Evangelicals just received an ultimatum: Abandon President Donald Trump, or betray your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Christianity Today—the magazine founded by the famous preacher Billy Graham, and the longtime forum for mainstream evangelical thought—has published an editorial calling for Trump to be removed from the White House. The editor in chief, Mark Galli, acknowledged that “the typical CT approach is to stay above the fray and allow Christians with different political convictions to make their arguments in the public square.” But the facts are “unambiguous,” Galli wrote. “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.”
Within hours of the article’s publication, the magazine’s website had crashed and Galli had been invited to speak on CNN and NPR, among other outlets. To be clear, Galli’s editorial in no way signals that evangelicals are about to defect, en masse, from Trump or the Republican Party. Christianity Today, also known as CT, mostly appeals to well-educated readers who are moderate in every way, including politically and theologically. Much of its readership is international, and many older print subscribers might not even register the small, seismic event that just happened on CT’s website. And polling over the past few months has consistently shown that white evangelicals remain among Trump’s staunchest supporters.