Second, a defense of your convictions should never require or permit cruelty. Can we please be honest about the circumstances surrounding the debates about civility? They’re taking place against the backdrop of a right-wing Christian political movement that was intensely devoted to one of the most cruel and dishonest men ever to sit in the Oval Office. It’s taking place within a larger right-wing media culture that delights in personal insults.
Every day and night Christians by the millions listen to pugilists who stoke rage and hate, and who delight in calling opponents “morons,” “groomers,” and worse. We are not talking about a Christian political culture where the fight is over whose essay is too sharply worded. The present alarm over Christian cruelty has little to do with First Things, and a lot to do with Fox News. It has little to do with The American Conservative and a lot to do with Breitbart, Gateway Pundit, Alex Jones, and the angry, vicious mouthpieces who reach (and teach) American Christians by the millions.
My friend Tim Keller is immensely influential in the church. So is my friend Russell Moore–who is also constantly attacked for being too “winsome” for the moment. Did you know their combined social media followings are dwarfed by the man below, a man who screams that Democrats are “demons” and a “bunch of devils” who are not welcome at his church? Who says “you ain’t seen an insurrection yet”?
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