Leading evangelist Franklin Graham has responded to a prominent critic who questions whether evangelicals who have engaged with the Trump administration have sacrificed morality for political favor.
Graham, the son of legendary evangelist Billy Graham and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, sat down with The New Yorker during his recent Decision America tour through the Northwest part of the United States to answer a number of questions involving evangelicals and President Donald Trump.
During the interview, journalist Eliza Griswold told Graham that she recently spoke with Ed Stetzer, an evangelical author and executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College in Illinois, who has long been critical of conservative evangelical leaders who have engaged with and supported Trump.
Griswold asked Graham, who has attended a few functions for evangelical leaders held at the Trump White House, to respond to Stetzer’s claim that evangelical leaders sacrificed their morality and witness for the sake of Supreme Court nominations and the protection of religious freedom.
“No,” Graham said in response to Stetzer’s argument. “Some people sit around and think too much.”
“President [Bill] Clinton did a lot of good for this country but he brought the country also to a low that we have never had before,” Graham continued. “A lot of the moral issues that Donald Trump has had to deal with go back a number of years.”
Referring to criticisms of Trump’s past sinful and moral transgressions, Graham asserted that people “do change.”
“I know I am not the same person I was 20 or 15 years ago. And I hope we all learn from mistakes and we get better for that,” he said. “All I know is that as human beings we are all flawed, including Franklin Graham.”
Graham, who regularly voices his social conservative views on social media, was also asked about reports that his father, who served as a spiritual adviser to many U.S. presidents, regretted crossing over a line in his career when it comes to “closeness to politics.”
As Graham is regularly among the first handful of pastors to be named when evangelicals and Trump are discussed in the media, Griswold asked Graham about what his late father would think about his “closeness to politics.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith