Decision America Tour draws thousands to state capitol

In its final stop on a 50 state tour, Franklin Grahams initiative implores Christians to vote their values in November

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s own Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse held his last stop on the Decision America Tour on the grounds of the State Capitol in Raleigh Thursday, completing a months-long expedition to all 50 state capitols that seeks to unite Christians in voting their values come election time.State Capitol Police estimated 10,500 people attended the event, as they enjoyed musical performances, prayed together, and received a moving speech from Graham to cap it all off.”Washington doesn’t work,” Graham told the crowd. “So much of our politics in this country is broken and no political party or individual is going to be able to turn this around.”Graham implored all in attendance to become engaged in the political process in order to ensure those values are represented and their voices heard. If you don’t vote, Graham said, you have no one to blame but yourself.”I have zero hope in the Democratic party,” said Graham to cheers. “Now before you Republicans start high-fiving and doing back flips,” he deadpanned. “I have zero hope in the Republican party. The only hope for North Carolina – the only hope for the United States of America – is God.”Graham lamented the state of American culture, saying sin is on display everywhere you look; from sex and violence dominating the entertainment industry, to the abandoning of the traditional definition of marriage. The latter, Graham noted, is being foisted upon them from court decisions, overturning the will of the voters as represented in the passage of such motions as Amendment One in North Carolina.Addressing the unease that many Christian voters face concerning presidential candidates this election cycle, Graham advised hesitant voters to “hold your nose,” saying that this election is not about vulgar language or classified emails. Instead, Graham emphasized the importance of future appointments to the United States Supreme Court and their implications for the values Christian Americans hold so dear.Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, attended the event Thursday and believes what Graham’s Decision America Tour is doing is the most important work being done during this election cycle.”What this tour is doing is anchoring us back to our moral compass,” said Creech. “Those great values that made us a great nation, and made us certainly one of the most prosperous nations, not only in the world, but in all of human history.””We’ve been moving away from that for several decades and now we’re seeing the results of it,” added Creech. “Liberty is being diminished in many respects, our unity is greatly being affected. We’ve become fractured as a people because we no longer are unified around those great values and moral principles that we once held.”According to Creech, North Carolina is ground zero in the fight to reclaim and embrace those principles nationwide.”We are at the heart of the battle for our nation,” said Creech, echoing Graham’s speech about North Carolina’s importance in this contest.More than a battleground state in the presidential election, Graham referenced statewide issues with national political and cultural implications such as House Bill 2.”I thank Governor McCrory for the stand that he’s taken,” stated Graham. “He has come under a lot of heat, and I thank God for him.”In his closing prayer, Graham asked for the protection of those in eastern North Carolina who are suffering from the ongoing floods brought by Hurricane Matthew over the weekend. His organization, Samaritan’s Purse, is working to provide aid to those affected by the rising waters and asked all to help in any way they can.The crowd of thousands ended the event with a chorus of America the Beautiful before departing the State Capitol grounds with their hearts and minds firmly set on the November 8 election.