The action of an American president to protect the people of his nation from harm is “not a Bible issue,” evangelist Franklin Graham said this week.
Graham was interviewed by the Huffington Post as part of its coverage of executive orders being issued by President Donald Trump to impose a temporary four-month refugee freeze and begin tough new vetting procedures for anyone allowed in the county. Trump is also expected to sign orders limiting refugees from several nations in which terrorism is out of control.
Graham said there is a difference between showing love and putting lives at risk.
“It’s not a biblical command for the country to let everyone in who wants to come, that’s not a Bible issue,” Graham said.
“We want to love people, we want to be kind to people, we want to be considerate, but we have a country and a country should have order and there are laws that relate to immigration and I think we should follow those laws,” he added. “Because of the dangers we see today in this world, we need to be very careful.”
Graham, like Trump, said that despite the length of the process currently in place for vetting refugees, experience has shown it needs to be better
“I think it can be better,” he said. “There are some very dangerous people in the world today, especially coming out of the Middle East.”
Graham has previously said a ban on Muslims entering the United States should be in place to reduce the risk of terrorism.
After a Muslim killed four Marines and wounded three in Chattanooga, Tenn., in July 2015, Graham wrote, “We are under attack by Muslims at home and abroad. We should stop all immigration of Muslims to the U.S. until this threat with Islam has been settled. Every Muslim that comes into this country has the potential to be radicalized — and they do their killing to honor their religion and Muhammad. During World War 2, we didn’t allow Japanese to immigrate to America, nor did we allow Germans. Why are we allowing Muslims now?” he wrote on his Facebook page.
Graham said the United States should give priority to religions persecuted around the world, including Jews and Christians.
He also noted that the job of a president is to defend the American people.
“We live in a very dangerous world and I think the president’s first priority is to protect the American people and until there is a better system in place for vetting and knowing who comes into America, I believe every person who comes into the U.S. should be vetted,” Graham said. “We need to know who they are and what they believe, if they share the same core values of freedom and liberty.”
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