Mark Galli, the Christianity Today editor who called President Donald Trump a “grossly immoral character” in a December 19 op-ed is retiring at the end of this week.
The Billy Graham-founded magazine had remained neutral before Galli’s op-ed, which conceded that “Democrats have had it out for [Trump] from day one, and therefore nearly everything they do is under a cloud of partisan suspicion” before admitting that it probably isn’t great for a group of evangelicals operating on a platform of moral superiority and American exceptionalism to back a president who allegedly makes deals with foreign leaders to undermine opponents. In the essay, Galli also seemingly asks how evangelicals can expect to deny access to abortion if they’re going to rally around a man who brags about sex stuff: “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?”
In response, Trump tweeted that he wouldn’t “be reading ET again!” whatever that means. He also called Christianity Today a “far-left” publication. Christian Post, a rival evangelical magazine published its own response calling the op-ed “elitist,” ostensibly in reference to the time-honored, Jesus-sanctioned populist tradition of committing treason. That op-ed led at least one Post editor to quit.
Galli had already announced his plans to retire back in October, so the op-ed was basically a big “Fuck you, Trump” note to go out on. Allow me to use the decades I was forced to attend Southern Baptist church to translate that phrase into evangelical: “Bless his heart. I’m gonna pray for him.”