Franklin Graham: World has a ‘sin problem,’ Trump has ‘concern for Christian values’

Graham praised Trump for giving Christians a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people

Franklin Graham appeared on MSNBC on Saturday morning to defend President Donald Trump during the government shutdown brought about by his obsession with a border wall.

Graham painted the world as sinful, but had much softer words for Trump, whom he praised for having a “concern for Christian values.”

He started out by saying he believes Trump’s claim that he didn’t call Haiti and African nations “shithole countries.” He added that if the president did say those words, it’s not like it would be the first time the senators would have heard it, so who cares?

“I don’t think any of those senators, if he did use that language, have heard that word for the first time. I’m sure that’s a word they’ve used before, I think there’s a little hypocrisy here,” he said.

Graham then filled host Alex Witt in on what he considers to be the real trouble in the world today: Not enough of us having his same religious views.

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“The problem that the world has is called sin,” Graham said. “Sin is disobedience to God and his standards.”

“Our country’s got a sin problem,” he asserted, before blaming politicians and “the moral failure of so many of their policies.”

Graham also noted his support of a Southern border wall, fear-mongering about dangerous people coming in with weapons. Apparently God’s “universal background check” that Graham pointed to when defending his speaking role at an NRA event could use a little structural support, after all. 

Related: Rev. Barber tells ‘bought off’ Trump supporter Franklin Graham to ‘stop lying’

Host Alex Witt then questioned Graham, President and CEO of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as well as Samaritan’s Purse, on what he made of the allegations by an adult film star that she was paid to keep quiet about an affair she had with Trump shortly after the birth of his youngest son, Barron.

How does that tie in to the country’s sin problem?

Not a bit, naturally. 

Sure, Graham admits, Trump isn’t “President Perfect,” but, hey, who is, right? Plus, Trump, according to Graham, has a “concern for Christian values.”

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“Reverend, you just told me that this country has a sin problem, and I know you’ve no doubt heard that the president is accused of having his lawyer pay $130,000 to a former porn star, allegedly for her silence about his sexual encounter while he’s married. His attorney denies any sexual affair. But does this story, the previous allegations as well, that access “Access Hollywood” tape, does that challenge your faith in the president?” Witt asked. 

“I appreciate the fact that he does have a concern for Christian values, he does have a concern to protect Christians, whether it’s here at home or around the world, and I appreciate the fact that he protects religious liberty and freedom,” Graham responded. 

“Religious liberty” and “religious freedom” being buzzwords that can roughly be translated to “a license to discriminate.”

The Trump administration recently announced that the Department of Health and Human Services was creating a new division of the Office of Civil Rights to give healthcare workers the right to deny services to LGBTQ people. Previously, Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a memo instructing the Department of Justice to give more weight to complaints of violations of so-called “religious liberty.”

Graham also argued that even if Trump did have an affair, it was long enough ago that it shouldn’t matter, because he is probably a changed man by now. 

“Now did he have an affair with this woman? I have no clue, but I believe that 70 years of age, the president is a much different person today than he was four years ago, five years ago, ten years ago, or whatever,” he said. “And we just have to give the man the benefit of the doubt.”

“He said he didn’t do it, so okay, let’s say he didn’t do it.”

Meanwhile, on Friday night’s episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher,” “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff said he believes Trump has been having an affair with a different woman while in the White House.

The plot thickens.

You can watch the full interview with Graham below.

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Posted by Jeff Taylor / Social Media Editor

Jeff Taylor is a journalist and artist. In addition to QNotes, his work has appeared in publications such The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing Charlotte, Inside Lacrosse, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. He graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport and has lived in Charlotte since 2006.@jefftaylorhuman.