Chuck Armstrong grew up listening to Rush Limbaugh. The Midwest pastor’s kid landed an internship at the Sean Hannity Show at WABC in New York and immersed himself in the world of conservative media and politics. After stints at radio stations in the Midwest, he returned to New York and worked his way up to program director for WABC. Soon he was hobnobbing with Geraldo Rivera, Mike Huckabee, Don Imus, Roger Ailes and, of course, Limbaugh.
Armstrong writes, “I was living the new and improved and unthinkable dream. And it crushed me.”
In his recent piece at Medium, Armstrong tells the story of how he got out of this world and reflects on the passing of Limbaugh. Here is a taste:
But now, as I found myself sitting, for a brief moment, in the captain’s seat for the biggest talk radio station in the country — building relationships with people I never imagined I would even know in my wildest dreams — I was burning out. Burning out from listening to the same thing over and over. Burning out from propping up vitriolic voices that hated the first Black president of the country. Most of all, though, I was burning out from finally trying to reconcile my job and my dreams with my faith, and I was coming up short.
All of a sudden, I no longer felt affirmed. I no longer felt strong. I no longer felt defiant. I no longer felt right. I was depleted.
This was the beginning of a significant change in my heart. No more was I absurdly questioning why President Obama wouldn’t show the American people his birth certificate. No more was I pushing for the arrest of undocumented Americans while turning a blind eye to their heinous treatment. No more was I rolling my eyes at or fighting against those who labored for racial justice. No more was I celebrating my work ethic while ignoring my privilege.
I don’t know exactly what happened, but something changed. That deconstruction of my racist past and alt-right formation began nine years ago. God placed new friends in my life, He led me toward new professional relationships and challenges, He pointed me toward ministry, and He put new, strong, diverse voices in my ears, and He continues to do so as I remain on the journey to this day.
Read the entire piece here.