Nearly 200 evangelical leaders across the U.S. have signed a letter to the president of Christianity Today (CT) condemning an editorial that called for the removal of President Donald Trump over his “profoundly immoral” dealings with Ukraine.
Christianity Today, one of the nation’s top Christian magazine publications, which was founded in 1956 by Billy Graham, called for the President’s removal in an article published on Dec. 19.
It came just one day after the House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment against him for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
In a letter to Timothy Dalrymple, the president of the magazine, which was signed by 177 evangelical leaders of the faith, the collective expressed their “dissatisfaction” with the feature regarding the President who they noted was “put into office at the behest of our sixty million voters.”
“The editorial you published, without any meaningful and immediate regard for dissenting points of view, not only supported the entirely-partisan, legally-dubious, and politically-motivated impeachment but went even further, calling for Donald Trump not to be elected again in 2020 when he certainly survives impeachment,” the letter read.
It went on to accuse CT’s editor-in-chief, Mark Galli, of dismissing their “point of view” during an interview on CNN in which he said that “Christianity Today is not read by the people—Christians on the far right, by evangelicals on the far right—so they’re going to be as dismissive of the magazine as President Trump has shown to be.”
“We are, in fact, not ‘far-right’ evangelicals as characterized by the author,” the letter states.
“Rather, we are Bible-believing Christians and patriotic Americans who are simply grateful that our president has sought our advice as his administration has advanced policies that protect the unborn, promote religious freedom, reform our criminal justice system, contribute to strong working families through paid family leave, protect the freedom of conscience, prioritize parental rights, and ensure that our foreign policy aligns with our values while making our world safer, including through our support of the State of Israel.”
It continues: “Of course, it’s up to your publication to decide whether or not your magazine intends to be a voice of evangelicals like those represented by the signatories below, and it is up to us and those Evangelicals like us to decide if we should subscribe to, advertise in and read you’re publication online and in print, but historically, we have been your readers.”
The letter is signed off by the leaders stating that they feel the article “targeted” not just the President but “those of us who support him, and have supported you.”
In his article on Dec. 19, Galli argued that Trump had attempted to use his political power to “coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents” and claimed it was “not only a violation of the Constitution” but “profoundly immoral.”
During an interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, the editor defended his actions, saying that he was not making a “political judgment.”
“I’m not really making a political judgment about him, because that’s not our expertise at Christianity Today. I am making a moral judgment that he’s morally unfit, or even more precisely, it’s his public morality that makes him unfit,” the editor-in-chief said.
“None of us are perfect. We’re not looking for saints … But a President has certain responsibilities as a public figure to display a certain level of public character and public morality,” he added.
The faith leaders also claimed the editorial “offensively questioned the spiritual integrity and Christian witness of tens-of-millions of believers who take seriously their civic and moral obligations.”