Evangelist Franklin Graham is urging Christians to work with the Biden administration on issues of shared agreement, even if there is a wide gulf on topics such as abortion.
Graham, the president and CEO of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, told TBN’s Mike Huckabee Wednesday that Christians should pray that President Biden governs with wisdom so that the United States and its citizens, in turn, will succeed.
Biden “set a good tone” in his inaugural address, Graham said.
“I think we ought to give him a chance,” Graham said. “President Trump never got a chance. He was attacked from day one. And I just think, especially Christians across the country, we need to give President Biden a chance – and to see what not just his first day in the office is going to be like, let's see what the first month, the first quarter, the first six months, and let's see what he does.”
Graham, who was a vocal supporter of Trump, said President Biden has a “tough job” and “a lot of enemies” in the world.
“And they're going to test him, and they're gonna push him. And we just need to be praying that God would protect him, guide him and direct him as he leads our country,” Graham said. “Because if he makes right decisions, there's going to benefit all of us. If he makes wrong decisions, we're all going to pay for it. So we need to pray for this man.”
“... There are a lot of socialists that are in this administration. And I hope that President Biden will be able to stand up to them and keep them in check. ... I just want to give him my best. If he called me tonight, I would say, ‘Mr. President, can I have a word of prayer with you?’”
Graham said he won’t compromise on abortion or same-sex marriage “but I certainly can help the president, work with the president, on other issues that don't relate to that, and do my best to help.”
“And so I hope all of us will do what we can to try to uplift this president and pray for him, and to help strengthen him,” Graham said.
Immigration, Graham said, can be one issue of common agreement with the Biden administration.
Graham said he agrees with Biden’s plan to offer a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.
“Many people think that's a bad thing. I think that's a great thing, because the people that say he's gonna make citizens are people that are going to be good citizens,” Graham said. “These are family-oriented people. These are people that come to the plate with a belief in God. I'm not saying these are evangelicals, but these are people that have an understanding of God and a respect for God. But ... they are going to be great citizens.”
Samuel Rodriguez, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said Republicans and Democrats have made wrong assumptions about the direction of the Hispanic vote. Hispanic voters, he said, could be future Republicans.
“Latinos are definitely, according to Pew, the most pro-life community in America, firmly committed to religious liberty, and Latinos are now the firewall against socialism, especially in the state of Florida,” Rodriguez said. “The Latino electorate is not guaranteed to fall into one camp or the other. It is now an independent electorate.
“The Democrats need to understand that. They need to understand if they continue to sway towards the left on issues of life, religious liberty, on issues that undermine our ability to preach the gospel … they will lose the Latino vote. ... Republicans now need to embrace more Latino voters by helping pass comprehensive immigration reform in the first year of a Biden administration,” Rodriguez said. “So both parties have their homework as it pertains to the Latino electorate.”
Said Graham, “I think Samuel’s right that these people just can't be taken for granted” by Democrats.
“If the Democrats continue to move left, I think you're gonna see these Hispanic communities, no question, are going to move to the right,” Graham said.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Drew Angerer/Staff
Video courtesy: TBN
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.