Religion

Franklin Graham Notes Pence's Christianity, Not Kaine's

| by Michael Allen
Franklin GrahamFranklin Graham

Evangelist Franklin Graham praised Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence of Indiana for mentioning his Christian faith during the Oct. 4 debate, but Graham didn't mention that Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia also talked about his Christian faith.

Graham wrote on his Facebook page on Oct. 5:

Last night during the Vice Presidential Debate, it was so encouraging to hear Governor Pence share about his personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Some politicians may talk about their faith in generalities, but there aren't many who are bold enough to talk about Jesus Christ. As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ I'm grateful for those unashamed to speak His Name and live out their faith in Him.

The debate moderator, Elaine Quijano, asked this question, notes NPR: "You have both been open about the role that faith has played in your lives. Can you discuss in detail a time when you struggled to balance your personal faith and a public policy position? Senator Kaine."

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Kaine replied:

That is an easy one for me, I am really fortunate. I grew up in a wonderful household with great Irish Catholic parents -- my mom and dad are sitting right here. I was educated by Jesuits at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City. My 40th reunion is in ten days. And I worked with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras now nearly thirty five years ago -- and they were the heroes of my life. I try to practice my religion in a very devout way and follow the teachings of my church in my own personal life.

But I don’t believe in this nation -- a first amendment nation where we do not raise any religion over the other and we allow people to worship as they please, that the doctrines of any one religion should be mandated for everyone. For me, the hardest struggle in my faith life was the Catholic Church is against the death penalty and so am I. But I was governor of a state -- and the state law said there was death penalty for crimes that the jury determined to be heinous. So I had to grapple with that. When I was running for governor -- I was attacked pretty strongly because my position on the death penalty.

Pence replied:

It’s a wonderful question and my Christian faith is at the very heart of who I am. I was also raised in a wonderful family of faith. It was church on Sunday morning and grace before dinner. But my Christian faith became real for me when I made a personal decision for Christ when I was a freshman in college. And I have tried to live that out -- however imperfectly every day of my life since.

With my wife at my side, we have followed a calling into public service where we have tried to keep faith with the values that we cherish. And with regard to when I struggle, I appreciate and I have a great deal of respect for the Senator Kaine’s sincere faith. I truly do.

But for me, I would tell you -- for me the sanctity of life proceeds out of the belief that ancient principle that where God says before you were formed in the womb I knew you. And so from my first time in public life, I sought to stand with great compassion for the sanctity of life.

On Oct. 6, Graham told his followers on Facebook that he didn't have "any hope" in political parties, but then told them to be sure to vote (for a political party's nominee):

I don't put any hope in the political parties -- God is the only hope for America. I am encouraging Christians across this country to live out their faith in all aspects of their lives. I'm asking everyone to pray fervently for the future of this country and to vote on November 8. The Christian voice has been too silent too long.

Christians vote in every election, so it's not clear what Graham meant by the "Christian voice" being "too silent too long."

Sources: Franklin Graham/Facebook (2), NPR / Photo Credit: Cornstalker/Wikipedia

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