By Steve Warren
Evangelist Franklin Graham has responded to a fiery editorial calling for President Trump’s removal from office posted online Thursday by Christianity Today, a publication founded by his father.
Editor-In-Chief Mark Galli was posted the editorial just one day after Trump became the third president in United States history to be impeached by the House of Representatives. Galli wrote, “The impeachment of Donald Trump is a significant event in the story of our republic. It requires comment.”
“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,” he wrote.
But Galli didn’t stop there. He also called out Trump’s evangelical supporters writing, “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?”
In a statement posted to his Facebook page early Friday, Graham, the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization, wrote his response to the publication which was founded in 1956 by his father, the late Billy Graham. Graham, 67, noted his father would not have agreed with the publication’s stance and would have been very disappointed with it. He also revealed that the late evangelist even voted for the President.
“Christianity Today released an editorial stating that President Trump should be removed from office—and they invoked my father’s name (I suppose to try to bring legitimacy to their statements), so I feel it is important for me to respond. Yes, my father Billy Graham founded Christianity Today; but no, he would not agree with their opinion piece. 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. He believed that Donald J. Trump was the man for this hour in history for our nation.
For Christianity Today to side with the Democrat Party in a totally partisan attack on the President of the United States is unfathomable. Christianity Today failed to acknowledge that not one single Republican voted with the Democrats to impeach the President. I know a number of Republicans in Congress, and many of them are strong Christians. If the President were guilty of what the Democrats claimed, these Republicans would have joined with the Democrats to impeach him. But the Democrats were not even unanimous—two voted against impeachment and one voted present. This impeachment was politically motivated, 100% partisan. Why would Christianity Today choose to take the side of the Democrat left whose only goal is to discredit and smear the name of a sitting president? They want readers to believe the Democrat leadership rather than believe the President of the United States.
Look at all the President has accomplished in a very short time. The economy of our nation is the strongest it has been in 50 years, ISIS & the caliphate have been defeated, and the President has renegotiated trade deals to benefit all Americans. The list of accomplishments is long, but for me as a Christian, the fact that he is the most pro-life president in modern history is extremely important—and Christianity Today wants us to ignore that, to say it doesn’t count? The President has been a staunch defender of religious freedom at home and around the world—and Christianity Today wants us to ignore that? Also the President has appointed conservative judges in record number—and Christianity today wants us to ignore that? Christianity Today feels he should be removed from office because of false accusations that the President emphatically denies.
Christianity Today said it’s time to call a spade a spade. The spade is this—Christianity Today has been used by the left for their political agenda. It’s obvious that Christianity Today has moved to the left and is representing the elitist liberal wing of evangelicalism.”
In his editorial, Galli not only writes about the alleged charges in which the President stands accused, but he also writes about Trump’s morality.
“The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration,” he wrote. “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”
Graham responded directly to this assertion in his statement.
“Is President Trump guilty of sin? Of course he is, as were all past presidents and as each one of us are, including myself,” he wrote. Therefore, let’s pray for the President as he continues to lead the affairs of our nation.”
Graham has often defended Trump during his term of office and has called for Christians to pray for the President.
According to The New York Times, CT has about 80,000 print subscribers. It is headquartered in the Chicago suburbs.
The Times also noted that Galli is retiring from the publication after the first of the year. He announced his retirement in October.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, a member of CT’s board of directors, released a statement opposing President Trump’s impeachment after the House voted Wednesday night.
He told The Times the editorial came as a surprise.
“Christianity Today is very apolitical,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “We don’t do politics, we don’t even bring up politics in a board meeting.”
“I don’t think it should affect anything,” he noted.
Johnnie Moore, the current Commissioner for the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom also responded to the CT’s editorial in a series of tweets.
” I just left the @VP’s home where dozens of evangelicals who actually lead MILLIONS were celebrating Christmas undistracted by impeachment & grateful for the admin’s policies … only to discover the press & internet absolutely hyperventilating over what will ultimately prove … to be an inconsequential editorial from the soon-to-be-retired editor @CTmagazine, a wonderful magazine which these days only represents a certain segment of evangelicals, many who never supported @POTUS. This is not a game-changing moment or hardly a surprise. For some additional context I’d suggest reading something else he wrote in ’18 below, which would be perceived as awfully offensive by scores of religious Americans & a strange statement for an outgoing leader of a magazine that says it aims to understand & represent all evangelicals.”
Moore also posted an excerpt from a 2018 Galli essay in the book Still Evangelical?
“Here’s something Mark Galli wrote last year reflecting on the 81% of evangelicals who voted for Trump, “most evangelical Christians like me exclaimed, ‘who are these people? I know hardly anyone, let alone any evangelical Christian who voted for Trump. I describe evangelicals like me as ‘elite’ evangelicals… and this clas of evangelicals has discovered that we have family members so different they seem like aliens in our midst. These other evangelicals often haven’t finished college, and if they have jobs (and apparently a lot of them don’t), they are blue-collar jobs or entry-level work. They don’t write books or give speeches; they don’t attend conferences of evangelicals for social justice or evangelicals for immigration reform. They are deeply suspicious of mainstream media. A lot of them voted for Donald Trump.”