This article was updated at 1:20 a.m. EST on Dec. 20, 2019
Evangelical magazine Christianity Today, founded by the late Rev. Billy Graham in 1956, called for President Donald Trump to be removed from office in a blistering editorial published Thursday.
What are the details?
"The typical CT approach is to stay above the fray and allow Christians with different political convictions to make their arguments in the public square," Christianity Today's editor in chief Mark Galli wrote. "That said, we do feel it necessary from time to time to make our own opinions on political matters clear."
After saying "we" pray for the president and acknowledging that "Democrats have had it out for him from day one," Galli did not hold back.
Galli wrote that the impeachment hearings proved that President Trump violated the Constitution, before making his case against the president from a moral and religious standpoint.
"This president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration," Galli asserted. "He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud.
"His Twitter feed alone — with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders — is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused."
The editor in chief went on to note Christianity Today's condemnation of President Clinton's behavior amid his impeachment, and wrote, "Unfortunately, the words that we applied to Mr. Clinton 20 years ago apply almost perfectly to our current president. Whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office by the Senate or by popular vote next election—that is a matter of prudential judgment."
Galli continued, "That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.
"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."
Following the release of the editorial, social media lit up. At one point, Christianity Today's website crashed due to overwhelming traffic.
What was the response from Franklin Graham?
The hashtag "evangelicals" began trending on Twitter, with people across the political spectrum noting the significance of such a bold stance by an evangelical publication — especially because Billy Graham's son, Franklin Graham, has been a staunch supporter of President Trump.
"My father would be embarrassed," Franklin Graham said in reaction to the editorial, according to The New York Times. Graham added, "It is not going to change anybody's mind about Trump. There's a liberal element within the evangelical movement. Christianity Today represents that."
In a scathing rebuke on Facebook late Thursday, Franklin Graham unleashed against Christianity Today, saying, "My father knew Donald Trump, he believed in Donald Trump, and he voted for Donald Trump. He believed that Donald Trump was the man for this hour in history for our nation."
"For Christianity Today to side with the Democrat Party in a totally partisan attack on the President of the United States is unfathomable," Graham wrote.
After listing off a number of President Trump's accomplishments, Graham concluded his post by saying: "Is President Trump guilty of sin? Of course he is, as were all past presidents and as each one of us are, including myself. Therefore, let's pray for the President as he continues to lead the affairs of our nation."
Christianity Today's Twitter feed was flooded with comments from both supporters and critics.
One supporter wrote, "Finally a voice of moral clarity and intelligent critique from an evangelical organization. Well done."
A critic commented, "I will never read Christianity Today again. I will no longer consider the Graham family my family in Christ. Nor will I ever give to their ministry. FOR THEM TO align themselves with the Godless Democrats is more than enough reason for me to want nothing to do with them."