Friday, December 27, 2019

Christian magazine editorial denouncing Trump continues roiling evangelical community

A Dec. 19 editorial in a Christian magazine denouncing President Trump has prompted heavy backlash from many in the evangelical community. The Christianity Today piece, written by outgoing editor-in-chief Mark Galli, called on readers to support President Trump's impeachment.

On Dec. 22, nearly 200 evangelical leaders slammed the editorial in a co-signed letter to Christianity Today president Timothy Dalrymple, Melissa Barnhart reports for The Christian Post. The Post published the full text of the letter.

"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," Veronica Stracqualursi reports for CNN.

"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 letter read. "We are proud to be numbered among those in history who, like Jesus, have been pretentiously accused of having too much grace for tax collectors and sinners, and we take deeply our personal responsibility to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's --- our public service." 

The Christian Post, an evangelical website, published its own editorial on Dec. 23, criticizing the Christianity Today piece and accusing Galli's writing of coming from a "toxic emotional and spiritual stew."

The Post editorial "apparently proved too much for an editor at The Christian Post, Napp Nazworth, who wrote on Twitter on Monday that he was 'forced to make the difficult choice' to leave the site, where he had worked since 2011, most recently as politics editor," Karen Zraick and Elisha Brown report for The New York Times.

Galli said that, though the editorial prompted some readers to unsubscribe, the magazine has gained many more new subscribers than it lost. "We have lost subscribers but we’ve had three times as many people start to subscribe," he told MSNBC on Dec. 22.

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