While defending his Decision America California Tour during a radio interview on Tuesday, leading evangelist Franklin Graham decried California as a "sinking" state and stated that sanctuary cities like San Francisco are a "little picture of Hell."
Graham, who is is in a middle of a 10-city tour through the Golden State to call on Christians to run for local public offices and seats on their boards of education, was asked Tuesday during a radio interview to respond to a recent New York Times article titled "The Evangelical Fight to Win Back California."
In a front page article, Graham was quoted as calling on Christians in Pasadena to take a stand against their state's "blue wall." Graham was also quoted as saying that "progressive" is "just another word for godless."
Speaking with conservative pundit Todd Starnes for his Fox News program, Graham was told that the New York Times is making his California tour out to be some sort of "political crusade" before the 2018 midterm elections rather than an evangelistic event.
However, Graham stressed that he is not working with either the Republican or the Democratic Party in this tour.
"I haven't talked to anybody in the parties," Graham responded. "We are staying out of the politics part of it but I do want Christians to vote and I want them to ask God before they vote, who they should vote. But, I don't think the Christians should be silent. The Christian voice needs to be heard."
"So, I am sure the New York Times thinks this is political," he added. "They can think whatever they want to think. I want people to vote. That is so important that we do that and not just vote, but encourage Christians to run for office. We need Christian legislators. We need Christian mayors. We need Christians on the city council."
Although Graham says that he is staying out of the politics side of the discussion, he told Starnes that the type of Christians he desires to see run for office are those who uphold biblical principles when it comes key social issues such as marriage and abortion.
"When I say Christians, I mean Christians who are willing to take a stand for biblical truth for what the Bible has to say about marriage, what the Bible has to say about the sanctity of life and are willing to stand behind God's principles and take a bullet for that," Graham explained. "What I mean by take a bullet is when they get criticized or attacked for their political views, that they just stand there smile and take it and not budge. We need Christians to take a stand and take a hit if need be."
Graham claimed that Christians need to act to save their state because "California is sinking."