Sunday 26 January 2020

Evangelicals are urged to abandon their loyalty to 'profoundly immoral' Trump

Power couple: Donald Trump and wife Melania. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
Power couple: Donald Trump and wife Melania. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Chris Baynes

'Christianity Today', the magazine founded by late evangelical minister Billy Graham, has renewed its scathing criticism of Donald Trump in a new editorial that condemns the US president's "obvious misuses of power" and "rampant immorality, greed and corruption".

The influential American magazine, which last week published a leader column calling for Mr Trump to be removed from office, asked Christians to examine their "unconditional loyalty" to him.

Responding to criticism, the publication's president, Timothy Dalrymple, warned "the perception of wholesale evangelical support for the administration" had "made toxic the reputation" of the church.

The editorial last week, written by editor-in-chief Mark Galli, backed the impeachment of the president and cited his "profoundly immoral" conduct in office. It was a rare political intervention from the magazine, which has a circulation of 130,000 and 4.3 million monthly online readers.

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The stance prompted stern criticism from hundreds of evangelical leaders and an attack from Mr Trump, who claimed the magazine had "far left" politics and declared he would no longer read it.

Evangelicals have been a bedrock of support for the Republican president, and Mr Dalrymple's column noted Mr Trump "has done a lot of good for causes we all care about". But the editorial, headlined 'The Flag in the Whirlwind', added: "It is one thing to praise his accomplishments; it is another to excuse and deny his obvious misuses of power."

He said evangelicals' embrace of the "extravagantly immoral" Mr Trump meant being tied to his "rampant immorality, greed and corruption; his divisiveness and race-baiting; his cruelty and hostility to immigrants and refugees". "With profound love and respect," Mr Dalrymple wrote, "we ask our brothers and sisters in Christ to consider whether they have given to Caesar what belongs only to God: their unconditional loyalty."

The president is to hold an 'Evangelicals for Trump coalition launch' in Miami on January 3 to rally support from the community in the wake of 'Christianity Today's' criticism. Mr Graham's son Franklin is among the evangelicals who have criticised last week's original editorial.

Subscriptions to 'Christianity Today' have increased since it called for Mr Trump's impeachment, its editor said.

Irish Independent

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