Twitter and media hacks raved about an article by Christianity Today that called for impeachment claiming that the magazine was a barometer for Evangelicalism. The headline “Trump Should Be Removed from Office” by Mark Galli is the feature article for the “Christian” magazine. This is not just some op ed. Mark Galli is their EIC. Galli is a United Methodist who lives in America if that’s any indication where he stands doctrinally. He makes a case in a “Christian” magazine that President Trump should be removed from office. So, let’s do a deep dive of his column.
The article begins by appealing to Billy Graham, the founder of the publication. This appeal to a credible figure did not sit well with Franklin Graham. According to Fox News
Evangelist Franklin Graham told Fox News his father “dissociated himself from the magazine years ago” and was “disappointed” himself by the “moral high ground” they’ve tried to take but don’t have for invoking his father’s name to get rid of Trump.
So for Christianity Today to invoke a dead man who disassociated himself from the magazine to garner credibility for a biblically devoid claim is deceptive at best. It is also an attempt to regain relevance for an increasingly irrelevant magazine. They go on to claim that the magazine welcomes Christians across the political spectrum and is rarely political. Then we get another appeal to Billy Graham before we get the first amount of charity offered to Donald Trump.
Let’s grant this to the president: The Democrats have had it out for him from day one, and therefore nearly everything they do is under a cloud of partisan suspicion. This has led many to suspect not only motives but facts in these recent impeachment hearings. And, no, Mr. Trump did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story in the House hearings on impeachment.
So, this is the olive branch of “being fair” that Mark Galli reaches out with.
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.
The facts are unambiguous. That’s an opinion that hasn’t been proven in court. Journalism 101: the word “alleged” is used for charges not proven in court. Mark Galli is so brainwashed by the leftist media that he doesn’t see through the weak case for impeachment the Democrats have made. It’s not partisan to point this out, whereas Galli is being completely partisan as no Republicans voted for impeachment. Impeachment has no crossover appeal and is the direct result of partisan politics which Galli alludes to in his “concession” to Trump.
I feel the need to break down the claim that Galli makes of Trumps actions. Trump is accused of bullying an inferior nation to investigate corruption involving Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden with Burisma in Ukraine. The reporting involving Joe Biden’s son was available months prior to the phone call. Glenn Beck broke the story down in April 2019. There was prima facie evidence that something fishy was going on, and Trump asked Ukraine to investigate that, using the system for anti-corruption set up during the Obama administration. That’s what this is all about, and that’s why Americans largely are unsupportive of impeachment.
Mark Galli just willfully bared false witness in order to begin to make a faith based argument for removal.
The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. 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.
He then goes on a rant about why he dislikes Trump. It’s not so much that these are illegitimate reasons; rather, they have nothing to do with removal, unless you are only supportive of removing President Trump because you dislike him. Mark Galli goes on to attempt to break down Trump’s support among Christians. He concludes this section by stating:
None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.
This is a fallacy that assumes that the President is more than they actually are. It also assumes that America, otherwise, has more moral alternatives, unless Galli wants President Pence.
Unfortunately, the words that we applied to Mr. Clinton 20 years ago apply almost perfectly to our current president. Whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office by the Senate or by popular vote next election—that is a matter of prudential judgment. That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.
So here, Mark Galli, by extension Christianity Today, makes an audacious claim that supporting removal is orthopraxy, following a comparison to Bill Clinton from a Christianity Today article from twenty years ago. But Bill Clinton was impeached for perjury, Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Both of those charges sound bad, but the abuse of power was the Ukraine thing. The obstruction of Congress is Trump fighting the impeachment, for which the Supreme Court is meant to intervene on the procedural undertakings of this process. So, these are apples and oranges. To then place a dichotomy of loyalty to God in order to push a partisan impeachment is unbecoming to an editor at a “Christian” publication.
To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. 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?
Mark Galli, once again, resorts to shaming political opponents. Again, this whole paragraph is irrelevant to the impeachment charges. He just wants Trump to be removed because he doesn’t like him. He had 50 words to say about the merits of impeachment in a 1035-word rant about why he dislikes Trump.
In the past, I wrote about being political but not partisan, as Christians. It’s not an issue of orthopraxy to want to remove Trump. It’s purely partisan, and Mark Galli is claiming to be some sort of vicar of Christ by saying that our loyalty to God is measured by whether or not we support removal. There is no scripture; no game-planning of what happens if Trump is removed; and no charity to those who do not believe the impeachment charges are substantive. There is, however, shaming opponents, virtue signaling to the world, and using a dead man’s name erroneously and disrespectfully. Mark Galli’s argument is “Orange Man Bad” and nothing else.
Partisan politics is meant to be transactional, not moral, which is why there is liberty in disagreement. Christianity Today’s audacity to make a moral argument for partisan removal efforts that begins by bearing false witness shows that even “Christian” publications are compromised in their resolve.
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