Friday, December 20, 2019

Christianity Today: Trump Must Be Removed from Office

Christianity Today is a magazine founded by the late Rev. Billy Graham, that has broad readership among evangelical Christians.  It is not the in the same league as the crazed publications of hate groups such as Family Research Council or American Family Association.  In fact, as noted, it was founded by Billy Graham and has not fallen under the influence of Graham's grifter children who use their family name and religion for self-enrichment and self-promotion. Thus, it is notable that in a main editorial, the editor-in-chief of Christianity Today has laid out the case of why Donald Trump must be removed from office, both for the good of the country and for the term legitimacy of evangelical Christianity, Axios notes why this editorial is ground shaking: 

An editorial published Thursday by Christianity Today, a magazine founded by the late Rev. Billy Graham, called for President Trump's removal from office in the wake of his impeachment, deeming him "grossly immoral." . . . Why it matters: Christianity Today is an influential mainstream magazine for evangelicals, with 4.3 million monthly visitors on its site and hundreds of thousands of print subscribers. President Trump won 81% of the evangelical vote in 2016, a group that makes up about 25% of the electorate, according to the Pew Research Center. . . . . Go deeper... Josh Harris: Evangelical support for Trump "incredibly damaging to the Gospel"

I and many others, including the under age 30 generations, now view evangelical Christians and even Christianity as something morally bankrupt  that decent people should seek to avoid. Support of Trump and right wing Republican policies that are the antithesis to the true gospel message are the principal reason younger generations are engaged in a massive exodus from religion entirely. It would seem that Christianity Today has come to the realization that continued evangelical support of Trump will deprive evangelicals of what little moral credibility that still possess.  Will evangelicals listen?  Sadly, probably not.  Here are editorial highlights:
In our founding documents, Billy Graham explains that Christianity Today will help evangelical Christians interpret the news in a manner that reflects their faith. The impeachment of Donald Trump is a significant event in the story of our republic. It requires comment.
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, to encourage all to pursue justice according to their convictions and treat their political opposition as charitably as possible. We want CT to be a place that welcomes Christians from across the political spectrum, and reminds everyone that politics is not the end and purpose of our being. We take pride in the fact, for instance, that politics does not dominate our homepage.
That said, we do feel it necessary from time to time to make our own opinions on political matters clear—always, as Graham encouraged us, doing so with both conviction and love.

[T]he 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 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.
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. We believe the impeachment hearings have made it absolutely clear, in a way the Mueller investigation did not, that President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath. The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see. This damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people. None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.
This concern for the character of our national leader is not new in CT.
[T]he 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.
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?
[W]e have done our best to give evangelical Trump supporters their due, to try to understand their point of view, to see the prudential nature of so many political decisions they have made regarding Mr. Trump. To use an old cliché, it’s time to call a spade a spade, to say that no matter how many hands we win in this political poker game, we are playing with a stacked deck of gross immorality and ethical incompetence.
It will crash down on the reputation of evangelical religion and on the world’s understanding of the gospel. And it will come crashing down on a nation of men and women whose welfare is also our concern.

1 comment:

EdA said...

"Better late than never."

I just heard an interview on MSNBC with Christianity Today's editor-in-chief, who explained (away) the rationalization that some crosstians have used -- comparing Degenerate Don to an abuser man who nonetheless was a good provider. But who has now become physically abusive as well, which is the last straw.

I don't imagine that the editorial will motivate many, if any, of its readers to vote for someone decent. But if the editorial helps to push some to decline to vote for Putin's Puppet, that will help.