Best-selling Christian author Shane Claiborne and Christian social-justice organization Faithful America are asking Trump’s evangelical advisors to support a peaceful transfer of power.
Despite President-elect Joe Biden’s clear electoral victory and the complete absence of evidence behind Donald Trump’s lawsuits, multiple prominent evangelical leaders are continuing to enable the outgoing president’s dangerous attacks on the democratic process.
“The election isn’t over,” Franklin Graham falsely claimed after networks called the race. Televangelist Paula White-Cain, Trump’s personal pastor and head of the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative, is holding Florida prayer meetings “decreeing” Trump’s victory. Billionaire televangelist Kenneth Copeland brought his (unmasked, non-distanced) audience to their feet with 40 seconds of fake laughter at the idea Biden had won.
In response, 13,452 Christians and counting have signed a new petition from Faithful America calling on Graham, White-Cain, and the president’s Evangelical Advisory Board to accept President-elect Biden’s victory and support a peaceful transfer of power.
Shane Claiborne, the best-selling author and co-founder of Red Letter Christians, signed the Faithful America petition and said in a statement,
“Jesus said, ‘What good is it for a person to gain the whole world but lose their soul?’ We are literally watching this happen before our eyes. Leaders like Franklin Graham have forfeited any moral authority or spiritual credibility for the sake of political expediency. Their unwavering loyalty to Trump is doing tremendous damage to the cause of Christ, and to the reputation of Christians.
“Thankfully, initiatives like this one from Faithful America show us that Trump-Christians like Franklin Graham are increasingly the outliers rather than the norm. For many of us, it is our love for Jesus that fuels us to oppose the rhetoric and policies of Trump.
“The people have spoken. People of faith have spoken. It is time for a regime change in Washington.”
The Rev. Nathan Empsall, Faithful America campaigns director and an Episcopal priest, said in a statement,
“There is zero doubt that Joe Biden will be sworn in as president on January 20, but if Donald Trump continues to spread disinformation, inflame emotions at potential campaign-style events, or create further instability at the Pentagon, there remains a possibility of civil unrest and right-wing violence. Nothing about the lame-duck president’s behavior is either Christian or presidential. As faith leaders, Graham and White-Cain have a moral obligation to de-escalate the situation, not further fan these flames.
“If even Trump adviser and megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress can urge the Fox News audience to accept and pray for Biden as president as they did Trump, so can Graham and White-Cain. It’s time for all Christians to support democracy, help prevent violence, and unite behind the need for an immediate and peaceful transfer of power.”