Disappointed with the Republican congressional leadership's inability to score promised policy victories in the omnibus spending bill debate, a leader in the evangelical Christian movement has severed ties with the GOP.
Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, announced Monday afternoon he was fed up with Washington. As a result, he had resigned from the Republican Party and re-registered to vote as an independent.
"Shame on the Republicans and the Democrats for passing such a wasteful spending bill last week," he posted on Facebook. "And to top it off, funding Planned Parenthood! A Huffington Post article called it 'a big win for Planned Parenthood.' I call it a big loss for America."
The inability to defund the nation's largest abortion provider was apparently the final straw. Taxpayers shouldn't be paying for abortions, which is "murder in God's eyes," he said.
"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 wrote. "That should've been all that was needed to turn off the faucet for their funding."
Graham also noted there was "nothing done" to trim this 2,000-plus page, $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. As a result, he's lost confidence that any of the political parties has the nation's best interests at heart.
"I have no hope in the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, or Tea Party to do what is best for America," he wrote. "Unless more godly men and women get in this process and change this wicked system, our country is in for trouble."
Beyond abandoning the GOP, Graham wrote he wants to challenge Christians, and pastors, 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," he wrote. "In just a couple of weeks, I will begin going state by state to every capital in our nation to hold prayer rallies for our country and share this same challenge on the Decision America Tour."
Graham will travel the country throughout 2016 to challenge Christians to "take a stand and take action." He said he will be urging Christians to vote, to live out their faith in every part of their lives, and to pray for our nation "just as Nehemiah cried out to God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and restore hope to His people."
The first stop on the Decision America Tour will be Jan. 5 at the Iowa Statehouse in Des Moines. Participants will gather at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, noon Central Time, on the West Terrace of the Statehouse.
Other states will follow. Visit https://decisionamericatour.com for details about your home state.
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