by Teresa Hall
An Open Letter to Evangelical Leaders
Dear Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr. and James Dobson, I need you to answer a few questions for me. I want to understand who you are a little better.
If I could read your mind…would I want to? If I could see inside of your heart…would I want to? Are you real or are you fake? I am trying to figure you out. I thought I knew you but now I am not so sure.
Most of us judge our Christian leaders on not just what they say but what they do and how they live. Are you living by the words you preach? Or have we all been fooled by your charm and slick words?
Have you sadly chosen power, politics and money over God and country?
Let me ask it another way…
Would you, Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr. and James Dobson, as high-level Christian leaders, endorse a Pastor who….
Does not believe in God?
Is only preaching for money?
Has been married and divorced multiple times?
Has been sued by hundreds of people?
Doesn’t pay his bills?
Has filed bankruptcy multiple times?
Refused to show you his tax returns before being hired?
Owns casinos and hotels and has been linked to prostitutes?
Has children by several women?
Tells you what you want to hear but doesn’t really believe what he is saying?
Preaches against abortion but has encouraged his girlfriends and wives to get abortions?
Talks poorly about women?
Mocks disabled people?
Divides instead of unites his congregation?
Spends outrageous amounts of money on excessive vacations, properties and gold-plated toilets?
Turns away poor people and immigrants at the Church doorstep?
Gives the church money to the richest members and takes money away from the poorest?
Closes the church food pantry?
Brags about himself daily?
Bullies people who disagree with him?
Mocks war heroes like John McCain?
Mocks the dead?
Encourages his flock to make fun of others and punch others in the mouth?
Talks about grabbing the church secretary by the pussy?
Tweets unprofessional, rude and arrogant comments?
Abuses his power at the pulpit?
Franklin Graham – would you attend and support a church with a pastor who did these things? Yes or No? Would you give your endorsement to a church with a pastor who did these things? Yes or No?
I am assuming the answer would be No.
So then can you explain to me why you balked, pouted, pushed back, wrote an editorial and became angry when the leadership at Christianity Today magazine made a brave and well thought out recommendation to its Christian readers to be reflective and cautious in their support of President Trump as his behavior goes contradictory to our faith?
Our national legislature – the House of Representatives, elected by the majority of Americans last year, voted to impeach Mr. Trump and the vote passed. They followed procedures set forth by our wise founding fathers over 200 years ago to protect us from tyrants and dictators.
They voted to impeach the President due to his attempts to deceive the American people and influence an upcoming election by inviting a foreign power to investigate his political rival or risk receiving no money or assistance from our country. You do this and I’ll do that. Tit for tat. Quid pro quo, ya know?
An act so brazen and morally corrupt that it not only calls for impeachment but it calls for total removal from office. Yet you decided not to support the 230 members of Congress constituting a majority who were voted into office by our country’s citizens.
James Dobson – you decided not to support the leadership at Christianity Today Magazine who arrived at their conclusion on the impeachment after weighing in on the facts. You instead voiced your approval of Donald Trump despite evidence proving that he did exactly what he was accused of doing.
Can you explain to me why you continue to stand behind Donald Trump when everything about his life is the opposite of what Jesus preached about?
Can you explain to me Franklin Graham, how you think it is not acceptable for a small-town preacher to do the long list of things mentioned above but it is acceptable for the leader of the free world to do these things? Why does Donald Trump get a pass card for his faulty moral code that you wouldn’t give to your children or any pastor serving under you?
If your argument is that you support Donald Trump because it is your way of accomplishing the goals you want to accomplish, isn’t that like using the devil to do your work?
If a pastor for hire said to you – “I don’t believe in God but I can raise a lot of money for your church” – would it be morally okay for you to employ him? Where do you draw the line Mr. Graham, Mr. Falwell and Mr. Dobson? You claim to be Christian leaders yet despite that, you strongly endorse Mr. Trump who has clearly demonstrated that his moral code is not merely lacking but is repulsive and shameful.
Jerry Falwell Jr., you argue that President Trump is supporting the policies you are fighting for in America but at what cost? Is he really supporting your policies or just buying your vote and the vote of your congregation with his political rhetoric?
If Mr. Trump doesn’t really believe or live by what Christianity stands for but only supports your cause to earn votes – isn’t that alone morally repulsive?
If the devil himself were to say he can eliminate abortion in the world but you must bow down and pledge allegiance to him – do you do it? If no, then why are you doing just that with someone whose conduct brands them as a servant of Hell?
Can you separate the moral code of a man from his leadership ability? I think you know the answer, but I’ll answer for you. No, you cannot!
If a man lacks basic morality in his day to day life, regardless of if he is a small-town preacher or the President of the free world, he cannot lead effectively. Franklin Graham, you said that your dad would be disappointed in Christianity Today for not supporting President Trump.
Well guess what Mr. Graham? I supported you and I am disappointed that you didn’t support Christianity Today. Where does that leave us?
I am not one to push back against powerful religious leaders like yourself Mr. Graham, Mr. Falwell and Mr. Dobson, but as Abe Lincoln said many, many years ago – “to sin by silence, when instead they should protest, makes cowards of grown men.”
Yeah, Abe knew the importance of having a spine. So tonight, I choose to speak up and preach to you from the pew not the pulpit.
Leadership matters. morals matter and the truth matters. Endorsing and creating policies that conform to Christian teachings does not wash away the sins of a leader who signs and stamps such policies.
Osama Bin Laden prayed to his god daily. He signed and endorsed policies within his Muslim religion that called upon the death of America. His followers blindly and willingly flew planes into our tallest buildings as they cried out to God. They died believing they were taking American lives to save Muslim lives.
They traded their moral code for support of a policy that furthered their cause – the expansion of the Muslim religion. Isn’t your support of Donald Trump doing exactly this? In reality, aren’t you trading in the moral code of Christianity and our country to ensure the passage of policies that further your cause?
But at what cost? I am just asking. For a friend of course.
(A social worker, Christian believer, writer, blogger, mother and wife from Nowhere, Ohio)