In the midst of his 50-state Decision America Tour, evangelist Franklin Graham addressed the separation of church and state while speaking to a large crowd from the steps of the Idaho Statehouse in Boise.
He quoted his father Billy Graham, who said in 1976, "Get involved in the political process (he's talking to the church now). This coming year is an election year. I would like to challenge every deeply committed American who is qualified to think about running for political office. I don't believe that we as Christians should withdraw. We need men and women of integrity, Christian commitment, who will run for political office...."
But Franklin added, "Some people say, 'Well, Franklin, how about the separation of church and state?' Well, how about it? When our Founding Fathers gave us this nation, they didn't intend us to leave our faith out on the steps as we walk through the front door of the capitol."
The crowd cheered and shouted "Amen!"
"They didn't just want one religion dominating government like they did in Europe," Franklin continued. "In France, the Catholics dominated the government. In Germany, it was the Lutherans. And in England, it was the Church of England. And our Forefathers didn't want that. They did not want one religion being the state religion. And so we have the freedom to worship however we want to worship, but they never intended us to keep our faith out here and not take it inside when we vote on laws."
Franklin reiterated. "It's the duty of men and women to offer themselves for public office."
Franklin also gave a challenge to church leaders in a way that will make liberals furious, saying, "Pastors, listen to me. You need to get involved, pastors. You can't just sit on the sidelines. You've got to take a stand! Look for people in your congregation that you could get to run for office. Men or women in your church who you think have the wherewithal to be a good politician. Get behind them, help finance them, organize them. Be a community organizer for God."