Christianity Today Editor Says Evangelicals Can No Longer Trade Off Trump Anti-Abortion Stance for His Bad Character

The editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, the evangelical magazine that published an editorial last week labeling Donald Trump's actions in office "profoundly immoral," asked evangelicals to consider whether they can do the "trade-off" of having Trump be pro-life but maintaining poor personal values.

Mark Galli followed up Sunday on his editorial that condemned Trump's "attempt to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of [his] political opponents." Galli told CBS News' Face the Nation that "none of us are perfect," but that Trump has squandered and abused his role as a leader in exchange for personal gain--a charge reflecting the impeachment articles voted on by the House last week.

"We're not making a political judgment about him because that's not our expertise at Christianity Today. But I am making a moral judgement that he's morally unfit, or more precisely it's his public morality that makes him unfit," Galli said Sunday, just days after his editorial crashed the publication's website due to such a high volume of traffic.

"Because all of us, anybody in leadership, has--none of us are perfect, we are 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. The point of my argument is not to judge him as a person in the eyes of God, that's not my job, but to judge his public moral character and ask, 'Has he gone so far that the evangelical constituency that we represent, can we in good conscience do the the trade-off anymore?'"

Within hours of Christianity Today publishing the editorial Thursday, trends such as #ChristiansAgainstTrump began flooding Twitter and other social media outlets. Trump himself lashed out at the magazine, saying "I guess the magazine, 'Christianity Today,' is looking for Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, or those of the socialist/communist bent, to guard their religion. How about Sleepy Joe? The fact is, no President has ever done what I have done for Evangelicals, or religion itself!"

Galli explained that the impeachment of Trump, in his eyes, was the last straw in terms of what Christians should allow from their president.

"He gives us what we need on pro-life, but he's got this bad character," Galli continued. "And the fundamental argument I'm making is we crossed a line somewhere in the impeachment hearings, at least in my mind, where that balance no longer works."

Later on Face the Nation Sunday, New York Times opinion columnist Jamelle Bouie said white evangelicals are willing to overlook Trump's poor moral choices because his administration advances their perceived social, ethnic and religious interests.

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Christianity Today Editor-in-chief Mark Galli said evangelicals can no longer overlook Trump's immoral character after his impeachment. Screenshot: CBS | Face the Nation