The retiring Editor-in-Chief of Christianity Today, Mark Galli, penned an op-ed piece on December 19, 2019, arguing that the “Christian” thing to do is to call for the removal of President Trump from office. The title of the article was “Trump Should Be Removed From Office.”
Of course, this piece set off a firestorm of controversy among the evangelical community, many of whom objected to CT’s characterizations. The most prominent among these was the blistering response of Franklin Graham, the son of CT’s founder, the late Billy Graham.
Graham was joined by several other prominent evangelical figures who also denounced the CT editorial opinion that President Trump should be removed from office. They all, in various phrasings, accused CT of becoming the religious slaves for Leftist politicians, although CT has been of that persuasion for quite a while. However, that subject is for another article.
CT’s Case Is Insipid at Best
Graham said that he felt compelled to respond because Galli used his father’s name to justify their arguments and implying that Billy Graham would have approved of this. Franklin Graham strongly disagreed, noting that,
“Yes, my father Billy Graham founded Christianity Today; but no, he would not agree with their opinion piece,” Franklin Graham began. “In fact, he would be very disappointed. I have not previously shared who my father voted for in the past election, but because of this article, I feel it is necessary to share it now. My father knew Donald Trump, he believed in Donald Trump, and he voted for Donald Trump.
Franklin Graham’s rebuke of CT using his father’s name as justification for their position is only the beginning of his objections to Galli’s contentions. Graham rightly notes several points including that Galli fails to mention the entirely partisan nature of the sham Impeachment proceedings and vote.
This journal has previously commented on the psuedo-Impeachment in more detail and I will not repeat all of that here. However, the CT editor assures his readers that his opinion has nothing to do with partisan politics by mildly criticizing the Democrats’ obsession with taking down President Trump. He even admits that,
Mr. Trump did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story in the House hearings on impeachment.
Undeterred by this, Galli sprinkles his argument with a display of somber self-righteousness and words of moral judgment to produce a case with two cardinal points. The President must be removed because of the Ukrainian phone call, and he must be removed because he is “immoral.”
The article attempts to base its constitutional case for removal on the facts revealed in President Trump’s release of the transcript of the call to the President of Ukraine in July of this year. Galli sums up the case by stating,
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.
There is only one statement from this quote that is correct, the declaration “the facts in this instance are unambiguous…” Indeed the facts are clear here, but not in the manner CT claims.
The actual ‘unambiguous’ facts reveal clearly that President Trump’s phone call did not violate the Constitution in any way. Moreover, the CT article simply regurgitates the false Leftist talking point concerning the intent of the call.
The President asked for help in an investigation into corruption within Ukraine, which was completely within his authority and specified by a 1999 Treaty between America and Ukraine. The intent was to make sure the taxpayers’ money wasn’t being sent into a den of crime and corruption, which is one of the legitimate jobs of the President as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the land.
The case for Impeachment was an empty box with no evidentiary witnesses and a fake “whistleblower.” Galli’s case for removal is insipid and weak at best, revealing a lack of Constitutional knowledge or appreciation of the seriousness of the Impeachment of a President.
The plea for removal by Galli also ignores the decision of the House not to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate for the trial, as the Constitution requires if impeachment is to be completed. This shows that the articles are so weak that the House would rather not have the public trial as that would create a massive audience who the Democrats would have to face with their ridiculous charges.
Jenna Ellis, a constitutional lawyer who once worked with James Dobson and has now joined the Trump campaign, slammed the editorial for being “so devoid of any pretense of understanding the Constitution I am genuinely embarrassed for evangelicals (of which I am a member).”
Galli makes his plea to the Christian community on more than simply constitutional grounds. He also brings the argument of President Trump’s “immorality” to bear as a reason he should be removed from the presidency, and that is when the insidious nature of CT’s self-righteous voice is manifested.
CT’s Plea Is Insidious
Galli is imploring evangelicals to reconsider their support of President Trump and realize how horrible it would be to allow him to continue as President. His plea is insidious in many ways.
First of all, Galli was deceitful with his reasoning. This is done by the deliberate omission of certain facts as well as deceptive statements and interpretations of other ones.
For example, Galli gives a token account of why evangelicals might support President Trump,
Trump’s evangelical supporters have pointed to his Supreme Court nominees, his defense of religious liberty, and his stewardship of the economy, among other things, as achievements that justify their support of the president.
However, he omits other backbone arguments for supporting this president such is his steadfast pro-life stance and accomplishments and his support of a strong military and law enforcement. Moreover, he has been a stronger advocate for Israel and a better friend of the Jews than any Commander in Chief in history.
Galli knows all of this yet dismisses it as somehow not relevant. Instead, Galli then focuses on President Trump’s terribly ‘immoral’ behavior before he was President and how horrible his “tweets” are toward his critics. In fact, he claims that the President’s tweets alone show that he,
is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.
The EIC of this formerly honorable ‘Christian’ magazine either knows that this is pure nonsense or he himself has terminal Trump Derangement Syndrome. In either case, it is another way the insidious nature of this impeachment pleading is being shown.
Third, Galli goes back in time to compare the words of CT concerning former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment with their condemnation of President Trump today. Their high moral tone against Clinton for his actual crime of perjury because of immoral acts engaged in while he was the President is said to apply equally to their support for removing President Trump from office.
There you are, folks. Disagreements in policy and mean tweets are as immoral as adultery and lying about it under oath, and both deserve the same condemnation and punishment, up to and including removal from the office of President of the United States. At least, that is how CT sees it. So, who here is the one that is ‘morally lost and confused’?
Finally, the insidiously evil position laid out by Galli comes through with a barely disguised smug, self-righteous elitism throughout. He chastises evangelicals who voted for and continue to support President Trump and assures us all that CT is doing the right thing by calling for the President’s removal and calling out evangelicals.
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 abortion is a great evil that cannot be tolerated and, with the same straight face, say that the bent and broken character of our nation’s leader doesn’t really matter in the end?
It must be difficult for Galli to fit through a doorway with that inflated hatrack of his. He even has to gal to mention abortion as a ‘great evil,’ while insisting that the President with the greatest pro-life record since President Reagan should be pushed aside in favor of apparently anyone else.
Perhaps the oh-so-holy EIC has missed the memo about every one of the President’s Democratic opponents. All would expand the availability of abortion on demand and force the taxpayers to fund all abortions, yet they are preferable to President Trump in Galli’s view.
Moreover, it should be noted that throughout the CT article the duly elected President of the United States is never addressed as ‘President Trump.’ He is disrespectfully called ‘Mr. Trump,’ exclusively in this hit piece.
Why is this important? It reveals both the hatred for our President by Galli and the superior, elitist attitude projected by his writing. It is reminiscent of the attitude of the pharisee in Jesus’ parable from Luke 18:10ff who thanks God that he is so much more righteous than others.
In fact, Galli has taken this opportunity to go on every Leftmedia TDS-infected program to spread his justification for this insidious position. Since Galli is also leaving CT soon, his appearances on CNN and others give the impression that he is testing the waters for a job someplace in Leftmedia circles.
This CT snob scolds evangelicals who support President Trump for ignoring his blunt candor on Twitter while we choose to stand behind our President for his deeds as President which have greatly benefitted all sectors of American life. Worse, Galli uses his pedestal to judge the President’s character based on his words alone, when we are biblically admonished instead to observe the “fruits” of his deeds.
A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Matthew 7:18-20 [ESV]
Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001
Featured and Top Image courtesy of Phil Roeder’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Matt Johnson’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
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Inset Image 3 courtesy of Trending Topic 2019’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Michael Sauers’Flickr page – Creative Commons License
All other sources linked or cited in the text
Originally published in TIL Journal