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Trump impeachment: Christianity Today stands by anti-Trump editorial

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  • The editor of Christianity Today has defended an editorial last week, in which he called for President Donald Trump’s removal through impeachment. 
  • “I am making a moral judgment that he’s morally unfit, or even more precisely, it’s his public morality that makes him unfit,” said editor-in-chief Mark Galli in an interview with CBS News. 
  • In an editorial last week, Galli had condemned Trump’s “blackened moral record,” leading the president to attack Christianity Today as a “far-left” publication. 
  • It’s not the only conservative publication to call for Trump’s removal, with the National Review in an editorial Sunday saying Trump’s conduct passed the tests required for impeachment. 
  • Trump’s support among evangelical Christians remains strong, according to polls, with almost 80% declaring their support for the president in a recent poll. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The editor of Christianity Today in an interview with CBS News’ Face the Nation has defended the evangelical magazine’s decision in an op-ed last week to call for President Donald Trump to be removed from office. 

“I’m not really making a political judgment about him, because that’s not our expertise at Christianity Today,” said outgoing editor-in-chief Mark Galli.

“I am making a moral judgment that he’s morally unfit, or even more precisely, it’s his public morality that makes him unfit.

“Anybody in leadership has … none of us are perfect. We’re not looking for saints … But a president has certain responsibilities as a public figure to display a certain level of public character and public morality.”

In an editorial last week Galli had attacked Trump as morally unfior for the presidency.

“To the many Evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve,” Galli wrote. 

Founded by preacher Billy Graham, Christianity Today is one of the best-known publications of the conservative evangelical movement in the US. The call for Trump’s removal marks one of the rare occasions a key institution in the Christian right has turned against the president.

The editorial prompted a fierce attack by Trump, who in a tweet called the publication “far left” and subsequently brandished an endorsement by Graham’s son, preacher Franklin Graham. 

It is the second conservative leaning publication to call for Trump’s removal, with an editorial in the National Review on Sunday arguing that Trump meets the three tests to be applied when considering whether to remove a president. 

“The Constitution provides for impeachment and removal to protect us from officials, including presidents, who are unable or unwilling to distinguish between the common good that government is supposed to serve and their own narrow interests.

“Though he has done some good things in office, Trump is just such a president. Congress should act accordingly,” wrote senior editor Ranesh Ponnuru. 

While Christianity Today’s call for Trump’s removal last week caused shockwaves to ripple through the media, it seems that Galli’s view remains something of a fringe one among the evangelical conservatives who form one of the pillars of Trump’s support. 

Trump evangelicals

U.S. President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and faith leaders say a prayer during the signing of a proclamation in the Oval Office of the White House September 1, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong/Getty Images


Up to 80% of evangelicals backed the president in 2016, and in the wake of the attack in Christianity Today evangelical leaders closed ranksto defend the president.

Despite a lack of a strong public faith, Trump’s conservative appointments to the Supreme Court and pro-life positions have earned him strong backing from conservative Christians. 

An October poll by the Public Religion Research Institute Found that 77% of white evangelicals approved of Trump’s performance in the White House. 

However there are some signs of weakening support.  A new poll by Politico/Morning Consult taken on December 20 and 21 showed that 43% of evangelicals now support Trump’s removal by the Senate, a sign that many conservative Christians are deeply distrustful of the president’s conduct and character. 

Trump Christians Church

Then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a worship service at the International Church of Las Vegas October 30, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


Galli told the LA Times that the critical editorial had prompted a spike in subscriptions. 

“I wasn’t aware of the deeply felt need…for a leading evangelical institution to speak out” publicly and clearly about the “public moral character” of the president, Galli said. 

The Trump campaign in the wake of the poll has moved to shore up support among evangelicals, with the president announcing he would be launching a new evangelical coalition in support of his reelection on January 3 in Florida. 

The National Review is among the most august conservative publications in the US, but the editorial backing Trump’s removal through impeachment does not come as too much of a surprise, with the publication opposing Trump as far back as 2015, when it called for the reality TV star to withdraw his bid for the presidency. 

The publication has long been a hub for the centrist or Reaganite wing of the conservative movement opposed to Trump’s isolationist, America First brand of conservatism. 

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