CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Christian Examiner) – Evangelist and Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham says he is quitting the Republican Party in light of the GOP-controlled Congress passing a spending bill that maintains government funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider.
Graham made the comments on Facebook Monday, three days after the spending bill passed the Republican-controlled House on a vote of 316-113. A majority of members from both parties voted for it. Voting for the bill were 150 Republicans and 166 Democrats. A total of 95 Republicans and 18 Democrats voted against it.
When undercover videos were released earlier this year showing Planned Parenthood workers talking callously about dissecting unborn babies, some members of the House GOP threatened to shut down the government until government funding was axed.
"This is an example of why I have resigned from the Republican Party and declared myself Independent," Graham wrote. "I have no hope in the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, or Tea Party to do what is best for America."
Graham then urged Christians across the nation to run for political office, beginning with local elections.
"Unless more godly men and women get in this process and change this wicked system, our country is in for trouble," he wrote. "I want to challenge Christians, even pastors, across the country to pray about running for office where they can have an impact. We need mayors, country commissioners, city council members, school board members who will uphold biblical values."
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The son of evangelist Billy Graham, Franklin Graham said he will hold prayer rallies in every capital in the U.S. in the coming months, beginning in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 5.
He pointed to a Huffington Post article that called the spending bill a "big win for Planned Parenthood."
"I call it a big loss for America. After all of the appalling facts revealed this year about Planned Parenthood, our representatives in Washington had a chance to put a stop to this, but they didn't. There's no question -- taxpayers should not be paying for abortions! Abortion is murder in God's eyes," Graham wrote.
"Seeing and hearing Planned Parenthood talk nonchalantly about selling baby parts from aborted fetuses with utter disregard for human life is reminiscent of Joseph Mengele and the Nazi concentration camps!" he added. "That should've been all that was needed to turn off the faucet for their funding. Nothing was done to trim this 2,000 page, $1.1 trillion budget."