MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – 2019/12/20: Members of the activist groups Rise And Resist and … [+]
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Christianity Today gained thousands more readers than it lost in the wake of the controversy surrounding its editorial backing the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
According to the Washington Post, the magazine founded by evangelist Billy Graham lost 2,000 subscriptions in the wake of its editorial but gained another 5,000 from a younger, more diverse and more global audience. Whether there will be any further economic consequences remains to be seen. The reverberations of the editorial underscore the division among Evangelical Christians.
Trump Critic Napp Nazworth of The Christian Post (CP) couldn’t abide by the site’s decision to publish a pro-Trump editorial critical of Christianity Today. As a result, Nazworth said on Twitter that he “was forced to make the difficult choice to leave The Christian Post,” where he served as Politics and Opinion Editor and a Political Analyst since 2011.
“When the editors had disagreements, we would work through them, letting those discussions and debates inform and improve our coverage,” he wrote on Twitter. “Now, CP has chosen to go in a different direction. Like so many other media companies, they’ve chosen to silo themselves.”
Nazworth couldn’t be reached for comment ahead of the Christmas holiday. He told the Washington Post that the decision for him to depart was mutual and that he isn’t sure what he will do next.
“The Christian Post does not normally discuss personnel matters though we would like to say that we are so very grateful for Napp’s contribution over these many years and we wish him the best,” the publication said. “We will remain a publication rooted in our Christian faith and committed to objectivity in our reporting and diversity in our opinions.
CP accused Christianity Today and the editorial’s writer Mark Galli of being elitist, saying his criticisms of Trump are undermined by “his obvious disdain and corrosive condensation for fellow Christians with whom he disagrees, as ignorant.” Galli is planning to retire as the publication’s editor-in-chief next month.
Writing in Christianity Today, Galli condemned Trump’s behavior both overall and in the matter at the focal point of the impeachment of the President. President Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his rival, former Vice President Joe Biden and Biden’s son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company. Trump and his Republican supporters have insisted he’s done nothing wrong.
“That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral,” Galli wrote.
Evangelicals have been among President Trump’s most vocal supporters despite his moral failings and his lack of biblical knowledge. There are many reasons for their support, including Trump’s appointment of conservative judges who are opposed to abortion, among other things.
Evangelical leaders, including Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, Ralph Reed of Faith and Freedom Coalition, and the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins condemned Galli’s editorial. A letter released by around 200 Trump supporters said they were offended that Christianity Today questioned their “spiritual integrity” and Christian Witness.
“You may think Trump is a narcissistic, morally challenged, belligerent cad who has no business being president — except for the pesky constitutional fact that over 60 million American voters elected him to it,” the letter says.