Franklin Graham presses Christians: Get vaccine or ‘it could be too late’
Evangelical pastor Franklin Graham is encouraging more Christians to get the COVID-19 vaccine, warning that if they wait too long to get the inoculation “it could be too late.”
Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, spoke with “Axios on HBO” about the need for vaccinations.
“I want people to know that God loves them,” Graham said in response to a question from interviewer Mike Allen. “He will forgive you and God will accept you into his presence.”
“I want people to know that COVID-19 can kill you,” he continued. “But we have a vaccine out there that could possibly save your life. And if you wait, it could be too late.”
Graham said last month that both he and his wife had gotten vaccinated and wrote that he believed Jesus would have supported people getting shots, something that ruffled the feathers of some of his evangelical supporters, The Charlotte Observer reported.
A fierce supporter of former President Trump, Graham’s philanthropy opened a field hospital in New York City’s Central Park in April 2020 to help treat patients for COVID-19.
Samaritan’s Purse faced backlash, however, for requiring workers at the location to sign a pledge saying they are Christians who opposed same-sex marriage.
Mount Sinai Health Systems, which was working with the evangelical leader’s group, informed state officials that it would require medical workers to sign a second pledge vowing to not discriminate against patients, according to The New York Times.
Graham accused New York officials of harassment, saying his organization had never discriminated against patients but had a right to “lawfully hire staff who share our Christian beliefs” because it is considered a religious charity.
“It seems tone-deaf to be attacking our religious conviction about marriage at the very moment thousands of New Yorkers are fighting for their lives and dozens of Samaritan’s Purse workers are placing their lives at risk to provide critical medical care,” Graham wrote.
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