The Rev. Al Sharpton defended Christianity Today magazine for its editorial supporting Trump’s removal from office, while also criticizing the evangelical Christians who continue to stand in support of the embattled U.S. president.
During a recent appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the civil rights leader and media personality weighed in on the controversial editorial from the longtime magazine founded in 1956 by prominent evangelical Christian figure Billy Graham.
Sharpton said pro-Trump evangelicals would “sell Jesus out” in order to help a “shameless conman” like President Trump.
“I think there’s a scripture that said, ‘What profits a man to gain the world and lose his own soul?’” Sharpton said, asking, “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?’”
“I think this is a devastating blow,” he said of the divisive article titled “Trump Should Be Removed from Office” written by the outlet’s editor-in-chief Mark Galli.
“The reason they’re so offended is it’s exposing all of them that they would take this 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 is saying from the editorial and that’s sad on many levels,” he said.
The article, which drew a reported 3 million unique visitors to Christianity Today’s website, caused a lively debate within Republican political circles between pro and anti-Trump supporters.
According to The Washington Post, Napp Nazworth, who sits on the editorial board as politics editor, said he quit his job because the outlet was planning to publish a pro-Trump editorial to counter Christianity Today.
Nazworth, who has worked for the website since 2011 said the website has sought to represent both sides and published both pro- and anti-Trump stories.
“I never got the gist they were gung-ho Trumpian types,” Nazworth said. “Everything has escalated with the Christianity Today editorial.”
In a separate interview for Sharpton’s MSNBC show Politics Nation, Galli said the controversy has had a positive impact on the magazine.
“On the plus side, although we’ve lost hundreds of subscribers—let’s be frank about it—we’ve gained three times as many subscribers,” Galli answered. “So I think overall, at least [in] the world we live in, it’s been affirmative.”
In response to the editorial, Trump referred to the outlet as “a far left magazine, or very ‘progressive,’ as some would call it, which has been doing poorly and hasn’t been involved with the Billy Graham family for many years.”
He continued: “Christianity Today, knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call and would [rather]….have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President. No President has done more for the Evangelical community, and it’s not even close. You’ll not get anything from those Dems on [stage]. I won’t be reading ET again!