Christianity Today Editor-in-Chief Mark Galli appeared on "Face the Nation" Sunday to defend himself from the backlash generated by his recent editorial calling for President Donald Trump's removal from office.
Galli told CBS host Margaret Brennan that he found it "strange" that fellow evangelicals do not share his view that the 45th president is unfit for office.
"I'm not making a political judgment about him, because that's not our expertise at Christianity Today. I am making a moral judgment that he is morally unfit, or even more precisely, it's his public morality that makes him unfit," Galli explained, according to the Washington Examiner.
"A president has certain responsibilities as a public figure to display a certain level of public character and public morality," he added. "And the point of my argument is not to judge him as a person in the eyes of God...that's not my job...but to judge his public moral character and to ask, has he gone so far that the evangelical constituency that we represent. Can we in good conscience do the trade-off anymore?"
'Gross immorality and ethical incompetence'
Galli's editorial surprised many political observers last week and was met with criticism from Trump himself and other Christian leaders.
In his article, Galli likened Trump to a stacked deck of "gross immorality and ethical incompetence" and argued that although the president may satisfy evangelicals' political priorities, this does not compensate for his "public character" flaws.
To use an old cliché, it's time to call a spade a spade, to say that no matter how many hands we win in this political poker game, we are playing with a stacked deck of gross immorality and ethical incompetence. And just when we think it's time to push all our chips to the center of the table, that's when the whole game will come crashing down. It will crash down on the reputation of evangelical religion and on the world's understanding of the gospel. And it will come crashing down on a nation of men and women whose welfare is also our concern.
'I no longer think he's fit to lead'
Galli acknowledged on CBS that the president has delivered on his campaign promises to evangelicals, but argued a line was crossed during the impeachment hearings.
"He gives us what we need on 'pro-life,' but you've got this bad character, and the fundamental argument I'm making is: we crossed a line somewhere in the impeachment hearings, at least in my mind, that that balance no longer works," Galli said.
Brennan pointed out to Galli that poll numbers show Trump's approval numbers are strong among evangelicals, but he was unfazed.
"I have no animus against them, but it strikes me as strange for a people who take the teachings of Jesus Christ seriously, the teachings of the Ten Commandments seriously, that we can't at least say, publicly and out loud in front of God and everybody, that this man's character is deeply, deeply concerning to us." Galli retorted.
"In my judgment, [Trump] has crossed a line, and I no longer think he's fit to lead the United States of America," he added.
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