In the wake of the media storm following Donald Trump’s declaration that Muslim immigration to the United States needs to be brought to a temporary halt, the controversial Republican presidential candidate nominee has been supported by prominent evangelist Franklin Graham, who has accused other politicians of being out of touch.
“For some time I have been saying that Muslim immigration into the United States should be stopped until we can properly vet them or until the war with Islam is over,” Graham declared in a post on Facebook on Wednesday. “Donald J Trump has been criticized by some for saying something similar. The new speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, said yesterday that he disagrees – saying that ‘such views are not what this party stands for and more importantly it’s not what this country stands for.’ Politicians in Washington seem to be totally disconnected with reality.”
Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention, slammed Trump for his comments. Moore said that the great majority of evangelicals are aware that there is a difference between Muslims who are peaceful and the radical ISIS terrorists and that Muslim neighbors and friends needed to be treated with dignity and respect. Evangelical Texas pastor Bob Roberts Jr also condemned Graham’s supportive comments, saying that Muslims in America should not be made to feel that they are our enemies.
Despite widespread condemnation by the media, the Democrats and even most of the Republican Party, Trump’s comments on Muslim immigrants do not appear to have hurt him in the polls. According to Real Clear Politics, the real estate billionaire has surged ahead of his closest Republican rival, Ted Cruz, by nearly 15%.