Christianity Today editor-in-chief Mark Galli published an editorial on Thursday calling for removal of President Trump. It is so devoid of any pretense of understanding the Constitution I am genuinely embarrassed for evangelicals (of which I am a member). Christians must hold the publication accountable and call this out promptly and directly. Christianity Today is unfortunately considered by outsiders as one of our mainstream publications.
Galli writes, “But 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.” Not only is this not an accurate (and definitely disputable) characterization of the facts, the editor provides no concrete rationale how exactly his version of the facts is a violation of the Constitution.
Galli is simply asserting a constitutional violation where there is none. He does not even cite the actual articles of impeachment or provide any reasoning for his legal claims. It’s just a bald assertion he thinks evangelical Christians should accept because in his version of the facts, “more importantly [than being unconstitutional], it’s profoundly immoral.”
Pious “Never Trumpers” who feel morally justified about this impeachment charade are as morally reprehensible as Democrats. They, too, are basing their opinion not on the Constitution or the facts, but in a self-serving desire to be proven right about Trump. But it is not morally superior to forego the Constitution just because you hate Trump or by making false comparison to impeachments past. This is exactly what the Democrats’ whole sham is based upon. Christianity Today is absolutely no better here for its ignorance of the law. And that, as it were, is no excuse.
Galli shows a shameful lack of constitutional knowledge by writing, “Whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office by the Senate or by popular vote next election—that is a matter of prudential judgment.” The criteria for impeachment is expressly enumerated constitutionally in Article II, Section 4; the criteria voters may choose is entirely subjective.
Congress cannot, in their manifest wisdom, declare “prudential judgment” of moral character and impeach and remove a president. Maladminstration was expressly rejected by the Founders as a basis for impeachment. The point is not that we should prefer leaders who lack moral character, but rather, that the assessment of credibility is up to the voters, not the political branches of government, and certainly not the opposition party.
Many evangelicals support Trump and rightly believe he is reflecting the moral values our country was founded upon in a Judeo-Christian ethic. Christianity Today does not, in this instance, speak for most of us. Trump, for instance, is pro-life, appoints conservative judges, values liberty and freedom and self-governance, and acknowledges that our rights come from God our Creator, among many other values and virtues of our American tradition. In the time that I have personally known Trump, I believe him to be sincere in his love of and dedication to God and country. Liberals in the media, and unfortunately outlets like Christianity Today, portray his character wrongly on nothing but speculation. (Sounds a lot like Gordon Sondland and Alexander Vindman.)
Christianity Today, unfortunately, has long tended toward liberalism and away from true Christian values. A friend remarked, “Christianity Today has long pushed evolution [taking God out of the origins equation] and praised eugenicist Margaret Sanger,” the founder of Planned Parenthood.
But regardless whether or not one supports our president personally, we should all support our Constitution objectively and never let politics cloud our judgment in recognizing clear constitutional bounds of specific limited powers granted to government. This includes the limited power of impeachment. The articles of impeachment are not based in law or fact, but in political partisanship, severely damaging our constitutional republic.
Christianity Today, in its lame attempt at “fairness” by way of false comparison to legitimate impeachments of the past, starkly shows its own ignorance of basic civics. The publication does not speak for most evangelical Christians. It’s time for them to step up and do better.
Billy Graham’s magazine “Decision” is still going strong. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association backs President Trump. And, they are online.