By Hemant Mehta
In case you need a reminder that the evangelical Christians who support Donald Trump and his insurrection are hardly a fringe group of extremists, here’s evangelist Franklin Graham condemning the 10 Republicans who decided to put country before party and voted for Trump’s second impeachment:
Shame, shame on the ten Republicans who joined with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in impeaching President Trump yesterday. After all that he has done for our country, you would turn your back and betray him so quickly?…
… But the House Democrats impeached him because they hate him and want to do as much damage as they can. And these ten, from his own party, joined in the feeding frenzy. It makes you wonder what the thirty pieces of silver were that Speaker Pelosi promised for this betrayal.
Graham is so stuck inside his Christian bubble, he thinks his enemies are Republican members of Congress whose staffers feared for their own lives because Trump and his allies told people to help him overturn the election results by marching on the Capitol, then did nothing when the violence began, then hesitated to put a stop to it, then said nothing of consequence after five people died. Those Republicans voted to impeach Trump for his role in the insurrection after mostly standing by his side for four years.
And now Graham thinks they’re traitors to the country — and to his faith. For what it’s worth, Pelosi promised them nothing. If anything, those Republicans now face consequences from their own party for daring to be patriots for once.
But this is what Graham does. He’s as responsible as anyone else for creating this irrational hostilities. He uses his platform — with over 9.5 million followers on Facebook — to spread lies on behalf of Trump using the language of the Bible.
Christians don’t get to have the luxury of writing off certain white evangelicals as some sort of fringe element within their faith when one of the most prominent preachers in the country — with one of the most famous names in modern Christianity — is among the leading proponents of misinformation and division.
Christians with a platform need to denounce Graham and everyone associated with his brand of faith immediately. If they’re too cowardly to do so, then they should at least stop complaining about the criticism people are throwing at conservative Christians. They deserve every bit of it.
White evangelical Christianity is synonymous with Trumpism. It will continue to be that way unless other white evangelicals with platforms decide to publicly and forcefully separate themselves from Graham, his ministries, and everyone connected to his brand of hate.