After working for the evangelical news outlet Christianity Today for two decades, Mark Galli will be retiring this Friday -- just over two weeks after he wrote an explosive editorial calling for the removal of President Trump.
In an interview with The New York Times published this Thursday, Galli said that the impact of the editorial caught him off guard, but it's the willingness of evangelicals to stick by Trump for more than three years that still has him baffled. But it's the positive impact the piece had that really matters to him.
"People wrote to me and said they had felt all alone and were waiting for someone in the evangelical leadership to say what the editorial said," Galli said. "I wish I could tell you that I had noticed that and wanted to respond to it, but I didn’t see that. There were a lot of people who were feeling alone and they’re not feeling that way now."
Galli went to say that evangelicals who responded negatively to the piece were expressing a form of "ethical naïveté."
"There does seem to be widespread ignorance — that is the best word I can come up with — of the gravity of Trump’s moral failings," he said. "Some evangelicals will acknowledge he had a problem with adultery, but now they consider that a thing of the past. They bring up King David, but the difference is King David repented! Donald Trump has not done that.'
"Some evangelicals say he is prideful, abrasive and arrogant — which are all the qualities that Christians decry — but they don’t seem to grasp how serious it is for a head of state to talk like that and it does make me wonder what’s going on there," he continued.
According to Galli, there's a large contingent of Trump supporters who are more or less becoming "discipled" by him.
"Mr. Trump’s typical response to a critic is to frame the entire conversation as a competition between success and failure," Galli said. "When the editorial published, the first response coming out of the mouth of some leading evangelicals was 'That’s Christianity Yesterday' or 'You’re a dying magazine.' They’re taking their cues on how to react in the public square from Donald Trump, whose basic response is to denigrate people."
Read his full interview over at The New York Times.