    “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.”
    Did you really make these comments? If so, why were they not provided as relevant context to your op-ed concerning removing our President from office?

    Please help me understand? I see a call from CT’s new president about supporting fresh journalism in the light of your comments which, considering the above comments, are anything but journalism and I am very disturbed.
    Our Pastor has worked hard to keep us focused on being KIngdom Citizens and speaking peace to the current divisiveness in our culture. I would encourage you and CT to do the same.

    • markgalli says:

      Hey Rick, thanks for asking about this. This came from an editorial that was written immediately after the election, and I was trying to express honestly what was going on with people like me. When I used the word “elite,” I meant it literally–that is, people who are leaders of establishment, centrist evangelical organizations, like Young Life, Wheaton College, World Vision, World Relief, and so forth. But I also means to suggest that we are in fact tempted to be elitist, in the worse sense of that word, and to look down our noses at “those Trump supporters.” I was cautioning against that! On the other hand, I was using preliminary research about who those supporters were, and what I wrote there was the early consensus, which has now been significantly revised. So I regret using that info as if it were definitive. But the larger point remains: even if this had characterized Trump supporters, we have no business looking down our noses but should attempt to understand their point of view. That’s the context in which those comments were made, and I stand behind that.

  41. Bill Teague says:

    Nicely said. And, yes, those of us who struggle daily with our own urge to make disparaging remarks about others have an obligation to speak up even as we seek to discipline our own thought and words.

  42. Charles Daniel Duckworth says:

    Mark seems to miss the obvious. Remember how they Hated Mitt Romney? Remember how they loved Trump until he won election? Mark does not yet comprehend that no matter who won for the GOP, the left would hate them, call them racist. Take there words out of context! Did Mark see what they did to the sweet and kind Laura Bush? We love Trump because he confronts the evil propaganda spewers of hate! Bush tried to be kind, Romney tried to be kind… They got eaten up and spit out.

    • Pamela says:

      I fall further to the left of center on the political spectrum and I don’t relate this hate talk at all, and I wish it wasn’t assigned to people like me. I feel it makes a false division between all good American people. I don’t hate Republican candidates and Republican presidents. I have strong misgivings about Trump, always have. I don’t hate him and never loved him but I don’t think he is serving our country well by the divisive nature of his rhetoric. I think we have yet to see how problematic his presidency is for the American people.

    • Timothy Chow says:

      You’re right that it is a mistake to expect that my “good behavior” when in power will be rewarded by “good behavior” when someone else is in power. On the other hand, even if I know ahead of time that I will be eaten up and spit out, I might be called to behave vulnerably anyway. Jesus knew what was coming and he went to the cross anyway.

  43. Pamela says:

    I agree with you almost entirely, except for your assertion that you “can still imagine an argument that justifies a vote for Mr. Trump, especially given alternatives.” If Trump were not supporting the Pro-Life agenda, and no one else in the political field were either, would you still support him? Is blanket support for Trump preventing a truly humane, actual supporter of all human life, candidate from emerging in the political field? Shouldn’t Christian try to continue to discern false prophets even while their immediate objectives are being met. In my opinion, the costs are too great to our humanity and our democracy, and Christians are being duped into selling their soul for a man who is really only concerned for his personal gain.

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