Commentary

Christianity Today's Call For Trump Removal Doesn't Signify Right-Wing Trend

Christianity Today magazine last week created a public stir with an op-ed calling for the impeachment of President Trump, surprising people who had considered evangelicals a monolithic voting bloc. The editorial was more of an anomaly than an indication of a bigger trend, since most evangelicals support Trump and oppose impeachment.

Christianity Today was founded in 1956 by preacher Billy Graham. It has a print circulation of 80,000 readers, while its website claims its various media properties reach more than 5 million "Christian leaders."

Current EIC Mark Galli, who retires from the magazine next week, ended his tenure with a bang. He described Trump as immoral for pushing Ukraine to investigate a political opponent in exchange for foreign aid.

“We believe the impeachment hearings have made it absolutely clear, in a way the Mueller investigation did not, that President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath," Galli writes. "The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see.”

It's an overstatement to assert than everyone sees the president's moral deficiencies and interprets facts about his conversations with Ukraine's president the same way. The impeachment vote in the House of Representatives was split along party lines, again demonstrating a significant divide among lawmakers presented with the same facts.

Ninety-nine percent of Republican white evangelical Protestants oppose the impeachment and removal of Trump from office, according to a recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit nonpartisan organization. That percentage is higher than the 94% of overall Republicans who oppose the impeachment and removal of Trump.

The president and other evangelical leaders have attacked Galli for the editorial, questioning whether his opinion was rooted in Christian principles. The dispute over the editorial is likely to remain internecine among evangelicals, with little effect on Trump support.

3 comments about "Christianity Today's Call For Trump Removal Doesn't Signify Right-Wing Trend".
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  1. Elisabeth Gleckler from Tulane University, December 24, 2019 at 11:20 a.m.

    I was curious about the business impact of the editorial. Galli, the editor, reported, “We have lost subscribers, but we’ve had 3 times as many people start to subscribe."

    I think there is a resevoir of moderate christians who are looking for someone to voice their view. I think the news reporting is polarizing, but the population is less so overall. This might be an asute business move by the editor. 

  2. Ken Kurtz from creative license, December 26, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.

    Astute business move? Or acknowledgment that many Christians would prefer a true follower of Christ in the Oval Office? Trump's removal makes Mike Pence President.

    I'll take Trump over any Democrat at this point in time (voted Libertarian in 2016, but will vote for Trump in 2020 because of the shenanigans of the left), but I'd take Pence over Trump in a heartbeat. I'm certainly not alone among followers of Christ...

  3. Ken Kurtz from creative license, December 26, 2019 at 4:32 p.m.

    While I'm not on board with the notion that "Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president was a violation of the Constitution and profoundly immoral” (to me, it just felt like "worldly" business as usual, and politics as usual, regardless of who occupies the Oval Office... especially if one considers the favor curried on Hunter Biden by Ukraine, and China while his daddy held Office #2).

    Most evangelicals would prefer Pence as President, so why not call for Trump's removal? No harm, no foul.

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