My Take On Christianity Today’s “Dump Trump” Article
Retiring Mark Galli at Christianity Today just wrote a short editorial titled, “Trump Should Be Removed from Office.” Like a shocking tweet heading, this emotional title was surely meant to get clicks and be mentioned in social media.
Mark was successful at that, but what about the substance of his editorial?
From my Facebook feed, Christians who have highlighted this CT editorial just seem to like the title, because they quote almost nothing from the editorial itself.
Since this is an editorial piece, I am not sure if this is Mark’s viewpoint only or that of Christianity Today as a whole. Mark does use the collective “we” and “our.” Is Mark speaking for Christianity Today? Based on what I am hearing, some board members at CT were taken by surprise by this editorial. Did I mention that Mark is retiring? Yes, he wrote this editorial while having one leg out the door.
The title of this CT editorial is getting the applaud from the mainstream media, and some in the American Christian world who think Evangelicals have sold out to the devil incarnate—Donald J. Trump. The Gospel itself is at stake, they say. And on and on it goes on how far Evangelicals have fallen into Trump’s deceptive spell.
The sense that I get from Christians who are high fiving this editorial is that they apparently see themselves as existing on a higher moral plane then the Evangelicals that voted for and support President Trump. Mark’s editorial certainly smacks of a lecture in “moralism.”
Okay, let me highlight the keys points of this editorial to see if it lives up to the hype of its title.
(Point 1) Mark grants that President Trump has not been treated fairly. No kidding. Mark writes, “The Democrats have had it out for him from day one, and therefore nearly everything they do is under a cloud of partisan suspicion. This has led many to suspect not only motives but facts in these recent impeachment hearings. And, no, Mr. Trump did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story in the House hearings on impeachment.” Not to mention that President Trump’s campaign was spied upon using falsified FISA warrants. Oh ya, he has been called a Russian agent by the mainstream media and the Democrats for more than two years. Why shouldn’t he be pushing and fighting back.
(Point 2) Mark begins the editorial with this statement, “But the facts (plural) in this instance are unambiguous.” I assume he means the impeachment . Mark then brings the big charge that his whole editorial is based on, “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.”
(My Comment) So Mark states that there are “LEGAL” and “MORAL” grounds on why he thinks Trump should be removed from office. I am not sure what direct legal evidence Mark has that President Trump violated the Constitution. What is the specific legal code that President Trump violated? Abusing power and obstruction of Congress are not specific written laws.
However, THIS IS THE KEY POINT, Mark’s primary argument for impeachment of Trump is not based on legal constitutional grounds, but primarily on moral grounds.
So apparently, Mark thinks that an elected President can be thrown out of office based on moral grounds. Whose morality are we going to use for our impeachment standard? There are numerous moral standards in such a diverse nation as America. Is Mark advocating only a biblical or Christian moral standard? Mark seems to suggest that unbelievers are opposing Trump based on morality, when it is probably more policy and worldview positions.
(Point 3) Mark then lays out his elements of moralism against President Trump: “Trump has dumbed down the idea of morality, he has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals, he has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women of which he remains proud of, and his Twitter feed is full of lies and slander.” This is Mark’s list of morality. Mark ends this section by saying President Trump is “a human being who is morally lost and confused.”
(Point 4) Mark goes on to state that the recent impeachment hearings have made it absolutely clear that President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath. Then Mark states that the Mueller investigation failed to do this to the degree as the impeachment hearings. (My comment: This is a crazy statement).
Mark finalizes this section by saying once again that President Trump is a “grossly immoral character.” And that “unsavory dealings and immoral acts by the President and those close to him have rendered this administration morally unable to lead.”
(Point 5) Mark ends his editorial by pointing his finger at the Evangelical Trump supporters and giving them a good moral lecture: “Trump has a blackened moral record, and says immoral words” etc. etc. Then he emphasizes his high moral standard in standing against Trump and calling for him to be removed as President based on “loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.”
So, in the end, Mark is claiming that we should be able to impeach an American President based on some standard of morality, without the need for a specific constitutional crime being committed.
Should JFK have been impeached for his many adulterous affairs? Should a President be impeached for swearing? Should a President be impeached for not basing his or her morality on the Ten Commandments?
This type of thinking is all too Pharisaical and self-righteous for me. The President is not our National Pastor. Impeachment must be and remain a legal Constitutional issue, not based on some subjective moral standards that we like.
Don’t vote for a presidential candidate based on a moral standard, but we should advocate impeaching an active President (or any politician) based on constitutional legal grounds only–SPECIFIC PROVEN CRIMES. This is called “the rule of constitutional law,” not our standard of morality.
What is missing in Mark’s editorial is who he thinks the “wayward Evangelicals” should vote in as President next November? I assume he would have preferred the morality of Hillary Clinton over Trump in the last election.
Which Democratic candidate out-moralizes Trump in November 2020?
They all are activists for unlimited and unrestrained abortion, including partial birth abortion. Mark, is supporting partial birth abortion an impeachable offense?
Based on a moral standard, there is no greater moral issue in our day then the celebrating of killing the unborn, on any day prior to birth.
Maybe that will be Mark’s next editorial.
MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON US ALL!