By Eric Marrapodi CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
Washington (CNN) - The most famous and revered pastor in America, Billy Graham, is calling on voters to cast a ballot for their faith in full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and other newspapers.
Graham's picture appears prominently in the ads, next to copy that reads, "As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election could be my last."
It continues, "I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God."
The ad hit the prominent papers Wednesday and Thursday, and could hit a dozen more newspapers, a week after the famed evangelist met with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Graham's Montreat, North Carolina, home and less than a month after his son Franklin Graham issued a full-throated endorsement of Romney in a USA Today opinion piece.
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Shortly after the meeting with the Grahams and Romney, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association scrubbed prior references to Mormonism as a cult from its website because, the association said, "we do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicized during this campaign."
Romney is a longtime member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Last week's meeting between Romney and Graham was their first.
After the 30-minute sit-down in Montreat, 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.
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The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said the new ads were paid for by "friends who support the ministry" and that no general ministry funds were used.
"The ads intentionally do not mention any candidate, political party, or contest, urging instead for readers to cast votes for candidates, at all levels, based on their support for biblical values," the group said in a statement.
Billy Graham's long-time personal spokesman, A. Larry Ross, said of the ads, “[Graham] is challenging citizens, particularly the faith community, on how to vote, rather than for whom to vote.”
Ross said the 93-year-old is still active with the ministry, though not necessarily with the day-to-day operations. In this case, he said Graham was consulted about the ad and signed off on it.
"This ad is consistent with both the mission of the BGEA and Billy Graham's personal methodology to diligently and consistently remain politically neutral and nonpartisan throughout his public ministry," Ross said.
"Against the backdrop of moral decline and a cultural shift in our nation that reflects timely issues, Mr. Graham's quotation in the ad is an extension of his faithful preaching of a timeless message and strong stand on biblical values for more than six decades."
The campaign also includes bulletin inserts and posters of the ad for churches to download and distribute.
Thank You Billy Graham for standing
up for morals and values , If others
would do this, the world would be a better
place to live! God bless u and Franklin!
Billy and Frankie only stand up for what brings the money in. Actually, they kneel for money too.
"Morals and values"? Really?? Is that REALLY what you believe??
How can anyone, Christian or not, see this as anything other than outright hypocrisy??!!
Besides the glaring issue over Graham's postions on Mormonism, I think everyone needs to ask themselves how these people who represent themselves as Christians can ever justify the wealth that they've amassed with the teachings of Jesus. It should be clear to even the feeblest of minds that they cannot. The fact is, acording to Christ himself, they are all damned.
Matthew 19:23-24 "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
Mitt Romney – a "bishop", a "stake leader" and, most likely, a "high priest" of the secretive anti-Christian and anti-American Mormon cult – is NOT a Christian, nor is he a man with any "Christian morals and values". He is a deceiver.
Any Christian who supports him is blinded by base hatred and/or bigotry, and is NOT keeping true to their professed faith.
How is betraying your beliefs and hypocritically supporting a Mormon cult leader for President ever even come close to "standing up for morals and values"?????? Were you joking??
I have watched Billy for years,he has gone against everything i learned from him,shame on him and his son,they should keep away from politics,they are all liers anyway,mormons are a cult,period.
Wow! That's some crazy ..er ..stuff!!
I don't know how anybody, Chrsitian or not, could believe a single word that comes out of his mouth!
He got the nomination to the party by convincing everyone for months that he was a conservative! And now a week before the election none of that matters and he can just backpedal and run as a "moderate"??!! It's disgusting!! And I think it's his Mormon upbringing showing through!! He's just lying for the Lord! Except he thinks he's the Lord!!!!!
I wouldn't vote for him if he was the last Republican on earth!!!!!!!! Say whatever ya'all want about Obama! But at least he's not a whiney meally-mothed lying MORMON!!
No, he is not a Mormon. He is a Marxist with little concern for American ideals. As an Illinois State Senator he voted three times against bills that would have outlawed the practice of allowing children born alive due to a failed abortion to die. One of his first acts as POTUS was to insure that American taxpayer dollars would be supplied to foreign governments such as China for the purpose of population control through abortion. This includes partial birth abortion which is a procedure whereby the unborn child is crushed and ripped apart in the birth canal (experiencing excruciating pain) in order to remove him or her from the mother's body. This is also a President who has refused to provide the news media data on the recent Benghazi attack in which four Americans were murdered while pleading for help from our government as government officials watched the attack in real time via drones. Our ambassador, one of the victims, pleaded several times for additional security in the weeks prior to the attack, but it was denied. Not only was it denied, it was actually decreased. No one knows whether this was simply total incompetence or a lack of concern, but neither scenario belongs in our White House. It is true that the choice for a Christian in this election leaves a lot to be desired, however when you have to choose between a patriotic Mormon and a Godless reprobate, who do YOU go with. When I face the Lord, I do not want the blood of these children or our American heroes at Benghazi on my hands.
@ William, as soon as you start saying "Marxist" and "Benghazi" and "abortions in China" you lose all credibility.
This Is Hypocrisy.
@ Astonished. When you shine the light of truth, the roaches will scatter.
William, I feel so sorry for you. Have you considered seeking professional help with your mental issues?
Lol! The President wants rich folks to go back to paying the tax rate they had under Clinton and that makes him a Marxist?? I'm assuming that 'cos surely it'd be hypocritical for a Christian to be against Romneycare.. I mean why would a Christian oppose healthcare for the poor, especially when not doing this maks it all much, much more expensive on the taxpayers when these people all go to the emergency rooms for healthcare instead of doctors through managed care..
Radical tinfoil-topped Rightwing Nutjobs, and their bizzare way of seeing things, just kill me..
"The most famous and revered pastor in America" For many he is a charlotan and is the Most Infamous and Reviled Pastor in America. He is a walking, talking hypocrite and a god pimp.
If you stand for God's truth, you will naturally be reviled. Christ Himself is the Truth, and He Himself was reviled by the world. He told us that those who take up their cross and follow Him would be.
Well, William, in this Christian's opinion, you don't "stand for God's truth".
Christ didn't teach us to be vile and insulting to others. Christ didn't teach us to "follow" and "bear the cross" of a filthy rich blasphemer who wishes to enslave the poor and ignore the plight of the sick.
You obviously have much to learn about what it means to be Christian.
Astonished, It is my prayer that one day you will see the Light. You are supporting a man who has no regard for the poor, the sick, the widow or any other person in need. His only concern is for own narcissistic self and the destruction of the Judeo-Christian values with which God has blessed America. He owes his allegiance to the greedy union bosses who enrich themselves through intimidation of their membership and back room deals with corrupt progressive politicians. He uses his power as POTUS to insure and perpetuate the slaughter of innocent children in their mothers wombs, and he uses his Marxist means of lying without remorse to justify his ends, as stated in his bible, Rules for Radicals.
God's word states that one day "every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that includes you as well as him.
Blah, blah, blah! No matter how you all look at it this business with Billy Graham, it reeks of something underhanded and rotten! It is clear hypocrisy.
Graham and Romney are both flip-floppers and they deserve each other. Now, how about revoking the tax-exempt status of Graham's, Robertson's, R Reed's, and any other organization that attempts to browbeat the religious into voting a certain way?
Religious organizations cost the US taxpayers $72,000,000,000 per year and this does not count tax exemptions on individual "earnings" by clergy and tax exemptions for their housing. If these myth pedlers want a say in politics they need to pay their taxes! Pay up or shut up!
When "craig" says that religious organizations cost taxpayers such and such, what he really means is they cost self serving liberals who would rather see government squander funds that are meant to help those truly in need. Religious organizations provide more relief, comfort, counseling and help than any governmental organization ever has. The money that religious organizations spend in providing this help at home and worldwide is money and resources provided by people supporting people out of the Love of God, not liberal leaches wanting to spend someone else's hard earned income on their perverted causes.
With this post, William, it becomes clear that you are not here to speak truth.
No truth can ever come from slander and lies.
"liberal leaches"?? Coming from someone who claims to be a "Christian"?!! How nice. I bet if you met Jesus incognito on the street and had a chat with him you'd think he was a Marxist liberal leach too... Lol.
Beware false prophets.
The words of this man, make me think deeper about my choice. I am not happy with Pres. Obama and I am not happy with Romney.But we have to choose one – let use pray God moves on whom ever is in charge.
God Bless. My full pain can be seen, Yesterday is giving me Hell.
Beware of vulture capitalists who tell lots and lots of lies!
One month ago, Billy Graham's website referred to the Mormon church as the devil's spawn. Literally. All you backwoods hillbillies pimping for the Mormon church clearly haven't done your research. Go to YouTube and search "Banned Mormon Cartoon" It's an honest depiction of what Mormons believe. Watch it, then warn all your friends. And go to CNNMoney today and look at Romney and other Mormon politicians and their dealings with a company called NuSkin. You won't believe it.
I keep telling everybody that that's why Romney can't help but tell all of them lies!! It's in his nature to be a liar and a thief!! Look at how many people lost their retirements because of his greed!! The man is evil.
The Book of Mormon itself is the most damning evidence against Joseph Smith and Mormonism. However, the most damning evidence against Barack Obama is his unGodly actions as POTUS, his close associations with atheistic Marxists (past and present) and his claim to be an adherent to a cult movement called Black Liberation Theology, which is his basis for claiming to be a Christian.
What the hell kind of nonsense is that??!! You're either crazy or just an outright liar. Or both! Hmm.. Mormon perhaps??
@William, why not tell us what it is that really bother's you about President Obama? Why not just come right out and use the "N" word?? Oh..! that's right! CNN won't allow it.. too bad for you eh?
No. The word you are alluding to is not a word that I would ever use. This is a card that is usually played by astonished "Christians" such as you. As a matter of fact, I wish I had the opportunity to vote for a man with the character and love of country as Congressman Allen West of Florida. He is well aware of the President's background and Democrat Party's agenda, and has the courage to stand against them, because he is a real American.
William, you need to stop watching Fox News.
Hey William, you forgot about the one where Obama was a gay man in college!!
Dude... take the tinfoil off...
I'm a christian and i cannot support obama because he is in favor of gay marriage period
A christian who does not mind the spread of LDS. WOA
You're not a Christian! And who gives a r a t ' s a s s about "gay marriage"!! Give it a break already!! Just cause there's gays marrying don't mean you have to marry a gay!! And it doesn't mean they'll want to use your church for a wedding either!!
You people gotta get your priorities in order!! and trust me! Romney aint gonna do a dang thing about abortion or gay marriage!! Look at what he did in Massachusetts!! Nothing! They have gay marriage now!! And lots of abortions!!
You all are selling your souls to Satan by supporting him.
God Bless!!!!! I'll be praying for you all!!!!!!
Char, I'm a Christian and I MUST support Obama because he is not a filthy rich and deceitful Mormon. Period.
I am deeply disappointed in the Rev.s Graham. Jesus never played politics. There is not a "Christian" party. Ministers lose their credibility when they become political pundits.
Dr. Graham is not playing politics. He is interested in the salvation of our nation at this critical time in our history. He has never avoided that objective to suit those who fear to do the same.
Mitt Romney is the false prophet the Bible warns us about. He believes he is descended from space travellers from the planet Kolob. Seriously. Can you find planet Kolob in your Bible?? If you vote for this diaper wearing piece of filth, you betray your country and your Christian faith. This storm is God's way of warning you. Elect a Mormon cult member and Jesus Christ will wipe America off the face of the earth. You have been warned.
Agree. Republican beliefs are not Christian beliefs. Democratic beliefs are not Christian beliefs. Pastors need to be careful of becoming politicians. They diminish their ministries when they put politics ahead of faith and that is what has sadly become of BGEA. The most dangerous thing here is literally watching BGEA change their teaching on the Mormon cult right before our very eyes, and purely for politics. Incredibly sad.
Repubicans trick Christians into thinking that they're the Christian party all the time!!
That's why they keep pandering about gay marriage and abortion! That's the bait for the big con!!
And now look at what we've got!! A Mormon from Massachusetts representing the party!!
I think that if Christians can't vote for Obama then the ONLY thing they can do, as Christians, is vote for one of the Independent candidates. A Christian vote for Romney is far far worse than a Christian vote for ANYBODY else!!
The Graham's are indeed playing politics. And I think their hypocrisy is abominable.
Billy Graham has preached the gospel for over 60 years and spoked against the LDS Church's as a "Cult" and their errant theology as just as long too. Now, in a sit down one hour visit with Mr. Romney, Billy and his son Franklin flip their tune, change their minds and tell followers to "Forget it", Mormons aren't cultist... their Christians, just like us. Mr. Graham is saying "Go on and vote your values, its fine, fell good about your choice. What a whole bunch of hog wash hypocrisy... and that is coming from a follow of Jesus Christ... I'm not deluded, are you? It's all politics, money and power, and it looks like Billy and Franklin are "In the world and be of the world" also after all... HYPOCRITES!
Billy Graham has never endorsed Mormonism as being theologically correct. He has merely urged Christians to vote their values. If this appears to mean that he endorses Romney as POTUS, I guess that means that you regressive progressives realize that Romney's values more closely align with the Word of God than do the values of the Godless hypocrite in temporary occupation of the White House.
Not at all. I donot endorse the Mormons belief and I am not impressed what comes out of a man's mouth. I will not endorse Romney because Billy Graham. He is not God.
William, your assertions are patently absurd.
President Obama is not a "godless atheist". That is an outright lie.
However, it is true that all Mormons are godless blasphemers... and it is also true that if Gd did not want Barack Obama to be our President, he would have lost the last election...
I believe that President Obama IS a Christian, and I KNOW that Romney is NOT.
Billy Graham is a great man of God. The Lord has used him over many years to preach the gospel. That is his gift. Simply, recieve Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and you will go to heaven and escape the wrath of God as a result of your sins. Thank God for raising up a man like Graham to bring us the gospel for many years, and see many souls come to know God's peace that passes all understanding.
Billy Graham has betrayed his faith and betrayed his country. He is a lying piece of filth. There is video of him 30 years ago condemning Mormons as blasphemers and cultists. The people that will vote for Romney know nothing about the Mormon church. Mormons are not Christians. Tell people to research the Book Of Mormon. Google planet Kolob. Inform the ignorant. If Romney is elected, Jesus Christ will turn his back on America.
You are absolutely correct, Robert concerning Billy Graham. And contrary to what "donner" says, I believe the election of Barack Hussein Obama was a warning from the Lord God that our nation IS in need of repentance. No Christian believes that Mormonism is a valid part of the Christian church, however we presently have a president who is reeking havoc on our nation at every turn. He is condoning and perpetuating the killing of innocent unborn children, not only in our country, but funding the same in other nations. He is attempting to destroy the Holy Covenant of Marriage. He has betrayed the Nation of Israel. He is destroying our economy and our military capabilities. And he has stated that "America is no longer a Christian nation." And "donner", bless his little pea-picking heart, says Jesus Christ will turn his back on America if Romney is elected?
Which God? Is Billy Graham accepting Romney's version of God? Mormons belief one can become a god. This is blasphemy
Bob, Bill, you're both going to have to answer to God for your part in this leading of millions away from Christ and into eternal damnation. I suggest the two of you repent now and ask Christ to forgive you for these grievious sins!
Romney represents Satan! Period! End of discusion!!
God would NEVER sell out and support a heathenous Mormon over Christian.
Romney, and those who support him, are doing the work of Satan – and they will all fail come November 6th.
I don't believe the hate-filled lies of the radical right – and neither should any true Christian.
Contrary to what William disgustingly asserts, President Obama is a good, decent and caring man, and, unlike Romney, he is a Christian.
Colorado and Donner: Did either of you really read what I posted? I simply stated the gospel, that is receive Christ as your Lord and Savior. The very gospel that Billy Graham has spent most of his life preaching. You seem filled with hatred. Is it a light thing for you to speak against a servant of God like Billy Graham? I can assure you that God does NOT take it lightly. Morminism is demonic. Morminism will lead its follows straight to hell. Morminism is a false teaching, it is a CULT. To say this is one thing, to speak against Graham, who did NOT endorse Romney(if you bothered to read the article on Graham you would know this) is not a light matter. How many souls have you brought to the Lord? How many crowns will you have to offer at the Lord's feet? Based on the Billy Graham ministry he will have great honor in heaven, and you speak against him in this way? I will not be voting for either of these candidates for president. I vote my consience before God. Each Christian must do the same.
All of you who are judging Billy Graham (because he asked people to vote based on biblical values) have no business judging him because It is none of your business. To his master he falls or stands.
Attention idiots. Mormons are not Christians. They are cultists. Do you realize that Mormons believe they are descended from space travellers from the planet Kolob?? Literally?? Do some friggin research before you hand over the greatest country to a cult. Google the Book of Mormon befoere you destroy us all.
Billy should have kept this political decision of his to himself if he "didn't want to have an influence on the election"! But, he didn't! He instead has spent large sums of money – money that was donated to him by Christians – on political ads in support of a MORMON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He has betrayed Christianity and God.
We are "judging him" by his actions.
And we are "judging him" because he has turned his back on biblical teachings and has embraced a liar and a deceiver.
We are "judging him" because, through his actions, he is wrongly asserting that Mormons have Christian values and President Obama – who IS a Chrstian – does not.
We are "judging him" because he has committed a grievious sin by coming out in support of a satan worshipping high priest of the Mormon 'church'.
Jesus Christ said that He, not any organization or religion or church, is “the truth” (John 14:6). And you’re really going to have to give Matthew 7:15-20 another look, because it does not say what Mormons try to make it say. Jesus was not talking about identifying Christians at all! He was warning them to beware of false prophets, and telling them to judge whatever prophets come to them by their fruits! And what are the “fruits” of false prophets? False prophecies! Apple trees bring forth apples, pear trees bring forth pears, and false prophet trees bring forth false prophecies! You can bank on it!! These false prophecies can be in the form of false predictions of future events, or they can be in the form of false teachings that contradict scripture. Why did Jesus warn the people to look for false prophecies and false teachings to help them identify the false prophets? Shouldn’t they have been able to judge them by their “works”? No. In fact, Jesus cautioned them that the false prophets who came to them would be wearing sheep’s clothing. If one is wearing sheep’s clothing, what is one going to look like? A sheep! So, people cannot identify false prophets by the way they appear! Because they look like true prophets (or true Christians)! False prophets, false Christians, and false religions will be able to show you good works, but do not be fooled — GOOD WORKS DO NOT A CHRISTIAN MAKE.
Mitt Romney is a Mormon, he is NOT a Christian.
How can a so called preacher believe in a liar ,why because he's white?The only thing you can believe about Romney is what said in them back rooms!
Yea... I agree... just realized.. hey this guy is white! What was I thinking about? Color wasn't an issue til you reminded me again, thanks. We colors need to stick together. Vote black if you are black, and white if you are white, and stop messing this country up by voting for people who don't look like you! Thanks again sotonic. I can tel you is reel smart.
truth is we have identified theology not Christ. Many come but they speak lies. We as christians feel that we are exclusive. We feel that we are in a box and God is with us and us alone. That he cares for no-one else just us and our religious perspective. Open your eyes.
God cares for everyone. He loves everyone. However, His Holy Word states that Christ is The Way, The Truth and The Life and that no one comes to The Father God except through Christ. God loves you wowzah. Open your eyes and accept Christ as your Savior and your Lord. He bore your and my sins on the Cross, and now you have, through Him, the opportunity for communion with God. He is the Only Way. All other paths lead to eternal separation from God.
So, William, given what you have said here, how is it then that you can support a blasphemer who falsely teaches that Joseph Smith is "the way" over our President who believes that Christ is the "only way"??
Your deceit is astonishing...
Was there a change in the Mormon belief since Billy Graham first stated it was a cult? Has Billy Graham changed his mind about any other religion that he felt was a cult? What is the real purpose behind him making this change? Billy Graham should be praying for everyone and not allowing him self to align with something he considered wrong up until a few weeks ago...that is questionable behavior on his part. The Mormon beliefs have not change but as we can see Billy Graham has. It is disheartening when those you have held in high regard in the Christian faith change the views regarding things they have considered wrong and against Godly principles. It would be one thing it there was a change in a person or the teachings of one you questioned but if there has been no change in them but the change in you the Christian, one can only wonder who has influenced who. James 1:8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
Everytime I see any religous organization take a political position in an election exposes the truth about how religion has evolved away from the belief that the church has no political involvement in elections therefore are tax excempt. Especially when they are making commercials endorsing a particular party. I think it,s time they start paying taxes or stay out of politics and elections and stick to preaching the word of god. Just saying!
I agree with you. Christian who are jumping on the Mitt Romney parade of lies and believe that Obama is the devil should as themselves if Romney is elected will he use the bible or the book of moron when he takes the oath of office. The had a lot to say about Obama. Billy Graham will have to stand before God and give an account for the way that he has now distorted the word of God in order to get a Romney elected. Jesus said that even the very elect will be deceived in the last days. Some Christians in the country believe that in order to get to heaven you must be a Republican.
I think the Grahams have been watching far, far too much Fox News.
Mormons do not believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior. They believe he was a prophet. Romney has fooled so many people when in fact he belongs to a cult. Talk about false leaders!!
I'm not a Mormon, but you are wrong. Do your research. They do believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father. That is why it is beautiful to see so many churches coming together and uniting to pray for this man of faith. He has my prayers!
sheila, i have some prime real estate in Florida I'd like to sell. You sound like the perfect person for it. It's on sale now at a great price but you'll have to hurry because I have only a couple of lots and am receiving offers already.
And you have not been fooled and enamored by the deceptive reprobate in the White House? Romney has used his religion to fool no one. He has rarely mentioned it. Only his detractors have.
Mormons ridiculously believe that Satan was Jesus' brother and refer to him as a "Son of God"! They foolishly believe we will all be judged not by Christ, but by Joseph Smith on Judgement Day! Mitt Romney actually believes he will become God!! It is he who is the "deceptive reprobate"!!
Mitt Romney is a Great Deceiver. He will NOT become God. He is headed for eternal damnation, and he is leading many there alongside him.
President Obama IS a Christian, and he needs the help of all true Christians to become a better Christian.
every nut has his blogspot....
Reverend Wesley P. Walters of the United Presbyterian church in Marissa, Illinois, discovered some records in the basement of the sheriff's office in Norwich, New York, which he maintains demonstrate the actuality of the 1826 trial and go far to substantiate that Joseph Smith spent part of his early career in southern New York as a money digger and seer of hidden treasures. A periodical in Salt Lake City which heralded Walters's findings said they "undermine Mormonism" and repeated a statement by Hugh Nibley in The Myth Makers, "if this court record is authentic it is the most damning evidence in existence against Joseph Smith."
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.