Christianity Today editor Mark Galli said Sunday that his call for evangelical Christians to support impeachment was “hyperbole,” and he admitted “the pro-life issue is just one of many” where President Donald Trump is in sync with evangelicals.
“In one sense my call for his removal was on the order of hyperbole in this regard: the odds of that happening by election or by the Senate are actually probably fairly slim at this point,” Galli told CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” admitting later, “I don’t have a strategy” and telling journalists, “You guys figure that out.”
Galli’s editorial last week, in a magazine that was founded by evangelist Billy Graham, engendered both anger and disbelief with a faith group that solidly supports the Trump presidency. Franklin Graham not only criticized Galli’s opinion but declared that his father had voted for Trump.
“What I’m really arguing in the piece fundamentally is that the president is unfit for office,” Galli’s said Sunday. “Now, that may be a distinction without a difference, but the point is, and I’m not really speaking politically. I’m not making a political judgment, because that’s not our expertise at Christianity Today. I am making a moral judgment that he’s morally unfit … ” (RELATED: Evangelical Leader Says Christianity Today Magazine Should Be Called ‘Christianity Yesterday’)
But Galli then said he wasn’t judging Trump for his personal morality but his public morality. “None of us are perfect. We’re not looking for saints. We do have private sins, ongoing patterns of behavior that reveal themselves in our private life that we’re all trying to work on. But a president has certain responsibilities as a public figure to display a certain level of public character and public morality and the point of my argument is not to judge him as a person in the eyes of God. That’s not my job.”
Then the editor agreed that Trump is promoting a number of issues that appeal to Christians and acknowledged this is probably why so many of them support his presidency.
“Yeah, I think the pro-life issue is just one of many. Religious freedom for Christians overseas especially would be another. You know, there have been books written about what’s going on with the conservative evangelical support of Trump, so that’s not something we can get into here,” Galli explained, before getting back what he said his objection to Trump was not about: his personal morality. “This man’s character is deeply, deeply concerning to us, and in my judgment has crossed a line and I no longer think he’s fit to lead the United States of America. I don’t say that politically.” (RELATED: Pastors Laud Trump’s ‘Guts’ To Defend Religious Freedom In UN Speech — Not ‘Imaginary’ Climate Crisis)
Galli was asked who evangelicals should cast their presidential ballot for “if there is no other Republican running on these platform issues? President Trump is the only person on these issues you have laid out as so key to your community, some Republicans just find it an impossible alternative to vote for a Democrat.”
“No, I grant that. I grant that,” Galli responded. “I’m saying what I think. And the only person I represent is me and maybe my magazine. Not for that much longer since I’m retiring in a few days … I don’t have a strategy. I’m not a political person. The questions you were asking people on your show, you guys are amazing how much stuff you know about … You guys figure that out.”