By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) - Shortly after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney enjoyed cookies and soft drinks with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham on Thursday at the elder Graham's mountaintop retreat, a reference to Mormonism as a cult was scrubbed from the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
In a section of the website called Billy Graham's My Answer there had been the question "What is a cult?"
Answer: "A cult is any group which teaches doctrines or beliefs that deviate from the biblical message of the Christian faith."
"Some of these groups are Jehovah's Witnesess, Mormons, the Unification Church, Unitarians, Spritualists, Scientologists, and others," the site continued.
No longer. On Tuesday, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association confirmed that page has recently been removed from the site.
“Our primary focus at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has always been promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ," Ken Barun, chief of staff for the association, told CNN in a statement. "We removed the information from the website because we do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicized during this campaign."
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Romney is a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, members of which are known as Mormons.
The information about cults can be found on cached sections of the website on Archive.org from June 5, 2010.
The theological question of where Mormons fit on the religious spectrum has drawn more attention because of Romney's candidacy. Mormons consider themselves to be strong Christians. Many traditional Christian denominations disagree, though rank-and-file members have their own views on the matter.
The removal of the post from the Graham group's website was first noted by the New Civil Rights Movement website and then later by the Asheville Citizen-Times, which reported that the information on cults was accessed as recently as Thursday afternoon.
Last week's meeting between Romney and Graham was their first.
After the 30 minute sit-down in Montreat, North Carolina, just outside Asheville, Romney campaign spokesman Rick Gorka told reporters that Billy Graham led a prayer for the Romneys, saying "I'll do all I can to help you. And you can quote me on that."
The evangelist who has been called America's pastor and has prayed with every American president since Harry Truman said in a statement following the meeting that "It was a privilege to pray with Gov. Romney — for his family and our country."
Graham met with President Barack Obama in 2010 and with Sen. John McCain when he was the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in 2008.
"I will turn 94 the day after the upcoming election, and I believe America is at a crossroads," Graham's statement continued. "I hope millions of Americans will join me in praying for our nation and to vote for candidates who will support the biblical definition of marriage, protect the sanctity of life and defend our religious freedoms."
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When asked about Graham's beliefs about Mormonism, Graham spokesman A. Larry Ross said in a statement that "Through an inclusive evangelistic ministry spanning more than 60 years, Mr. Graham was called to preach the transformative message of the Gospel to the whole world, regardless of one’s religious background, affiliation or none. As such, he never proselytized, targeted or labeled specific people, groups, faiths or denominations.
"Neither did Mr. Graham attempt to divide his audience before he had opportunity to preach to them. He has a genuine love for all people, and faithfully proclaimed the love of God to everyone, providing opportunity for them to respond by making a faith commitment.
"Mr. Graham’s calling is not to pass judgment, but to proclaim the biblical truth that Jesus is the only way to heaven, allowing every individual and group to fall along that plumb line," the statement went on.
"He further stressed that salvation is the work of Almighty God, and that only He knows what is in each human heart," the statement said.
The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, lists the LDS Church as a theological cult. The Catholic Church also does not recognize Mormon baptisms as being theologically compatible with its own.
The LDS Church has long bristled at being called a cult. Mormons note the many similarities and overlap between their teachings and that of other churches but point to their belief in other scriptures like the Book of Mormon as the reason they split with other churches.
In the 2012 campaign Romney has been generally quiet about his church, though his role as a lay church leader was prominently featured in the Republican National Convention, and his campaign has allowed members of the press pool accompanying Romney to film him attending services.
Romney is Biblical. Romney doesn't believe in armageddon, believes Christianity is an abomination. The Bible says that the religious will turn against God. If you don't believe it, look at the stances: the right are against feeding the poor, healthcare for the sick, siding with greed over generosity, supporting predatory lending, abolishing living wages..all of these things are in the Bible, and the GOP do the exact opposite of what it teaches. Now with Romney, they are following somebody who 'thinks he is a God' (literally that's what he believes). Many Christians see this for what it is, and won't go along with it. The Bible also refers to them being deceived, it's no coincidence that Mitt is seen as a flip flopper, and completely dishonest by so many people.
Romney is anti-Christ, Perhaps. You know, even within their delusions Christians are having delusions about other people's delusions.
Tom, I'd believe you if you weren't having a delusion...
Go back and look at these comments. Not a single negative comment from a Mormon about anyone else's religion. Even tho so many of you hateful biggots try to tear them down in the name of Jesus Christ. Take a look at your behavior and tell me if you think that's Christian behavior...very sad. I bet God sheds tears over the way his children treat each other. Shame on you.
Mormonism is farther away from Christianity than Islam...
If you side with a Mormon, that is accept them as a fellow Christian not followers of a false prophet, well you might as well join the "New Agers" praying to crystals, it's the "Edit your own faith".
Obama, despite all the smears, is far more of a Christian than Romney, certainly by church.
Your a complete idiot. The definition of Christianity is to believe in Christ and also that he walked the earth and he is Gods Son. By definition it is also christian to believe in the new testament. So how are mormons far from Christians? They believe in the new testament and also that Christ died on the Cross. The Islam religion believes in the Qu'ran and the teachings of Muhammad, they also don't accept Jesus as God's son, they accept him as a prophet and good man only. So once again......your an idiot and extremely uneducated. Source: PHD in religion.............and I am a Mormon.
1. Jesus is the Devil's Brother and not the absolute God incarnated in human form, right?
2. People live on the SUN.
3. MorMon means "More Good" but that is Mor for More in English and "Mon" for good in Ancient Egyptian, an untranslated language at the time, but whooopppsss.... And I looked it up in the translation books, no clear "Mon=Good" thing.
4. Red skinned people are carrying the souls of fallen angels and cursed. Black people are angels that sided with neither side, so were burnt black.
If a "Prophet" makes a statement that is untrue, like esp. 2 or 3 he is a false prophet.
>>>>Source: PHD in religion.............and I am a Mormon.
From Bring-em-Young university, perhaps, if I may presume...?
In any case, Phhhhahahahahahahahaaaaa....
I oughtta get some phony but still technically credited PHd somewhere myself. Not saying yours is "Phony" but expressing my polite opinion on what it's worth.
As far as that second part, it isn't just a false religion, it's a faith based on the Devil Mormos...
Source: About every one in the Asia-Pacific region.
They were warned for centuries the demon "Mormos" would emerge and control misled humans for a movement that would bring much evil and destruction to the world. And this isn't "Google" this is TALKING to them face to face, got some travel in my end... 'Bout half the world thinks you are literally "Devil Worshippers" even those that accept "Christianity"...well...
Just 'coz I'm "liberal" doesn't mean I have to treat what I see as "Evil" as "Good"...
Hey John, the great enlightened one:
take a stab explaining this Mormon's take, he is a stake president. He is asking your Apostle of Jesus, Elder Holland, about an inconsistency in the religion regarding science. Show some of that PhD, and enlighten us idiots.
All bluster, nothing to explain, other than a disgruntled religious official asking annoy questions?
So John, have you got around to reading it? People in Mormon land must be talking about it, it is recent news.
You may be a Mormon John but that doesn't make you or any other person who believes in Jesus a Christian you have to follow what Jesus taught and follow his model he set this goes for you and every other so called Christian anybody and I mean anybody who believes in going to heave when you die or hell are not true Christians the bible does not teach these things as a matter of fact read eccl: 9:5 then try to contradict your way out of that scripture. Those who celebrate pagan customs which btw was celebrations of deities can toss the belief that they are a Christian right out the window how can one celebrate these customs and proclaim to be a Christian when Jesus said stay away from pagan customs and beliefs. Life after death in a spirit form is a pagan belief. It doesnt matter what these holidays mean now it matters where they came from would you eat candy that fell on the ground in grand station I don't think so. Why would God approve of worship that uses dirty beliefs to win his approval?
You can all be Christians as far as I'm concerned you are all just NUTS anyway. Following a guy who isn't real, who couldn't possibly have done all the things attributed to him, and heck there are three Jesus' in the three gospels; two birth stories; and conflicting death stories. And, who really believes that the earth opened and dead, zombie, prophets came out of their graves and walked among the living, and NO ONE wrote about it. REALLY?
@Phazon, you do realize that nearly ALL of the Christian customs, ie Christmas and Easter, are actually Pagan celebrations, right? I think that nearly ALL of the Christian religion is "borrowed" from either paganism, or one of the many, much older religions from the region. From the V irgin Birth story, to the miracles and healing, to the crucifixion and his resurrection, ALL borrowed from other religions. Christianity is perhaps the ONLY religion that has NOTHING of it's own.
@john, I hold a real Ph.D. but mine is only is psychology, but I do know that using YOUR in place of YOU'RE isn't showing that you picked up much from that Ph.D. in Religion. I'd LOVE to look at your dissertation and I bet YOUR orals were a hoot... I hate to pick on people who spent the time to get a Ph.D. in Religion, but it's hard NOT to, sorry.
Yes the college I understand this very well and your right most Christianity follows these customs but their is one who stays away from all pagan customs and apparently they are a cult for following the bible. The are known as Jehovah's Witnesses and they share bible truths and nothing more I am not Baptized but they are the only ones who teach and practice the bile nothing more and nothing less neither do they believe in things outside the bible such as hell god is mysterious and things like that false religions pain him as unjust and uncaring the bible says other wise thats why most of these false religions try to keep their patrons from reading the bible on their own.
@Phazon, but the bible is so obviously full of errors that to follow it without some thought and to think that it is literal is foolish at best. Jesus could not have done the many magical things attributed to him, and we know of at least twelve other deities who were born of a virgin, many of them performed miracles, and were crucified and rose from the dead. I can't imagine anyone who has read the bible from cover to cover, could possibly think that it was written or even inspired by god. It is a hodge-podge of writtings by many authors, cobbled together over the centuries. IF the bible were a book written today, it would probably never sell a single copy.
Hey John, it's "you're" as in "you are". Looks like your PHD is useless. Return it to McDonalds. You are stupid and found the right religion because yes Mormons are complete idiots. What a joke of a religion. Everyone laughs at you morons I mean mormons.
Thank you, Asheville Citizen-Times newspaper, for reporting the actual NEWS for a change, as opposed to so many other "opinions' we're all reading. And, rest assured that this is, indeed, newsworthy. In 2008, Frankllin Graham was flying Sarah Palin and family around in a Samaritan's Purse-owned airplane and this year, he's managed to supposedly change his father's life-long opinion on cults, i.e. Mormons et al. I won't speak out against Billy Graham, but I will say that I doubt very, very seriously that he and his son Franklin agree on much - Franklin Graham is a jerk AND a crook and don't let anyone tell you differently!
i think that goes for most of the prominent personalities in any religious oganization.
Franklin Graham is a man of God who is showing God's Love around the world–the principal thing that he has in common with his Dad. But don't take my word for it–research it for yourselves. Suzanne would like for you to take her word for it, because, after all, SHEEE is in North Carolina.
What a bunch of money grubbing sinners! Does Romney think all those Bible thumpers who believe in Franklin Graham will vote for him? Billy Graham doesn't even know what year it is.
you dont know what year it is! Bill G is smart and God loving then you are. Go take a nap and wake up with some knowledge.
So much for Graham's Christian faith!! And right before the election!!! In other words – these "Christians" put Republican politics ahead of their faith. The Orthodox Church continues to regard the Mormon religion as a non-Christian group.
Guess Billy hates blacks more than he hates Mormons....
LOL. Best comment of the day
I don't think this is Billy himself. I think it's Franklin and the BGEA / Samaritans Purse PR firm of De Moss. Mark De Moss the founder of the firm is a graduate of the right wing and socially conservative Liberty University which was founded by Jerry Falwell Snr. Mark De Moss has also been working for the Romney campaign for the past 6 years.
Frankin has had a personal gripe about President Obama for years accusing him variously of being a secret Muslim, not born in Hawaii etc. Franklin was a keen supporter of Sarah Palin's pseudo Christian style of politics and is beleived to have supported Glenn Beck and the Tea Party people too.
I think the CEO of 2 large tax exempt Christian organisations ( which is what Franklin now is as heir apparent to Billy )should be politically neutral in public whatever their personal views. Goodness knows why 400 UK clergy and Church leaders have invited him to take part in some sort of moral Crusade here in London in 2013.
no doubt this is part of Mark De Moss' outreach program on behalf of Mr. Romney.
It was discussed it here:
Where curiously the illustration is Mr. Romney delivering the commencement speech at Liberty U. in May of this year. Later Mr. Romney would return to Liberty U.
We discussed that here:
Where Mittens declared that he "will not take God out of the public square".
I'd say that an old score has been settled:
Jerry Falwell, Mark De Moss and Franklin Graham 1, Billy Graham 0.
From the Franklin Graham wikipedia page:
Franklin Graham has also been criticized in the United States, for drawing a full-time salary from Samaritan's Purse, while at the same time receiving a full-time salary from Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (Franklin's combined salary is c. $1.2million). Non-profit experts have doubted that one person can do two full-time jobs leading organizations that employ hundreds and spend hundreds of millions around the world.
Let's revisit the DeMoss article. (Thanks to @Patricia)
DeMoss developed an appreciation for Mormons from a somewhat unlikely source: the evangelical giant Jerry Falwell.
He enrolled at Liberty University, Falwell’s school, in 1980, the year after his father died of a heart attack. Falwell, a fundamentalist preacher, would become like a second father.
DeMoss’s dad had been friends with Falwell – DeMoss says it’s unclear if the insurance marketing company his father founded, National Liberty Corp., helped give Liberty University its name – and Mark found work in Falwell’s office after graduation.
By the time he was 23, DeMoss was serving as Falwell’s chief of staff and spokesman, helping his boss run a growing evangelical empire that included the Lynchburg, Virginia, university and a new organization Falwell had helped found: the Moral Majority.
The organization aimed to bring evangelicals back into the political fold, after millions of them had spent decades sitting out elections, convinced that politics were a dirty, ungodly business.
“We traveled the country, challenging pastors to get involved. He outworked staff that were half his age” DeMoss says of Falwell, who died at 73 in 2007.
Falwell taught him how political organizing works, from the grassroots to the very top. He took him to meetings with President Ronald Reagan, whom the Moral Majority had helped elect, and President George H.W. Bush.
Among the most important lessons Falwell taught, DeMoss says, is that politics is the art of the possible.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who was more politically conservative than Falwell, but he became increasingly pragmatic,” DeMoss says. “He was more practical and open-minded than a lot of people saw.”
As he waged crusades against abortion and for prayer in schools, Falwell proudly linked arms with non-evangelicals. While others in the burgeoning Christian Right wanted to organize only among their own flocks, the Moral Majority chief pushed an idea called co-belligerency: people of different religious backgrounds setting aside theological differences to pursue common political goals.
But Falwell’s insistence on coalition building with Mormons and others stuck with DeMoss long after he left the Lynchburg in 1991 to start his own Christian PR firm in Atlanta.
The firm, called the DeMoss Group, took Falwell as its first client and quickly added business from big Christian groups like Chuck Colson’s Prison Ministries, Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse and Christian Crusade for Christ.
More than 20 years later, those groups are still with DeMoss.
“What makes Mark different than a lot other guys in this business is that he’s independently wealthy,” says Graham, who notes that DeMoss’ wife, April, is also from a family that started an insurance company.
“I find him to shoot straight because he’s not trying to keep my business,” Graham says. “I think he’s more concerned with trying to be honest. He will bill you and then at the same time he’ll make a big contribution back to you.”
Mark DeMoss with the Rev. Franklin Graham, a client since 1991.
Though DeMoss has kept his work for Romney, which is unpaid, separate from the DeMoss Group, the relationships he built over decades through his PR work are key to selling Romney to evangelical leaders.
Jerry Fallwell – Mark DeMoss – Frankin Graham & Mark DeMoss – Mitt Romney, and this (from wikipedia):
He [Billy Graham] refused to join Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority in 1979, saying: "I'm for morality, but morality goes beyond sex to human freedom and social justice. We as clergy know so very little to speak with authority on the Panama Canal or superiority of armaments. Evangelists cannot be closely identified with any particular party or person. We have to stand in the middle in order to preach to all people, right and left. I haven't been faithful to my own advice in the past. I will be in the future."
I'd say that a 33 year OLD score is settled.
there you go racial again. dont know what else to say
What a two-faced sack of s**t.
"...vote for candidates who will support the biblical definition of marriage, protect the sanctity of life and defend our religious freedoms."
Wait... support the biblical definition and defend religious freedoms. How's that work?
I liked this bit even better:
"As such, he never proselytized, targeted or labeled specific people, groups, faiths or denominations."
What was it that Nixon's taped conversations with Billy overheard him say again?
Oh that's right:
In 2002, the controversy was renewed when declassified "Richard Nixon tapes" confirmed remarks made by Graham to President Nixon three decades earlier. Captured on the tapes, Graham agreed with Nixon that Jews control the American media, calling it a "stranglehold" during a 1972 conversation with Nixon.
In 2009, more Nixon tapes were released, in which Graham is heard in conversation with Nixon referring to Jews and "the synagogue of Satan."
That's xtians for you. Change your stance whenever it suits your goals. Xtians morals are written in jello.
The most relative absolute morality possible?
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black – ALL religions are cults!!!!!
Black kettles bear the mark of Cain and merit lesser earthly privilege becuase they were fence sitters in the war on Tea.
pragmatism trumps dogma every time for the movers and shakers of the religious community.
Nothing new, follower of hindu Mithra ism, savior ism, labeled as Christianity do it all the time, not follower of truth absolute but hindu's, deniers of truth absolute by divide of truth absolute into two, half of the hindu, criminal King and half of his hindu criminal Prophet, fortune teller, in line with hindu, pagan Pharaoh ism, hindu, pagan Christian;s confess to truth absolute but live by divide of truth absolute GOD, follower of bigamy in reality, having no truth absolute but change any time to fulfill a hindu criminal reason like a hindu, hungry dog.
hindu pagan Catholicism is an off shoot of hinduism, paganism, created by hinduism, corruption of truth absolute to justify hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism labeled as Christianity with help of hindu's, deniers of truth absolute of hindu filth of Cartage, such as hindu Agori, dead body eater, Augustine and to justify hindu criminal King's and their hindu Prophets, criminal fortune teller as man god's through hinduism, racism.
Word hindu is based on Latin word hindered, negative, Han, great, HUN, to be in greatness, hin, to be negative to both of them, hindu, a noun in negativity, hinduism, way of negativity,
hindu's, deny the truth absolute GOD, essence of every thing and pray to hindu sanatans, filthy goon's, make their statues with clay with their hand's and pray to them as their god's to follow hinduism, racism, a crime against truth absolute GOD and humanity, deserving to be kicked out of humanity to live like their hindu stupid god monkey, they follow to justify hindu, filthy evolution. hindu, ignorant's an insult to be called human, follower of hinduism, racism, borrowed from animals. For truth about hinduism, senial of truth absolute please visit limitisthetrtuh.com
Dude, while I can't stomach getting through an entire post of yours, I do know that Hinduism is MUCH older than Latin... so you are SO wrong in nearly EVERYTHING you post.
Fuck off shit head.
Sorry, guru. I see we collided
I thought this was parody??
If this dude is for real, he is cazier than Reality or that Brainder dude.
He is in Heaven Sent land!
While the Latin language is about 2100 years old, the Hindu Religion is nearly 4000 years old.
@Tom, I am honored to collide with you, sir. We think very much in common.
my guesses are:
1. Not a Poe
2. He is most likely of Pakistani extraction
3. Yes, way more over the top than Rainer
Guys, as I have said about our old friend, @Serpent(something, something), et al, and several other nutsos - consider having them here as our little gift to society. If not kept occupied here - just think of where they might be...?!
hinduism, racism is hinduism, denial of truth absolute and Sanskrit is hinduism, corruption of Latin, language of truth absolute, La, truth absolute, constant is essence of existence, truth absolute existed before hinduism, corruption of truth absolute made to be hinduism absurdity called Sanskrit. by addition of 10 letter's and displacement of units of word's to justify hinduism, racism by hindu sanatan's filthy goon's, such as Plato. Latin was restored in form of Hebrew and later as Arabic.
this reads like it was created by some Nigerian spammer for viagra. God, learn to speak before posting.
Hard for a hindu, brain less to understand. Educated like a prate.
I think the anti hindu guy got hit in the head REALLY hard with a bat.
And this folks is your brain on religion. Scary stuff!
Let's welcome Mormonism into the mainstream Protestant delusion:
We'd like to know
A little bit about you
For our files.
We'd like to help you learn
To help yourself.
Look around you. All you see
Are sympathetic eyes.
Stroll around the grounds
Until you feel at home.
Welcome my son
Welcome to the machine
Where have you been?
It's alright we know where you've been
You've been in the pipeline
Filling in time
Provided with toys and scouting for boys
You brought a guitar to punish your ma
And you didn't like school
And you know you're nobody's fool
I believe this country is Election Weary in ways I have never seen in all my life, and I've been around since Kennedy was President; which was the last time that religion played such a role in the presidential campaign. Of course in that campaign, the Catholic faith was fair game, unlike Romney's Mormon faith in this election.
This is NUTS..... but NOT unexpected. I suspect that saying that politics make strange bedfellows, would be appropriate here.
Quick spell check: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – with two t's. (p. 7)
Yes its Latter (said Lat-ter). Why, I don't know. Probably something to do with the 1830 vocabulary
"Latter" is still a valid word. Kidz.....!
"Latter" as contrasted with "former."
I guess God's Word (TM) is black and white....unless changing it suits a larger agenda.
Jesus came to Billy in a dream. Then Billy woke up and realized he was sitting down with Mittens.
I wonder which of Mitt's Super PACs made a donation to Franklin's latest crusade, and for how much?
Oh my. And people keep trying to tell me that the early Christians were not politicians and that it didn't affect their tenets again and again. Like this is something new. Lol.
All religions are by definition cults. Graham has a long history of being anti-semite, hômophobic, and anti-woman.
That means so is atheism.A cult of self where you are a god.
Primewonk; by what you say I take it that Jesus was everything you claim Dr. Graham to be. If that be the case then how wrong you are and how much I feel for you!!!
The absence of a belief in something isn't a belief system. Or, to make it more simple for you, the non-belief there's a golden whale in your backyard right now is not belief system that is worthy of definition or discussion. It's too bad we need the term atheism but you started it.
finisher – i never really understood where religionists came up with that silly notion.
As an atheist tries to make the best of himself in this life he is in conflict with no god. Sad for believers, anytime they do so they run the risk of conflict with their God.
A cult where you are god? Um.. How does that even make sense? I know a ton of atheists, including my own parents, and they never once assumed themselves to be Gods, or even gods. And they don't worship anything. I mean my dad plays Poker and my mom teaches spinning, but they don't think themselves are Gods. But if that makes you feel better about hating people based on their beliefs, then thats all on you my friend.
@the Finisher, YOU are an uninformed fundie. PERIOD
"A cult is any group which teaches doctrines or beliefs that deviate from the biblical message of the Christian faith."
So any group that believes differently than Christianity is a cult? This is why it is good to have separation of church and state. Leave church at church and keep it out of government.
Agreed. The statement you quote is completely absurd. Any group the practices the supernatural with rituals is a CULT. This includes prayer, drinking "blessed" wine, "speaking in tongues, singing hymns on certain days, dancing with snakes, blessing water, metzitzah b'peh, eating "blessed" wafers, and other "magic".
And now for some 21st century reality:
Only for the new members of this blog–
Putting the kibosh/”google” on religion to include Mormonism:
• As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.
• As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.
• There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.
• There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.
• There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.
• Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.
• Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.
Added details available upon written request.
A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.
"The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.
Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "
And now for some 21st century bung; your article!!!!!!
Where do you stand on Pastafarians and the Flying Spaghetti Monster? ;-)
A 33 year old score has been settled. Jerry Falwell has his revenge from beyond the grave.
Let’s look at a time line:
Jerry Falwell founds Moral Majority:
Billy Graham refused to join Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority, saying: "I'm for morality, but morality goes beyond sex to human freedom and social justice. We as clergy know so very little to speak with authority on the Panama Canal or superiority of armaments. Evangelists cannot be closely identified with any particular party or person. We have to stand in the middle in order to preach to all people, right and left. I haven't been faithful to my own advice in the past. I will be in the future."
Mark DeMoss enrolled at Liberty University, Falwell’s school, in 1980, the year after his father died of a heart attack. Falwell, a fundamentalist preacher, would become like a second father.
By the time he was 23, DeMoss was serving as Falwell’s chief of staff and spokesman, helping his boss run a growing evangelical empire that included the Lynchburg, Virginia, university and a new organization Falwell had helped found: the Moral Majority.
DeMoss founds the DeMoss Group, a Christian PR firm in Atlanta.
The firm, took Falwell as its first client and quickly added business from big Christian groups like Chuck Colson’s Prison Ministries, Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse and Christian Crusade for Christ.
Mark DeMoss approaches Mitt Romney about running for President.
Jerry Falwell dies.
Mitt Romney runs in the Republican Primaries, losing to John McCain
DeMoss becomes a Senior Advisor to the Romney Campaign (and his evangelical ambassador)
May, 2012 – Romney delivers the commencement speech to graduates at Liberty U.
September, 2012 – Romney delivers “I will not take God out of my heart, I will not take God out of the public square, and I will not take it out of the platform of my party,” stump speech at Liberty U.
October, 2012 – Billy and Franklin Graham meet with Mitt Romney and erase references to cults (like Mormonism) on Billy Graham’s website.
Jerry Falwell -to- Mark DeMoss -to- Franklin Graham -to- Billy Graham and Mark DeMoss -to- Mitt Romney
Following the connections, Falwell gets his revenge and Billy backs a Mormon.
Politics, as usual.
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.