In an editorial published a day after the House of Representatives impeached Mr Trump on charges of abusing his office and obstructing Congress, Christianity Today said the president needed to go, throwing down a gauntlet to those Republicans in the Senate who have indicated they will vote against the measures, enabling him to stay in office.
“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,” the magazine’s team said.
“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.”
Yet the magazine’s editor in chief, Mark Galli, said it did sometimes spoke out on matters of national importance, which it was encouraged to do by its late founder, who died last year aged 99.
Graham, considered among the most influential white religious leaders in the nation’s history, founded the magazine in 1956, though it is now longer connected to his family.
Mr Galli said Democrats had been “out” for Mr Trump since he entered office.
But he added: “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 move is significant because the publication is read by more than four million people every month, who form part of a demographic base the president has tried hard to cultivate. In 2016, Mr Trump pushed for the support of evangelical Christians, despite his history as a thrice-married, failed casino magnate and doubts about his religious convictions.
Polls indicated he gained the support of 81 per cent of evangelicals, who make up to 25 per cent of voters.
The article concluded: “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.”
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