Evangelicals are among President Trump’s most loyal supporters. The rally is an effort to keep born-again Christians firmly in the base.
On Friday, as President Donald Trump’s campaign launches the Evangelicals for Trump coalition at a mega-church Miami, Mark Galli, the evangelical author of a scorching editorial calling for Trump’s impeachment, will retire as editor of Christianity Today, the magazine that published the controversial missive.
Galli’s retirement, announced in October, was not related to the column despite news reports otherwise. The column did, however, crash the magazine’s website and draw a fiery response from more than 200 prominent evangelical leaders.
It also appears to have made Trump blink.
Evangelicals are among Trump’s most loyal supporters. Galli’s criticism and call for other born-again Christians to support impeachment not only exposed a small crack in a valuable voting block but also gave a voice to evangelical critics who have been afraid to speak out.
“Friday’s rally is Trump’s desperate response to the realization that he is losing his primary voting bloc — faith voters,” said Pastor Doug Pagitt, the executive director of Vote Common Good, in an email statement to The Palm Beach Post on Thursday. The organization is calling for faith-based voters to vote for progressives. “He knows he needs every last vote if he wants a shot at re-election, as losing just 5% of the faith voters ends his chances.
No one knows how many evangelicals might be disgruntled with Trump. The dissatisfaction does not appear to be political, as many support the president’s conservative judicial nominations, for example. They are also pleased with the president’s staunch opposition to abortion as well as his support of Israel.
Their complaints are personal.
“His Twitter feed alone — with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders — is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused,” Galli wrote in the Christianity Today editorial. “To use an old cliché, it’s time to call a spade a spade, to say that no matter how many hands we win in this political poker game, we are playing with a stacked deck of gross immorality and ethical incompetence.”
Trump’s immediate response came on Twitter.
The Trump campaign responded a day later on Dec. 20, when it announced the president would launch a coalition called Evangelicals for Trump at a rally tonight at King Jesus Ministry — El Rey Jesús — an evangelical mega-church in Miami.
The announcement was the first of two moves targeting evangelicals that Trump has made since he arrived at Mar-a-Lago on Dec. 20. Trump and first lady Melania Trump ditched Christmas Eve services at the Episcopal church they long attended in Palm Beach and instead visited a nearby evangelical church in West Palm Beach.
Trump’s next attempt to woo evangelicals will be at Friday’s rally.
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SOURCE: Palm Beach Post, Christine Stapleton