Writing as an evangelical Christian who has taught ethics as a professor at the college and graduate school level for 42 years, and as the author of a major textbook on Christian ethics and another widely used book on the relationship between politics and the Bible, I wish to respectfully differ with Mark Galli’s editorial, “Trump Should Be Removed from Office” (Christianity Today, Dec. 19, 2019).
Galli gives six reasons why Trump should be removed, either by impeachment or at the next election: (1) He attempted to “coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of his political opponents,” and this was “a violation of the Constitution.” (2) This action was also “profoundly immoral.” (3) “He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals.” (4) He has “admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women” and “remains proud” about these things. (5) His Twitter feed contains a “habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders,” and this makes it “a near-perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.” Finally, (6) although the president has admittedly done some good things, “none of the president’s positives” can outweigh his “grossly immoral character.” Later he says that Trump has a “bent and broken character” and is guilty of “gross immorality and ethical incompetence.”
He concludes by warning evangelicals who support Trump not to “continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency,” because this will damage “the reputation of evangelical religion” and “the Gospel.”
These are strong words indeed. But are they true? Consider them in order: