Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Franklin Graham: Repent, vote, run for office

OLYMPIA -- Evangelist Franklin Graham leads a crowd of more than 4,300 in prayer at the Capitol Campus on Wednesday. (Jim Camden/The Spokesman-Review)
OLYMPIA -- Evangelist Franklin Graham leads a crowd of more than 4,300 in prayer at the Capitol Campus on Wednesday. (Jim Camden/The Spokesman-Review)

OLYMPIA – Christians should repent, register to vote and run for office if they want to save America, evangelist Franklin Graham told some 4,300 people gathered on the Capitol Campus Wednesday.

“I believe God’s hand of judgment is coming on this nation unless we repent for our sins,” Graham said.

The son of Billy Graham ticked off a litany of causes he sees for that judgment: abortion, same-sex marriage, racism and entertainment filled with sex and violence. He denounced secularism as the new communism, and said people who call themselves progressives are using “just a code word that I’m an atheist.”

The current election is shaping up to be “the most important election in my life,” Graham said, and urged everyone to vote. But he wouldn’t tell them how to vote. 

“I have zero hope in the Democratic Party. I have zero hope in the Republican Party. The only hope for this nation is almighty God.”

Look at the two candidates for president closely, Graham urged: “Ask yourself which of the two will we as Christians at least have a voice with… You might have to hold your nose.”

Graham’s standards for good Christian candidates might be difficult to apply to the presidential election. He called for the crowd to support candidates who believe in the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage. Likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton supports abortion rights; likely Republican nominee Donald Trump is on his third marriage after two high-profile divorces.

Born-again Christians should consider running for mayor and city council, Franklin said. He noted that the Olympia City Hall is flying the rainbow flag for gay rights, but that might change with “born-again men and women” in charge of city governments.

“What about the flag of the church over every city?” he asked, although he didn’t specify which church.

Christians should also run for school boards, and when considering new books for the curriculum could say, “ ‘Let’s get the Bible in there,’ ” Graham suggested.

The crowd, which was one of the largest in memory on the Capitol Campus, was urged to confess the nation’s sins aloud and their own, silently. They were asked to text a special number set up for the 50-state tour to get literature or sign a pledge. They were asked to pray for leaders like Gov. Jay Inslee that “they come to know Jesus Christ as their lord and savior.”

A spokesman for Inslee said the governor is a non-denominational Protestant who attends the Eagle Harbor Congregational Church near the family home on Bainbridge Island. 

Anyone in the crowd who takes Graham’s advice to heart to run for office will have to wait until next year. Filing for offices on the 2016 ballot closed in May, and the primary election is next month.

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.