(Reuters) – The magazine founded by the late Reverend Billy Graham that is influential with conservative evangelical Christians in the United States called on Thursday for President Donald Trump to be removed from office.
Christianity Today wrote in an editorial carrying the headline “Trump Should Be Removed from Office” that it could no longer stand on the sidelines following Trump’s impeachment.
“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,” the editorial read. “That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”
Evangelical Christians make up about 25% of U.S. voters, according to Pew Research, and have been a bedrock of Trump’s support. In 2016, he took over 80% of the group’s votes, per Pew’s polling.
In making its case, the magazine referred to the same stance it took on the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton, when it called for his removal.
“Unfortunately, the words that we applied to Mr. Clinton 20 years ago apply almost perfectly to our current president,” the editorial said.
Christianity Today wrote that it recognized the advances made for conservative Christian causes under Trump, pointing to his Supreme Court nominees, what they called his “defense of religious liberty,” and how he has led the economy.
But it said the impeachment process has revealed too much for Christianity Today.
“We believe 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,” the editorial said.
Christianity Today’s editorial did not spare Democrats of criticism, writing that the party had been trying to take down Trump since he took office.
But the errors of the Democratic Party did not justify Trump’s acts, the magazine concluded.
“To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve,” the magazine wrote. “Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior.”
Reporting by Brad Brooks in Austin, Texas; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell