DECISION AMERICA TOUR 2016 Yes, it is another tough primary season in America. By the time this column hits the press, one or more candidates will have dropped out of the race for the presidency. There are promises, accusations, and pushing around. The American political animal, which is rather mild when compared with other parts of the world, is not much different than in the 1770’s (with the exception of technology). In my lifetime, I have seen our country thoroughly reject Jimmy Carter, elect the best president who ever lived in Ronald Reagan, elect Bushes, Clintons, and Obama. From a bird’s eye, that’s a rather diverse experience. I have also noticed one thing about 2016 that seems to be different than in the past. In the past 20 years, evangelical voters have not turned out well for elections. I don’t know why this phenomenon has existed. I do know that if Christians voted, our country would look very different today. As I have said many times, I am no self-righteous know it all. I am flawed and need God’s help every day. But, I am still a voting Christian. Now, Franklin Graham has done something about the low voter turnout among Christians. This seems to be different from the political activity of the “religious right” of past years, (for example, Pat Robertson.) First, a little about Franklin. According to the website, www.decisionamericatour.com, Franklin Graham has devoted his life to meeting the needs of people around the world and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The eldest son of Billy and Ruth Bell Graham, he serves as President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Under his leadership, Samaritan’s Purse has met the needs of poor, sick, and suffering people in more than 100 countries. As an evangelist for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, he has led crusades around the world. He is traveling to all 50 states in 2016 to hold prayer rallies, to preach the Gospel, and to challenge believers to take a stand and take action. He’ll 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. This month, Pathfinder’s Men’s Ministry privately met with Graham for breakfast. It was an awesome experience that I regret that I missed. These guys also took part in the rally in Atlanta. I learned a few things from the Pathfinders who met with Franklin Graham. Unlike many well-known public figures, Graham does not endorse a candidate in the primaries. I don’t know if that will be true in the general election. He believes that it is just fine to talk about and preach about the political issues surrounding our community. He cites the Gospels for this argument. He doesn’t seem to be cut from the self-righteous cloth of many religious people. He may be more spiritual than religious; I already like him. I don’t know what influence his nationwide challenge to Christians to get to the polls will have. But, I am encouraged, uplifted, and impressed. I suppose, but could be wrong, that someone like Franklin Graham has money and money making opportunities today. Instead, of just enjoying his wealth, he is out there on buses, traveling the country, and spreading the word that its ok to be a Christian and its ok to vote like a Christian. This country was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs. That part of history cannot be re-written by even the most ardent socialists and communists in America. Regardless of who you support, I pray that the Christian community gets involved, speaks up, and most importantly, votes.