CHARLOTTE, NC (Tim Funk/The Charlotte Observer) - Now Franklin Graham is inviting evangelical Christians to wear their support for Donald Trump, America's 45th president.
The North Carolina-based evangelist is selling "Pray for 45" T-shirts in the store at Charlotte's Billy Graham Library.
It's Graham's answer to "Impeach 45" T-shirts, baby clothes and Frisbees that were briefly advertised by third-party sellers on Walmart's website.
"There's a way every one of us can make a difference for our nation - we can pray for our president and our leaders, as God's Word instructs us," Graham wrote in a recent Facebook post. "We have a 'PRAY for 45' T-shirt you can wear to encourage others to do something constructive — PRAY!"
The pro-Trump T-shirts sell for $15.99. The online ad for them includes a pitch from Scripture: "The Bible says to pray for 'all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence' (1 Timothy 2:2). Wear this t-shirt as a reminder to lift up our president in prayer."
Many Christians who oppose Trump also cite Bible passages to justify their protests against, for example, his administration's hard-line policies against undocumented immigrants.
In Leviticus 19:34. the Bible says: "The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am your God."
When the "Impeach 45" shirts sparked controversy, Walmart quickly removed the ads for them from its website.
"These items were sold by third-party sellers on our open marketplace and were not offered directly by Walmart," a Walmart spokesperson told USA Today. "We're removing these types of items pending review of our marketplace policies."
Graham, who heads the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has been among Trump's most enthusiastic supporters. He was among the clergy who spoke at Trump's 2017 presidential inauguration.
Graham did call the separation of immigrant children from their parents at the border "disgraceful." But he added that he did not blame Trump.