A prominent evangelical Christian magazine surprised many — including the president — when it called on its readers Thursday to support the impeachment ofDonald Trump.
In an op-ed, Christianity Today editor-in-chief Mark Galli asked its evangelical readers who still support Trump to “remember who you are and whom you serve.”
“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,” wrote Galli. “That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”
Trump was impeached on Wednesday on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, stemming from a months-long investigation that found he had pressured the Ukraine into interfering with the 2020 election by withholding military aid.
President Trump will face a trial in the Senate, where a Republican majority is expected to acquit him of his impeachment charges.
No president has ever been removed from office via impeachment. Both former President Bill Clinton and President Andrew Johnson were acquitted in their Senate trials.
“Whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office by the Senate or by popular vote next election—that is a matter of prudential judgment,” Galli continued. “That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.”
Trump was outraged on Twitter on Friday morning, calling Christianity Today a “far-left” magazine.
“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!” Trump tweeted, seemingly confusing the name of the publication in the latter half of his tweet.
....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
Christianity Today largely keeps a more centrist political stance while, in Galli’s words, “the typical CT approach is to stay above the fray” and let readers decide political opinions for themselves.
But that changed during the impeachment investigation, the magazine’s editor-in-chief said.
“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 wrote on Thursday. “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.”
From Christianity Today’s editor in chief https://t.co/NVdQjg4odC— Christianity Today (@CTmagazine) December 19, 2019
A reported 81 percent of evangelical Christians voted for Trump in the 2016 election, according to Pew Research Center.
Thursday’s editorial calling for impeachment support showed a shift in the conservative religious base that helped elect the Republican president.
“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,” Galli wrote. “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.”