Celebrated evangelical leader Franklin Graham has denounced politicians who are exploiting the Charlottesville tragedy to attack President Trump and his administration, saying that such divisions are Satanic.
“Shame on the politicians who are trying to push blame on President Trump for what happened in #Charlottesville, VA. That’s absurd,” Graham wrote in a Facebook post Sunday.
Graham, the son of the great evangelist Billy Graham, did not endorse Donald Trump in last November’s presidential elections, but eventually came to consider him a better candidate for the nation’s highest office than his opponent, Hillary Clinton, who openly endorses abortion-on-demand, gay marriage, and other positions that directly conflict with biblical morality.
In the present instance, Rev. Graham has insisted that using the Charlottesville tragedy to bash Trump is an egregious case of misplaced blame and willful manipulation of the facts.
“What about the politicians such as the city council who voted to remove a memorial that had been in place since 1924, regardless of the possible repercussions?” Graham wrote. “How about the city politicians who issued the permit for the lawful demonstration to defend the statue? And why didn’t the mayor or the governor see that a powder keg was about to explode and stop it before it got started?”
“Instead they want to blame President Donald J. Trump for everything,” he lamented.
The Christian preacher said he sees the present conflict as instigated by the devil, the father of lies.
“Really, this boils down to evil in people’s hearts. Satan is behind it all,” Graham wrote. “He wants division, he wants unrest, he wants violence and hatred. He’s the enemy of peace and unity.”
Graham ended his post with a passionate appeal for unity, rather than division, in the face of national tragedy.
“I denounce bigotry and racism of every form, be it black, white or any other,” he said. “My prayer is that our nation will come together. We are stronger together, and our answers lie in turning to God,” he wrote.
“Continue to pray for peace and for all those impacted by Saturday’s tragedies,” he said.
Jesuit Father James Martin, who supported Hillary Clinton in last November’s election, was quick to assail Rev. Graham’s declarations, once again thrusting the blame for the Charlottesville tragedy squarely on Trump’s shoulders for his alleged “courting” of the alt right.
The president’s courting of the alt right, his egging on of violence and his failure to swiftly condemn white supremacists is the real shame https://t.co/POjeayF57P
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) August 14, 2017
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