US evangelical magazine calls for removal of 'grossly immoral' Trump

US President Donald Trump enjoys solid support among white evangelical Christians. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Christianity Today, a leading United States evangelical Christian publication, said on Thursday (Dec 19) that President Donald Trump is "morally lost and confused" and should be removed from office.

In an editorial, the magazine said it generally steers clear of politics but "we do feel it necessary from time to time to make our own opinions on political matters clear".

"The facts in this instance are unambiguous," it said.

"The President of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the President's political opponents," Christianity Today said.

"That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral."

Christianity Today was founded by Billy Graham, a prominent Christian evangelist who died last year, but the Graham family is no longer associated with the publication.

Mt Franklin Graham, Billy Graham's son, is also an influential Christian evangelical leader and a staunch Trump supporter. His ministry publishes its own magazine, Decision.

Christianity Today, which has a circulation of around 130,000, said Mr Trump has "dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration".

"He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud," it said.

"His Twitter feed alone - with its habitual string of mischaracterisations, lies, and slanders - is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused."

Christianity Today said the congressional hearings that led to Trump's impeachment by the House of Representatives on Wednesday "have illuminated the President's moral deficiencies for all to see".

"Trump's evangelical supporters have pointed to his Supreme Court nominees, his defence of religious liberty, and his stewardship of the economy, among other things, as achievements that justify their support of the President," it said.

"We believe the impeachment hearings have made it absolutely clear... that President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath.

"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?" the magazine asked.

"Whether Mr Trump should be removed from office by the Senate or by popular vote next election - that is a matter of prudential judgment," it said.

"That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments."

Mr Trump enjoys solid support among white evangelical Christians although a Fox News poll in October found that those backing him had slipped from 81 per cent in the 2016 election to around 70 per cent now.

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