Monday, October 22, 2012

Billy Graham's lurch towards Mitt Romney risks his legacy. By Jonathan Wynne-Jones

While his son is reluctant to accept Obama as a Christian, America's pastor seems happy to stop calling Mormonism a cult


As America's pastor for the past half century, Billy Graham has earned a reputation as a wise and holy man. But the respect he has gained as a man of unflinching, unerring principles has been severely compromised by his Evangelistic Association's decision to remove a reference to Mormonism from its website.

The faith had been listed as a cult along with Scientology and Jehovah's Witnesses in a section called Billy Graham's My Answer, but the comment was taken down shortly after he and his son Franklin met with Mitt Romney, America's most famous Mormon.

Not only does the move represent a sacrificing of values for political expediency, but it also smacks of double standards, given Franklin Graham's treatment of President Obama. Asked on Piers Morgan's CNN show this week whether Romney could be regarded as a Christian, he refused to answer, arguing he felt it inappropriate to speculate on the Massachusetts governor's faith.

Yet, he has less compunction when it comes to discussing Barack Obama's faith. In an MSNBC interview he said couldn't categorically say Obama was not a Muslim "because Islam has gotten a free pass" under his presidency. And in an earlier interview, he said he believed thrice-married Newt Gingrich's assurances that he was a Christian, yet questioned Obama's faith even though the president personally told him he is a Christian.

"Now he has told me that he is a Christian. But the debate comes, what is a Christian?" he said. "For him, going to church means he's a Christian. For me, the definition of a Christian is whether we have given our life to Christ and are following him in faith and we have trusted him as our lord and saviour."

The contrast between the Grahams' treatment of the two presidential candidates has been highlighted further by the statements they gave following their recent meetings with Obama and Romney.

While April's meeting with the president was described as "very cordial, very nice", Billy Graham described it as "a privilege" to pray with Romney, and said he would do all he could to help him.

Visiting Billy Graham is something of an obligatory pilgrimage for presidents and White House hopefuls, but he has never before been so openly political by apparently endorsing one of the candidates.

"I hope millions of Americans will join me in praying for our nation and to vote for candidates who will support the biblical definition of marriage, protect the sanctity of life and defend our religious freedoms," Graham said.

Given Obama's support for gay marriage and abortion, the evangelist's call for Christians to get behind Romney could hardly be much clearer.

It is entirely understandable that Billy Graham has concerns about these issues, but taken in the context of Franklin Graham's previous doubting of Obama's faith, they are suggesting that it's not possible to be a Christian and be socially liberal ... Read the full story by Jonathan Wynne-Jones in The Guardian



Source: The GuardianThursday 18 October 2012 
Author: Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Photo: The Reverend Billy Graham took a full page ad out in Ohio papers on Sunday endorsing candidates who support Israel and life ... The Gateway Pundit and LA Times / Photo source: BillyGraham.com






3 comments:

  1. Adventist Report recommends► "Billy Graham site removes Mormon 'cult' reference after Romney meeting"
    By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

    ► http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/16/billy-grahams-group-removes-mormon-cult-reference-from-website-after-romney-meeting/

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  2. ► Sins of the son: Sad treatment for Billy Graham. By Sally Quinn in "On Faith" / Washington Post

    • http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/sins-of-the-son-sad-treatment-for-billy-graham/2012/11/08/a31f5de2-29f4-11e2-96b6-8e6a7524553f_story.html?wprss=rss_on-faith

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