Glenn Beck meets with the Rev. Billy Graham
Glenn Beck at last August's 'Restoring Honor' rally. Billy Graham in 2005.
February 24th, 2011
12:29 PM ET

Glenn Beck meets with the Rev. Billy Graham

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Conservative media star Glenn Beck is Mormon, but it's his first-ever meeting with an evangelical icon that has him gushing this week: a three-hour sit down with the Rev. Billy Graham.

The chat comes after Beck used his huge "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington last summer to build major bridges to the evangelical world, positioning himself as a new leader for Christian conservatives.

Given longstanding tensions between Mormons and evangelicals - Mormons consider themselves Christians, but many evangelicals do not - it seemed an unlikely role for Beck. But many prominent evangelicals have embraced him, with Beck organizing leading religious conservatives, mostly evangelicals, into a fledgling group called the Black Robed Regiment.

Beck said this week that he'd first requested a meeting with Graham eight months ago and that it finally happened last weekend.

"When I went to Billy Graham's mountaintop home in North Carolina, I didn't really expect that I would be having Chinese food, chopsticks and all with him, but I did," Beck said on his Fox News show on Tuesday, according to a transcript.

"I spoke of a growing darkness and evil," Beck said of his meeting with Graham. "He spoke of a greater growth of light."

In a blog post Tuesday, Beck parlayed his meeting into an attack on the political left, notes Politics Daily:

"In sitting there and speaking to Reverend Graham, I thought, here is a man who has been all around the world," Beck explained on his website on Tuesday, apparently a transcript of comments made on his radio show on Monday. "Here's a man who has seen it all. Here's a man who's done profound good. One of the first to stand in Alabama as a white preacher and stand and say we must come together."

"My message to you," Beck continued, "is we must come together. Evil has ‑‑ the left has stood ‑‑ is standing now with profound and clear evil and they've connected from evil all the way to the average Democrat and everything in between.

Beck said this week that he'd hoped to meet with Graham in the runup to his conservative Washington rally last August.

"Billy Graham was probably the only other person who had tried to do something on the scale of what Glenn was hoping to accomplish" with the rally, Beck's website said Tuesday.

Beck said that he'll elaborate on his meeting on his Friday Fox News show.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Leaders • Mormonism • Politics

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soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. david.m.odeki

    pastor billy graham i pray for God almighty to increase your years, i love you for doing the work of God,as you obey and do the things that please him ,he never fail ,he will pay you back in million fold in jesus name i pray


    March 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  2. Nathan Attwood

    I'm quite sure that Billy Graham would never equate people of one political persuasion or another with evil, whether or not he disagreed with them. It's a real shame that Glenn Beck would use Billy Graham's good name to support a way of interacting with other that's completely opposite of his irenic spirit. As an evangelical Christian minister, I sincerely hope that Christians, and conservatives particularly, will not let him get away with this.

    March 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  3. Michael

    It's time for Beck to go away.

    February 25, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  4. duke

    You haven,t got a religion Beck. Your like the klan going to church every sunday.First thing Monday morning, out comes the Dirty Laundry. LOL

    February 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Sam

      You need to watch Beck's testimony that he gave a few years back. After his testimony, and how he has conducted himself I, as a Mormon, can say quite certainty that Glenn Beck is very faithful. I can say the same for Mitt Romney as well. I agree with maybe 80% of what Beck says, and about 10% of what Mitt Romney says. Members of the same church can disagree politically. Mormons overall tend to be Republican, but I'm Libertarian. Religious beliefs doesn't equal political beliefs, and that is why politics and religion should be separate. That separation of church and state, along with me acknowledging that humans are a major part of climate change are just two of the reasons why Glenn Beck is not Libertarian, but that does not mean that he is not a good Mormon, because from what I've seen he is.

      March 2, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.