RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Thousands attended a rally aimed at Christian voter turnout at Capitol Square on Wednesday.
The message for the thousands of people that showed up to the event was not necessarily to support any one candidate, but to motivate congregations across the state and country to learn about each candidate and go out and vote.
“I have no hope in the Democratic party. Before you Republicans start doing back-flips, I have zero hope in the Republican party,” Franklin Graham, the son of famed longtime televangelist Billy Graham, said to the thousands who congregated at the state capitol.
“The only hope for the country is God.”
Richmond is one of the stops on a 50-state bus tour called Decision America, which is challenging Christians to get out to the ballots next month. Graham estimated that nearly 30 million Evangelicals stayed home during the last election.
“We stood here today and we prayed, didn’t we,” Graham said. “But let me tell you something else you can do: Vote.”
While Graham did not endorse any single candidate, he did point out the issue he believes congregations should consider. He said it was not about the lost emails or vulgar language, but that the election was about the Supreme Court. He said that the appointment of future justices could impact the country for decades.
“People do not have a right to complain if they do not go out and vote,” said Daniel Dean, one of the thousands in the crowd.
“You can’t just sit at home and wait for everything to fall in your lap,” he added. “Sometimes you have to go out and make a stand and leave your comfort zone and go out and get active.”
The tour’s next stop will be tomorrow in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Another similar bus tour, Vision America Action, visited St. Paul’s Church on Grace Street Wednesday. Bishop E.W. Jackson is part of a five-state wing that’s also an effort to rally Evangelicals to vote.
“I believe it’s a sin for a Christian not to vote,” Jackson said. “I believe the freedom we have is a gift from almighty God and it’s a blasphemy almost to say I don’t care about that.”
The tour travels to Virginia Beach and Newport News this week, then to North Carolina.