An Open Letter On Anti-Asian Racism & Christian Nationalism

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Sen. Graham is a member of Corinth Baptist Church in Seneca, SC. In January, he claimed that God guided him (through his "common sense") to acquit Donald Trump of impeachment charges. In an interview with Sean Hannity on April 9, 2020, Sen. Graham said, “The first thing I want to do is get the United States Senate on the record where we don’t blame Trump - we blame China.” On May 11, 2020, Sen. Graham introduced the “COVID-19 Accountability Act.” In addition to calling for sanctions on China, the bill also advocates “prohibit[ing] Chinese nationals from obtaining student visas (i.e., F and M visas) or exchange visitor visas (i.e., J visas)” if the President cannot certify that “the Chinese government is cooperating with efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreak.” On July 20, 2020, Sen. Graham cosponsored the "Civil Justice for Victims of COVID Act" (see Senator Marsha Blackburn).

Corinth Baptist Church, headed by Pastor Tim Tate, is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. Recently, the SBC drew controversy for a resolution that “declare[s] that affirmation of critical race theory, intersectionality and any version of critical theory is incompatible with the Baptist Faith & Message.” In an article for Baptist Press, pastor Corrie Shull points out that the SBC’s history of “justifying racism” continues with this rejection of a tenuously defined "critical race theory." Indeed, Shull questions whether it is “time for Black Christians to give up on the SBC.” Defending the resolution, SBC president J.D. Greear affirmed that “Southern Baptists should be vocal that we stand against racism in all its forms and we recognize that sin has a way of corrupting everything from how we see people to how we build institutions.”

As of 2019, South Carolina’s Asian population was 86,571. Between March 19 and August 5, 2020, 2 hate crime incidents in South Carolina were reported to Stop AAPI Hate (8).

For a possible response from Graham's church, consult the Timeline.