February 22nd, 2012
12:06 PM ET

Graham clarifies remarks on Obama's faith

By the CNN Political Unit

(CNN) – The Rev. Franklin Graham clarified his thoughts on President Barack Obama's Christian faith Wednesday, one day after the evangelical leader took heat over making comments about the president's ties to Islam.

"I don't question the president's faith. I'm not questioning whether he's a Christian," Graham said on CNN's "Newsroom." "I disagree with his position on abortion."

On Tuesday, Graham stirred controversy when he expressed uncertainty over whether the president is sincere enough in his faith.

He said when he asked Obama about how he became a Christian, the president said he joined a church in Chicago after becoming a community organizer, leaving Graham to speculate whether he became a Christian for the right motives.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Billy Graham • Christianity • Church and state • TV-CNN Newsroom

soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Christian bigotry

    I am appalled and horrified at some of the so-called Christians posting here. They have so much hatred and intolerance for anyone that is unlike them. What comes out of their minds and mouths is the very opposite of Jesus. They are full of hypocrisy and contradictions. And you know what they are also full of...

    March 3, 2012 at 4:58 am |
  2. bozster

    Why is it that the modern evangelical christian right act so un-christian. Whatever happened to "judge not lets ye be judged"? Why do they tend to favor violent, war-like solutions, and hate filled speeches? How did Christ fall out of Christianity?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  3. Lean6

    We have entirely too many powerful weapons to be as stupid as this on the whole.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  4. 50>13

    Isn't it funny how righties act when it comes to faith? They cry about religious persecution, then they persecute others of different religions. Friggin' typical!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  5. Keith

    Maybe candidate Obama could shed some light on the subject:

    February 26, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  6. Nii Croffie

    Once aagain don't get offended at a word or two consider the ti.tle as a whole. Prejudiced in that they will really not like to find out what the Bible says about YHWH. Atheist because those who propose it are. Dolt is part of the blogname of the guy who I noticed using it. Not an insult at all.

    February 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  7. mearkeV

    I am an atheist and live a life that does not judge people by their faith but by their actions. Morals existed before religion or we would not have survived. Can't we just all get along?

    February 23, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Religions including atheism r de ultimate moral systems. They r designed 2 promote emotional maturity (spiritual enlightenment). If a religion becomes an end in itself it fosters intolerance. Basic spirituality is based on loving your neighbor as urself. In this way all religions r fulfilled.

      February 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Atheism is a religion like NOT collecting stamps is a hobby. Idiot!

      February 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Atheism is a religion because it is classified and studied as such. Now who is the idiot?

      February 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • stan miller


      February 29, 2012 at 1:20 am |
  8. Free the Pastor!

    Probably Rev. Graham wanted to talk about Pastor Naderkhani's impending execution and he was denied the opportunity to be a voice of concern for the plight of the Pastor in Iran.

    Free the Pastor.You cannot execute someone for their belief.

    February 23, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • momoya

      Doesn't the bible say that the christian should be joyful when persecuted?
      Don't christians believe that they are going to ultimate bliss when they die?
      Doesn't the bible say that you should be sorrowful when a baby is born but happy when a person dies?

      Seems like disobedience to act otherwise in this case.

      February 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Momoya what are u saying! Prayers are offered up for the persecuted and interventions attempted in the hope that their life may be saved even though the persecuted may endure their suffering with joy. Peter was saved once by prayer but did not hesitate 2 lay down his life 2o. What church did u go 2?

      February 24, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      if u used to teach such sadistic doctrines I wonder why you won't run from your own shadow! Christ and the Apostles did not command us to smile at our sorrow. No they gave words of comfort for inevitable persecution. Don't accuse falsely. I hope u know better but if u don't my doors are always open.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  9. Peacemaker

    Mr. Graham, now your are....... lying! That's is not what you meant and you know it! Shame on you!

    IF you disagreed with his stance on abortion, you would have said so. You didn't until people rose up and called you out!

    Mr. Graham, I suggest you READ the Gospels!

    February 23, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  10. who

    I'm so sick of this.. Who gives this franklin graham the right to go and judge a person's heart?

    February 23, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Peacemaker


      February 23, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      I dunno. Right now that hole he dug himself into is pretty deep. You think that he can still see over the edge if he stands on his tippy-toes? Or does he have to jump up for that now?
      Here is the real problem – there are people who believe every word that makes its way out of his mouth. They, and their gullibility, may be going into the voting booth this fall and casting their votes based on what this "Man of God" says.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  11. nanna

    President Obama can believe in anything he wants too. Live and let live. It is no ones business and preachers love to act like they have the answers to heaven and hell so people will keep giving their hard earned money and feel so guilty that they should be giving more. Preachers such as this travel around the world and eat and sleep in the best places with the money you gave them! When was the last time you got a vacation around the world.

    February 23, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  12. Consequence

    If a man says he is a Christian, it is not for anyone to doubt how a man feels. On the other hand, we have all seen the Church to which Obama associated himself for twenty years and the political access that Church gave him to the black community. Knowing Obama as we now do, there is sufficient reason to wonder whether Obama became a deep and committed Christian or whether he signed on to advance his political career.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Peacemaker

      You contradict yourself. No on but GOD knows what is in a man's heart. Let's leave GOD in charge of judging!

      February 23, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Ran

      I agree with you Consequence. You've given a very balanced point of view, not siding with either side.
      @Peacemaker- I think I disagree with you on one point. Although, no one but God knows whether a person is a genuine Christian or not, since he is our president, we do have an obligation and right to question and find out his motives. Because they will say a lot about not his faith but his character. If he is willing to pose as a Christian, join a church just to be associated with a certain group then that definetely puts his character into question. ....Please note that I never said he did this.

      February 23, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  13. nanna

    Religions love you to fear and feel guilty so they can control you.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • gerc

      When you cease to feel guilt over wrongdoing, you become a very dangerous person.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Suffering(God's will)=Joy(Satan's will)
      Suffering (Satan's will)=Joy(God's will)
      Refusing to admit Gen 2
      Suffering(Man's will)=Joy(Man's will)
      You have the power so why blame God? Love your neighbor s yourself.

      February 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Is it loving your neighbor when you call them a prejudiced dolt?

      Can anyone else make any sense out of Nii's post?

      February 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      There is a saying that every insinuation knows its target. facepalm, u were expressing this position. I hope u realise that the ti.tle is a description. No hard feelings. I've explained it above.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  14. Reality

    Prayers are effective only when reiterated.

    Time to put Franklin ($800,000/yr) and Billy ($400,000/yr) out to pasture as both suffer significantly from the Three B Syndrome i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in their religion, in their case, redneck Christianity !!!!

    There is, however, a quick prayer cure:

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    (references used are available upon request)

    February 23, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • ......

      Hit report abuse on every reality garbage post

      February 23, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • gerc

      Look at every organ of your body. You'd have to be willfully blind to think there is no Creator.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      When I look at my appendix I see an organ that has little to no value, is unnecessary, and can kill me. If there is a creator, it's either not intelligent or sadistic.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Reality

      And then there are the "creator's" creations of ALS, mental retardation, colds, plagues, epidemics, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes!!!!

      February 24, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Chauncey

      I question Grahams motive for preaching.

      February 24, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    February 23, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Primewonk

      Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!
      Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
      Spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam.
      Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!
      Spam spam spam spam!

      February 23, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • just sayin

      Truth Wonderful Truth

      February 23, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  16. Nii Croffie

    Now the very secular witnesses of Jesus are being used as non-witnesses. Is it ok for u to lie? I am not judging just asking a question. History butchered flat for Evangelical Atheism. I guess we needed more witnesses for his existence than his brother James the Just and Paul the Apostle.

    February 23, 2012 at 4:18 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      The Messianic Prophesies included de name Jesus, did u know this? Joshua de Son of Josedech n High Priest of YHWH was prophesied as de symbol of de Messiah. Did you know this? So what was his real name if not Jesus? I don't discount prophecy(not prediction) as evidence because I have done so b4.

      February 23, 2012 at 4:26 am |
    • Leo

      The truth is Christian Manuscripts are far superior to secular works in both timeframe from original event and numbers. We have Jewish writers (Josephus, the Talmud) and Roman Historians (Tacitus) write about Jesus and Christianity.

      February 23, 2012 at 10:11 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.