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My Deep Disappointment with Franklin Graham

My Deep Disappointment with Franklin Graham

By Roger E. Olson
January 25, 2021

According to news reports, after the vote by the House of Representatives to impeach Trump, evangelical leader Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, compared the Republican members of Congress who voted to impeach to Judas, betrayer of Christ.

I am not alone among evangelicals when I criticize Graham for this.

First, on a practical note, comparing those ten Republican members of Congress with Christ-betrayers contributes to the danger they find themselves in. Most of them have received death threats against themselves and their families. What was Graham thinking? Inevitably, his words made their lives more perilous. There are extremist fanatics out there, in America, who might hear or read those words and think of them as justification for harming people. Graham should have thought of that and kept his mouth shut.

Second, on a theological note, comparing those ten Republican members of Congress with Christ-betrayers is tantamount to idolatry--comparing Trump with Christ. Again, what was Graham thinking? Has he lost his mind? I don't know. All I know (or believe) is that this fantastical and horrible comparison is both dangerous and theologically heretical.

I am not a big fan of the Democratic Party because of some elements of its platform and I think that, overall and in general, it is bent on further marginalizing traditional Christian people by placing pressure on churches and Christian organizations and institutions to compromise their beliefs.

Still, and nevertheless, the day after Biden's inauguration I woke up with a feeling of deep and profound loss. What loss? Embarrassment. Throughout Trump's presidency I felt embarrassed for our country. Not OF our country but FOR our country. As all the Republican candidates for the party's nomination said during the 2016 election--Trump was never qualified to be president of the United States. And he had deep personal issues that manifested in words and actions that I found deeply troubling. I'm glad he's finally out of the White House. So is most of the world.

As a Christian, however, I am concerned that the new Democratically-controlled U.S. government will move on now with policies that make life very difficult for Christian organizations that hold to traditional Christian beliefs about marriage and the dignity and value of human life before birth.

Yet, at least the new administration is composed mostly of reasonable people with whom one can reason. That I find encouraging after the last four years.


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