The Rev. Al Sharpton on Monday waded into the troubled waters of evangelical Christian politics by attacking evangelical supporters of President Donald Trump.
Although evangelical Christians have strongly supported Trump since his campaign, a recent editorial in Christianity Today by editor-in-chief Mark Galli called for Trump’s impeachment to proceed so that Trump could be removed from office.
The editorial drew outrage from many evangelical Christians and from the president himself.
On Monday, during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Sharpton called the editorial “a devastating blow.”
“I think there’s a scripture that said what profits a man to gain the world and lose his own soul, he’s actually challenging them that are you bargaining and selling your soul for some judicial appointments and some other things that the right wants, but you’ve given up the soul of the church? What do we stand for?” Sharpton said on MSNBC in a clip shared by Breitbart.
“The reason they’re so offended is it’s exposing all of them that they would take the shameless conman over the principles that they’re preaching in the holy season as we celebrate Jesus.”
“They would sell Jesus out if they felt they could get something from it is the inference he’s saying from his editorial. And that’s sad on many levels,” Sharpton went on.
As reported by Fox News, nearly 200 evangelical leaders attacked the editorial and its depiction of Trump-supporting evangelicals as the “far-right” in an open letter.
“We are, in fact, not ‘far-right’ evangelicals as characterized by the author,” the letter read. “Rather, we are Bible-believing Christians and patriotic Americans who are simply grateful that our president has sought our advice as his administration has advanced policies that protect the unborn, promote religious freedom, reform our criminal justice system, contribute to strong working families through paid family leave, protect the freedom of conscience, prioritize parental rights, and ensure that our foreign policy aligns with our values while making our world safer, including through our support of the State of Israel.”
The letter continued: “We are not theocrats and we recognize that our imperfect political system is a reflection of the fallen world within which we live, reliant upon the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is freely given to sinner and saint, alike. We are proud to be numbered among those in history who, like Jesus, have been pretentiously accused of having too much grace for tax collectors and sinners, and we take deeply our personal responsibility to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s — our public service.”
Christianity Today President Timothy Dalrymple indicated Sunday that his publication is not backing down.
“Out of love for Jesus and his church, not for political partisanship or intellectual elitism, this is why we feel compelled to say that the alliance of American evangelicalism with this presidency has wrought enormous damage to Christian witness. It has alienated many of our children and grandchildren. It has harmed African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American brothers and sisters. And it has undercut the efforts of countless missionaries who labor in the far fields of the Lord,” he wrote in a Sunday editorial.
“While the Trump administration may be well regarded in some countries, in many more the perception of wholesale evangelical support for the administration has made toxic the reputation of the Bride of Christ.”
As a counterpoint, Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, wrote an Op-Ed for Fox News opposing the call to impeach Trump.
“Trump states very bluntly that he doesn’t support the killing of innocent human life. In fact, by most assessments, the Trump administration is the most pro-life of modern times. It’s even more pro-life in its policies and appointees than President Ronald Reagan’s administration,” he wrote.
“Additionally, President Trump and his administration are committed to ending religious bigotry and discrimination. He is leading not only in the United States but the globe in advancing religious expression and keeping a ferocious secular anti-religious group in this country from eroding our First Amendment rights.”
Daly added a critical question to ponder.
“As a Christian, I would ask Christianity Today this: What is more important? A president who talks smoothly and statesman-like but accelerates the killing of innocent human life? Or perhaps a president who supports the deconstruction of religious freedom and undoes societal norms for the sake of the few to feel included?”
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