Christianity Today came under fire from Donald Trump after the publication called for the president to be removed from office. However, the controversial stance apparently hasn’t hurt the magazine’s bottom line.
On Sunday, editor-in-chief Mark Galli said in an interview with MSNBC that Christianity Today lost the support of some subscribers after his essay called for Trump to be removed from office. Still, many readers shared supportive messages and have been willing to buck the president’s strong advocacy base among evangelical Christians.
For every complaint, Galli said there have been many more inquiries regarding new subscriptions to the magazine.
“A stereotypical response is ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’ with a string of a hundred exclamation points — ‘you’ve said what I’ve been thinking but haven’t been able to articulate, I’m not crazy,'” Galli said, via CNBC. “We have lost subscribers but we’ve had three times as many people start to subscribe.”
Galli had written that Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine were “profoundly immoral” and cautioned Christians who supported Trump solely because he furthers some of their preferred agenda. Trump responded by attacking the magazine, calling one of the most influential evangelical media publications a “far-left magazine” and very “progressive” in an attack on Twitter.
Still, Galli has remained strong in his stance, defending the magazine’s decision to take the stance, and stating that Trump brought immortality to the nation’s highest office.
The editorial from Christianity Today could be foretelling a problem among one of Trump’s most unbreakable bases of support. His approval ratings with evangelical Christian voters have remained high through a series of controversies, including an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll from July that found 73 percent of white evangelical Christians approved of Trump’s performance as president, while only 23 percent disapproved.
But the most recent polls have shown signs of weakness. A new poll from Politico/Morning Consult asserted that 43 percent of evangelical voters support Trump being removed from office following his impeachment.
It is not clear if the call from Christianity Today for Trump to be removed from office could have any further effect regarding approval among this group. Trump continues to have the support of a number of leading figures in the evangelical world, including Franklin Graham, whose father Billy Graham originally founded Christianity Today. This week, Franklin spoke out in support of Trump and against the magazine, noting that before he died, his father believed in Trump’s vision and had voted him.