“Trump Should Be Removed from Office,” reads a December 19 headline, but it comes not from the Washington Post, New York Times or CNN. The headline is from Christianity Today. As editor Mark Galli writes, “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.”
On that theme, comment is not lacking, but Galli has an angle.
Christianity Today wants to welcome Christians “from across the political spectrum.” But in this case, “we want to make our own opinion on political matters clear.” So it’s not just Galli his own self, it’s Christianity Today, the magazine Billy Graham founded.
“Mr. Trump did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story in the House hearings on impeachment,” Galli explains, “But 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.”
Readers might want to spot-weld a few items there.
As all but the willfully blind know, the “facts,” are highly disputed, and Galli fails to name the foreign leader Trump allegedly attempted to coerce. In fact, Volodymyr Zelensky, president of Ukraine, denied he was coerced, and he got his military aid. Galli claims this is a violation of the Constitution but doesn’t cite any high crimes and misdemeanors Trump actually committed that might provide legitimate grounds for impeachment and removal.
As for the president’s political opponents, Galli does not name Joe Biden or recall that the former vice president bragged about withholding $1 billion unless and until Ukraine fired a prosecutor looking into the firm that employed his son, Hunter. Sure enough, the Ukrainians fired the guy, prompting Biden to exult “son of a bitch!” in victory. As video of the incident confirms, this is all a matter of “fact” and in no way can it be called ambiguous. For Galli, however, it is Trump—not Biden—who is “profoundly” immoral.
“This president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration,” Galli writes. “He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals.” As a matter of fact, that is guilt by association, something no competent attorney would dare suggest in court, and it’s very strange coming from the editor of Christianity Today. As he also charges, Trump 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.”
These charges confirm the biblical doctrine Billy Graham often proclaimed, that all have sinned. Unlike Graham, who passed away in 2018 at 99, Galli is unwilling to extend forgiveness. Voters knew all about Trump’s sins in 2016 but voted for him anyway, regarding him as a better choice than former First Lady Hillary Clinton.
Galli cites Trump’s work on the economy, religious liberty, and Supreme Court nominees, but “none of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.” And Galli is not done.
“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.” As a matter of fact, all those hearings made clear was Democrats’ hatred of President Trump. That is hard to surpass, but Galli is up to the task.
“To use an old cliché,” he writes, “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.” And so on.
As readers might note, some partisans of impeachment stop short of calling for Trump’s removal from office. On that move, however, Galli and Christianity Today are all in.
They want a single political party, the Democratic Party, to remove a duly elected president, with less than a year until the 2020 election. It is an unambiguous fact that Galli and Christianity Today do not want American voters to make the call, as they did in 2016. Those voters could be forgiven for believing the Christian editor and publication, like the 2016 presidential loser, consider them a basket of deplorables. And it would be hard to blame voters for thinking this is about as bad as it gets.
Less than a week before Christmas, Christianity Today editor Mark Galli channels his Trump Demonology Syndrome through Billy Graham. And now abide willful ignorance, political bias, and necro-ventriloquism, but the greatest of these is necro-ventriloquism.