Franklin Graham Supports COVID Vaccinations…. And Gets “Cancelled” For It By Some of His Followers?

I just got my first COVID-19 Moderna vaccine.

Some of my Christian friends, however, are a bit nervous about the vaccines. Sure, there are genuine concerns. But most of these concerns, upon closer examination, are unwarranted.

Hesitancy about using vaccines has a variety of factors behind it. A March 2021 Pew Research study observes that about 33% of Black Protestant Christians are wary of taking a COVID vaccine. The same study observes that about 45% of White Evangelical Christians are either cautious or dead set against any COVID vaccine.

So it comes as no surprise that when Franklin Graham, son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, and an influential spokesperson for many evangelical Christians today, announced his support for taking COVID vaccines, the reaction from some of his most ardent followers was swift and furious. Like Graham, I have relatives in my family line who served as medical missionaries, where the administration of vaccines have saved countless numbers of lives. Nevertheless, some denounced Graham as promoting a “devilish lie.” Some of Graham’s critics believe that taking the vaccine is a sign of taking “the mark of the beast.” However, a careful reading of Scripture shows that taking “the mark of the beast” in the Book of Revelation, is a loyalty oath, and not something that can be forced upon someone by someone else. It would appear that bad interpretation of the Bible is just as much a pandemic as is COVID-19.

Furthermore, when people use Bible passages like 1 Corinthians 6:19 (“Do you not know that you body is a temple of the Holy Spirit…“), that is really a misuse of the Bible. You might as well decline the use of any modern medicine, if you plan to be consistent with that way of thinking. Paul even recommended that Timothy take some wine to remedy the latter’s health ailments (1 Timothy 5:23). So it seems odd for Paul to suggest that if he really had in mind a prohibition against all forms of medicine.

Others are hesitant about such vaccines because of suspicions about government programs.

Others are unsure, because as in the case of the Moderna vaccine that I took, these mRNA vaccines are so new and have not been tested across millions and millions of people. However, the mRNA vaccine technology is not as new as people think, having undergone a number of other successful test trials in other applications over the past several decades.

Then there is the long held distrust of the medical establishment by the “anti-vax” movement, which is totally against vaccines of any and all kinds.

Critics of vaccines do have at least one point to make in their arguments, and it is an important one: No vaccine is entirely risk free.

When I went to get my vaccine, I was asked a whole list of questions, to make sure I was the right candidate to receive the vaccine. Not everyone should take the vaccine, because of certain side effects. But the percentage of people who should not take the vaccine is very, very small. For most people who do experience side effects, those side effects are relatively mild and do not last for long. If people have questions about their use of a vaccine, they should consult their doctor. If their doctor does not offer good answers to these questions, then that might be a strong signal suggesting that it is time to find a new doctor.

But while no vaccine is entirely risk free, that is true with just about everything in life. I know of many people who think nothing of it to hop into a car, and drive across town to run an errand or go to work. However, the likelihood of getting into a life-threatening automobile accident is orders of magnitude higher than is experiencing a life-threatening injury from a vaccine. Still, I see thousands of people driving in their automobiles all of the time. Furthermore, taking a COVID vaccine is much, much safer than being exposed to the COVID virus itself.

I have come to learn that vaccine hesistancy is not just an American evangelical Christian thing. A large percentage of secular Europe is more skeptical of vaccines than is the American evangelical Christian community. I have also seen paranoia at the other extreme, too, where some people are so freaked out by COVID-19, that they will wear a mask while driving in their car…. even though no one else is with them!!

Yesterday, Christians in the West celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus, along with the hope of Christ coming once again to right all wrongs and heal all diseases. Yet unless Jesus returns in the near future, the likelihood is that mass COVID vaccination programs will continue to be effective in reducing the pandemic, and life should return to a more regular pattern of normalcy.

COVID will never fully go away. Yet the same is true about the 1919 Spanish Flu, based on the N1H1 virus, that killed millions of people, in the wake of World War One, a century ago. Descendants of the 1919 N1H1 virus still exist today, though they typically come in a more muted and less deadly form. Still, getting a yearly flu shot goes a long way towards making the flu more of a nuisance and less deadly than it was when 50 million people died a hundred years ago, when fewer treatment options and no effective vaccines were available then.

Aside from the health factors, Christians really should support COVID-19 vaccination, for the simple reason that such decisions impact their witness to the truth of the Gospel. For if Christians get the reputation that they are highly susceptible to conspiracy-thinking that goes against science, then the next generation of young people will be only more and more inclined to judge the Christian faith itself as yet just another conspiracy theory that should be rejected.

Let us help our young people have more confidence in the truth of the Gospel… and not less.

About Clarke Morledge

Clarke Morledge -- Computer Network Engineer, College of William and Mary... I hiked the Mount of the Holy Cross, one of the famous Colorado Fourteeners, with some friends in July, 2012. My buddy, Mike Scott, snapped this photo of me on the summit. View all posts by Clarke Morledge

6 responses to “Franklin Graham Supports COVID Vaccinations…. And Gets “Cancelled” For It By Some of His Followers?

  • Clarke Morledge

    Eric. Eric. Eric. *SIGH*

    I want the OLD Eric Metaxas back. Despite a few missteps here and there, Eric Metaxas wrote a reasonably good biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and from what friends tell me, he wrote a wonderful biography of Martin Luther, back in 2017.

    But now he tweets stuff like this, that Rod Dreher rightly calls out. See the article linked below that tells the story being Eric’s latest decent into silliness, if not pure madness:

    Eric just tweeting this the day before I posted my blog article saying that I got the vaccine. I guess he posted this tweet as a sort of explanation for the tweet that Eric deleted that Rod Dreher called him out on?? I am so confused, Eric…… So, Eric, tell us again: Why won’t you get the vaccine?….. and by the way, when will we get the OLD Eric Metaxas back?


  • Clarke Morledge

    ““There’s really no evidence that anyone has ever gotten Covid-19 by touching a contaminated surface.” …. says one scientist, regarding the risk associated with touching a surface with respect to Covid infection.

    So, forget all of that hyper-Lysol cleaning of your groceries. The risk of infection is low (but still wash your hands):


  • Clarke Morledge

    Glad to see that Franklin Graham is taking a public stand on this. This is not a political issue. This is a public health issue:


    • Clarke Morledge

      The CDC is holding an emergency meeting this coming week to discuss possible side effects of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna), that involve heart related issues, here in the U.S. Out of 130 million people receiving such vaccines, we have about 226 cases where some heart related issues have been experienced. Most of these side effects have been ameliorated, but there are apparently some within this 226 who are still experiencing heart related issues.

      It is obviously not a good thing if ANYONE experiences ongoing health related issues, due to taking a vaccine. But let us do the numbers. This means that only 0.000174 % of the population have experienced these type of negative side effects.

      Compare that to the latest COVID-19 death rate numbers, which is about 1.79 % for those who have been infected with COVID-19, or about a 0.18 % death rate for the United States as a whole.

      In other words, you are about 100 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than you are in experiencing a negative, heart-related side effect, due to taking an mRNA vaccine for COVID.

      Still, people debate about the safety of the COVID vaccines. Go figure!!!


  • Clarke Morledge

    Bret Weinstein and Pierre Kory make a good argument for testing for coronavirus antibodies (for folks who have had COVID) as an alternative to taking the vaccines…… and/or using ivermectin as an alternative treatment makes a lot of sense. Still DOING SOMETHING, like taking the vaccine, is still a better solution than not doing anything and taking the risk of getting COVID, and/or propagating to others:


    • Clarke Morledge

      Well, this is not good: YouTube shutting down discussion on this?? Why???

      Here is Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying on the unknot long term effects of the mRNA vaccines. I am glad to say that I took the vaccine, considering that the risks taking the vaccine vastly less that the risk of contracting COVID, and the complications we already know are there with an uncomfortably high percentage of those experience negative long term effects already. We simply do not know the long term effects of the mRNA vaccines, precisely because they are new. But it is still worth the risk to take the vaccine.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: