In a radio interview on Saturday, evangelist Franklin Graham said that Christians shouldn’t necessarily be concerned by Donald Trump’s troubling history, because the GOP presidential candidate was one of “many people” who “gave their hearts to Christ” at his father Billy Graham’s 95th birthday party in 2013.
Graham was the guest on Saturday’s episode of “The Christian Worldview,” a program hosted by David Wheaton. Wheaton asked Graham, “What do you say to the Christian who has hesitancy to vote for Donald Trump, who’s struggling with that, or who is intending to vote third-party or not at all?”
“Well, first of all, three years ago this coming Monday my father celebrated his 95th birthday,” Graham replied. “Donald Trump was a guest, he came. And we presented a film that night, ‘The Cross,’ and my father gave an invitation and many people that night gave their hearts to Christ, and Donald Trump indicated that night that he had—he did that.”
“Only God knows where his heart is,” Graham continued. “But a lot of things that have been accused of Donald Trump are things that happened 11 years ago, that happened more than five years ago. I don’t think people are taking into account that maybe God has worked on his heart and is changing his heart. So I think you have to consider, what does Donald Trump say today? Not what he said 11 years ago, but what does he say today? And that’s what we’ve got to judge you on.”
When Wheaton asked Graham what Christians should pray about in connection with the election, Graham responded that they should pray that “God would give us leaders” at all levels, down to the school boards. He also warned against “progressive” candidates, saying that “progressive” is just another word for “atheist.”
“When a person says they’re a progressive candidate, it’s just another word for atheist,” he said. “Most progressives, the vast majority of progressives, are atheists. But it sounds nice, it sounds like a very nice, accommodating word, a pleasant word, ‘I’m a progressive.’ Well you just better beware when a person calls themselves a progressive and you better run the other direction. We need not progressives on our school boards, we need born-again men and women of God who are willing to stand up in school boards and when the progressives offer a book that the children should read that’s going to be sexually explicit, we need Christians who are going to stand up and say, ‘That’s trash, we’re not going to approve that, that’s not going to be a book we want our children to read.’”
He added that it is important for conservative Christians to join school boards even if “we will be hated if we take a stand for God and His principles and His standards.”