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.
So with Romney's loss, does Billy Graham put Mormans back on the "Cult List"?
Huh, Franklin doesn't want to speak on "economic issues" but just moral ones like gay marriage and abortion. There may be no greater moral issue than economics. I grew up evangelical, I never have been so disappointed in Billy Graham then in this election.
Stop shoving YOUR religion down out throats.
So what happened to separation of church and state? If these guys are so active in politics isn't it about time that we start taxing them and revoking their tax exempt status?
Billy made a deal with the devil and lost! Time to meet your make you old buzzard!
I bet his maker will not be the same as yours...Billy Graham is a true man of GOD
It is true that his Father has known every President since Truman but he has NEVER endorsed anyone. His son is a liar. There is really no other way to put it.
I used to believe that Billy Graham was truly a messenger of God.
I used to believe that bible-god was real.
Peggy: Really? How delusional was that?
He doesn't like the word "Cult" ,because he is in one of the largest in the country....I think it's interesting that one man's Cult is another's true religion.....they are all Cults.....they need to move on....and we need them to start paying taxes like the rest of the corporations that they are ........they can't have it both ways....
People who espouse Graham's beliefs are dying off,thankfully
For a better understanding of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and the spirit it serves (Luke 9:55) we invite you to read the read the article on the BGEA and 'False Apostles and False Christs' listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca
All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.
If Graham was Pro-Bush, he is very , very wrong.... What does he think about the thousand and thousand lives lost in two wars ??
Ho ho ho ... God, Santa Claus, elves, trolls, witches? What else does BillyBoy believe in?
Hey, who buried all those fake dinosauer bones all over the world? Everyone knows God created Earth 9000 years ago.
Never seen a bigger set of fools than the religious folks, be they Christian, Muslim whatever. They are ALL the same.
I guess it was created by a great explosion, I think that's as crazy. People referenced the age of the earth. Nothing in the Bible suggests that the earth and an eternal being is only 9000 years old.
I suggest you see a proctologist ASAP as your cranium appears to be wedged firmly in your rectum; (and he or she may almost certainly have to call for "back-up").
revision: I suggest you (Sly, or "not-so-Sly" as it were) see a proctologist ASAP as your cranium appears to be inextricably wedged in your rectum; (and the procto may almost certainly have to call for "back-up").
don't forget two faces, anti semetic and void of a moral compus
"When the president accepted same s.ex 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-s.ex 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.”
yeah, remember the hate in the bible. remember the bible says to murder all g.ays (also non-virgin brides, disobedient children and anyone working the weekend). the church leads the fight for prejudice, misogyny and h.omophobia - and they say they're all about love... christianity would be a joke if it wasn't taken seriously. the bible is a terrible guide for good living.
unclasp your hands. stand up. think for yourself. go outside. put your hands to use helping others.
congratulations - you're now a better person.
Humanism at it's finest. but there IS a God. One God of all. and He is active in all lives, even those who would mock both HIm and those who believe in Him. Seek and you shall find.
What a pile of self indulgent crap you posted. Did it at least make you feel all warm and fuzzy to post inane idiocy?
You're still eating metaphorically from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Atheists and agnostics lead the fight against religiophobia – scared to death and borderline haters of religion. As bad as religion is, it's absolutely necessary for a stable society. Take religion out of the equation and you have less love, less compassion and more confusion than the mess we're already in. Society isn't getting worse due to more religion, we're getting worse due to less of it.
We have sued the IRS, so that Billy and Franklin Graham's ministry and other electioneering churches will be held responsible for breaking the law. http://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/16091-ffrf-sues-irs-to-enforce-church-electioneering-ban
Let's hope the IRS starts holding all religions accountable to separation of church and state if they want to remain tax exempt.. Once they start entering the political forum they should lose their tax exemption. The full page ad by Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was way out of line and the responsible party or parties should be held accountable.
So, when are you going after the Nation of Islam, and every African-American pastor/church that ever preached politics from the pulpit since the 1960's? If you're going to do that to BGEA, then you have to evenly apply the standard; not just the preceived 'soft targets' that you don't think will hunt you down and beat you up for opposing them.
I suspect your organization is cherry-picking which groups you go after, not so much because they are Christian, but more because of their Conservative vs. Liberal values. Sorry you people don't have anything better to do with yourselves, other than go after 'political' churches, and crosses on mountains...we could really use athiests help at the soup kitchen and homeless shelter (we NEVER see you guys there, but we ALWAYS have Christians helping out!).
Good for you! and good for what you're doing in TN regarding the 10 Commandments as well!
Franklin Graham is a liar and con-man of the highest order. Guy even looks sleazy, like the prayer hanky guy.
Franklin Graham needs to learn that marriage has been around much longer than christianity and that the definition of marriage in the bible is not gods definition but mans....
God in Quran says, (holy Islamic scripture)
“Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]
“They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]
“The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]
‘They said, "You have to be Jewish or Christian, to be guided." Say, "We follow the religion of Abraham – monotheism – he never was an idol worshiper." [2:135]
God will say, "O Jesus, son of Mary did you say to the people, `Make me and my mother idols beside God?' " He will say, "Be You glorified. I could not utter what was not right. Had I said it, You already would have known it. You know my thoughts, and I do not know Your thoughts. You know all the secrets.[5:116]
The Messiah, son of Mary is no more than a messenger like the messengers before him, and his mother was a saint. Both of them used to eat the food. Note how we explain the revelations for them, and note how they still deviate! [5:75]
“No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]
It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is. [19:35]
When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided. Quran [2:186]
'Say, "We believe in God, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters." [2:136]
Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to clear your misconception by going to whyIslam org website.
Thanks for pointing out that you are just as crazy as the Christians are.
And then there are these passages:
http://www.muslimaccess.com/quraan/arabic/005.asp et al
o "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)
"Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons...he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home..." (Surah 8:12-)
"Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)
"...make war on the leaders of unbelief...Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them..." (Surah 9:12-)
"Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:27-)
"It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it." (Surah 9:31-)
"If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)
"Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)
"Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)
"Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)
"'How shall I bear a child,' she [Mary] answered, 'when I am a virgin...?' 'Such is the will of the Lord,' he replied. 'That is no difficult thing for Him...God forbid that He [God[ Himself should beget a son!...Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)
"Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)
"Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)
"Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)
"Shall the reward of goodness be anything but good?...Dark-eyed virgins sheltered in their tents...They shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets...Blessed be the name of your Lord..." (Surah 55:52-66-)
As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:
The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century
■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "
and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.
and more recently
1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured
1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh
2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured
3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf
4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.
5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.
6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.
7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.
8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.
9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.
10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror
11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.
12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.
13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,
14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.
15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.
16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.
17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.
18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.
19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011
20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011
21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.
22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.
23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "
o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.
The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."
25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT
(Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.
26 ) September 12, 2012
U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED
Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast
We can read those " holy" scriptures whenever we want. They're only too available. What's YOUR point?
I'm sorry sir, but Jesus was not a prophet. He was God incarnate. No one took HIs life, rather He laid it down freely. for you, for me, for all.
"No one took HIs life, rather He laid it down freely. for you, for me, for all."
How can a god that lives forever die?
From Professor JD Crossan in his book, Who is Jesus:
"Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us."
Like Joseph Smith and L Ron Hubbard before him, Franklin Graham is a con-man. He plainly knows there is no heaven and hell, otherwise he'd be too afraid of the eternity of punishment he will recieve for his putrid acts.
What putrid acts would you be referring to exactly? Who exactly is he conning and from what does he con them? His father was adviser to several presidents. Would you suggest you have it all figured out and they are the idiots? Why haven't you run for leader of the country then?
The "profits" strike again:
"CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Concerns about his rising financial compensation during tough economic times have prompted evangelist Franklin Graham to temporarily give up future contributions to his retirement plans at the two Christian charities he leads.
As president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, he receives two full-time salaries and two retirement packages. Last year his total compensation from the two Christian ministries was $1.2 million.
The size of Graham's total 2008 compensation - $535,000 from Samaritan's Purse and $669,000 from Charlotte, N.C.-based BGEA - drew questions from nonprofit experts. They doubted that one person - even the energetic, globe-trotting Graham - can do two full-time jobs when those positions are head of organizations that employ hundreds and spend hundreds of millions around the world. "
"You wanta make real money, you gotta start a religion!" L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology
Top Ten Signs You're a Christian in Name Only
10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Al lah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some id iot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christian
2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, catholicism and church history – but still call yourself a Christian...
In pieces because of CNN filter,
10 – After much research you too can tell the difference between mythological writing and historical narative
9 – Exactly. To say we evolved from Apes does in fact dehuminize, for if they are our descendants then why not hold the animal kingdom to the same moral code of do not murder, r.ape or steal. It is because humans have an instinctive value given from their Creator
8 – See 10
7 – We are sad over all atrocities even the 10th plauge of Egypt, but we understand that their were 9 other warnings and oppurtunities of mercy before that. And we except the word from the Creator Psalm 115:3
6 – See 10
5 – You also have no problem using the Math and road building skills also from that era.
4 – Christianity is the most tolerant because it is the only community that accepts people from all races, genders, location and so on. But to accuse a community as for having a set of beliefs is absurd. Don't believe it. Go join the LGBT and then say you want to share a belief that maybe ho.mos.exual lifestyles lead to harm and see how "tolerant" and "loving" they are towards you. The idea of a totally inclusive community is, therefore, an illusion
3 – The reason of what we were created for and why were are here is not a science, geology, biology, and physics question. It is a philosophical one. Also history confirms the accounts presented in the text not denies it.
2 – No not at all. Question, how did you get the denominator for your percentage? Are you claiming the knowledge of all known prayers ever?
1 – Come on you know that is not true. Take yourself for example. I would say that I and William Lane Craig know more about Christianity than you. But do I know more then JD Crossan. No. But then as you see from the example it is not reasonable to compare a person whose field it is to study such things vs the lay man.
Funny you knock Samaritan's Purse when the site you often tout gives it a 4 out of 4 stars.
you think 0.12% of the total is too much? Out of a total of 5.1% for everyone? How much would you take?
Also using > 88% of take in is still stellar even by secular standards.
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.