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February 28, 2012

Franklin Graham Apologizes for Comments about Obama's Faith

Graham says religion has "nothing to do" with his decision not to support Obama's re-election.

Evangelist Franklin Graham apologized Tuesday (Feb. 28) to President Obama for comments made about his Christian faith and said religion has "nothing to do" with Graham's decision not to support Obama's re-election.

Graham's apology came after a group of prominent black religious leaders criticized the evangelist for responding in an interview that he did not know whether Obama is a Christian and suggesting that Islamic law considers him to be a Muslim.

0228franklin-graham.jpg

Graham, president of the relief organization Samaritan's Purse and the son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, said he accepts Obama's declarations that he is a Christian.

"I regret any comments I have ever made which may have cast any doubt on the personal faith of our president, Mr. Obama," he said in a statement.

"I apologize to him and to any I have offended for not better articulating my reason for not supporting him in this election -- for his faith has nothing to do with my consideration of him as a candidate."

Graham said he objects to Obama's policy stances on abortion and same-sex marriage, which Graham considers to be in "direct conflict" with Scripture.

More than a dozen members of a religious subgroup of the NAACP had accused Graham of "bearing false witness" and fomenting racial discord.

"We can disagree about what it means to be a Christian engaged in politics, but Christians should not bear false witness," the NAACP statement said. "We are also concerned that Rev. Graham's comments can be used to encourage racism."

When asked in a recent MSNBC interview if Obama was a Christian, Graham responded, "I cannot answer that question for anybody." He went on to say that because Obama's father was a Muslim, "under Islamic law, the Muslim world sees Barack Obama as a Muslim."

By contrast, Graham said there is "no question" that GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum is a "man of faith" because "his values are so clear on moral issues." Santorum has also faced criticism for saying the president has a "phony theology" that is unbiblical.

"By his statements, Rev. Graham seems to be aligning himself with those who use faith as a weapon of political division," the NAACP said. "These kinds of comments could have enormous negative effects for America and are especially harmful to the Christian witness."

Signatories of the open letter included presidents of the National Baptist Convention, USA; the National Baptist Convention of America; the Progressive National Baptist Convention; as well as bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

Comments

Graham says:

Graham said he objects to Obama's policy stances on abortion and same-sex marriage, which Graham considers to be in "direct conflict" with Scripture.

Obama is actually opposed to same-sex marriage, so what is Graham talking about?

Furthermore, scripture is silent on the subject of abortion, so, again, what is Graham talking about?

You would think that Christian minister would know the difference between the Bible and the Republican Party platform.

"It would disturb me if there was a wedding between the religious fundamentalists and the political right. The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it."
— Rev. Billy Graham, Parade, 1981

One can only wish that Graham would spend some time reading the Consitution, in particular, the "establishment" clause of the First Amendment. Were he to do so, Graham would realize that it is not the government's job to write any sectarian theological doctrine into the civil law.

It seems as though some, along with Mr. Graham, make the unspoken assumption that America is God's Chosen People and that christians need to fight to legislatively enforce christian practices. I remember reading that Mr. Graham's father once said "if God does not judge America, he will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah". It was in the face of evidence of widespread practices in this country considered sinful. I wonder if the country has changed so radically when we see what happens every day in this country. Just the other day another young person went on a shooting rampage in a school. We did not even have that happening when Billy Graham was having crusades all across america. What may now be happening is that subtly many members of the church have become blind to certain developments but see mainly abortion as the greatest evil. We should revisit the Screwtape aletter by CS Lewis of The Gravedigger File by Os Guinness. Things are happening and we do not even realize it.

Scripture has it that Judgement comes but once.

There was nothing wrong with Graham's comments. His only mistake was apologizing. 95% of African Americans vote for Democrats no matter what...so their church leaders are clearly concerned that some open-minded people might have their minds changed by Graham. Their objection to Graham is purely political.

He made his offensive comments on a national television show, yet he sends out his apology, seocnd-hand, to the media. In other words, there is no real remorse or accountability, just politics as usual...from someone in his position. His behavior continues to be deeply disturbing. The apple has fallen VERY FAR from the tree, unfortunately....

"said religion has "nothing to do" with Graham's decision not to support Obama's re-election."

Well, it should and that's NOTHING to be ashamed of. My faith has everything to do with who I vote for. Franklin Graham NEVER should have apologized.

I wonder how many times the said offended brethren have apologized for their silence, as countless lives are snuffed out, especially in their communities. So these "non-partisan" pastors are offended. No doubt they will be neutral as they encourage their flock to vote. Of course, their castigation of Rev. Graham has nothing to do with politics. In addition, throw in the racism bit and that should silence all! Wolves in wolves garb.

Ahh. The race card. Why am I not surprised.

Franklin Graham is entitled to express an opinion. It does not make him a demon, as so many on this thread would like to maintain. And it does not even make him a racist, as several African-American politicians (you want separation of church and state... except if it's an African-American church) would like to maintain.

He might be wrong, but he has just as much right to express his opinion as any African-American minister and any self-righteous leftist on this thread.

From all the things President Obama has done since he was elected it would seem very apparent he speaks with a forked tongue. One time he is a Christian and next time he is leaning the other direction. He is a Christian when it suits the situation for him. Therefore, I think that anyone that speaks with a forked tongue leaves a lot of room for doubt.

Did someone say that President Obama is against homosexual "marriage"? Then why does not he and his Attorney General stand up for the Defense of Marriage Act? Because it may not help his re-election chances?

Can anyone who has listened to the president be in any doubt that he is extremely patronizing to Christians while staunchly supportive of Islam even to the point of abjection? He (and others) strongly believes Islam is a "religion of peace" against all the everyday evidence to the contrary.

His administration deliberately burns Christian Bibles, but apologizes profusely for the burning of Korans already defaced by followers of Islam. Franklyn Graham must be as bemused by this behaviour as many others, and certainly can be forgiven his lack of certainty of the president's allegiance to Christianity.

If the president was arrested for being a Christian would there be enough evidence in his words and actions, to date, to convict him?

I have met white persons who are racist, so I know they exist. I have met more latinos and blacks who are racist than I have whites. Racism is wrong no matter which side you are on. The comments Mr. Graham made about President Obama were if anything milder than what he said about Romney. There was no hint of racism in either comment.
What a person does proves far more effectively what he is and what he believes than what he says. President Obama as a U.S. Senator consistently voted to expand and protect abortion, even the worst possible late-term prcedure referred to as "partial birth abortion." His current administration which follows his philosophy has chosen to not follow the Constitution of the U.S. and enforce the law passed by the congress of the U.S. and sidned by President Clinton called the Defense of Marriage. He has made promises to homosexual groups that he is keeping. He chose Holder as U.S. Attorney General who has made it plain that the Justice Department will not enforce U.S. laws that Obama does not like. He chose Sebelius as U.S. Secretary of Health, who is the strongest proponent of abortion that I know of. She took huge amounts of money from the notorious late-term abortionist, George Tilled to protect his unlawful practice in Kansas.
Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord!' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the person who does what My Father in heaven wants." Also, He said, "By their fruits you will know them."

I was disappointed in Franklin Graham's interview. There are gracious ways to get your views across without linking the President to Islam. It was certainly appropriate for Franklin to state his views on abortion, same sex relations and the persecution of Christians in Muslim countries and how they differ from the President. But to constantly beat the drum about his Kenyan father and his being a secret Muslim plays into the hands of the right-wing Republican hate machine that has been operting since Clinton was in office. I just wish our Christian leaders would care more about their witness for Christ when being interviewed on national TV rather than being spokesman for right-wing politics. I think his father, Billy, had more sense and had learned about the marriage of Christianity and politics when he got involved with Nixon. Not a good combination.

I am sorry that Franklin Graham felt that he had to apologize for his comments because he was spot on. It's obvious that many of those who are responding here are Obama supporters.

Obama is in favor of gay marriage. He tries to have it both ways by saying he's "evolving" on this matter. What does that mean? But he uses his Justice Dept. to go after the Defense of Marriage Act.

Obama is NO friend of Israel but he LOVES Islam.

Those who would castigate Franklin Graham for his "right-wing' views expose themselves as "Christians" who love Obama's ideology more than the Word of God, just as liberal Jews here in America love liberalism more than Israel.

Lies are never signs of Gods presence in our lives. You are entitled to have opinions on Obama's policies but you can't have your own "facts" about his life and character.

Far more disturbing is Franklin Graham's view that it is impossible for a Muslim to become Christian. It makes a mockery of all the Muslims who have converted and all the evangelism to Muslims.

This is not a complicated issue. The apology was quite appropriate. Franklin claims to represent Christ. Just because a fellow Christian does things different than you is not a reason to denouce or even doubt his Christianity. Remember a Christian is someone who has accepted Christ as the only begotten Son of God who lived among us and then died as a sacrifice for all sins of all people. Christ himself said "render to Ceasar the things that are Ceasars and to God the things that are Gods. He understood that countries (just as the Roman Empire)are made up of people who may not be Christians. A national policy that allows non Christians to have abortions or have same sex marriages does not mean in anyway that a Christian President would ever participate in any of those things. No modern Christian President has tried to outlaw sex between non-married consenting adults and there has been no call to require a Christianity claiming President to do so either, and fornication is a sin by biblical definition. So why make issues out of other "sins"? Because it is politcally convenient. Has nothing to do with Christ or the Bible. Christians only have one purpose: to share the gospel and show others how to find Christ. Once you take God into politics you've crossed a line that should not be crossed.

If this were the first time he had said something similar it might be something he should apologize for. He has said very similar things at least 5 times on Fox, CNN and MSNBC over the past three years.

Each time there have been people that have called on him to quit saying Muslims can't become Christians or that Obama is not a Christian or other similar thing. But he keeps saying it. Either he really believes it (and he shouldn't apologize) or he doesn't believe it and is being tricked into saying it by the hosts (which means he should stop going on tv.)

Cathleen Falsani: Who's Jesus to you?

Obama: Jesus is an historical figure for me, and he's also a bridge between God and man, in the Christian faith, and one that I think is powerful precisely because he serves as that means of us reaching something higher.

And he's also a wonderful teacher. I think it's important for all of us, of whatever faith, to have teachers in the flesh and also teachers in history.

http://www.sojo.net/blogs/2012/02/21/transcript-barack-obama-and-god-factor-interview

What's wrong with questioning someone's faith in Jesus Christ, regardless of who they are, when their response to the question "Who's Jesus to you?" starts with "An historical figure..."

It is funny if not a phony, that the same people who Fear that Islamic or sharia-law may be sneaking into the legal system. Are the same that are fast and willing to say that by virtue of that Law BO is a muslim. Though Islamic-sharia-law is NOT the law of the Land, much less cannon law or law at all within christendom.

If BO has repeatedly said that Jesus is his Lord and Saviour and clearly does NOT practice any other religion; Why then continue to beat that dead horse over and over?

If Mr. Graham et al. belives or assumes that he and the others have a prerogative to be spokepersons of the church; Well, I have very bad news for them. I don't read or see in all of the Bible anything that even hints that there is such a Post or Office.

Mr. Graham, Robertson, Limbaugh, Beck, et al. Do NOT speak for me or on my behalf.

Every christian ought, should, have a responsibility to speak for himself. Because we are going to give an account for ourselves and Not for others. Mr. Graham and the rest ought to understand that and make sure to let people know that when they're speaking about matters Outside of the KINGDOM, it is their Opinion and nothing else.

But of course a lot of people are making a buck here, there and everywhere with all of these issues. So is not going to stop as long as there is a buck to be made.

.

It is a Phony and Not funny, when fake christians from all sectors. Insist that Islamic-sharia-law overrides the Grace of God.

The Fact that BO's father was a Muslim and then an atheists does NOT, I repeat DOES NOT disqualify BO or anybody and anyone else to become a christian.

Otherwise the Fact that Your fathers were Adulterers, Fornicators, Thieves, Slanderers, Bigots, Murderers, Idolaters, Homosexuals, Perverts etc, etc & etc. Should and ought to disqualify each one of them Fake christians to even call themselves "christians".

But that is NOT the case right?

Churches all over, all across the country, all across the denominational Spectrum are contaminated, defiled and polluted with large numbers of the aforementioned as part of their members and even as part of their Leaders.

And still we see here, there and everywhere the same christines allegations against a man, just because his father was a muslim.

This is way past phony, ridiculous and holier-than-thou. This Slander and raising a False Testimony, which goes well for people who are descendants of Slanderers.

Nuff said.

.

The virulence against Obama from some Christians is unrelenting. Because he does not outlaw abortion and same-sex marriage, some Christians cannot admit that he has ever done anything worthwhile and cannot bear the thought that he might be a Christian, even a left-leaning one (not to mention the Bible warns us against making judgments about others' spirituality).

My concern is that these attitudes spring from hate. How can this be Godly thinking? You can decide to support Obama (or any politician) or not based on policy decisions they make. But to reflexively hate a person is not a witness to Jesus who saved all, regardless of how appealing they may be to us.

I wish someone would ask Graham since when it became the business of the US government to write his interpretation of Scripture into law.

How does he reconcile such a practice with the "establishment" clause of the First Amendment.

I'd love to hear his answer.

Come to think of it ... I'd love to hear any conservative evangelical Christian's answer.

My concern is that these attitudes spring from hate. How can this be Godly thinking? You can decide to support Obama (or any politician) or not based on policy decisions they make. But to reflexively hate a person is not a witness to Jesus who saved all, regardless of how appealing they may be to us.

Those are all good questions, Laura. But I would submit that the answer is "hidden in plain sight".

Barack Obama is the first African-American to be president.

A recurrent pattern in American history is that the first African-American to penetrate into areas previously reserved for whites always has to endure the same pattern of hatred and abuse. That is true regardless or whether you are talking about Rosa Parks as the first black woman to sit at the front of the bus, or Jackie Robinson as the first black to play pro baseball, or James Meredith as the first black to attend Ole Miss, or ... or ... or ... you can think of many other examples.

Barack Obama is the first black President -- and he will have to undergo the same baptism of fire. It is to be expected. That's the bad news.

The good news is that, with time, it gets better. The haters either convert or die off. Now, we think nothing of African-Americans in pro sports or in the front seats of buses.

By the time our 4th or 5th or 6th African-American President is elected, we will also think nothing of it. We will not live to see that. But someone will.

I am happy that Franklin Graham apologized. Martin Luther said that the whole Christian life was one of penitence. I am also happy that President Obama apologized for the burning of the Korans. The Lord's Prayer points out that we are to ask for forgiveness every day. Those who have attacked the President for apologizing seem to be unfamiliar with the importance of the Lord's Prayer in the life of a Christian.

It is disturbing that someone of his calibre has also been caught up in the swirl of TeaParty extremism. His apology seemed insincere and unbecoming of an Evangelist of his reknown. Hopefully he will distance himself from this political fray and continue to promote Christ instead of a cause. How beautiful are the feet of those that bring the good news of Christ. Wouldn't it be great if church people understood the dangers of replacing Christ with Culture? What credibility is left? We need to stir the heart with the real message.
But His favorite song of all
Is the song of the redeemed
When lost sinners now made clean
Lift their voices loud and strong
When those purchased by His blood
Lift to Him a song of love
Nothing more He'd rather hear
Nor so pleasing to His ear
As His favorite song of all.

By contrast, Graham said there is "no question" that GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum is a "man of faith" because "his values are so clear on moral issues."---------------------This is laughable. Rick Santorum supports the interests of the wealthy at the expense the common good like most Republicans today. The Bible, on the other hand, has almost 100 passages opposing oppression of the poor by the wealthy. For a collection of all of these quotes, check out the "Greed and Oppression of the Poor" study at biblicalfreedom.com

Thanks to the curse of Roe Vs. Wade, Christians abandoned their political support for the needy and working class (i.e. William Jennings Bryan was a pastor and a Democratic presidential nominee) and committed to the republicans, and they have since been brainwashed to support the rich at the expense of everyone else.

To say the bible is silent on abortion as one comment did, is only slightly ignorant. There is no where in the Bible that a person in the womb is not called such. An unborn baby is never referred to as anything other than a baby, child, or person. Since murder is forbidden, last I checked, and murder is the unwarranted killing of a human; I'd say it spoke volumes. Sounds like another person trying to justify the sin of themselves or someone else close.

PROVERBS 6:16-19
There are seven things God Hatesw.
Those are seven things fools love.

I am sure we can all agree that an unborn baby
is totally innocent.
One of the things God hates is,
"Hands that shed innocent blood."

Does God hate your hands?

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING the free exercise thereof . . ." U.S. Constitution, Amendment I (emphasis added)

Our laws have always reflected society's core set of values, morals, and mores. Isn't secularism oddly like religion, a religion that claims not to be a religion, oftentimes, a "live and let live" theology?

Laws and policies against abortion and the redefinition of marriage do not violate the first amendment or any other amendment of the U.S. Constitution. SCOTUS will have the final word and will agree when the issues are finally before it.

Many secularists often carelessly quote the 1st Amendment to support their secular viewpoints without having read it carefully.

Obama is not a Christian! This is a biblical fact and one that needs no further elaberation. He may be regarded as a christian by those whose hearts and minds are in darkness and who are easily deceived. Just read either of his books to see just how far he is from Christ. Perhaps he may satisfy your typical christian marxists and other leftist liberals who in the words of Dr.Francis Schaefer have their feet firmly planted in mid air. That God has sent this man as a curse upon our wicked society which is why he is so esteemed by the demons in the rap and entertainment industry. An average thinker pretending with the aid of some very clever publicists to be something he is not! The fact that Obama could associate with the racist and apostate preacher Jeremiah Wright and his hellish black liberation theology tels us all we need to know about the state of this wicked mans heart. Think about it, here is a man proud and arrogant as they come who displays absolutely no humility whatever who for all his love of attention coupled with a narcissistic ego has done his utmost to conceal himself from all scrutiny must be considered a devious and trecherous man indeed. But the gullable and other inept persons who needed a political saviour fell for the charade and actually believe this man to be something special. But as he will appoint the most radical leftists to important posts who will force every vile and devilish belief upon this society with the help of an apostate so called christian community who seem to be blind to the degradations that many will suffer under this anti-christ those of us who are able to rightly discern will be prepared to suffer even as our Saviour warned. What will you foolish and complascent believers do when we are forbidden to call homosexuality a sin? Or what will we do when the our godless government forces private business to provide health beneits for sodomite couples just the same way we do for those who live by what God ordains? When it becomes a crime to tell your children that Christ is the way the truth and the life what will you say? When private Christian schools will be forced to accept govt. mandates about inclusion and tolerance as they define it and threaten that there will be consequences if ther is any resistence what will you do then Christian? These things are happening all through out this land are you so blind and ignorant to the enemies devices that will be executed by Obama and others who will follow. When the supreme court is fully left and begins to take action to promote secular doctrines with a fervor and aggression such as we have never seen in this land. As courts have the powe to infringe as a matter of law upon our freedom because it will be deemed discriminatory to act contrary to our new masters wishes how will you get along then friend. Christs people will stand firm and bear their reproach with grace and courage despite the devils best laid plans. But this will come thanks to you who have an opportunity to stave off the potential onslaught? Remember the state does not need mass enforcement to acomplish their diabolical designs. All they need to do is make an example of A few transgressors in the hope that the rest will be intimidated. Obama is against sodomite marriage but he will do everything in his power to accomodate them under the pseudo doctrine of human rights. The same way he tried to push the murder of the unborn upon us using the subterfuge of reproductive health. But of course all of this beyond his pay grade!Lets not talk of Acorn and the black racist caucus who stand in the stream of his support. We can go on and on about the evil associations and alliances he has with all sorts of low creatures from unions to Che worshipers. But we should not take notice because after all he is really looking out for the poor and others who are not well conected. Mean while as he and his wife live it up on vacation after vacation enjoying all of the fruits of that pernicious of all political doctrines "CAPITALISM" The politically richest President in history thanks to Hedge fund operators like georg sors and many other rich hypoctitical leftists who make up the party of the poor have provided astounding opportunities for this Pretender to make his mark in history and deliver us from all evils. The brilliance of " hope and change" would have left P.T. Barnum hystericasl that such juvinile slogans as this could actually succeed. I understand that the alternatives left much to be desired. However to fall prey to this jackel and his team miscreants almost hard to believe. At lest our freedoms are far safer with republicans than democrats!I do not endorse godless conservativism but it is clear which party Christianity is best served. If we could take out the godhating leftists, sodomites, and the rest of the cohorts of evil that rule the party including affirmitive action minorities theen we could tolerate the inherent failures that inevitably trouble any political party. However this is not the case. Just think of another obamacrat like bill maher. Does this odious and obnoxious puny runt not offend my Christians friends or how about rich dawkins and the atheist gang who want to make christian doctrine illegal even in the home? Or do we enjoy having our children exposed to evolutionary non sense not having the right to even answer back. Again when we start to mandate the usual doctrines of political correctness be the official teaching of the state who believes that we are under its sole jurisdiction what then? hillary clinton believes that the stae which now takes the place of the Divine and can shape our conscience so that they can forever alter the way we think about God, diversity and every wind of secular doctrine that they have arbitrarily decided to be ultimate and binding. I believe the only way to explain what is going on is that we are being given over to a dillusion and that eithr the day of judgement is soon upon us or God has ordained that we wil be judged as a nation. Not in the sense that we will see physical devastation but that wickedness will increase so rapidly that the true church will have been awakened to rightly contend with and stand against fierce persecution. And perhaps there will be a final moving of the Spirit Of God to asve some as we prepare for the day of wreckening. This generation will feel the wrath of God far greater than any generation in history. Only the fear of eternal torment can help us to see jsut how foolish and evil we have become. And all of our false professors will recieve the greater judgment. All of the secrets of mens hearts will be exposed for what they are. As Obama and his ilk go into the lake of fire with all of the wickd from every political party we shall see just how evil he was. And those of you who unapologetically defend this fox will have much to be sorry about. The Puritan John Bunyan used the illustration that went something like this; a bird whose task it was to retrieve a single grain of sand and carry it across the the great ocean untill every grain was finally deposited, now think just how long it would take to accomplish such a feat? Even such an incomprehensible amount of time would be for the lost as if their torment just began. I wish nothing more than that Obama repent and throw himself on the mercy of Christ and save his soul as we should for all men! This does not imply that we can not reprove and rebuke the wicked but use it to show what their standing before God is in order to show them the Cross. We are caled upon to stand for righteousness not ignore sin because our ultimate concer is for the poor and other social interests! Paul said a man refusing to work should starve! Poor people will go to hell just as easily as the rich. In Revelation both bond (slaves) and free go to judgment. Poverty does nor exempt one from the law of God. So where does this misguided sypathy come from? That we will elect the worst possible people to office because society needs justice? The same people who lie, steal, fornicate, murder. covet and who are lazy and inept all the while able to find funds to tattoo themselves, raise their children in a context of vulgarity, worship animal rappers, fanatically follow baboons and dunses in a sports stadium. This is the noble poor that are in such great need? Sin should anger us wherever it exists. I offer no regrets for what I have said and will not retract a single statement I have made. I know thre reality of what I speak and all I can say Christ have mercy on us!

The NAACP sees Franklin Graham and his questioning of Mr. Obama's faith but men like Rev Jesse Jackson and Rev Al Sharpton are not? They only show up when race IS the issue for Black American. Can we say double standard?

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