In a brave op-ed, Billy Graham's granddaughter calls on evangelical Christians to stop supporting Trump.
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Donald Trump's presidency has exposed some remarkable hypocrisy within the evangelical Christian movement.

The group, which once claimed to be the backbone of America's "moral majority" made up of "family values" voters, have given their full support to a crass and cruel man whose narcissism has absolutely nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Astonishingly , he's gained their support without showing any real understanding of Christianity or The Bible. Who can forget the time he was unable to name a single verse from his "favorite book" of The Bible?



Trump unable to name one verse from "favorite book" The Bible www.youtube.com

Despite this, 72% of white evangelical Christians support the president, according to a poll conducted by Pew Research,

Franklin Graham, evangelist and son of the man who essentially founded the movement, Billy Graham, believes Donald Trump's election was divine intervention.

"I think God was behind the last election," Graham told conservative news site The Western Journal.

Evangelicals praise the president for appointing conservative judges and aggressively supporting the pro-life movement while turning a blind eye to his many failings as a politician and a man.

Would Jesus separate children from families at the border? Would the king of kings tolerate Trump's pathological lying? Would Christ support Trump's hostility towards women and people of color? Should Trump be forgiven for his unquenchable greed?

So why have evangelicals seemingly abandoned their beliefs to support Trump? A Stanford study found that people's political beliefs tend to be more firmly held than their religious faith. So when they come into conflict, people will follow their political beliefs, then they rationalize the rejection of their religious side.

An indeed, many evangelicals have rationalized their support for Trump by calling him an unlikely vessel or "someone God has chosen for an important historical purpose, despite not looking like — or having the religious character of — an obvious man of God."

Which is why it makes it all the more remarkable that Billy Graham's granddaughter, Jerushah Duford, has called out evangelical hypocrisy in a powerful USA Today ope-ed, entitled: "I'm Billy Graham's granddaughter. Evangelical support of Donald Trump spits on his legacy."

In the article, she calls for evangelical women to stop criticizing Trump in hushed tones and to raise their voiced against him in the run up to the election. She also says it's necessary for the church to reject Trump to regain a shred of credibility.

Duford says Trump's election made her feel "homeless" and "disoriented" as she watched her church turn "its eyes away from everything it teaches." What first began as a gentle tug at her spirit, grew to become a feeling she could no longer stomach.

"The gentle tug became an aggressive yank, for me, earlier this year, when our country experienced division in the form of riots, incited in great part by this president's divisive rhetoric. I watched our president walk through Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., after the tear gassing of peaceful protesters for a photo op," Duford writes.


"He held a Bible, something so sacred to all of us, yet he treated that Bible with a callousness that would offend anyone intimately familiar with the words inside it," she continued. "He believed that action would honor him and only him. However, the church, designed to honor God, said nothing."

She also spoke of the damage that the church's support for the president has caused its reputation.

"It seems that the only evangelical leaders to speak up praised the president, with no mention of his behavior that is antithetical to the Jesus we serve. The entire world has watched the term 'evangelical" become synonymous with hypocrisy and disingenuousness," she writes.

"My faith and my church have become a laughing stock, and any attempt by its members to defend the actions of Trump at this time sound hollow and insincere," she writes.

Duford called for fellow evangelicals to get their priorities straight by putting God before politics and believes that doing so would be empowering to women in the faith.

"The God we serve empowers us as women to represent Him before our churches. We represent God before we represented any political party or leader," She writes. "When we fail to remember this, we are minimizing the role He created for us to fill."

"Jesus loved women; He served women; He valued women. We need to give ourselves permission to stand up to do the same," she continued.

Duford's op-ed is a bold and brave statement for an influential figure in a movement that has become synonymous with the Republican Party to nake. But, according to Duford, that type of bravery is what's demanded of her by her faith.

"I chose to listen to my spirit to speak out. Not because doing so feels comfortable, but because it feels like the right way to leverage the voice God has empowered me with," she writes.

"Now I am asking all of you who feel as I do, to embrace your inner tug, and allow it to lead you to use the power of your God-given voice and not allow Trump to lead this country for another four years," the piece concludes.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.