Evangelist Franklin Graham believes a decision not to vote in the 2016 presidential election is “ridiculous” and that choosing a third-party candidate is akin to “wasting your vote,” encouraging Christians to head to the polls to make their voices heard.
Graham, CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, hasn’t formally endorsed a candidate this election cycle, though he has passionately spoken out about the issues he believes are important to Christians.
“It’s about the Supreme Court,” Graham told Faithwire on Thursday. “It’s not about Donald Trump’s bad behavior and his bad mouth; it’s not about Hillary Clinton’s lies and deceit and money laundering through the Clinton foundation.”
He continued, “This is about the Supreme Court, and you have to decide who do you trust to appoint the Supreme Court justices … because the Supreme Court is going to affect our life and my grandchildren’s lives.”
The evangelist encouraged Christians to think deeply and prayerfully about these issues, and while he declined to tell people whom to vote for, he did offer up a few tough critiques of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“Donald Trump has already given us a list of who he’s going to appoint (to the Supreme Court). Hillary won’t do that,” he said.
“She’s going to appoint, she said, progressives, and progressives are basically atheists. Do you trust atheists on the Supreme Court, or people who support religious freedom and liberty?”
As for those who say they can’t vote for either Trump or Clinton and, in turn, plan to choose a third-party candidate, Graham said their decision is “fine” but that it’s essentially a “wasted vote.”
“The third party’s not going to win, so you’re just wasting your vote,” he said.
Graham also looked back at the 2012 election and said that then-Republican candidate Mitt Romney would have been a much better choice for Christians than Presidential Barack Obama; that said, he explained how so many people declined to support Romney or to even show up and vote — a decision he believes had cultural consequences.
“We are in a crisis as a nation. We have, today, same-sex marriage as the law of the land, because Christians did not go to the polls and they didn’t vote,” Graham said. “And I just have to say: shame on the Christians who didn’t vote.”
In the end, though, Graham said Christians have a responsibility to offer prayer and relevant support to whomever wins the 2016 election, which he called “the most critical” electoral showdown in his lifetime.
“Whoever’s elected is going to be our president, whether we like it or not,” Graham said. “We need to do everything we can to pray for that person and support that person where we can, and we move on.”
As Faithwire previously reported, Graham’s daughter, Cissie Graham Lynch, recently explained why she’s endorsing Trump, appearing on Fox & Friends to break down her views on the Supreme Court and plenty more.
Franklin Graham is currently promoting his upcoming documentary “Facing Darkness,” a film about how Samaritan’s Purse stepped in to fight Ebola during the 2014 outbreak in Africa. The movie hits theaters on March 30.
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