Evangelist Franklin Graham announced Monday that he left the Republican Party and is now an independent over the GOP's failure to defund Planned Parenthood in last week's omnibus spending bill. Graham, the son of legendary preacher Billy Graham, compared the controversy over Planned Parenthood allegedly discussing selling fetal tissue to the Nazis in a Facebook post explaining why he quit the Republican Party.
The last time evangelist Franklin Graham tried to vote with his feet, it didn't go very well. The story of Graham's choice of banks gained national attention over the summer when he was so outraged by a Wells Fargo television commercial featuring a couple adopting a deaf child that he took action: Graham moved his ministry's considerable assets out of Wells Fargo altogether, as part of Graham's effort to fight "moral decay."
The funny part came when we learned the evangelist moved his money to BB&T, overlooking its sponsorship of gay-pride events and its 80% score in the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index.
Six months later, Graham is voting with his feet again, this time he's marching out of the Republican Party. Alabama Media Group reported today (thanks to my colleague Laura Conaway for the heads-up):
"There's no question -- taxpayers should not be paying for abortions!" Graham said by way of an explanation. "Abortion is murder in God's eyes. 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! That should've been all that was needed to turn off the faucet for their funding."
For the record, whether Graham realizes this or not, taxpayer funding of abortion is already prohibited under federal law. What's more, there is no evidence, video or otherwise, of Planned Parenthood ever "selling baby parts."
Or put another way, the evangelist appears to have walked away from the Republican Party for reasons that don't make a lot of sense -- kind of like his decision to change banks.
Postscript: My wife works for Planned Parenthood, but she played no role in this piece.