Evangelist Franklin Graham expressed his support for President Donald Trump's recent 90-day travel ban against travelers from seven predominantly Muslims countries, and indefinite ban against Syrian refugees.
Writing on his Facebook page on Jan. 31, Graham called for a "thorough vetting process" based on philosophies:
There have been a lot of protests and discussion about President Donald J. Trump’s executive action on immigration. Some people seem to have forgotten that the priority of the president of the United States is protecting the Constitution and the safety of Americans.
That’s exactly what President Trump is trying to do. Taking action to secure our borders had to start somewhere. Is it perfect? Maybe not, but it is a first step. As they work on solutions during this 90-day travel ban, unfortunately there are some innocent families caught in this time of transition.
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I think that a thorough vetting process really needs to apply to people coming into the U.S. from all countries—not just 7. We have to be sure that the philosophies of those entering our country are compatible with our Constitution. If a person does not agree with our principles of freedom, democracy, and liberty, which we cherish, they should not be allowed to come. Without question, Sharia law is not compatible.
The New York Times reports that there is already a strict vetting process in place, which includes 20 steps: "The current screening process for all refugees involves many layers of security checks before entry into the country, and Syrians were subject to an additional layer of checks. Sometimes, the process, shown below, takes up to two years."
Graham went on to say that Christians should "show God’s love and compassion," which included helping refugees in their own war-torn countries (as opposed to allowing them to immigrate to the U.S.):
But we have to realize that the president’s job is not the same as the job of the church. As Christians we are clearly taught in the Bible to care for the poor and oppressed ... As Christians we are commanded to help all, regardless of religious background or ethnicity, like the Good Samaritan Jesus shared about in the Bible. Our job is to show God’s love and compassion.
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I believe the best way to help is to reach out and help these people in their own countries. I support the establishment of safe zones inside Syria and Iraq that would be protected by the international community until a political solution is found. We need to pray for political solutions that would bring peace and allow them to return to their homes as they desire.
As a matter of Biblical record, Jesus made no mention of keeping refugees in their own war-torn countries or not allowing them to immigrate to safety.
The Rev. Al Sharpton tweeted on Jan. 29 that Jesus was a refugee: "Before you head to church today, remember to thank God for his son, Jesus a refugee who fled to Egypt," which ignited pushback from Fox News on Jan. 31, notes RawStory.com.
Fox News reporter Carley Shimkus insisted that Jesus was not a refugee, while "Fox and Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade mocked Sharpton by suggesting his ordination came in the form of a gift certificate.
Sharpton tweeted: "My response to those who say Jesus was not a refugee. We can have different opinions, but we can’t have different facts!"