Christianity Today – “Remove Trump”

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 16: U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a meeting about the Governors Initiative on Regulatory Innovation in the Cabinet Room of the White House on December 16, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump encouraged further action to reduce unnecessary regulations that the administration says are holding back American businesses. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The one group that has consistently and persistently supported Trump has been the Evangelicals. That is perhaps a clear demonstration of them not actually giving a toss about basic attributes such as honesty, integrity or basic decency. They might claim to be the social guardians of such characteristics but modern politics have revealed this is simply not the case.

One other universal truth is that it is never wise to generalise. There might indeed be a Christian Right-wing base that deems Trump to be divinely appointed for their exclusive benefit, but there also exists a Christian Left-wing that finds him utterly obnoxious. What is new is that they have found their voice at last.

The big event of the past week, an early Christmas Present and potential game changer, has been the publication within “Christianity Today” of the following …

Trump Should Be Removed from Office

The text, written by Mark Galli on 19th Dec, does not hold back in any way. For context, “Christianity Today” is an evangelical magazine founded in 1956 by Billy Graham. It has a print circulation of 130,000 and an online readership of roughly 260,000. The author, Mark Galli, is described as a “a serious evangelical scholar”

Here are a few extracts …

…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….

…He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. 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….

…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….

…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….

I might not believe what he believes, but I do wholly endorse his stance and applaud him for it.

Reactions?

Trump did the usual thing ands basically had a hissy fit. The Washington post reports …

It instantly triggered a Twitter rant from Trump, who denounced the magazine as “doing poorly” and vowed never to read it again. (“The fact is, no President has ever done what I have done for Evangelicals, or religion itself!” Trump tweeted.)

CNBC meanwhile reports this …

Christianity Today Editor in Chief Mark Galli acknowledged to MSNBC on Sunday that the magazine has lost subscribers in the wake of an op-ed calling for Trump’s removal from office.

But 3 times as many people have started to subscribe to the magazine, Galli said. 

The Washington Post also reports this …

Anti-Trump evangelicals saw Christianity Today editorial ‘as a breath of fresh air,’ magazine’s former editor says

They quote the former editor as saying …

…I wouldn’t be surprised if the decision to publish the editorial paves the way for other editors to be emboldened to speak more directly into politics. Obviously, Christianity Today is never going to be a daily political news website. That’s not its job. That’s not the mission or vision for the magazine. But given this response and this kind of reception, I think this could be a moment where Christianity Today editors realize the magazine has more power and its voice carries more weight than it thought it did. This could show that when Christianity Today makes comments like this, it really does matter. People really are listening….

Will it really make a difference, because his hardcore right-wing supporters are dismissing it as a liberal plot by a liberal magazine?

Perhaps. Remember that is some swing states the margin in 2016 was very narrow. It is stuff like this that can tip the balance.

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