Timeline of instances of "evangelical leaders" meeting with Trump
Responding to Franklin Graham's Dec 4, 2019 complaints about impeachment

A response to Franklin Graham's denouncing the impeachment inquiry

A response to Franklin Graham's recent Facebook post

 

Mr. Graham,

It has come to my attention that your comments on impeachment are being read by many. Please be more careful with your words. There are a number of things you say here that are incorrect.
- This is the second week of public impeachment hearings. The impeachment inquiry was announced Sept 24.
- Very little of the impeachment inquiry or hearings can be construed as Trump's "enemies" trying to "destroy" him. The inquiries have consisted of various witnesses describing how President Trump and his team worked with Ukraine. The majority of the witnesses consider themselves non-partisan and have worked under Democratic and Republican administrations. Republican politicians, journalists, and commentators agree that Trump's behavior with regard to Ukraine was inappropriate. Mitt Romney and Fox News's Andrew Napolitano are two prominent examples.

"81 percent of Republicans, 85 percent of evangelical Christians and 87 percent of voters living in rural areas agreed that it was unjust for a U.S. politician to ask other countries' governments for help to win an election" according to Oct 17-23 Grinnell College National Poll.

A Oct 27-30 Fox News poll yielded these responses:

In general, is it appropriate for President Trump to ask leaders of foreign countries to investigate allegations against political rivals, or not?
64% No.

To the best of your knowledge, did President Trump ask the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rivals?
60% Yes, he did.

To the best of your knowledge, did President Trump hold up military aid to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rivals?
52% Yes, he did

The impeachment inquiry is related to these issues.

- You also list items which you think outweigh Trump's faults.
- It is not the case that "The U.S. economy is better than it has ever been." According leading economic indicators, "the economy is faltering slightly."  You are right that the employment rate is low but that is a lagging indicator. You are also right that the stock market is high but that is only one factor. However, it is not clear that Trump's policies such as the tax cut have contributed to the health of the economy. His trade war has demonstrably hurt the economy.
- Trump's betrayal of the Kurds in Syria allowed for the release of ISIS prisoners. No expert agrees this was the way to control ISIS. Two days ago a headline in USA Today read: "Pentagon: President Trump's order to withdraw troops from Syria allows ISIS to rebuild." You initially pleaded for Trump to rescind this decision. On Oct 9 you wrote: "The Kurds are the ones who have been leading the fight against ISIS in Syria. Also pray for the Christians who the Kurds have been protecting. They could be annihilated. Would you pray w/me that Pres. @realDonaldTrump will reconsider? Thousands of lives hang in the balance." It is odd that you now praise his handling of ISIS. 
- Indeed, it was announced that the US embassy was moved to Jerusalem, a symbolic move. People are welcome to read up on this issue as to whether it is significant. And just this week the Trump administration declared Israeli settlements in the West Bank to not be illegal (though they acknowledge the settlements are morally wrong). And today Trump ally Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted.
- Finally, you are right that Trump has permitted his administration to appoint conservative judges. The key white evangelical reason for this is "abortion" but it is not clear that restricting access to abortion reduces the abortion rate. Instead, it is easier access to high quality contraceptives that reduces the number of abortions and that is often limited under Republican administrations and so the abortion rate increases.
- In some ways, Trump has defended "religious freedom" but primarily for Christians. Moreover, his withdrawal from Syria has hurt Syrian Christians and he has radically limited the acceptance of refugees (many who are fleeing religious persecution).
- Indeed it is appropriate to pray for President Trump but also (as Jesus emphasizes) "for your enemies."

A few other comments for the supporters of Franklin Graham:
- Franklin Graham made $636,451 from Samaritan's Purse (Operation Christmas Child) in 2018 according to the organization's 990 tax form. He reports that he works there 40 hours per week. When last disclosed in 2014, Franklin Graham also reported working 40 hours per week for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association which now "exists to support and extend the evangelistic calling and ministry of Franklin Graham." In 2015 it became a "an association of churches" so salaries are not disclosed. In 2014, his salary from BGEA was: $205,999.

- Also two of the Board of Directors of Samaritan's Purse are his children.
- Jane Cissie Lynch, Ministry Spokesperson and Special Projects Producer, Samaritan’s Purse.$48,617
- Roy Graham, Director of Donor Relations, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
- His son Will also works for him as Vice President of BGEA. Last disclosure was $98,698 in 2014.

Like the Falwell family and Trump family, nepotism and wealth and fame are typical values in the Graham family.


Franklin Graham publicly declared his admiration for Trump in 2011. He met with Putin alone in Nov or Dec 2015 and and made another trip in March 2019 and met with the sanctioned Putin ally Vyacheslav Volodin. It is clear that Franklin Graham is a long-time ally of Trump's. Franklin Graham has no theological education.

There is no reason why Graham should be looked to for wise judgment on theological or moral or global news issues. For all of these reasons, Franklin Graham should not be looked to for wise judgment on theological or moral or global news issues.

__________________

See also more posts about and documentation about Franklin Graham at: https://www.andyrowell.net/andy_rowell/franklin-graham/

Comments