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Evangelist Billy Graham defends Chick-fil-A
July 26th, 2012
02:18 PM ET

Evangelist Billy Graham defends Chick-fil-A

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN)– Billy Graham, the dean of American evangelists, has once again broken his usual silence on hot-button issues, defending the president of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain for his opposition to same-sex marriage days after issuing a letter decrying what he sees as the nation's moral decay.

Earlier this year, the ailing preacher publicly endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay unions in North Carolina, raising eyebrows among many who'd watched Graham studiously avoid thorny social issues for years.

On Thursday, he issued a statement of support for the popular fast-food chain. Many people have slammed Chick-fil-A President Don Cathy for saying his company backs the traditional family unit and is opposed to same-sex marriage.

Graham praised restaurant founder S. Truett Cathy and son Don Cathy, the company's president, "for their strong stand for the Christian faith."

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"I've known their family for many years and have watched them grow Chick-fil-A into one of the best businesses in America while never compromising their values," Graham said.

The Chick-fil-A controversy reflects what many see as America's deep cultural and religious divide. The company's position on same-sex marriage doesn't sit well with Jim Henson Co., whose Jim Henson's Creature Shop toys have been served in Chick-fil-A's meals for children.

Jim Henson Co. is named for the creator of The Muppets. However, the company transferred The Muppets' rights and ownership to the Walt Disney Co. in 2003, according to Jim Henson Co.

"The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over 50 years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors," the company said in a posting on its Facebook page.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2008 GOP presidential candidate, is backing Chick-fil-A. He urged people to turn out to Chick-fil-A restaurants on Wednesday to show their support for what Cathy had to say about marriage.

Graham says he appreciated Huckabee's leadership and plans to visit a Chick-fil-A on that day, August 1.

"Each generation faces different issues and challenges, but our standard must always be measured by God's word. I appreciate the Cathy family's public support for God's definition of marriage."

On Tuesday, Graham leveled deep criticism at the United States. He compared the country to Sodom and Gomorrah, the Biblical cities synonymous with sin.

"Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle," Graham writes in the open letter released by his organization this week.

He blasts what he sees as efforts to keep references to Jesus out of the public sphere.

"Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone - except God. Yet the farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control," he writes in the letter released Tuesday.

Graham, 93, has preached to untold millions over six decades, and provided counsel to generations of U.S. presidents.

His open letter also contains a fund-raising appeal and a notice that Graham's son Franklin, himself a major evangelical figure, is launching a new effort to "bring the Gospel into neighborhoods and homes in every corner of America next year."

Randall Balmer, the chair of the religion department at Dartmouth College, suspects the motivation for the letter is at least partly political.

"It's hard for me to believe that this letter does not have political intent," he said.

Its move to decry what he would see as moral decay "would be tied to the Obama administration," he argued, asking rhetorically why Graham would not have issued the statement in response to an event like the Abu Ghraib torture scandal.

In response to the controversy, Larry Ross, Graham’s spokesperson, said that “the letter does not address timely issues.”

“‘My Heart Aches for America,’ was written 6-8 weeks ago – long before recent current events, such as the tragic shooting in an Aurora, Colo movie theater, or the ongoing Chik-fil-A controversy,” Ross said in an email to CNN. “He is responding to general struggles in our culture and a moral decline that has existed through his public ministry.”

At the same time, Ross said that Graham is keen on the idea of eating Chick-fil-A next Wednesday.

“Considering Mr. Graham's age and limited mobility, his statement today was more an expression of sentiment and solidarity with the Cathy family and their cause than actually a commitment to go to a Chik-fil-A himself,” Ross said. “But he does plan to ‘Eat Mor Chikin’ on Aug. 1, which I expect someone will be able to get for him to enjoy at home.”

Balmer said that evangelicals would take note of the letter, though Graham has largely retired from the public eye in recent years.

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"There is certainly admiration for Billy Graham, as there should be," Balmer said. "There is lingering respect for Billy Graham and I think that people will take notice."

But he said the comparison to Sodom and Gomorrah - which Graham attributes to his late wife Ruth in the letter - was startling.

"When Billy Graham came to Madison Square Garden in 1957, he made comments comparing New York City to Sodom and Gomorrah and was roundly criticized for it," Balmer said. Since that time, Balmer said, Graham has largely avoided making the comparison to the Biblical cities.

CNN's Joe Sterling contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Billy Graham • Christianity • Church and state • Food

soundoff (2,864 Responses)
  1. Scholar

    Support from a man who has studied the Bible his entire life....Kept the upmost moral code... and is about to die so has nothing to lose...would surely tell the truth... I'm with you Billy... the other aurguements from the lgbt are all emotion....and irrational...

    July 26, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Cali-shine

      What you said is true. The issue is not even between people who support gay marriage and Billy Graham. The issue is between people who support gay marriage and God.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Michael

      Hey, you've just encountered a man who actually has studied what the Bible really states about gay people for his entire life. The moral code??? What moral code? You mean in Leviticus? Those clobber passages are found in the Holiness Code and NOT the Moral Code. Do you even know the difference? Do you even care? I am sick of dealing with people who think the Bible condemns gay people because they can look it up in their modern translations yet they don't really want to know what the original text actually stated. You are a fraud.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Michael

      Cali-shine – would you please show me in the Bible where it states two men can not get married? I'd love to see it.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Scholar

      Matt19:4-6; Rom 1:26-27; 1 corin 6:9 ; 1 tim 1:10 if you add the other immorality scriptures at least twenty more..you need to read the bible

      July 26, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Scholar

      ohh and jude 1:7 and 1 cor 6:9 says they will go to Hell

      July 26, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Was blind, but now I see

      "I am sick of dealing with people who think the Bible condemns gay people because they can look it up in their modern translations yet they don't really want to know what the original text actually stated."

      So, why don't you do something useful then and enlighten us please?

      BTW, I have yet to see where anybody condemed a gay person. "God hates the sin, but loves the sinner."

      July 26, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Scholar

      Sorry Michael hate to burst your bubble you need to open the "good" book before you post

      July 26, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • billdeacons

      Michael doesn't need the good book. He's been to college

      July 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Scholar

      Actually, I have studied Greek specifically Koine Greek and know exactly what the original text says.. and for the most part when Jesus speaks they are in commands so in Matt 19 for instance.. there is a direct command against... do not make assertions "you were blind but are still Blind" that are not true.... People need to know the truth if they are to repent and come to the saving knowledge or do you not love people enough to tell the truth and would rather them go to the everlasting fire.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Michael

      Corinthians: Paul said "male bed" and "soft", did not use any Greek term to convey gay men.

      Romans: Condemnation of Pagan idolatry, has nothing to do with orientation.

      Leviticus: It's the Holiness Code and not the Moral Code.

      Matthew: Jesus explained some men were not meant to marry women and stated gay men via born eunuchs.

      Anything else? Or do you guys just want to ignore what the original text stated????

      July 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Scholar

      eunuchs born gay men? you are adding to the text and it was Paul who said that not Jesus.. Eunuch did not mean gay...you should look up the meaning.. and it requires and is in the context of celibacy... Learn learn learn...repent..

      July 26, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Michael

      Scholar, you claim to be a man of God but you are 100% lying about who you are. You studied the original Greek. OK, then let's discuss Corinthians. The terms used were "male bed" and "soft". How do you get gay men out of that? As for "born eunuch", anyone with an internet connection can easily Google this term means "gay men" – they were born that way. Why do you lie??? Because without them you have nothing???? UHG!!!!

      July 26, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Scholar

      World English Dictionary
      eunuch (ˈjuːnək)

      — n
      1. a man who has been castrated, esp (formerly) for some office such as a guard in a harem
      2. informal an ineffective man: a political eunuch

      [C15: via Latin from Greek eunoukhos attendant of the bedchamber, from eunē bed + ekhein to have, keep]

      rest my case! Michael you are a Liar

      July 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Scholar

      giving your self over to lu.st.ful desires has nothing to do with Male bed...you have flown the cookoos nest Michael...keep trolling

      July 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Michael

      Are you honestly trying to use an English definition from today to tell me what the Greek definition of it was 2,000 years ago? This is your "proof". Now I know you're totally lying. Anyone who was trying to deal with the original definition, and thus what the Bible was trying to convey, would never, in a million years, pull out the modern definition of the word.

      Again, a simple Google search on the original meaning of the term 'born eunuch' will tell anyone who wants to know what it meant. Also, so a castrated straight man no longer finds women attractive??? Um, yeah, Another Google search will tell you the type of eunuchs Kings used were the "born eunuch" type since they didn't find women attractive.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Michael

      You're reading comprehension skills aren't the best. This is the 2nd time on this page you've suddenly switched verses for no reason. We were talking about Corinthians. Do you even realize you're now referring to Romans? Funny, it almost sounds as if you don't really know what you're talking about. First you try to give me a modern English definition to tell me what the Greek word meant 2,000 years ago and now you're confusing Corinthians with Romans.

      So you 'Thou Shall Not Lie' doesn't really phase you does it? Funny how Christians aren't concerned with the most severe sins, or breaking them, when they're trying to justify their hatred of gay people.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Michael

      Too funny!!! You're giving me the definition from freedictionary(dot)com to explain to me what the Greek word meant 2,000 years ago.

      Wow, just wow. You guys are too easy to defeat when you really don't know what you're talking about. I thought you studied old school Greek? Wouldn't you know the definition from back then??? You lie like a rug.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • scholar

      Ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἄδικοι θεοῦ βασιλείαν οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν; μὴ πλανᾶσθε· οὔτε πόρνοι οὔτε εἰδωλολάτραι οὔτε μοιχοὶ οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται

      July 26, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • scholar

      The last word in the translation is the word you are refering to Michael and it means the same today as it did then.. translated by much smarter people than you.... case closed.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Michael

      Would you please tell me what you're trying to post??? Is it 'born eunuchs'? How many times do I have to tell you a simple Google search proves "born eunuchs" back then meant gay people. Let me guess though. Since you were able to copy and paste today's definition of eunuch from freedictionary(dot)com and can now cut and paste the original text you somehow think since you can paste 'A' and now past 'B' that they must now equal your "BS".

      July 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • scholar

      Since you do not know Greek how can you argue the meaning at all... Silly Rabbit trix are for kids.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @scholar and Michael

      Can either of you cite the etymological sources that support your assertion? It's getting ridiculous that you two just keep trading assertions.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • scholar

      @hawaiiguest you are using the term incorrectly... for I qouted directly from the original koine greek M16 paprus..Therefore the burden is now on Micheal.. I am not taking the roots of words but their original contextual meaning.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @scholar

      Etymology does not only deal with origins, but history as well.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • scholar

      again this is the original Greek...Case Closed.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      from dictionary.com

      et·y·mol·o·gy
         [et-uh-mol-uh-jee] Show IPA

      noun, plural et·y·mol·o·gies.
      1.
      the derivation of a word. Synonyms: word origin, word source, derivation, origin.

      2.
      a chronological account of the birth and development of a particular word or element of a word, often delineating its spread from one language to another and its evolving changes in form and meaning. Synonyms: word history, word lore, historical development.

      3.
      the study of historical linguistic change, especially as manifested in individual words.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @scholar

      You still need the history of the word, its usage, and any deviations in meaning (or lack thereof) to claim it means the same today as it did then. Saying "case closed" does not automatically make it closed, nor does it prove your point.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • scholar

      @hawaii again you are not understanding this is the original Greek...you are using incorrectly.. because I am not analysing the change or morph of the word but its orginal state. It means what it says.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @scholar

      Thing is, that word is a combination of two words, and I was wondering on the meaning of
      αρσην and κοιτης
      I've found them, and some articles pertaining to the word itself, and everything I find supports your claim.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Michael

      Could you guys just please stop? I mean, its as if you're talking to yourself. What you did scholar, was post a current definition of the word and then copy and pasted the original text. That's ALL you did. You didn't do anymore than that? And you're "friend", which oddly posts definitions in the same exact manner as yourself, is having a conversation with you that has HUGE holes in it. Where are you discussing the Greek word? You copy and pasted the word and that's it.

      You're lying again and it doesn't matter to you that you're doing so.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Michael

      OK, I am reading over this to see if I somehow missed something and, nope, you're full of it scholar. You're sitting here having a conversation with yourself, it appears, because NO WHERE do you even come close to discussing the Greek word. Again, all you did was find the original text, copied and pasted and were like "Look! I'm right!!!" without backing anything up. You're full of it. You don't know what you're talking about and then you come in here with what I can only assume is your alter ego and start discussing BS. What assertion does your "friend" think I need to make? Oh you mean the one where I have said countless times all one has to do is Google what 'born eunuch' meant back then?

      Wow, it's unreal the lengths you'll go to break sins to justify your hatred of gay people.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Michael

      So I Googled those two Greek words and they have NOTHING to do with eunuchs, you're posting scripture from Corinthians. The two terms mean 'male bed' and 'soft' (as in morals or fabrics). Paul didn't use any Greek term which might convey gay men. Odd how "neither" of you caught on to the fact you switched gears without even knowing it.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      really, "scholar"? wanting equal rights is all emotion?

      July 27, 2012 at 6:08 am |
  2. Brendhan

    Their bacon is delicious.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  3. Jason

    Of course Billy Graham defends them.... the mans a bigot. How is this news?

    July 26, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • janey33

      So someone who doesn't agree with what you believe is a bigot??? Seems to me that YOU are the bigot. Billy Graham goes according to God's laws and will go to Heaven. So it doesn't matter what you think of him.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • sam stone

      janey: god decides who goes to heaven. your opinion on this means nothing, you pompous gash

      July 27, 2012 at 6:10 am |
  4. Bill in Florida

    Who cares what Billy Graham says anyway?

    July 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  5. Susan

    I'm not religious at all, but I support people's right to express their opinions. However, I don't support people's biased opinions becoming law. This country is formed with so many different religions and points of view that it's not possible for one of them to create the rules for the rest. We need to allow any two people to come together in marriage in the eyes of the law. Each religion should then be allowed to acknowledge that union, or not. Seems so obvious to me!

    That being said, I will continue to patron Chick-fil-a because I have the freedom to choose to do so.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • ds

      I agree Susan. This is just something for the LGBTs to attack and call bigotry. We are all entiled to freedom of movement and belief in this country so are the LGBTs also carrying a communist agenda?

      July 26, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @ds

      Hi -ds...

      You Said to @Susan – " I agree Susan. This is just something for the LGBTs to attack and call bigotry."

      What exactly are you agreeing with Susan about ? And... you are making it sound like the LGBT community don't have any reason to feel like they are consistently derided and attacked in our society for who they love.

      You Said: " We are all entiled to freedom of movement and belief in this country so are the LGBTs also carrying a (communist agenda)?"

      W – T – F ??? 😯

      Peace...

      July 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  6. Harlem

    Wow

    July 26, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  7. Peri Browner

    Please stop shoving bigotry down our throats. These men are role models NOT. They are old bigots like George Wallace was. And he never really changed his spots.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • billdeacons

      You, of course are, are speaking of the politicians who are infringing on Chick-fil-a's right to do business in Chicago and Boston because of their religious beliefs.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • ds

      Its not bigotry becasue people disagree with your lifestyle – get over yourself and quit labeling things incorrectly to try and bolster your position and push your beliefs on others.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  8. Angelo

    PLEASE! Stop trying to shove gay marriage down my throat.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • James

      You'd rather it was shoved up your a**hole?

      July 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • sybaris

      Nobody is forcing you to be gay or get married or be gay and married or married and secretly gay.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Harry

      You are entirely free not to join in a gay marriage if you do not want to. We are not trying to change law to get you into one either.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Edna

      Nobody is asking YOU to marry ANYONE!
      Butt Out Of Other People's Business!

      July 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • janey33

      They will not stop until their perversion is the law of the land.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  9. JeffinIL

    The reason I don't eat there is the awful food. I guess I have been "boycotting" for years.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Dave

      They are pretty good down here in FL. Their waffle fries are awesome. What other fast food options are better? Wendy's? McDonald's? Greasy KFC?

      July 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • JeffinIL

      Nearly anything is better than that dry slab of chicken on that terrible bun. I've only had it in the North. Maybe they do it right elsewhere. It is inedible here.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • janey33

      Oh, wow. I don't understand your chick-fil-a. I also live in the north and ours is very good. Not dry at all. Interesting.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • JeffinIL

      The Waffle Fries ARE awesome. One of the restaurants I ate at closed so maybe it was just the couple of nearby establishments. Still, those are the only ones where I've eaten them.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  10. ds

    Go Chick Fil – A your CEO has the freedom to express his beliefs and the company makes a good product – American ideals the last time I checked. Cathy's not a bigot for not believing in LGBT lifestyle

    July 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • sybaris

      American ideals, what are those?

      Are they different from Swiss ideals or Saxon ideals?

      Please list American ideals

      July 26, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Harry

      Yes, he is free to express it and we are free not to eat that crappy chicken. Got it?

      July 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • sybaris

      Is that uniquely American?

      July 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • janey33

      Harry...crappy chicken??? You just don't have good taste in food.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  11. Dave

    I am not religious at all, but why is society and the media so obsessed on protecting gays so much? Chick-fil-a is a privately owned company and they don't have to kiss anyone's behind. By the way, their customer service is the BEST! Their staff gets trained on how to politely greet and treat the customers. Their employees go from table to table asking if you want refills/napkins. I even heard they walk customers out with an umbrella when it's raining! Try getting that service anywhere else. P.S. remember that this is only a fast food place.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Alan

      thank you! Someone thats not a bigot hipster troll

      July 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • janey33

      Wow! That is great service. Our Chick-fil-a doesn't do all that, but they are very courteous and I enjoy eating there.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • sybaris

      "I even heard they walk customers out with an umbrella when it's raining!"

      Can't they afford to put a roof over the tables?

      July 26, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    July 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Harry

      LOL Pray and it will happen anyway!

      July 26, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  13. WillieLove

    God's word comes first and many of you need to get back to Jesus. He loves you no matter what...

    July 26, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • JKnight

      If he loves me no matter what then there is no reason to get back to him.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • ds

      @JK – sounds like a typicla narcisssitc and arrrogant statement from someone who is selfish and not willing to return their love. Good job at being a total d o u c h e

      July 26, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • JWT

      Giod's word, such as it is, may come first to you but there is no reason for it to come before human decency for anyone else.

      And just which word is it there are so may different ones.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Michael

      Jesus said this to a gay man:

      "Never have I seen faith greater than this.

      Yup, I'll listen to what Jesus said.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • billdeacons

      Quoting the Bible are we Michael? Whom is this Jesus spoke to?

      July 26, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Michael

      Yes, I am quoting the 2nd miracle in John where Jesus met a Roman Centurion trying to heal his paid, a Greek term used to convey the younger male in a gay relationship. You guys must hate dealing with verifiable facts.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Scholar

      There again Michael you are confusing Roman culture and Greek culture... there is not fact and verifiable to your claim only random hypothosis motivated by an emotional sinful culture to change Jesus' words......instead of proof texting take all the text together they all condition that marraige is between man and woman... and unless you can have babies your arguement is futile.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Michael

      OMG!!!! How can you sit here and try to say "pais" was not used to convey the younger male in a gay relationship??? It's a verifaible fact!!! Wow, you never stop lying do you? It really irks me when someone claims they're so moral yet they have no problem lying and baring false witness. The thing is, we live in the Info Age and ANYONE can Google the term 'pais' to find out what it meant.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      LOL. Apparently anything that threatens the tiny bubble around "Scholar" is a conspiracy of sinful people against his interpretation of the bible.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  14. Aneriz

    "asking rhetorically why Graham would not have issued the statement in response to an event like the Abu Ghraib torture scandal." Billy Graham voice his opinion becausse "I've known their family for many years".

    It is as if the person writting the article did n't read it...hello?

    July 26, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  15. Nilkinggary

    The food isn't that good no matter which side you're on. Billy is too old to know any better.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • billdeacons

      I'd eat dirt if the government denied you the right to sell it to me based on your beliefs

      July 26, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  16. WillieLove

    Billy Graham, needs to get right with God and stop supporting the RCC.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • ds

      Seems like you are most people – don't know jack about the RCC. That's OK, most people don't but talk like they do.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  17. shirleyujest

    There is no religious argument against gay marriage period. Being married in this country has nothing to do with religion unless you desire it to. Men and women get married everyday in this country with no religious service at all. They go to city hall. So if you don't want gay people to marry because of your church views, then don't let them get married in your church. I am a catholic and I am able to reconcile my views completely with being a catholic. I am a woman and I married a man who was a catholic like me, but we didn't marry in the church. Many years after our divorce, and my ex husbands death I decided to go back to my faith and become part of the church again. I thought it was going to be a big hassle, because I was divorced but it was not. Even though my marriage was recognized in all 50 states, I was never considered married in my faith, because we were not married before our God. Do I want gay people to marry in my church?, I don't think in my lifetime I will have to worry about that question coming up in the Catholic church, but gay people should have the right to marry in a civil ceremony in all 50 states as I do. Christ accepted everyone and believed more than anything that we should love one another, so stop using religion to shut out an entire group of people in what is really a civil matter.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Scholar

      You need to re read Romans, Corinthians, and Jude in the New Testament then go to the Old and read that it was punished by a death penalty of Stoning

      July 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • billdeacons

      Once again, the controversy isn't whether you are for or against gays. It's whether the government can infringe on your rights for stating your beliefs

      July 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Michael

      You can state your beliefs all you want!!! The problem is when you try to stop people from marrying based on your so-called beliefs.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • billdeacons

      No, in this case the problem is when government officials stop you from opening a business because you won't cowtow to their agenda

      July 26, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
  18. nelson

    everybody talking about God why not read and see what the bible says romans 1:21-28. Reprobate end of discusion

    July 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • sybaris

      Obviously it is not the "end of the discussion" as evidenced by the numerous posts so your use of an unoriginal and annoying catch phrase has no merit.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Michael

      It's about Pagan idolatry, has nothing to do with orientation.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Scholar

      Matthew 19:4-6 has nothing to do with Pagans Michael...although by some of your other comments it sounds like you do not believe in the Bible anyway. so why post about pagans. it is not about pagans because it would say idolatry it says about orientation///nice try..

      July 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Michael

      We were discussing Romans!!! But in Matthew, in that same paragraph, Jesus mentions gay men as 'born eunuchs' and does not condemn them at all.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Scholar

      gay does not = eunuch but you can look up in dictionary... and it actually gives rise that if someone did have the inclination they should be celibate.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Michael

      Wow, it is really annoying dealing with you. Let me state this again, ANYONE can Google the term 'born euncuh' and prove it meant gay men. You're acting as if this isn't possible. You're full of it.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  19. WillieLove

    alright! Well, one needs to make a stand on the Word of God. Billy is a little nuts too when it comes to mixing with the RCC church. Would you rather have a guy that is honest and truthful then a guy who dances around the Bible half way believing the bible?

    July 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  20. Rick Mc Callister

    Billy Graham has always been a power hungry empire builder. He has never been a Christian because he has always preached hate. Only Satan and his flock preach hate. Jesus preached love. Billy Graham only loves money and power.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • J Gilson

      Rick, how much of what you say can you prove? I think that you just love to run your mouth.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • billdeacons

      and chicken

      July 26, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • bill

      i agree

      July 26, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
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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.