By Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors
Washington (CNN) – The Rev. Franklin Graham spends most of his time running an international aid group called Samaritan’s Purse. But he usually makes headlines for his political pronouncements.
Over the past year, Graham has attracted attention for his role placing newspaper ads in which his dad, the iconic Rev. Billy Graham, encouraged voters to support conservative values in the lead-up to Election Day. Franklin Graham is CEO and President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which in addition to financing the ads removed a reference to Mormonism as a cult from the group’s website. The move came as Franklin and Billy Graham met with Mitt Romney, who was campaigning to be the first Mormon president, shortly before Election Day.
The younger Graham stopped by CNN’s Washington bureau this week en route to New York, where he was checking in on Samaritan Purse’s Superstorm Sandy relief and promoting a Christmas campaign collecting gifts for poor children.
5 things we learned from his visit:
1. Graham rejects allegations that he is co-opting his ailing dad - who turned 94 last week - to voice support for conservative causes like opposing gay marriage.
Graham says that his dad would have never imagined current debates over the definition of marriage and about when life begins, which he explains is why the famously bipartisan Billy Graham has stepped up his conservative activism. Franklin Graham says it was his idea to run political newspaper ads before the election, but that his dad signed off on them. He says they traded several drafts of the full-page ads, which read as letters from Billy Graham, before they were published.
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“When the president accepted same sex marriage I felt that became kind of a moral crisis for our country,” Graham told us, referring to President Barack Obama’s endorsement of legalized same-sex marriage in May. “And that Christians should be reminded as to what we’re voting for. I presented this to my father, and he agreed that we ought to remind people to vote for biblical issues.”
2. Graham says his dad has always been political, and that Billy Graham’s activism last year was in sync with past behavior. “I’ve read some of the reports where they said my father avoided politics,” Graham said. “That’s not true. I mean, he’s known every president since Truman.”
Graham told a story about his father speaking at a 2000 news conference with George W. Bush in Jacksonville, Florida, on the Sunday before Election Day. That year, after a protracted recount, Florida wound up determining the election’s outcome for Bush.
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“Now don’t you think that was worth some votes in Florida,” Graham asked, referring to his dad’s appearance with Bush. “I think it probably… changed the outcome of the race. So my father has been involved in politics at different levels over the years, and so for him to be involved in these ads is not out of character.”
3. Graham thinks America’s economic doldrums could be God’s way of sending a message about the nation’s growing secularization – and about what Graham sees as its increasing immorality.
“I don’t see our country turning to God,” he told us. “I see if anything the pride in the hearts of politicians [being] very big and very strong.”
“For them to admit that they made a mistake and to call up the name of Almighty God, it would take a major crisis in this country to do that, and maybe that’s what God will have to do,” Graham continued. “Maybe he will have to bring this country down economically before we will turn our hearts back to God, I don’t know.”
This scenario is related to Graham’s view of American exceptionalism, which revolves around the idea of a special relationship between God and the United States. “God has blessed the United States of America more than any other nation on this earth,” Graham said. “But we’ve turned our back on God as a nation and it’s sad, and I believe that his hand of blessing could slowly be removed from this country. We need to repent.”
4. Graham thinks preachers should speak out on social issues like abortion or gay marriage, but not on economic ones. “When it comes to the taxes - whether you should tax the wealthy more or the poor more, I’m not into that,” he said. “Let the politicians worry about that.”
5. Graham didn’t direct the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to remove its website’s reference to Mormonism as a cult shortly before Election Day. But he agrees with the move. “I didn’t even know it was there. We have like 10,000 pages on our website,” Graham told us.
Graham said the reference isn’t coming back to the site. “I don’t want to be involved in calling people names,” he told us. “I want to reach people for Christ, and how can I do that if I’m calling them a name? I don’t even like the word cult; it sounds like dungeons and dragons or something.”
What’s your take on Graham’s political views and how they grow out of his religious beliefs? Let us know in comments.
Actually, God stepped in and prevented the election of a cult member. So your website literally called Mormons the devil's spawn, and then you turned around and endorsed one? Wow.
Graham said. “That’s not true. I mean, he’s known every president since Truman.” seriously, knowing every president since truman does not equate one as being political. Jesus was political Billy G. Read your bible. What shocked the evangelical community is Obama's win – both times. That community does not believe that the President is a believer. Well that is not their job to judge his heart. That is between President Obama and his God. Evangelicals are not God's policemen and the GOSPEL IS NOT ABOUT ABORTION AND GAY ISSUES ONLY. So STOP and please preach the WORD. Stop placing your threshold by his threshold and your posts by his posts. No go figure out what that truly means evangelicals.
Well said, let's focus on Jesus' mandate that we love one another. If we could JUST make headway I think we would please God far more than trying to convert one believer into the "right" kind of believer (based on our own misguided understandings)
Christianity is hinduism, crookedness of hindu Jew's, crook self centered, secular s, and every hindu gentile ignorant slave Christian follower of hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism as follows it as some thing of divine nature. Do not be a hindu, ignorant and open your eyes to truth absolute GOD to be free from hindu gentile ism, criminal slavery of hindu Jew's, crook secular s, deniers of truth absolute GOD.
Wow, that guy is crazy.
I can't help but notice Billy Graham never speaks for himself anymore. Franklin is always there to tell us what Billy says and thinks and believes.
Franklin is driving nails in the coffin of white fundamentalist evangelical Christianity, and using Billy as the hammer.
Flash Gordon Graham ought use a nail+gun'! Its sights are netter endowed for a more perfect shot, @ point blank range!
One Paraphrase at a time,
What was first made can never again become that which was made first, for only in varying differential constructs can another thing be made to be outdone against that which was firstly made. The pillars of one's DNA, the spirals of all celestial life forms and formations is where God's Sons and their given wives are taken in as residents there abouts.
The Kingdoms of God lay where the inner structures of celestial Life do share in the abundancies of Living Fractals in Cosmological Paradigms. As mankinds' hunting for the Codifying of Life's laws in Cellularized Confinements continues onwards, we will ever become non-complacent in our societal grandeurs for wants sakes never to be outdone by those who tend to be in simplifications' adjuring. May we be merciful upon those who deservidely aspire to be merciful toward others.
With one's consciousness treading above the physical confinements, we all do stray hither and dither, dilly dallying all the meanwhile never even taking the mentioning of the wayfaring stranger who lollygags with the very best of flocks.
Prayer fails again.
How has prayer failed? If you mean the outcome of the election, God will not override man's free will. However, we will pay the consequences for choosing wrongly.
we will pay the consequences for choosing wrongly.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
Ahh but your bible also states that all governments and authorities are put into place by your god. So which is it?
Our government was ordained by God to be a "City on a Hill" since its inception. However, people voted for Obama of their own free will. They chose wrongly. God will correct it. Hurricane Sandy was just a taste of what is to come for many, many years. By the next election, people will be begging to elect godly candidates. Mark my words.
Awww how cute. So it's both, although you ignore the part about the authorities within the government being supposedly put into place by your god. Oh that's right, cherry picking the bible is the backbone of Christianity, I forgot.
I also remember you saying something about marking your words when you predicted Romney would be elected because that was god's will.
Evangelical, "Our government was ordained by God to be a "City on a Hill" since its inception."
Our coutry was establsihed by our nation's forefathers, the first of but many men who created our Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights and our nation's Const-i-tution. Do you know about these things or are you just 'winging it' ?
that's the thing about prayer......you cannot tell whether it failed or succeeded. eva bathers on, because eva is a diseased gash
Billy Graham is and always has been a lying hypocrite. He takes folk's hard earned money under the pretense of helping them get to a heaven that he knows does not exist. He agreed with "tricky dick" Nixon that they needed to do something about getting rid of the Jews and later apologised to the Prime Minister of Israel when his words came out on one of Nixon's secret tapes. His son is just a chip off the old block and should be prosecuted for imbezzlement and taking advantage of the old and un-educated. I would like to see all of the so-called Evangelicals hooked up to a lie detector test and asked if they believed in all the trash they spout out.
One should not forget Flash Gordon Graham's old man's upcoming book being parlored to the emotionally unbalanced flocks to give them more reasons to remain unbalanced. Those God Damned Tv Evangelists all selling their (Cd DvD & books) goods to those with hardly any sense in order to get all the 'cents' their goods can make for them!
This man is a sad ass POS.
Because you don't agree with him, you call him a POS?!? If I weren't a Christian, I'd call you a POS.
"IF" you were a christian you would know that Jhn 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world."
Dumb klutz face of christiandumb
I would like to respond by calling you a POS, and you know I would be correct. I'm a Christian though, so I'm going to refrain from doing that.
Evangelical and Atheism is unhealthy for children and other living things met online. Let us find someone for you.
Who loes ya baby face!? Your mudder or ya fodder? My parnts have both passed into their heavenly abodes where they live a much better life in the abundancies, dying then alive and dying and then aive forever more no less. It's the gospel truth!
frankie boy is Billy Graham. He's a liar.
Edit: Frankie boy is NO Billy Graham.
Today's "conservative Christians" are no Christians at all. They ignore those in their party who commit the sin of adultery by divorcing their wives and marrying others (Newt, Limbaugh, Beck) yet go after gay people like they are lepers. They cater to the rich, yet look down their nose at the 47%. They turn a blind eye to those who spew out hatred and racism. They ignore what the Bible says about God appointing those over us and we should not questing what He did. They are hypocrites and do not do anything to win souls for Christ. How many have preached the word of God to gays instead of hating on them? How many have comforted a woman who had an abortion instead of condemning her?
Right on the money. They are white washed tombs just like the hypocrits of Jesus' day.
That was quite profound, and thanks for posting that.
If all religious people took up that tact, instead of the hate we get from them, then maybe us non believers would take you more seriously.
I call that just being a stand up guy (or gal).
Thank you for being one too.
May God god damn them all for Christ's sake!
I was damningly talking about the christiandumb
Ho.mos.exuals are worse than lepers. The lepers are not sinning.
Don't you yet know that 'ho-mo-phobia' is a mental disorder brought about by hardened religious stereotypes?
And right on cue, an ordinary hate filled evangelical shows us all just how much they do in fact hate.
The exact opposite of a stand up guy.
Keep up the good hate, I am sure your family/friends are very proud of you.
First of all, it is not hate. I'm just laying out the facts. Second of all, I do not hate the sinner and want to see him saved, but I detest the sin to the core of my being.
A cat, when it steals milk, closes its eyes and thinks no one else in the world can see its crime.. but everyone does.
You think by saying what you said and attaching a rider like "I don't hate the sinner" think that absolves you of all wrongdoing.. but everyone sees you for what you truely represent. Hatrad, bigotory and hypocrisy. None of them are the attributes of a true christian that you proclaim yourself to be.
Harsh, but truth is a bitter pill
Well, I'm going to be harsh now too snow. You and all ho.mos.exuals are going to burn in hell. There is no way around it unless you repent. And note that repent means to change your ways. But I know that pride will not allow you to repent. As my preacher says, we need people burning in hell to provide heat for God's people in heaven.
Furthermore, I and many other good people will not allow you to drag our country through the moral sewer.
You aare one hatefilled Beetch or bassturd whichever one be ye you. May you rot in christiandumbs puke!
So what sins does your party ignore...if you are talking about democrats then more than a few sins.
"You aare one hatefilled Beetch or bassturd whichever one be ye you. May you rot in christiandumbs puke!"
Some love and kindness from the liberal side...LOL!
I just ca't help but swing to and fro damn it or not to damn it for that is a puzzle for the Ages and I at times just don't give a horses behind when a christiandumb's tater tot wants to lambast someone for their own contrivences forsakedness.
I heard some southerners want to seceed! Well, JET BLUE has one way flights to Europe. Good riddance. O' and by the way, don't forget to write...your Uncle Sam! Bye now!
That austerity shit sucks so I ain't goin' anywhere.
I was back in Ireland recently. Austerity does indeed suck monkey balls. It's destroying entire economies just to re-capitalize failed central banks.
What was first made can never again become that which was first made for only in varying differential constructs can another thing be made to be outdone against that which was firstly made. The pillars of one's DNA, the spirals of all celestial life forms and formations is where God's Sons and their given wives are taken in as residents there abouts. The Kingdoms of God lay where the inner structures of celestial Life do share in the abundancies of Living Fractals in Cosmological Paradigms. As mankinds' hunting for the codifying of Life's laws of cellularized confinements continues onwards, we will ever become non-complacent in our societal grandeurs for wants sakes never to be outdone by those who tend to be in simplifications' adjuring. May we be merciful upon those who deservidely aspire to be merciful toward others.
A scattering is upon us in these trying days and Age. Leave your wantings behind and never take wind of one's longings for the weightiness of one's longings will smite even the most influential. Carry away nothing and leave. Head to the places inside one's being and do not keep ajar your door for many will want to enter in and should not. Your loving this Life is for the world to have and you should not heed the rumors from others as to just what is truly right. It is therefore best for mankind to simmer in their juvenile pottages never rationalizingly 'assaying' one's diffuse detriments, the very smallest of life's grains. As smitten breeds, our splendors reveal one's characters to be traitorous to one's analogous fold. Where then does Life end and living begin?
Who before this day's Age is found worthy of Goodly praises? Who after us will find peace set before them? Who in today;s timeline is this "son of man" that many should fear him for his worthiness stance? Who above can see the below? Who that is below can see what be above? From the very smallest crevice to the most high chasms, the Sea of Nothingness is the Holy Spirit. May the elemental Gods find favor in this found son of man that he may not be afflicted with this world's power but rather he should carry upon him the angst from his manhood till his natural death.
What I spiritually believe in is that the Families of God including God Himself lives upon the very first created Cosmos which is the inner Cosmos. Our being but upon this celestial cosmos is due our being cast out of the Inner Cosmos for many reasons. Some were cast out of this Inner Cosmos for faultering and some for continuing to do the Lord's Will here upon this celestial realm of gigantic life forms whereupon their insides are living many families of God's members. We live upon this realm doing what we want while many of us unify ourselves in the communal. My way is not your way and yet when we cross paths we receive each other and walk on.Therefore, walk placidly amid the noise and waste ever being mindful of the peace one finds in finding peace there about.
Is God to be made a mockery by those who tend to instill anti-leveraged pragmatisms? Are we to believe in the godless and the ungodly who care little about the piecemeal subjectives' ordinates?
Jesus, was the very first of many immeasurable 'elemental beings' and was in the Beginning an elemental king of all the elemental Gods. Jesus, in His cunning, did thru Chaos' manueverings, established the gravimetrical waves for the elementals to gather in broods thusly was formed the beginnings of celestial nebulas.
As time did force the nebulas to progressively surround the gravimetric oscillations where from did come about galactic formations of the elementals' soundness. As systems of photonic elementals, the infinitesimal finite elemental Gods did shower the solarized systems with their embodied beings. And in the Now, we are but made from the photonic elementals' stillnesses, the stardusts of the Ages.
My "Physicist" knows very well the quantum physicalities of natured atomic stimulations. I call this "Physicist" God. He has strewn His Sea of Nothingness with 'photogenitisms' or the stillness of the photons creating all manner of the first materials needed to become thru timeliness all the elementals' members of our declared Periodic Table of Materialized Photogenitis.
Sciences are but the dreams dreamt and are atheists' treasure troves of good books they hardly ever do read, for many atheists aren't too bright yet they stand by these scientists without one iota of deniability to question science books that even the commoner seldom reads nor truly understands. Who among us knows about the 'Self-Similar Cosmological Paradigm'? Who among us truly understands that energy equals mass times light squared and its' true potential? What is the point in adoring scientific reasoning when one's IQ level can be counted on ten fingers?
I feel a compelling want to tell you about some verses in Gospel scripture. Is it not written to above all things to seek firstly the "Kingdom of God". This said, have you ascribed to doing so? Where does one look to or towards in order to find that which we are told to seek as scripture does declare one to do?
Mathew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God."
I've searched the Gospel writings and have found a single verse telling all who have found it as to the true and literal location of God's Kingdomly Domains!
Luk 17:21 "The kingdom of God is inside you."
I take Luke 17:21 quite literally and so should all who believe in One God and His One Son of perhaps oodles upon oodles of otherly Sons and Daughters too numerous to really expound upon! Christ is special because he was born to take upon his being the sins of those who were and then were also and of times yet to come! God's Kingdoms being inside us and within our ownliness bodies can also be associated with another verse of scripture ,,,,
1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.
The just above verse does tell much more than just glimpsing over it could proclude! Our being labourers with God may well seem to give us all an equal footing with God and his aspirations for our betterment's sakes! His being our husbandry may well regard God as having a firm footing in our conceptions of childbirthing beyond mere genetic understandings!
But in the aboveness verse, the very understanding that we or our bodies are God's buildings may well inspire one to disavow such a claim due one's foresightedness sakes and lacking of rationalisms' of credible resources. Yet, as I see things, we, our bodies are not only God established and God created buildings for the benefits of the Godly who reside inside of us, but are for our benefits for learning and understanding the precepts of "Fractal Cosmologies"!
We have seen that which our bodies are made up of and they are of cellularized structures not "unlike" nebula structures in outer space places! These celestial nebula structures are yet a work-in-progress and our body-like buildings are a progress in the works!
These words are revelations of my Faith as to my Godly understandings regarding the Kingdom Domains of God, his Sons and his Daughters and all forms and mannerisms of Life-ever-lasting principles and principalities of progressives!
Written by God's Oldest Dreamer
Too long and too boring.....
And they wont post my comments but they post this?
And another thing....
How do you know for sure that you are god's oldest dreamer?!?
I don't think you are.
In fact, I think there are many more people older then you who dream about god.
Is god dreaming about you?
I could only read two sentences of your post and that was a chore. Obviously, you need some therapy. Gibberish at best. Insanity most likely.
Your replies are duly noted and salt is needed for my turkey. Gobble gobble gobble! :-)
God told me in that phone call I got from him that you need to watch your salt....
And maybe go easy on the butter too.
Awe now! Gotta shake the salt from outta somewhere now don't we> :-)
the end is near for him, let's hope the old ways of thinking die with him
god is imaginary dot com
Hey North Carolina...how does it feel to be on the losing end of history this time around???
BLUE SKIES, NO red reign!
Four More years baby!
I just unscrewed the lid off my latest batch so all's cool.
Franklin Graham, you are a dirt bag. But, I do, however appreciate your extraordinary efforts in turning more people into atheists. So, thank you for that.
It is way, way, way past time to eliminate the tax breaks fior Religious Organizations. Social issues, economic issues, moral issues are one thing; telling the "faithful" how to vote crosses the line.
“I don’t want to be involved in calling people names,” he told us....
really? let's start with the muslims. add in a healthy dose of the gays. sprinkle with 'liberal churches' who have 'strayed'.
as for ministers not speaking out on economic issues... actually, economics issues are at the core of social issues. how we spend money and how we give to others is a loud and continuous message of the one who christians follow.
finally, franklin has every right to disagree with obama. but he takes it a step further by questioning the presidents self-proclaimed faith. her's another quote by graham:
“I think the president’s problem is that he was born a Muslim, his father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother. He was born a Muslim, his father gave him an Islamic name.”
in the spirit of former vp candidate lloyd bensen: franklin graham, you are no billy graham!!!!!!
And if you found out your "real" father was an atheist........
“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it.”
Now that Mitt lost will Mormons go back to being a cult?
When did it stop being a cult?
When did Christianity stop being a cult?
Has Billy not added Mormonism back to the list since his sheep didn't get the non-Muslim elected?
The demeaning reference to Mormonism should never have been on the Billy Graham website to begin with. Smacks of hypocrisy to remove it just for the election.
I always get a chuckle when one cult demonizes another cult.
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.