A former presidential candidate is blasting Franklin Graham and Richard Land for expressing their endorsement of universal background checks as a form of gun control, stating that they are “on the wrong side of the Bible and history.”
In a recent Time Magazine article, Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, explained that he supported the concept in light of December’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“As ministers, we agreed together that we could stand on a united front for universal background checks,” he stated, advising that he has had numerous discussions about the matter with civil rights leader Amos Brown. “We think that’s reasonable and responsible.”
“There are millions of people that we can mobilize behind something like this, but it takes leadership from the White House,” Graham said.
Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, likewise outlined that he had written a letter to Barack Obama vowing to back legislation surrounding universal background checks. He opposes efforts to ban assault weapons, however.
Land remarked that few evangelicals support background checks, and that for the Obama administration to gain approval of the measure, it should also tackle issues such as violence in the movie and music industry.
“We’re not going to oppose universal background checks — it’s a nice idea but only law-abiding citizens follow that,” Land told the publication. “The more the president can make this multi-pronged, the more support he’s going to receive from evangelicals.”
However, upon discovery of the recent article, former 2008 presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin, who ran under the Constitution Party, blasted the men on his ministry website, stating that they were “on the wrong side of the Bible and history.”
“My disappointment, and even anger, at Mr. Graham’s endorsement of universal background checks cannot be put into words,” he wrote. “When America falls into tyranny and oppression, it will be with the help and assistance of the likes of Franklin Graham and Richard Land. In fact, it is no hyperbole to say that pastors and Christians all over America are facilitating their own slavery.”
“Graham and Land are either totally ignorant of the meaning and ramification of ‘universal background checks’ or they are willing participants in America’s subservience to an ever-burgeoning police state,” he continued. “Either way, they are both on the wrong side of the Bible and history.”
Baldwin called universal background checks “an egregious assault against both the right to keep and bear arms and the private ownership of personal property.”
“Should this universal background check bill become law, it would be a crime for individuals to buy or sell a firearm without filling out a government form similar to the one firearm dealers are required to fill out, which equates to asking the State for permission to purchase a gun,” he stated. “In essence, private citizens would be subject to all the laws and penalties as are licensed gun dealers.”
Baldwin also asserted that universal background checks are a roundabout means to create a universal registry of gun owners.
“[I]nstituting a universal background check system would create a national database of all firearms bought and sold in America. Ladies and gentlemen, this is nothing more than a back door universal gun registration ploy,” he contended. “Every gun owner in America would be entered into a giant national database akin to the system proposed by Adolf Hitler and virtually every other tyrant and dictator of modern history. And as any honest student of history knows, gun registration is always a precursor to gun confiscation.”
Baldwin stated that Graham and Land need to rethink their endorsement.
“Instead of calling for universal background checks, Franklin Graham should be shouting for government to abandon their ‘gun free zones’ and demand that people be allowed to universally defend themselves,” he stated. “Instead of coming to the aid of big-government zealots who desire to trample constitutional liberties, Franklin Graham should be shouting for the president and members of the US House and Senate — including Dianne Feinstein — to abide by their oaths to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and keep their grubby fingers off our gun rights.”
Baldwin is the former pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida and now serves as a national talk show host and ministry leader in Montana.