Evangelicals and Donald Trump have turned on Christianity Today after the popular Christian magazine published a piece calling for impeachment.
Yesterday, Christianity Today editor-in-chief Mark Galli published a column entitled “Trump Should Be Removed from Office.”
In the column, Galli wrote that it is “profoundly immoral” that Trump attempted to pressure Ukraine into digging up dirt on political rival Joe Biden’s family. He also cited the way Trump treats women, the corrupt people Trump works with, and Trump’s aggressive and bizarre Twitter feed to explain why Trump needs to go.
And Galli quoted what the magazine wrote two decades ago about Bill Clinton: “Unsavory dealings and immoral acts by the President and those close to him have rendered this administration morally unable to lead.”
Of course, Trump wasn’t happy. He called Christianity Today “a far left magazine” and said that it “has been doing poorly,” although he didn’t explain what he was referring to when he wrote that.
He also accused the magazine of wanting a “Radical Left nonbeliever” in the White House “who wants to take your religion & your guns,” even though if Trump is removed he would be succeeded by Mike Pence.
….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
It was entirely predictable that Trump would attack the magazine for supporting his impeachment, and perhaps it was just as predictable that prominent evangelical leaders would jump to Trump’s defense.
Franklin Graham – whose father Billy Graham founded Christianity Today in 1956 – wrote on Facebook that his father actually voted for Trump in 2016 and he would have been “very disappointed” in the magazine.
“Christianity Today failed to acknowledge that not one single Republican voted with the Democrats to impeach the President,” Graham wrote. “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.”
Well, that settles that.
Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. – who, like Franklin Graham, is also the son of a famous evangelist – said that the magazine has been “unmasked.”
“Less than 20% of evangelicals supported @HillaryClinton in 2016 but now @CTmagazine has removed any doubt that they are part of the same 17% or so of liberal evangelicals who have preached social gospel for decades!” he tweeted.
Falwell may have been referring to CNN’s exit polls, which showed that 80% of white evangelicals (not evangelicals generally) voted for Trump. He did not explain why having an unpopular opinion made Christianity Today incorrect.
Less than 20% of evangelicals supported @HillaryClinton in 2016 but now @CTmagazine has removed any doubt that they are part of the same 17% or so of liberal evangelicals who have preached social gospel for decades! CT unmasked! https://t.co/O7WjyZSwiW
— Jerry Falwell (@JerryFalwellJr) December 20, 2019
On Twitter, people accused Falwell of choosing his political ideology over his religion in attacking Christianity Today.
What gospel do you preach, Jerry? Because it's not the gospel of Jesus.
— Wyatt Bauman (@WyattBauman) December 20, 2019