NATIONAL NEWS

Nearly 200 Evangelical Leaders Slam Op-Ed That Criticized Trump

Dec 23, 2019, 10:08 AM | Updated: 2:25 pm

Following Trump's impeachment last week, Mark Galli, the outgoing editor of Christianity Today, cal...

Following Trump's impeachment last week, Mark Galli, the outgoing editor of Christianity Today, called Trump a "grossly immoral character." (CNN)

(CNN)

(CNN) — Nearly 200 evangelical leaders are pushing back against an op-ed in a prominent Christian magazine that called for Donald Trump to be removed from office, saying the piece “offensively” dismissed their support of the President.

Following Trump’s impeachment last week, Mark Galli, the outgoing editor of Christianity Today, called Trump a “grossly immoral character.” The criticism was notable as evangelicals are a key constituency of Trump, who dismissed the magazine as “far left.”

On Sunday, the evangelical leaders — many of whom are public supporters of Trump — affirmed their strong support of the President and slammed the magazine in a letter to Dr. Timothy Dalrymple, the president of Christianity Today, reported the Christian Post.

“Your editorial offensively questioned the spiritual integrity and Christian witness of tens-of-millions of believers who take seriously their civic and moral obligations,” the evangelical leaders wrote.

“It not only targeted our President; it also targeted those of us who support him, and have supported you,” they added.

The signatories include Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty College; Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council; Ralph Reed, the president of the Faith and Freedom Coalition; and Paula White Cain, Trump’s longtime spiritual adviser who recently joined the White House staff.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Reps. Michele Bachmann and Bob McEwen were also among those who signed the letter.

CNN has reached out to some of the letter’s signatories for additional comment. In a message Sunday acknowledging the open letter, Dalrymple said he hopes Galli’s op-ed can lead to greater debate among the evangelical community.

“In a political landscape dominated by polarization, hostility, and misunderstanding, we believe it’s critical for Christians to model how to have a firm opinion and host free discussion at the same time,” Dalrymple wrote. “Evangelicals of different stripes cannot continue to shout one another down, bully those who disagree, or exclude one another and refuse to listen.”

Dalrymple added: “We hold fast to our view that the wholehearted evangelical embrace of Trump has been enormously costly — but we are committed to irenic conversation with men and women of good faith who believe otherwise.”

Galli told CNN in an interview Friday that he didn’t imagine his editorial would sway Trump’s support among evangelicals.

“I don’t have any imaginations that my editorial is going to shift their views on this matter. The fact of the matter is that Christianity Today is not read by Christians on the far right, by evangelicals on the far right. So, they’re going to be as dismissive of the magazine as President Trump has shown to be,” Galli told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.”

In their letter, the evangelical leaders said that Galli’s comments on CNN “further offensively dismissed our point of view” and pushed back on the characterization that they were “far right evangelicals.”

“Rather, we are Bible-believing Christians and patriotic Americans who are simply grateful that our President has sought our advice as his administration has advanced policies that protect the unborn, promote religious freedom, reform our criminal justice system, contribute to strong working families through paid family leave, protect the freedom of conscience, prioritize parental rights, and ensure that our foreign policy aligns with our values while making our world safer, including through our support of the State of Israel,” they said.

They added that the editorial “without any meaningful and immediate regard for dissenting points of view, not only supported the entirely-partisan, legally-dubious, and politically-motivated impeachment but went even further, calling for Donald Trump not to be elected again in 2020 when he certainly survives impeachment.”

Christianity Today, which was founded by late evangelist Billy Graham, has been an influential publication among evangelicals.

Earlier Friday, Trump dismissed Galli’s op-ed, calling the publication on Twitter a “far left magazine.”

Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, said in a statement posted to social media early Friday morning that his father would “not agree” with Christianity Today’s op-ed, adding that his father voted for Trump in 2016.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

emergency lights generic...

Associated Press

2 children were killed when a hillside collapsed along a Northern California river

Two children were killed when a hillside collapsed along a river in Northern California, which has been hit by a series of winter storms.

13 hours ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event J...

Gregory Krieg, CNN

Trump will win South Carolina primary, CNN projects, as he closes in on the Republican nomination

Former President Donald Trump will win South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary, CNN projects, further tightening his grip on the nomination and leaving his last remaining major rival Nikki Haley to consider her dwindling options.

16 hours ago

A paddle boarder tows an inflatable unicorn on a temporary lake in Death Valley on Thursday, Feb. 2...

Ty O'Neil, John Locher and Stefanie Dazio

Kayakers paddle in Death Valley after rains replenish lake in one of Earth’s driest spots

Kayakers have been paddling in one of the driest places on Earth after a series of storms battered California’s Death Valley and replenished Lake Manly.

23 hours ago

(Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)...

Associated Press

Toyota recalls 280,000 pickups and SUVs because transmissions can deliver power even when in neutral

The recall is to fix a transmission problem that can let the vehicles creep forward while in neutral.

2 days ago

The defendants are accused of stealing software used to train Apache helicopter pilots....

Haley Britzky and Sharif Paget, CNN

2 National Guardsmen killed after military helicopter crash in Mississippi

Two National Guard members died after a helicopter crashed Friday afternoon during a training flight in northeast Mississippi.

2 days ago

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018 photo, containers holding frozen embryos and sperm are stored ...

Associated Press

Facing backlash over IVF ruling, Alabama lawmakers look for a fix

Lawmakers began scrambling for ways to protect Alabama in vitro fertilization services after multiple providers paused services in the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos could be considered children under a state law.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Nearly 200 Evangelical Leaders Slam Op-Ed That Criticized Trump