Franklin Graham speaks at the Republican National Convention on August 27, 2020 (Drew Angerer/Getty)
Thousands of Christians have signed a petition calling for the resignation of anti-LGBT+ hate preacher Franklin Graham over his unshaken “idolatry” of Donald Trump.
Launched by the Christian group Faithful America and backed by over 22,000 people, the petition condemns Graham for endorsing Trump’s election fraud lies and continuing to support him in the wake of the deadly Capitol riots.
It urges Graham to step down as head of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), and calls on the directors of both organisations to fire him or resign in protest.
“Graham gets away with his hatred and conspiracy theories by hiding behind the humanitarian work of Samaritan’s Purse and his late father’s name,” Faithful America said.
“It’s time for Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to realise that by propping up Franklin’s unchristian extremism, they are abandoning their Gospel missions, undermining democracy, and helping incite white-nationalist sedition.”
The extremist pastor, who preached at Trump’s inauguration, tweeted to his 2.3 million followers in December: “When [Trump] says this election was rigged or stolen, I tend to believe him.”
He doubled down a week after the insurrection, writing on Facebook that Republicans who voted to impeach Trump were like Judas “accepting thirty pieces of silver” to betray Jesus.
In the same post he casually dismissed the violence that left five dead, simply saying: “We knew he had flaws when he ran for office in 2016.”
“There is absolutely nothing Christian about that,” Faithful America said.
“With blasphemous preachers like Graham blessing Trump’s Big Lie and pretending ‘antifa’ was behind the attack, it’s no wonder the failed coup featured crosses and ‘Jesus saves’ banners and flags.
“Graham and the religious right must be held accountable for their deadly dishonesty.”
The petition also indicts the “once-vaunted” Samaritan’s Purse and the BGEA for forgetting “their original Christian missions” and abandoning the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“As long as Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association stand by Franklin Graham … [they] are complicit in the spread of dishonest, discredited election conspiracy theories and the deadly, unpatriotic, white-nationalist terrorism at the US Capitol incited by those lies.”
Franklin Graham has yet to comment on the accusations.