Franklin Graham thinks places like California are a “little picture of Hell,” but fully believes that if Christians step up, they can bring it back to the way it once was.
During a recent interview, Graham called California a “sinking” state and compared San Francisco to a “little picture of Hell.”
Graham is currently on a 10-city tour in California in order to encourage Christians to stand up against the state’s anti-Christian laws and beliefs. Graham, who is the son of the late evangelist Rev. Billy Graham, calls California the “blue wall,” because of their education system, economic policies, and “sanctuary cities” throughout the state.
He set out on a “Decision America” tour in order to address constituents before the June 5 primary. During this particular tour, he has been urging Christians to not just vote, but to get up and run for public offices in the state whether it’s a senate position or a board of education position, he states it is important.
On Tuesday, during a radio interview, Graham defended his “Decision America” tour in California due to a New York Times article called “The Evangelical Fight to Win Back California.”
Graham told Todd Starnes, conservative pundit for Fox News, that the New York Times piece made him out to be on a “political crusade” and that is not his point. He refuted the article after the front page piece stated that he called for Christians to stand up against Californias “blue wall.”
In the front page piece, Graham was quoted on calling progressives “godless” and that his “Decision America” tour was a “political crusade” not a Christian event.
Graham sat down with Todd Starnes in order to discuss the contents of the article, and what was right and what was wrongly stated. He made a point to emphasis that the “Decision America” tour is an evangelical event, not a political crusade. He even stated that he isn’t pushing either party, just urging Christians to vote and get involved in politics.
“I haven’t talked to anybody in the parties,” Graham stated. “We are staying out of the politics part of it but I do want Christians to vote and I want them to ask God before they vote, who they should vote. But, I don’t think the Christians should be silent. The Christian voice needs to be heard.”
“So, I am sure the New York Times thinks this is political,” he added. “They can think whatever they want to think. I want people to vote. That is so important that we do that and not just vote, but encourage Christians to run for office. We need Christian legislators. We need Christian mayors. We need Christians on the city council.”
Despite the fact that Graham states that he’s staying out of politics, he is fully encouraging Christians to become more involved. He said he wants to see biblically grounded Christians run for office who hold strong beliefs in social issues like abortion and family values.
“When I say Christians, I mean Christians who are willing to take a stand for biblical truth for what the Bible has to say about marriage, what the Bible has to say about the sanctity of life and are willing to stand behind God’s principles and take a bullet for that,” Graham explained. “What I mean by take a bullet is when they get criticized or attacked for their political views, that they just stand there smile and take it and not budge. We need Christians to take a stand and take a hit if need be.”
Graham also added that its important for Christians to step up because their state is “sinking” and they need to save it.
California is known for their staunch far-left beliefs, including things like LGBT and abortion issues. Graham holds opposition to this topics, but also puts an emphasis on how the states sanctuary cities and protection of undocumented immigrants are taking a tole on the state.
“People are leaving the state. The tax base is eroding. They are turning their once beautiful cities into sanctuary cities, which are just a little picture of Hell,” Graham said. “Just go to San Francisco and go to this once-beautiful city and see what has happened to it.”
Graham’s tour began on May 20, and will lead up to the state primary on June 5. Graham is going through swing districts for U.S. House of Representatives hoping that he can encourage people to get out and vote for the 2018 midterm elections coming up in November.
“I am just wanting the churches to realize that they don’t have to take this and that churches can be the voice and they can be the ones that turn the state back to God and turn it back into a beautiful state,” Graham added.
Graham is not just calling on constituents to step up, but also pastors and church leaders. He believes that pastors should be just as involved as political activists in their communities, and encourage their congregants to do the same.
“I want to see churches responsible for getting control of the education in their state through the school boards,” Graham said. “If every Bible-believing church in California put up a candidate for the school boards, you could get the school boards and the education back in the state for 10 years.”
“I am not telling them how to vote. I am not telling them what party to belong to,” Graham added. “Get out there and vote and be a spokesperson for God’s standards and for moral issues that we face everyday politically.”
Starnes asked Graham what he thought of being called the “Evangelical Paul Revere,” by the New York Times article and Graham responded:
“That is what I want to do,” Graham said. “I want to try to wake the church up before it is too late.”
Graham has stated time and time again that he isn’t outlining how Christians should vote, but what issues they should hold close to their heart.
Despite the fact that Graham has stated that he isn’t encouraging believers to vote a specific way, a board member for his organization, Samaritan’s Purse, told the New York Times that “only as we change the heart of the people of California can California go red again.”