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Mon Dec 23, 2019, 10:38 AM

Why "Christianity Today" Is Irrelevant.

Much was made of the editorial in that publication calling for Trump's removal. The thing is, though, that Christianity Today has almost no relevance in the community of evangelical Christians in the United States. Here's why: It's readership is minuscule:

"Christianity Today magazine has a print circulation of approximately 130,000, of which approximately 36,000 is free, and readership of 260,000."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_Today

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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why "Christianity Today" Is Irrelevant. (Original post)
MineralMan Dec 2019 OP
hlthe2b Dec 2019 #1
walkingman Dec 2019 #2
Mariana Dec 2019 #10
pwb Dec 2019 #3
dweller Dec 2019 #4
trotsky Dec 2019 #5
MineralMan Dec 2019 #6
trotsky Dec 2019 #15
MineralMan Dec 2019 #16
The Velveteen Ocelot Dec 2019 #7
MineralMan Dec 2019 #8
The Velveteen Ocelot Dec 2019 #9
MineralMan Dec 2019 #11
The Velveteen Ocelot Dec 2019 #14
TlalocW Dec 2019 #12
MineralMan Dec 2019 #13
TlalocW Dec 2019 #21
MineralMan Dec 2019 #22
Mariana Dec 2019 #23
secondwind Dec 2019 #17
safeinOhio Dec 2019 #18
MineralMan Dec 2019 #19
Mariana Dec 2019 #24
mopinko Dec 2019 #20
guillaumeb Dec 2019 #25
AtheistCrusader Dec 2019 #26
guillaumeb Dec 2019 #27
AtheistCrusader Dec 2019 #28
guillaumeb Dec 2019 #29
Act_of_Reparation Dec 2019 #30

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 10:44 AM

1. What started out as merely symbolic has blown up on RW media and /w Trumpsters to be

a very very divisive discussion that has and will seep into more moderate church discussions.

That it was Billy Graham's publication ads a definite painful twinge to those trying to proclaim heir behavior is consistent with even RW "Xianity" and the backlash only further exposes son, Franklin Graham's total hypocrisy.

Small publication with very big symbolic value.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 10:46 AM

2. If nothing else it shows that all White Evangelicals are not total nutjobs.

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Response to walkingman (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 11:07 AM

10. True. Only 81% of white Evangelicals voted for Trump in 2016.

A similar number will probably do so again in 2020, but still, it's not all of them.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 10:47 AM

3. That doesn't make what they say irrelevant in my view.

That view makes all of us here irrelevant because we don't reach many either?. How it is talked about reaches many more than the readership. IMO.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 10:51 AM

4. maybe ... but they are persistent

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 10:53 AM

5. Trump only "won" by a margin of 70,000 votes in 3 states.

The magazine is pretty irrelevant, yes, but the media storm the editorial created might just convince a bunch of those 70,000 voters to stay home next election day. Maybe.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 10:54 AM

6. None of whom, I'm sure, has ever read that magazine.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 11:25 AM

15. Well yeah, but the media firestorm caused by the magazine.

A lot more people than just its subscribers have heard of this story now.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 11:27 AM

16. No doubt, but that's not my point.

Even the controversy is unlikely to change minds. That's why it's irrelevant.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 10:55 AM

7. I don't think it's irrelevant - the editorial has received so much publicity

that it might have more effect than is reflected by the small number of regular readers. While it might not change many minds, maybe a few seeds have been planted here and there. The focus of the editorial, along with a follow-up piece is important because it points out that the evangelical movement's devotion to Trump will ultimately harm the church:

The problem is that we as evangelicals are also associated with President Trump’s rampant immorality, greed, and corruption; his divisiveness and race-baiting; his cruelty and hostility to immigrants and refugees; and more. In other words, the problem is the wholeheartedness of the embrace. It is one thing to praise his accomplishments; it is another to excuse and deny his obvious misuses of power.

Similarly, this is neither a criticism of the evangelical Trump voter nor an endorsement of the Democrats. The 2016 election confronted evangelical voters with an impossible dilemma: Vote for a pro-choice candidate whose policies would advance so much of what we oppose, or vote for an extravagantly immoral candidate who could well damage the standing of the republic and the witness of the church.

We nevertheless believe the evangelical alliance with this presidency has done damage to our witness here and abroad. The cost has been too high. American evangelicalism is not a Republican PAC. We are a diverse movement that should collaborate with political parties when prudent but always standing apart, at a prophetic distance, to be what Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the conscience of the state.” That is what we believe. This is where we plant our flag. We know we are not alone.

In other words, they are calling on evangelicals to back away from being so closely allied with Trump that their own reputation and that of their evangelical churches will eventually be harmed - as seems to be happening already. Religious affiliation is decreasing among young people in general, and the word "Christian" has come to be associated entirely with the extreme evangelical/fundamentalists, even though there are plenty of churchgoing liberals - I know a lot of them, and they detest Trump and Trumpism as much as I do. I think it's a small crack in a wall where many other small cracks are starting to appear, and I'm glad for that.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 10:58 AM

8. It's irrelevant to the evangelical Christians who support Trump.

They don't read it. They don't care what its editors says. We think it's relevant because we agree with the editorial. But, we don't read it, either. Few do.

That editorial made news, but will not change minds.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 11:03 AM

9. It is creating discussion and controversy, even in those circles.

Not many minds will be changed by the editorial, but some might be changed by the controversy and the resulting discussions. No, there will not be a mass epiphany, and if there is any significant mind-changing it will most likely be among the clergy and not the rank and file churchgoers. The pastors are the influencers. Some of them might even be sincere believers and not just prosperity-gospel preachers of snake-oil Christianity like so many of them. That's where the change, if any, will come.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 11:11 AM

11. My point is that it will not materially affect attitudes toward Trump.

Not in any way that changes anything, anyhow. Christianity Today is not a strong influence on religious supporters of Donald Trump. It just isn't. It is read much more by mainstream Christians than by evangelicals. That won't change, either. In fact the editorial will probably cost the publication subscribers who are evangelicals in the political sense.

Inherent in the definition of relevance is whether or not something actually has influence. Christianity Today does not have influence among Christian leaders who support Trump.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 11:22 AM

14. It's not the magazine, it's the publicity that the editorial has stirred up,

which apparently has reached far beyond the publication's usual readership - and CT evidently does have some cachet in fundie circles because of its association with Billy Graham. I'd never heard of the magazine myself until this controversy came up (not that I'd be interested in it anyhow - I always thought Billy Graham was a crackpot, and he wasn't even the worst of them. But his grandchildren have endorsed the editorial even though his dreadful Trumpist son Franklin opposes it). If it sows the seeds of division among those nutballs, even small ones, I think that's a good start.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 11:13 AM

12. Evangelical support for Trump has dropped

From 80% to 67% since he took office. This might shake a few more off the Trump train. As it is, republicans are taking it seriously since Trump is planning Evangelicals for Trump events to shore up a voting bloc that shouldn't have needed shoring up, putting effort, time, and money that could have gone elsewhere into doing so.

TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 11:19 AM

13. Do you have a source for that drop in support?

I'd be interested to follow up on it.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 12:49 PM

21. Alas, no

It was something I read and believed in wholeheartedly because you an always trust the internet.

A failing on my part. Sorry!

TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 12:51 PM

22. That's OK. I was just hoping to be able to look it up.

It would be good news, if true.

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 01:40 PM

23. I just did a quick search, and every story/poll seems to say the opposite. nt.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 11:37 AM

17. The military isn't happy with Trump either. I would like very much to


savor this for a while. All of it, CT, Mormons, White women in the suburbs, etc. We should feel hopeful and emboldened, instead of being skeptical.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 11:53 AM

19. Well, that's nice for the publication.

People who agree with the editorial seem to be signing up for it. But, I don't see that it changed any minds, which is what I mean by being relevant.

I remember Christianity Today being around in the early 1960s. There was always a copy of it in the little library in the Presbyterian Church I attended while in high school. I read a few issues of it, since I seemed to be in that building a lot because of being involved in music at that church.

It didn't have a lot of subscribers then, and it still doesn't.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 01:43 PM

24. I bet those new subscribers already opposed Trump, before this story. nt.

[

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 12:08 PM

20. you are very, very wrong. all cracks in the wall matter.

 

all this happens at a very subliminal level and in this population, we know his support is based on smoke and mirrors and lies in the first place. how they ever pulled that off, i hope we someday understand.
the beginning of the end of that sort of thing is proving a couple of lies, and once that trust is broken, it falls.

and now he is starting to look like the loser he is.

it's a crack, how big a crack it is is debatable, but cracks can only grow.

i dont think surviving impeachment will be enough to keep his crown as shiny as it needs to be.

imho, the ground shifted. i guess we will see.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 05:43 PM

25. The point is to refute the idea that evangelical Christians

are united behind Trump.

Like the statement from the group of Mormon women, this shows that there are cracks in the coalition.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 24, 2019, 01:51 PM

26. There's always a few in any group, however defined.

That doesn't make the 'cracks' numerically meaningful.

Evangelicals *ARE* united behind Donald Trump. 69% of White evangelicals currently approve of Donald trump.
The 31% doesn't matter one bit. I encourage them to grow their ranks, but until they do, this is just background noise.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #26)

Tue Dec 24, 2019, 01:56 PM

27. We disagree.

It matter where that 31% is. And how they vote, and if they vote.

the 2018 election results might have been an indicator of that, but those who are too quick to condemn religion might be too caught up in their own mindset to see the evidence in front of them.

There were 2 House victories in Illinois in 2018 of reliable GOP seats. These areas have plenty of churches, including one mega-church, but the GOP lost these areas.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #27)

Tue Dec 24, 2019, 02:04 PM

28. Which suggests religion is actually irrelevant.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #28)

Tue Dec 24, 2019, 06:22 PM

29. Which actually suggests that no group is a monolithic bloc.

And the descriptors do not guarantee behavior as a monolith. So the descriptors might be generally predictive, they cannot guarantee the positions or behavior of any individual member of the group.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #29)

Thu Dec 26, 2019, 09:55 AM

30. Who the hell says it is?

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