An editor for a Christian news website says he is resigning after the publication of a pro-Donald Trump editorial, saying his former employer has chosen to make a “business decision” to align itself with the President rather than follow its moral principles.
The resignation of Napp Nazworth from The Christian Post, announced on Twitter Monday, is the latest example of a recent heated debate among evangelicals about Trump, who enjoys overwhelming support from the community.
“The Christian Post does not normally discuss personnel matters though we would like to say that we are so very grateful for Napp’s contribution over these many years and we wish him the best,” the Christian Post said in an email to CNN on Tuesday. “We will remain a publication rooted in our Christian faith & committed to objectivity in our reporting & diversity in our opinions.”
Last week, another evangelical publication, Christianity Today, drew headlines after its outgoing editor, Mark Galli, authored an op-ed calling Trump morally unfit for office and calling for his removal. The op-ed drew fierce pushback from many in the evangelical community and from the President himself, and prompted nearly 200 evangelical leaders over the weekend to denounce the editor and the magazine.
On Monday, The Christian Post also denounced Galli’s article, insisting that Trump’s support among evangelicals remains strong and saying Galli was aligning himself with the views of progressive Democrats, not evangelicals.
“CT’s disdainful, dismissive, elitist posture toward their fellow Christians may well do far more long-term damage to American Christianity and its witness than any current prudential support for President Trump will ever cause,” the editorial concluded.
In the wake of the editorial, Nazworth, who had worked for The Christian Post for more than eight years and served on the website’s editorial board as politics editor, said he was “forced to make the difficult choice to leave The Christian Post.”
“When the editors had disagreements, we would work through them, letting those discussions and debates inform and improve our coverage. Now, CP has chosen to go in a different direction,” Nazworth wrote in a series of tweets. “Like so many other media companies, they’ve chosen to silo themselves. They’ve chosen to represent a narrow (and shrinking) slice of Christianity. That might be a good business decision, short term at least. But it’s bad for Democracy, and bad for the Gospel. It means there will be one more place where readers can go for bias confirmation, but one less place where readers can go to exercise their brains on diversity of thought.”
Nazworth, who has previously criticized Trump – “Evangelicals who rationalize Donald Trump’s misbehavior are sacrificing their moral authority at the altar of politics,” he wrote in February for the Post – said on Twitter he plans to take “some time off” over the holidays but will “say more about how Christians sully the name of Christ in their alliance with Trump in the new year.”
White evangelicals compose a major part of the foundation of Trump’s political base and its leaders are among his most outspoken supporters, and Trump is counting on their support heading into a tough reelection fight in 2020. He won 80% of the vote among white born-again or evangelical Christian voters in 2016, according to CNN exit polls, and the working-class white voters who are not evangelical Christians, especially the women in that group, loom as a potentially decisive swing block.
During his presidency, Trump has frequently championed causes dear to the evangelical community and pointed to the confirmation of two Supreme Court justices who are viewed as hostile to abortion rights. He is set to visit Miami early next month to attend the launch of the “Evangelicals for Trump” coalition, an event campaign officials said was set in motion before the Christianity Today editorial was published.
CNN’s Ronald Brownstein and Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report.