‘Christianity Today’ Sees Readership Increase After Calling For Trump’s Removal, Despite Criticism From Evangelical Leaders
A scathing op-ed published on Thursday by Christianity Today which labeled President Donald Trump as a “grossly immoral character” has drawn mixed reactions, causing a spike in readership despite evangelical leaders blasting the magazine as going against Christian values.
“Although we’ve lost hundreds of subscribers, we’ve gained three times as many subscribers,” Mark Galli, the outgoing editor of the publication told Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC on Sunday.
The backlash continued over the weekend, as nearly 200 evangelical leaders penned a letter on Sunday to the president of Christianity Today criticizing the op-ed.
“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 evangelical leaders wrote. “It not only targeted our President; it also targeted those of us who support him, and have supported you.”
Among the signatories were 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; Paula White Cain, Trump’s spiritual adviser as well as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Galli noted that it is uncommon for the magazine to be entangled in politics, but had previously called for the impeachment of both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
“We rarely comment on politics unless the situation is grave and serious and might affect the welfare of the American people in some way, whom we’re called as Christians to love as ourselves,” Galli said. “This is part of our legacy: to speak out on national issues of moral import when the time calls for it.”
The op-ed, written by Galli, called for Trump’s removal because “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.”
Galli did not intend to shift public opinion with his op-ed and said that the majority of the magazine’s readers do not fall on the “far right” side of the political spectrum.
“I don’t have any imaginations that my editorial is going to shift their views on this matter. The fact of the matter is that Christianity Today is not read by Christians on the far right, by evangelicals on the far right. So, they’re going to be as dismissive of the magazine as President Trump has shown to be,” Galli told CNN on Friday.