Evangelist Franklin Graham, son of the late Billy Graham, might be disturbed by the images and audio of children crying after being separated from their parents after they are detained crossing the U.S. border. However, because Graham has been among President Trump’s strongest supporters, he’s not blaming the current administration.
Graham called the separation of families “disgraceful.”
“It’s disgraceful, and it’s terrible to see families ripped apart and I don’t support that one bit,” Graham said on Christian Broadcasting Network last week.
He didn’t fault Trump for the separations largely stemming from a zero-tolerance policy of detaining adults who cross the border announced by Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.
“I blame politicians for the last 20, 30 years that have allowed this to escalate to the point where it is today,” Graham said.
“We are a country of a laws, laws need to be obeyed, no question about that, but the situation we have today [is] a result of our lawmakers in Washington over generations ignoring this.”
Trump and his cohorts have falsely claimed family separation is not a new policy. Graham, who gave a Bible reading at his inauguration, supports that alternative fact.
Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas, and one of Trump’s chief spiritual advisers, also defended Trump.
“I think the president is willing to sit down with the Democrats and negotiate a way to protect our country and, at the same time, keep families together,” Jeffress told the Dallas Observer.
“I believe the scenes of children being separated from their parents, those pictures are gut-wrenching. Equally gut-wrenching is thinking about the child that was Kate Steinle, who was murdered by an illegal immigrant, being separated forever from her parents. I think there has to be a balance here.”
White evangelicals “share the denunciations of families’ being separated, but they believe the issue is more nuanced than media portrayals suggest, and they still view strong support of Trump as important to their other aims,” according to The Washington Post.