Franklin Graham, CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, tells Breitbart News the government in the United States: federal, state and local, “has marginalized the church.”
The Breitbart News interview with Graham comes one day after he launched his 50 state “Decision America 2016” tour on the steps of the State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa. Graham’s goal is to encourage Christians to participate in the political process this election cycle by voting for candidates who support Biblical values and by considering their own run for office.
“We have removed God from the political process,” Graham tells Breitbart News.
“One hundred years ago, pastors were the political leaders in the community,” Graham says.
“When people were sick one hundred years ago, they didn’t look to the government. You went to church related hospitals,” he notes, adding that Baptists, Catholics, Methodists and many other denominations owned and privately operated hospitals with little, if any, government interference or financial assistance one hundred years ago.
“If you were hungry, it was the churches that would feed you,” he adds.
“So the government,” Graham notes, “has taken that now away from the church.”
“Today the government has taken all these responsibilities from the church and has marginalized the church,” he says.
“It’s time for Americans in the church, for Christians, to wake up,” Graham tells Breitbart News.
Here’s a partial transcript of the interview:
BREITBART NEWS: Your call for Christians to engage politically by voting and possibly running for office lays out one very broad criteria—to vote for a candidate who supports Biblical values. You do cite two specific policy positions –opposition to abortion and same sex marriage.
Beyond that, you seem to leave that discernment of whether candidates support biblical values to individual Christians. Do I have that right?
FRANKLIN GRAHAM: I wanted to give a couple of examples [of behavior from candidates who don’t support Biblical values]. There’s lying, there’s stealing…
I don’t want to try to paint the Mona Lisa. I want to give people the idea of what it means to participate in the political process.
There are particular sins that our nation has embraced–homosexual marriage and abortion. I encourage Christians to vote for politicians who stand for Biblical values. Let the individual Christians make the discernment as to what those values are.
I’m not going to tell them to vote for or against a particular candidate.
BREITBART NEWS: Some critics claim that you’re trying to establish a Christian theocracy, but it seems to me what you’re actually trying to do is to fight the establishment of a “secular theocracy.” Would you comment on that?
FRANKLIN GRAHAM: That’s exactly right. Secularism has won the day in our government. It’s in both parties, Republican and Democrat.
The question at the end of the day is where does God stand in the political process.
We have removed God from the political process.
One hundred years ago, pastors were the political leaders in the community.
When people were sick one hundred years ago, they didn’t look to the government. You went to church related hospitals…
So the government has taken that now away from the church.
If you were hungry, it was the churches that would feed you.
Today the government has taken all these responsibilities from the church and has marginalized the church.
It’s time for Americans in the church, for Christians, to wake up.
BREITBART NEWS: Have you seen an increase in hostility towards Christians in the United States over the past decade or so?
FRANKLIN GRAHAM: Yes. I can’t say outright hostility but there’s no question that hostility [towards Christians] is right under the surface. It will come to the surface very quickly.
Graham continues his 50 state tour next Tuesday in Tallahassee, Florida and on Wednesday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Each tour stop will be held in the state’s capital city.