AFA defends Graham over praise for Trump

Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Billy Davis, Steve Jordahl (

Trump and GrahamA Mississippi-based ministry is speaking up for Rev. Franklin Graham after a conservative columnist accused him of ignoring the moral failings of President Donald Trump and thus damaging the Church.

An op-ed by National Review writer David French accused Graham of a “collapsing” public witness for seemingly ignoring Trump’s past as an adulterous, thrice-married man while praising the president’s policies that are pleasing to Evangelicals.

“So is this the ‘new normal’ for Evangelicals?” French writes. “Is politics entirely transactional now?”

The column frustrated Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, who himself has criticized Trump’s past but points out --- again --- that American voters had only two names on the ballot in 2016 and thus had to make a choice.


“In the case of Donald Trump,” Wildmon says, “he wanted to be our friend when Hillary Clinton wanted to be our enemy.”

Graham, in fact, stated publicly last year that he has never claimed Trump sets a good example of the Christian faith. 

"I never said he was the best example of the Christian faith," Graham said in an interview. "He defends the faith. And I appreciate that very much.”

Trump, in fact, was handed the White House thanks largely to evangelical voters who chose him over Hillary Clinton 80-20 percent, a number slightly higher than evangelical support for George W. Bush.

French, meanwhile, emerged as a “Never Trumper” before Election Day in 2016 and claimed he didn’t vote for either candidate.

Wildmon tells OneNewsNow that French’s column is unfair and a “low blow” to Graham, because Graham remains faithful to the gospel message and the Great Commission just as his father did.

“When you vote for a president,” Wildmon says, “you're not voting for an elder of your church.”

Trump with Christian conservatives placardThat description mirrors the views of Dr. Robert Jeffress, another prominent evangelical leader who surprised many by supporting Trump during the GOP primary, when Evangelicals were splitting their support among numerous rival candidates rather than the trash-talking real estate mogul.

It didn't help when Trump stated he has never asked God for forgiveness, when repentance and redemption are basic tenets of the Christian faith. 

But the reason for backing Trump, Jeffress has matter-of-factly explained, is that he viewed Trump as the only candidate who could keep Clinton out of the White House, thus protecting Evangelicals from her progressive agenda that runs counter to their world view. 

Franklin Graham preachingIn the op-ed, French called out Graham for opposing Bill Clinton's immorality but giving a supposed pass to Donald Trump.

“If President Trump did the same thing that Bill Clinton did while in office,” responds Wildmon, “then I think he should resign as well, and I think the Christian community would condemn that behavior and ask for his resignation.”

AFA is asking the public to sign an online petition to thank Graham for his ministry and publicly support him despite French’s accusations of hypocrisy.  

Editor's Note: American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.

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