A left-leaning Christian activist group is urging Samaritan’s Purse to remove its President and CEO Franklin Graham. The public outcry is in response to Graham’s attendance and prayer during the 2020 Republican National Convention at the end of last month.
On August 28, Faithful American set up a petition dubbed, Tell Samaritan’s Purse: Franklin Graham’s Hateful, Pro-Trump Politics Are Ruining Your Credibility. The group identifies itself as the “largest online community of Christians putting faith into action for social justice.”
In the petition, the activist group argued that if Samaritan’s Purse leaders “truly believe in their ‘purpose of sharing God’s love,’” they would release Graham of his duties.
“The final night of the 2020 Republican convention began with a partisan appearance from notoriously homophobic preacher Franklin Graham,” the petition’s opening paragraph read. “He prayed, ‘I thank you tonight for our president, Donald J. Trump… in the mighty name of your Son.'”
“Standing behind a Trump-Pence campaign sign, Graham also used Jesus’s name to give thanks for ‘the many blessings we have received these past four years.’ We would hardly consider family separation, the deadly federal COVID-19 response, rampant corruption and authoritarianism, or ongoing systemic racism to be ‘blessings,’” the group continued.
Additionally, the petition urged other members of the nonprofit philanthropic group who agree with Faithful America to take a stand. If the Board doesn’t vote to remove Graham from leadership, the activist group asked employees to resign from their positions.
In response, Samaritan’s Purse said Graham “does not tell people who to vote for. He encourages everyone to pray and to vote.”
“If the Democratic National Convention had asked him to pray, he would have prayed at the DNC as well. The most important thing any of us can do for our nation is to pray for our leaders…,” the organization added.
Samaritan’s Purse went on to highlight Graham’s positive work. The Lord has accomplished great things through Graham and his organization. Samaritan’s Purse stands beside its leader and supports the work he has done through the power of the Gospel.
“Under Franklin’s leadership, Samaritan’s Purse is committed to providing spiritual and physical aid to victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine. It is evidenced by our relief efforts in more than 130 countries over the past 50 years,” the group said.
Graham has served as Samaritan’s Purse’s President and CEO since 1979. As of Tuesday, the petition has nearly 14,000 signatures.