Q&A: What Does SDG Mean?
Hi Don. Great Question!
And fear not: 98% of scientists agree that your addiction is healthy.
You’ve obviously been listening to the program because you took it to heart when you heard me say that when you reach out to “talk to Todd,” lavish adoration and praise will absolutely be accepted!
And fear not: 98% of scientists agree that your addiction is healthy.
Now that we’ve gotten past the tongue-in-cheek portion of my response, let me sincerely tell you that I’m honored by the things you have to say about the program. Hearing things like this have more of a positive impact on me than some may realize. Remember that this program started off as a vague idea in my mind, so it’s incredibly rewarding to hear others tell me things about the program that I had hoped it would do for people years ago. Thank you. Now just let me know where I need to send the check! 😉
Thank you for your patience.
Let me begin by saying that you and the rest of the audience have been very patient with me. You understand that our program started as a podcast in a bedroom closet, and that we have had challenges and growing pains along the way. I mention this because it has been my intention to answer questions like this in an open format - like we’re doing here - but I often simply respond to an individual question directly via email or social media. The main reason for that is because some of our communication infrastructure hadn’t been fully developed. But that is now changing.
While Covid-19 has presented many challenges and concerns for individuals and businesses, the changes it has brought have also given me the opportunity to devote more time to things like developing our newsletter and creating a format whereby I can answer questions like this in a more open forum. I wish I would’ve had these systems in place sooner, but the growth and challenges have been, at times, a bit tough to navigate. So thank you for your patience.
So what does “SDG” mean?
This is perhaps one of the most common questions I get from our listeners. As you’ve noticed, I say this, as much as time allows me to do so, at the end of both the first and second hour of the program. You’ll note that I utter it just before the “zipper sound” plays during the show, signifying that we have wrapped up that portion of the day’s content, put a nice, big, beautiful bow on it (read this in Trump’s voice, and you’ll feel better reading it), and shipped it off to The Library of Congress to be archived for all future generations.
I try to make it very clear that I am a conservative Christian. I am a follower of Jesus. Having a relationship with Him is not a fairy tale or make believe. It is real. It has changed my life. And it has changed millions upon millions of other lives around the world, too.
I don’t write this to preach at anyone. Far from it. Realizing the level of need I have for Christ’s forgiveness and grace actually has made me more understanding about the behaviors and beliefs I see in others. And while I still believe it is important to properly identify and speak out against those things in our world that are truly immoral and evil, I separate the behavior from the person. And it’s at the root of why I’m truly conservative, not bitter.
God created us to be free. To have choice. To be able to decide to devote our lives completely to Him, ignore Him or even openly fight against Him. While those 3 things are certainly not equal, it’s our prerogative to make our own choice. That’s why we put so much emphasis on persuasion. Persuasion acknowledges that people have a choice, and we’re trying to influence that choice through reason and logic. And if we don’t get better at persuasion, we’re going to have bigger ideological and cultural problems on our hands in the years to come.
So, back to the question.
Some time ago, I became familiar with a certain practice of composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Here is an excerpt from Christianity.com explaining what he did:
Whenever he began a new piece, he bowed his head and prayed. "Jesus, help me show your glory through the music I write. May it bring you joy even as it brings joy to your people." Without Jesus' help, Johann knew he'd never be able to complete the task. Before writing even one note, Johann carefully formed the letters J J at the top of the page. With that, the music began to pour from his soul and onto the page. When he was finally satisfied, he wrote the letters SDG at the bottom of the page - Soli Deo Gloria - For the Glory of God Alone. He hoped that when the music was played, it would point toward God.
Now, you’ll notice 2 things here.
- First, he wrote the letters “JJ” at the top of the composition prior to writing the music. What did that mean? "Jesu Juva," or “Jesus, help." In other words, he asked for God to help him prior to starting the composition. Isn’t this beautiful? He begins simply by asking for God’s divine help. That’s inspirational, my friends.
Now, we're far from perfect at The Todd Huff Show, but I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention that we do our version of “Jesus, help,” prior to going on the air. But you don’t hear any of that because, by definition, it is something we do prior to airing the program. That’s not to say that we don’t miss days or get preoccupied, because, unfortunately, we sometimes do. Still, our top priority is to bring glory and honor to God. Glorifying God has always been important to me, but if I’m being completely transparent, I’m not sure I can say it’s always been my top priority. But now it is.
Second, once Bach finished the composition, he would write the letters “SDG” at the bottom of the page. That means “Soli Deo Gloria,” - or “For the Glory of God Alone." Bach wanted to place a physical reminder - in his case, ink at the bottom of the page - that the purpose of the music was to glorify God. This would serve as a reminder to anyone who found beauty and meaning in Bach’s music that it was God, not Johann Sebastian Bach, who deserved the praise and glory.
So why do I say, “SDG” at the end of each hour of our program?
Simple: to place a physical reminder - in our case, my voice - signifying that the purpose of the program is to bring glory and honor to God.
Now, some might wonder, “If the point is honor God, why speak about it symbolically?"
That’s a great question, and I think about it like this.
Not everyone who listens to my program is a Christian, though I suspect they cannot listen for long without hearing a biblical reference or even the Gospel itself. Still, shouldn’t I simply declare it for all to hear clearly?
Maybe I should, but I don’t think so.
I think about this much the same way as I think about Jesus’ parables. He taught in parables so that those who didn’t want to hear the truth, didn’t have to. But the truth is there for anyone to hear and accept at any time they choose to pursue it.
I never want our program to feel like religious broadcasting or a church service. There are certainly times and places for that, but it’s not what I feel called to do. Instead, I believe my role is to create a program from a Christian constitutional conservative’s perspective that can appeal to virtually anyone. And that’s why I’ve even done things like interview a Republican atheist on our program.
I don’t want listeners to feel as though they have to be onboard with all of my core beliefs in order to listen, though they would certainly be well-advised to do so! Instead, I want those who don’t agree with me to listen. And in order for them to listen, it’s got to feel comfortable to them. Then we can work on trying to persuade them, which is really at the core of what I feel called to do: persuade people to see the truths of constitutional conservatism and Christianity.