“Christianity Today” magazine calls for Trump’s ouster

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Christianity Today, America’s leading evangelical magazine, which was founded in the 1950s by the late evangelist Billy Graham and has a print circulation of about 130,000, announced in an editorial today their opinion that

“Trump Should Be Removed from Office.”

The editorial begins,

“In our founding documents, Billy Graham explains that Christianity Today will help evangelical Christians interpret the news in a manner that reflects their faith.”

It goes on to criticize Democrats, and explains why evangelicals have supported Trump, then says,

“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. …

“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. The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see.  …

“The President’s failure to tell the truth—even when cornered—rips at the fabric of the nation. … Unsavory dealings and immoral acts by the President and those close to him have rendered this administration morally unable to lead. … “

Then, it cuts to the chase of the conflict between what evangelicals claim to believe and their support for Trump:

“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 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? Can we say with a straight face … that the bent and broken character of our nation’s leader doesn’t really matter in the end?

” … 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. And it will come crashing down on a nation of men and women whose welfare is also our concern.”

The editorial was authored by the magazine’s editor in chief, so there’s no doubt it reflects the publication’s views, not just those of the individual writer. You can read the entire editorial here.

Update: Trump responded to the editorial by calling Christianity Today a “far-left magazine.” (!) And on Sunday, “nearly 200” evangelical leaders “affirmed their strong support of the President and slammed the magazine, claiming the editorial “offensively questioned the spiritual integrity and Christian witness of tens-of-millions of believers who take seriously their civic and moral obligations,” CNN reports here.

Comment: No, they have it backwards. Their embrace of Trump and blind eye to his violent rhetoric and egregious wrongdoing is offensive. And if their religion can’t do any better than this, it doesn’t deserve to be called “Christianity.” Trump’s character and behavior are antithetical to Christian values, and their political support of him is destroying the credibility of their movement. It’s true evangelicals are among Trump’s core supporters, and their loyalty to him isn’t hard to figure out — he appoints the judges they want — but on a logical level is genuinely perplexing. Trump is not a religious man, is an adulterer, and flouts the values they supposedly hold dear. They’ve had to hold their noses and shut their eyes to what he is. Their support for him can only be rationalized as cynical, opportunistic, expedient, and dishonest. It also may be a reason why young people in America are turning their backs on organized religion in huge numbers.

0 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Mark Adams #

    Yet what alternatives does the group that desires an American theocracy the most, with end times wish fulfillment turn too. Not a single democrat and these folks actually vote so they will not be staying home from the polls next November. Maybe they like Pete.

  2. Roger Rabbit #

    Good question. If Trump, not Pence, is the GOP candidate in 2020, who will evangelicals vote for? Certainly not the Democrats’ nominee; and, as you said, it’s unlikely they’ll sit it out. History is our guide; they’ve already voted for Trump once, and I think they’d do it again, but religion’s reputation will take a hit if they do. They’re in a bind. Their best option by far is that Trump goes away. I can visualize evangelical leaders asking Mitch McConnell for a sit-down. I’m not predicting that will happen, but I won’t be extremely surprised if it does.