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(RNS) — Given President Donald Trump’s rock-solid support from the evangelical Christian community, the appearance late last week (Dec. 19) of an editorial titled “Trump Should Be Removed From Office" took many by surprise — even, to judge from his Twitter feed, Trump himself. No doubt he, like many pundits, spent last weekend wondering if the editorial portends cracks in his base.
Christianity - Today - Magazine - Billy - Graham
While I remain unconvinced of that, it is nevertheless encouraging that Christianity Today, the magazine founded by Billy Graham and a bastion of white evangelical thought for a half-century, has named what is so obviously true about Trump. But apart from the politics, an important question has yet to be reckoned with. Why this editorial, and why now? Is there something deeper, perhaps even unspeakable, going on?
To this last question, I answer yes. The CT editorial points not just to a crisis within the evangelical version of American religion; it points to an unspeakable melancholy that marks American whiteness itself.
Editorial - Effort - Religion - Deeply - Project
The editorial represents an effort to rescue evangelical religion and, more deeply still, to rescue the American project from Trump’s endangering of that project, which has come to be seen as endangering the very respectability and supposed civility of whiteness itself.
This comes through most forcefully when CT’s editor-in-chief, Mark Galli, concludes the editorial by telling his fellow evangelicals that Trump’s impeachment has brought both evangelicalism and the country to an inflection point. Using the imagery of a poker game, he writes: “And just when we think it’s time to push all of our chips to the center of the table, that’s when the whole game comes crashing down. It will crash down on the reputation of evangelical religion and on the world’s understanding of the gospel. And it will come crashing down on a nation of men and women...
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