“I think Governor Pence has done the right thing...This is simply allowing people of faith space to be able to express their beliefs, to be able to be people of conscience.”
“…God teaches that the human heart must be changed by being born into God’s family. This is what Jesus told Nicodemus, one of the great Jewish political and religious leaders of his day. Nicodemus was a man of high morals, a man who believed in God. But you see, IT WASN’T ENOUGH. It’s not enough just to be moral. It’s not enough just to believe in God. And the Bible says in John 3, that you MUST be born again….’For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that who so ever believeth in Him should not perish but should have everlasting life.' "
Sermon for the Inaugural Prayer Service
The Rev. Franklin Graham
Washington National Cathedral
January 21, 2001
As a Presidential candidate, your statement regarding the Indiana Religious Freedom ACT is of grave concern particularly as it may pertain to policies you might institute if you were to become President. Your lack of discernment as to the implication of religious prejudice in the public sphere seems to be foreshadowed by your brother’s apparent attitude of acceptance of the implications of the Nicodemus Biblical story. This attitude is suggested in the words of Franklin Graham…words that denigrate those people who are not “born-again” implying that they are undesirable in the eye of God. Rev. Graham, as well as his father, who are reportedly close Bush family friends, stated unequivocally that individuals, despite a life full of good deeds, despite a life of righteousness, are condemned for eternity…if they do not accept Jesus. Since Rev. Graham was not publically chastised, is this your family view? Shared by you? Is this why you were quick to support the Indiana law? Is your closely held belief that bigoted religious tenets trump the ideals and laws supporting equal protection?
And thus condemned and disparaged, should these individuals, lacking Godly merit, be entitled to the same civil rights as those citizens who have found Jesus? This theological bigotry expressed by Mr. Graham, who was selected by your brother to give the inaugural sermon, is a seed that has grown many times throughout history into societal intolerance blossoming into abrogation of civil rights and hideous forms of intolerance and violence. Is this merely innocuous elitist proselytising? No! Such attitudes nourish hate? The expression of such views is pernicious and is antithetical to the basic precepts of our nation. Is the “space allowing people of faith to express themselves” filled by intolerance that may metastasize corrupting our democracy?