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Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Editor-in-Chief Mark Galli of Christianity Today — a prominent evangelical magazine — took a bold step Thursday by publishing an editorial calling for the removal of President Donald Trump, who was impeached just a day before.

Galli affirmed some of the Republican talking points about impeachment, saying that “Democrats have had it out for him from day one,” that the motives of the impeachers should be treated with suspicion, and that Trump wasn’t treated fairly enough in the House of Representatives’ inquiry.

And yet, he said the facts of the case against Trump 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,” wrote Galli. “That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”

Many evangelical Christians have been fervent in their support of Trump, despite all his wrongdoing and patent unfitness. Galli’s piece acknowledged that there are things Trump has done as president that evangelical Christians should be happy about. But that’s not enough to keep him in office.

“President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath. The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see. This damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people,” he explained. “None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.”

Trump, Galli argued, has “dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration.”

The piece also pointed out that in 1998, Christianity Today called for President Bill Clinton’s removal, and the revelations from the House demand the same for Trump. It also offered this admonition for Christians who still back Trump:

Remember who you are and whom you serve. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come? Can we say with a straight face that abortion is a great evil that cannot be tolerated and, with the same straight face, say that the bent and broken character of our nation’s leader doesn’t really matter in the end?

Oddly, it didn’t offer the words that should be most reassuring for an evangelical Christian fearing the president’s removal: If Trump is gone, Mike Pence is next in line.

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