Christianity Today, a prominent evangelical magazine founded by the Rev. Billy Graham, on Thursday issued a scathing editorial on what it described as President Trump’s moral failings, calling for him to be removed from office.
The editorial, written by the publication’s editor in chief, Mark Galli, argued that the events that culminated in the impeachment of Mr. Trump this week by the House of Representatives revealed “profoundly immoral” behavior by the president.
The magazine urged evangelical Christians, who as a group have been steadfast in their backing of the president, to withdraw their support of Mr. Trump.
Mr. Trump harshly criticized the magazine in a pair of tweets on Friday morning, calling it “far left” and saying he had done more for evangelicals than any other president.
He said the magazine “would rather have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President.”
Here are five of the most pointed sections of the editorial:
1. The editorial argues that the actions under investigation in the impeachment process were immoral.
“But the facts in this instance are 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.”
2. It says the president traffics in lies and slander.
“He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone — with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders — is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused."
3. It says political victories like the appointment of conservative justices to the Supreme Court do not outweigh Mr. Trump’s ‘moral deficiencies.’
“The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see. This damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people. None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.”
4. It makes a direct appeal to evangelicals to remember whom they ultimately serve.
“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. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come?”
5. And it warns Christian supporters of Mr. Trump that they are risking the reputation of their religion.
“To use an old cliché, it’s time to call a spade a spade, to say that no matter how many hands we win in this political poker game, we are playing with a stacked deck of gross immorality and ethical incompetence. And just when we think it’s time to push all our chips to the center of the table, that’s when the whole game will come crashing down. It will crash down on the reputation of evangelical religion and on the world’s understanding of the gospel."
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