A large crowd listens on as Franklin Graham speaks to Christians during a prayer rally on the West Terrace of the Iowa State Capitol as part of the Decision America Tour on Tuesday January 5, in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo by David K Purdy, courtesy of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Franklin Graham starts cross-country rallies: 'America needs the Christian vote'

A large crowd listens on as Franklin Graham speaks to Christians during a prayer rally on the West Terrace of the Iowa State Capitol as part of the Decision America Tour on Tuesday January 5, in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo by David K Purdy, courtesy of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

A large crowd listens on as Franklin Graham speaks to Christians during a prayer rally on the West Terrace of the Iowa State Capitol as part of the Decision America Tour on Tuesday January 5, in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo by David K Purdy, courtesy of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

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(RNS) Evangelist Franklin Graham kicked off a “Decision America Tour" on Tuesday (Jan. 5) in Des Moines, Iowa, urging evangelical Christians to pray about the upcoming election and vote for candidates of any party who agree with their biblical values.

“Our moral walls and gates are down,” said Graham, standing before 2,600 people at the state’s gold-domed Capitol. “Any type of wicked thought and activity can come and go and our educators and our politicians and our churches seem many times to be more concerned about political correctness than God’s truth and his righteousness.”

Graham said that praying and voting Christians are needed to address the troubles facing the country. But, two weeks after he announced his departure from the Republican Party, he said no one party has the answer.

“I have no hope in the Democratic Party,” said the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “Listen to me: I have zero hope in the Republican Party. I have no hope in Tea Party or any other party. My only hope is in almighty God and his son Jesus Christ.”

READ: Franklin Graham quits the GOP over Planned Parenthood funding

The crowd, bundled up in warm coats and knit hats with some holding small American flags, cheered.

Saying “America needs the Christian vote,” Graham proposed next steps after the rally, which he intends to replicate across the country from Jan. 12 in Tallahassee, Fla., to March 31 in Sacramento, Calif. Some prayer rallies are still in the planning stages.

The tour’s website includes a three-point pledge for people to commit to pray, vote and consider running for office.

Noting the millions of evangelicals who stayed home during the 2012 election, Graham asked ralliers to make sure their relatives -- including nieces and nephews -- were registered to vote and to form groups to pray for their communities.

(Adelle M. Banks is production editor and a national reporter for RNS)


  1. Incoherent message on Graham’s part.

    On the one hand, he’s telling Christians to vote; on the other hand, he preceded that message with a message that all political parties are complete failures, the inference being that all candidates from those parties are failures, too, or at best, creatures of those parties.

    Memo to Franklin Graham:

    Unless you have a consistent, coherent message to offer, don’t say anything.

    Here’s a better message:

    (1) Christians should vote.

    (2) Christians should vote like Christians.


  2. Jack,

    It makes no sense to me at all as well. Which is why, quoting his partial statement of “my only hope is in Almighty God and his son, Christ Jesus,” I, as a Christian, and saying those same words, refuse to vote for any politician.

    I give my full support and trust to God’s kingdom or heavenly government as man’s only hope (Daniel 2:44; Isaiah 11:1-10) instead of man’s. He just wants to “straddle the fence.”

  3. Go Frank Go! Form the theocratic 3rd party you always wanted. Siphon off the religious right wingnuts from mainstream politics.

  4. I don’t think he will, though, Larry. I suspect a ruse to pull the evangelical voters–many frustrated by the lack of support for their social agenda–back into the Republican fold.

  5. He is trying to help the country. That is a good thing. He is encouraging Christians to pray for the country and that is a very good thing as prayer changes things. His Father was gifted with evangelism and used His gift to help this country and many received Christ through His witness. His message was simple. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The wages (or penalty) of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. We need to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Turn away from sin, and abide in Him. Then we will know God’s forgiveness and peace in our lives and promise of everlasting life. God Bless

  6. Fran, He is exactly correct. Of course, the ultimate answer to our problems is turning to Christ in faith and we are commissioned to take the gospel to the world. However, that does not mean that Christians are to hide in the corner and not get involved in the public square or to refrain from voting. We need godly leaders in this country. America is in a terrible situation. Christians are not supposed to hide our influence but to be salt and light. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. Pray and vote! Otherwise, America will be gone forever and so will our religious liberty. If we lose our religious liberty, how will that help in the spread of the gospel? Listen, think and discern!

  7. Bob, I am praying for you right now It is obvious you have a lot of issues. May God draw you to Himself or reveal Himself to you in the midst of your anger and desire to exclude Him from your life.

  8. Deborah, you’re too nice.

    Bob, you need a roll of napkins….you’re drooling all over yourself with hate.

    The whole reason the “sicko Jesus savior story” even made it out of Jerusalem in the first place, let alone traversed every habitable continent in the ensuing millennia, is that nobody could refute what Jesus’ disciples were saying. They could not explain how in the world the body of Jesus was no longer in the tomb days after he died. Every natural explanation was quickly debunked by the surrounding circumstances.

    And for the past 20 centuries, nobody has come up with a natural explanation.

    Can you?

    (This should be fun….Overconfident fanatic that he is, Bob has no idea what he’s getting into….)

  9. Deborah,

    Instead of hiding in the corner, I will share with others the “good news of God’s kingdom” as Jesus, his disciples, apostles and first-century Christians did.

    None of them got involved in politics. Jesus said his kingdom was no part of this world and instructed his followers to be no part of the world (John 17:16; 18:36).

    Jesus gave “signs” of the last days of a wicked era (Matt. 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21), which we are living in. The good news is being preached worldwide before the end comes (Matt. 24:14).

    Since that is the case, God’s government will soon put an end to ALL human governments and replace them. Jesus then starts his millennial rule as King (Daniel 2:44; Isaiah 11:1-10) over man living on earth.

    The entire world is in terrible condition as Jesus foretold. The apostles in Acts were threatened, imprisoned and beat up, but kept preaching. So will I, but I will not vote. Only God’s kingdom will bring “real liberty” to ALL men.

  10. Jack, which is more objectively credible?

    That a story is made up, long after the alleged incident or that some supernatural mysterious thing occurred?

    There is an empty spot in the Tomb of Hercules in Cadiz, Spain. Obviously the stories are true, Hercules ascended to the gods upon his death.

    Anyone who claims their religious belief is based on something besides faith is 1ying.

  11. Jesus encouraged his followers to pray for God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done in heaven and also on earth in the model prayer. That should be our most important focus in these last days. Then both God and his son, Jesus will provide everlasting life to all meek ones on earth through and after Jesus’ millennial rule.

  12. Bob,

    A perfect life had to be given for all imperfect humans to “seal” the guarantee of everlasting life for us humans. Otherwise, we would only continue to get old and die till the end of time. You must be really desirous of that!

    Both God (who is NOT a trinity) and his son, Jesus, loved mankind so much to accomplish that sacrifice, because of their intense love for man.

    Humans sacrifice their lives to a “God of war” every day (which both God and his son detest); yet, what have the sacrifices of millions of lives in war through the decades accomplished? Absolutely NOTHING! Only more and more wars and more and more deaths!

    Jesus proved faithful to his Father, God, until death, and he deserved to be resurrected back to life and rule as King of God’s kingdom over man. You don’t appreciate the supreme sacrifice that both God and Jesus made for man. But I will, and I look forward to grand blessings from both God and Jesus in the near future! ❤️

  13. LOL — Way to ignore the obvious, Larry.

    Of course from the outset, any claim of a miracle should not be blindly believed. Only a benighted dunce would argue otherwise.

    And if we had no other information about the claim other than the claim itself, the default position would be to disbelieve.

    But my whole point is that we have much more historically than the claim itself. And it’s abundantly obvious that you are scared to death to investigate such data, for fear of where it will lead.

    As for Bob, he is too busy raging against the God he says he disbelieves in to pay much mind to the issue. He’s ringing in the New Year by chewing through his fifth rug in as many months.

  14. No, Bob, even you must sense how silly that is…..I’m not going to speculate on why God did things one way and not another, but I will gladly provide evidence supporting the contention that He indeed did them. Then you can go argue with Him about why He did things His way and not Your Royal Highness’s way.

    Why God puts up with any of us (including me) is perhaps the most puzzling question of all, but in your current self-deluded state, I don’t expect you to grasp the dilemma at all.

  15. Fran & Others, if you don’t use your best judgement to vote for someone who will stop this flood of sin and immorality, including abortion, you are responsible for the state this country is in and for the advancement of Satan’s plan. Prayer is not enough! Noah did not just pray. Paul did not just pray. David did not just pray. Because of people like you sitting on your butts instead of taking an active part, we have the most evil administration in history. You should be ashamed and you will have to make an accounting to God for your sitting on the sidelines when you could have registered and voted.
    I have been a born again Christian for more than 40 years and I drove 100 miles each way to vote for Ronald Reagan. Yes, I pray and fast for Christian leaders, but I also DO SOMETHING ABOUT! I fight actively to end abortion, homosexual take over of our government and a corrupt Supreme Court. Wake up and get off your couches.

  16. Obviously you are an atheist trolling this site. Go away and commune with others of your ilk. You will meet them again in hell unless you repent and accept Jesus. You have been warned.

  17. They have ears but they hear not. They have eyes but they do not see. Rev Graham is simply saying that our hope is not in any party but in individuals and we must elect individuals, regardless of party, who will apply Christian values to their service to this country. The Republican party has their RINOs but there are many good, Godly Christians, in the Republican party. The Democrats, the party of the KKK, is about as corrupt and evil in the platform and policies as you can get but I’m sure there are some Christians who need to wake up and leave it. They still deserve a vote if you can find them. The bottom line here is you can pray and fast but you must do more to help advance the Gospel, you need to fight and vote for people who will not persecute Christians and pass laws that violate God’s laws. Wake up! Get up and do something before it’s too late. Those who sat on the sidelines in 2012 bear a share of responsibility for the sin of this administration. You should be ashamed!

  18. The obvious is that you expect ridiculous stories to be taken at face value because of your religious belief. That is why you feel the need to sling insults here,

    “And if we had no other information about the claim other than the claim itself, the default position would be to disbelieve.”

    Wrong. The burden of proof is on the people making the claim. If I said I saw a unicorn and there is no other witnesses, you are supposed to disprove it? LOL.

    The real point is that there are no objectively credible historical claims to be made here. There is a lot more assumption than believers will be willing to admit to. This is why the honest approach is to take such things on faith. Not pretend they are evidence.

    Fairness and common sense dictates that the question of Jesus’s actual existence will never be verified one way or the other. Both you and Bob assume too much.

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