More than 22,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Rev. Franklin Graham to be fired from his leading roles at the Christian humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse as well as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association because of his support for former President Donald Trump.
The Faithful America petition rebuked Graham for his endorsement of Trump’s “deadly presidency” and described the son of the late evangelist Billy Graham as a “blasphemous preacher.”
“It’s no wonder the failed coup [at the U.S. Capitol] featured crosses and ‘Jesus saves’ banners and flags,” the petition stated. “Graham and the religious right must be held accountable for their deadly dishonesty.”
Samaritan’s Purse — the charity for which Graham serves as president — has, in the age of the coronavirus pandemic, erected several field hospitals in states and cities around the U.S., supplementing the care provided at hospitals where health care workers are stretched thin.
In the last couple weeks, as Faithwire previously reported, Samaritan’s Purse opened respiratory care units in Lenoir, North Carolina, and in Lancaster, California, in Los Angeles County.
The Christian nonprofit also famously set up a hospital in Central Park in New York City in the spring of last year.
Each of those field hospitals came to fruition at the request of local medical and political authorities who extended the invitations to Samaritan’s Purse.
Speaking to Faithwire last year, Graham said of the Central Park unit: “Everybody in the city of New York knows about the tent hospital. We are there in Jesus’ name. It’s just something God has done and it’s given us the opportunity to magnify His name in the middle of a crisis.”
Graham went on to say Samaritan’s Purse had a “very good” relationship with Mount Sinai, the hospital system the charity assisted. He described the staff there as “great” and “very supportive.”
“They’re the one who called us originally,” he explained. “We didn’t call them; they called us. And we agreed to go and we have not charged them one penny. All of our services have been paid for by God’s people.”
It is worth noting that, last week, when the Democrat-led House of Representatives voted for impeach then-President Trump for the second time, 10 Republican lawmakers voted in favor of his removal from office. Graham vocally criticized those politicians, comparing them to Judas, the wayward disciple who turned his back on Jesus and handed Him over to the Roman authorities.
“These ten, from [Trump’s] own party, joined in the feeding frenzy,” Graham wrote in a Facebook post. “It makes you wonder what the thirty pieces of silver were that Speaker Pelosi promised for this betrayal.”
Graham also extended an olive branch to President Joe Biden in a post to Twitter on Wednesday, shortly after the Inauguration. He said he “appreciated” the new president’s address and urged “both parties to work together.”
He also encouraged Biden to “stand up to those on Capitol Hill who want to impeach Donald Trump and tell them to put this behind us.” Graham concluded his message by adding: “I encourage everyone to pray” for Biden.