In an op-ed published Thursday evening by Christianity Today, the Evangelical magazine – founded by the late preacher Billy Graham – called for the removal of President Trump from office.
According to the Washington Post, upon publishing this op-ed, the Christianity Today website momentarily crashed from the volume of traffic on the site.
From Christianity Today’s editor in chief https://t.co/NVdQjg4odC— Christianity Today (@CTmagazine) December 19, 2019
The op-ed, written by the publications Editor-in-Chief Mark Galli, starts off by citing its mission to help evangelicals interpret the news through the lens of their faith. The CT editor noted that while they typically steer clear of inserting their own opinions on political matters, in the case of this impeachment, they found it necessary. “We take pride in the fact, for instance, that politics does not dominate our homepage. That said, we do feel it necessary from time to time to make our own opinions on political matters clear—always, as Graham encouraged us, doing so with both conviction and love.
“We love and pray for our president, as we love and pray for leaders (as well as ordinary citizens) on both sides of the political aisle,” Galli wrote before highlighting the partisan nature of the impeachment process against Donald Trump.
“Let’s grant this to the president: The Democrats have had it out for him from day one, and therefore nearly everything they do is under a cloud of partisan suspicion,” Galli stated. “This has led many to suspect not only motives but facts in these recent impeachment hearings. And, no, Mr. Trump did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story in the House hearings on impeachment.”
Still, Galli argued that in the case of the impeachment hearings, the facts were “unambiguous.”
“The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral,” he argued.
The editor-in-chief went on to say that Trump has “dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration,” citing as examples the president’s own admissions of immoral acts, the employment and eventual terminations of handfuls of people who are now convicted criminals and the President’s twitter feed – which Galli says is littered with “mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders.”
The combination of these things, Galli argues, illustrates “a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.”
In 1998, CT published an article decrying former President Bill Clinton’s morality. “The President's failure to tell the truth—even when cornered—rips at the fabric of the nation. This is not a private affair. For above all, social intercourse is built on a presumption of trust,” the magazine published about the then-president.
“And while politicians are notorious for breaking campaign promises, while in office they have a fundamental obligation to uphold our trust in them and to live by the law.”
The publication also said of Clinton, “Unsavory dealings and immoral acts by the President and those close to him have rendered this administration morally unable to lead.”
In his recent op-ed, Galli said these sentiments “apply almost perfectly to our current president.”
“Whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office by the Senate or by popular vote next election—that is a matter of prudential judgment. That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments,” Galli argued.
Early Friday morning, President Trump responded to the op-ed on Twitter calling CT “a far-left magazine.” He wrote, “A far-left magazine, or very ‘progressive,’ as some would call it, which has been doing poorly and hasn’t been involved with the Billy Graham family for many years, Christianity Today, knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call and would rather have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President.”
He continued, “No President has done more for the Evangelical community, and it’s not even close. You’ll not get anything from those Dems on stage. I won’t be reading CT again!”
....have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President. No President has done more for the Evangelical community, and it’s not even close. You’ll not get anything from those Dems on stage. I won’t be reading ET again!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2019
Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, also issued a response to the op-ed noting that his father would be “very disappointed with Galli’s decision to invoke his name while voicing his opinion; an opinion Graham quite clearly disagrees with.
Graham wrote, “Christianity Today released an editorial stating that President Trump should be removed from office—and they invoked my father’s name (I suppose to try to bring legitimacy to their statements), so I feel it is important for me to respond.
“Yes, my father Billy Graham founded Christianity Today; but no, he would not agree with their opinion piece. In fact, he would be very disappointed. I have not previously shared who my father voted for in the past election, but because of this article, I feel it is necessary to share it now. My father knew Donald Trump, he believed in Donald Trump, and he voted for Donald Trump. He believed that Donald J. Trump was the man for this hour in history for our nation.”
Graham then noted that CT siding with the Democratic party on the matter of impeachment signified the publication's joining of a “totally partisan attack” on Trump.
“For Christianity Today to side with the Democrat Party in a totally partisan attack on the President of the United States is unfathomable,” Graham wrote on Facebook. “Christianity Today failed to acknowledge that not one single Republican voted with the Democrats to impeach the President. I know a number of Republicans in Congress, and many of them are strong Christians. If the President were guilty of what the Democrats claimed, these Republicans would have joined with the Democrats to impeach him. But the Democrats were not even unanimous—two voted against impeachment and one voted present. This impeachment was politically motivated, 100% partisan.”
Graham later concluded by calling Christianity Today to the carpet noting that the publication “has been used by the left for their political agenda.”
“It’s obvious that Christianity Today has moved to the left and is representing the elitist liberal wing of evangelicalism,” he argued.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alex Wong/Staff
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.