Entries in Franklin Graham (5)


Franklin Graham Questions Obama’s Christian Faith

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Rev. Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, questioned the president’s religious faith Tuesday, saying he was unsure whether Obama was a Christian.

“I think you have to ask President Obama,” Graham said when asked on MSNBC’s Morning Joe whether the president is a Christian. “He has said he’s a Christian, so I just have to assume that he is.”

While Graham said there was “no question” that Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is a man of faith, he doesn’t know whether the president is a Christian. The reverend also declined to say whether he thought Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith qualified him as a Christian.

“He’s a Mormon,” he said.  “Most Christians would not recognize Mormonism as part of the Christian faith.”

The CEO and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said Obama told him he started attending church only because community groups in Chicago told him he needed to do so to work with them.

“You have to go by what a person says and how they live their life and where they go to church.  Are they faithful church-goers?  Or do they just go when the cameras are on them,” Graham said.

Graham explained his belief that the Muslim world sees Obama as a “son of Islam” because of his father’s religious beliefs.

“Under Islamic law, the Muslim world sees Barack Obama as a Muslim. … That’s just the way it works,” he said.  “That’s the way they see him.  But, of course, he says he didn’t grow up that way, he doesn’t believe in that, he believes in Jesus Christ, so I accept that.”

Graham also raised concerns about the president’s dedication to Christians living in Muslim countries, saying Islam has had a “free pass” under the Obama administration.

“[Under] President Obama, the Muslims of the world, he seems to be more concerned about them than the Christians that are being murdered in the Muslim countries.  That’s what bothers me,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


White House Calls Rev. Graham’s Comments on the President 'Preposterous'

ABC News (WASHINGTON) -- The White House on Monday said it was “unfortunate” that Rev. Franklin Graham made “preposterous charges” about President Obama, especially on the Easter holiday.

“I would just say I think it's unfortunate that a religious leader would choose Easter Sunday to make preposterous charges. And I'll leave it at that,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said, when asked about the comments at Monday’s briefing.

On Sunday, Graham told ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour that Mr. Obama "has some issues to deal with" in terms of proving his U.S. citizenship.

"He can solve this whole birth certificate issue pretty quickly," Graham said to ABC. "I was born in a hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, and I know that my records are there. You can probably even go and find out what room my mother was in when I was born. I don't know why he can't produce that." 

The Rev. Franklin Graham, whose family has served as spiritual advisers to numerous prominent political figures, said that businessman Donald Trump, who has brought up questions over President Obama’s citizenship himself, might be his candidate of choice in 2012.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Religious Leaders Debate Religion and Government

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- As heated political rhetoric escalates and acts of religious intolerance arise across the nation, a group of prominent religious leaders appeared on ABC’s This Week to discuss the role of religion in government and what can be done to promote civil discourse.

"A hundred years ago the social safety net in the country was provided by the church," the Rev. Franklin Graham told host Christiane Amanpour. "If you were hungry, you went to the local church and told them, 'I can't feed my family.' And the church would help you. And that's not being done."

Graham's comments come as people across the country debate the degree to which the government should manage social programs including Medicare, social security and health care.

"The government took that," Graham said. "They had more money to give and more programs to give and pretty soon the churches just backed off."

As Congress debates the federal budget including the plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., which would decrease the extent of government involvement in certain social services, Graham concedes that churches are not prepared to handle the civic responsibilities they once bore.

In a year when "compromise" has been described as a dirty word in Washington and a congresswoman was shot at political event in her hometown, what role should religious organizations play in promoting civility and understanding?

"At the very least, we should be creating individuals who know how to talk civilly," said Pastor Tim Keller.

"As an institution, most of the churches have lost a lot of credibility," Keller told Amanpour. "So I think my job is to create individuals who can participate in civil discourse."

The governing principle of the separation of church and state traces back to the founding of the country, but its interpretation and the degree to which the two entities should be separate is an issue of heated debate. Even among religious leaders, the church's proper role in politics is not consistent.

"I personally think the church, as the church, ought to be less concerned about speaking to politics and more concerned about service," Keller said.

The Rev. Al Sharpton had a very different take on the role of the church in politics, claiming that spiritual leaders have the obligation to build a moral and ethical framework for heated political discussions.

"I think the church must set first a moral tone," Sharpton said. "All religions are based on how we interact one to another as human beings... That should be reflected in the public policies that we support."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Franklin Graham: Trump Might be Candidate of Choice

ABC/Ida Mae Astut(WASHINGTON) -- The Rev. Franklin Graham, whose family has served as spiritual advisers to numerous prominent political figures, told ABC News' This Week anchor Christiane Amanpour that businessman Donald Trump might be his candidate of choice in 2012 and that he does not think former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will run for president.

"Donald Trump, when I first saw that he was getting in, I thought, well, this has got to be a joke," said Graham. "But the more you listen to him, the more you say to yourself, you know, maybe this guy's right."

"So, he might be your candidate of choice?" Amanpour asked.

"Sure, yes," Graham responded.

Trump has received growing support from conservatives since his name entered the arena as a 2012 Republican contender and currently ranks at the top of polls along with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Amanpour also inquired about Graham's feelings toward Romney. Graham replied, "No question he is a very capable person, he's proven himself." Despite the indications of approval, Graham did not outright back Romney.

In December 2010, Graham and Sarah Palin travelled together to Haiti to assist with relief efforts after the country's devastating earthquake. Amanpour asked Graham about his thoughts on a possible Palin presidential campaign.

"I think she likes speaking on the issues and I agree with many of the issues that she brings up," Graham told Amanpour, "but I believe -- I don't see her as running for president."

Graham gave the opening prayer at George W. Bush's first inauguration ceremony in 2001 and praised the Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, in the 2008 election.

Amanpour's interview with the Rev. Franklin Graham will air Sunday on ABC's This Week.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sarah Palin Visits Earthquake-Ravaged, Cholera-Stricken Haiti

Photo Courtesy - Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty Images(PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti) -- Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin began a visit to Haiti on Saturday, traveling with the group Samaritan's Purse, headed by evangelist Franklin Graham, the son of the late Billy Graham.

The organization has made aid to Haiti a top priority in its work against poverty and the devastating effects of natural disasters.  Samaritan's Purse has been criticized in the past for putting its evangelical mission ahead of the needs of disaster victims.

Palin, Graham and Fox News personality Greta Van Susteren spent Saturday visiting victims of the earthquake that killed more than 220,000 people last year and the cholera epidemic which has claimed 2,000 lives.

Graham is quoted on his agency's website, saying of Palin, "I appreciate her willingness to visit Haiti during such troubled times ... I believe Governor Palin will be a great encouragement to the people of Haiti."

The British publication, The Guardian, reports Palin emerged from one of the refugee camps and said "They are so full of joy.  We are so fortunate in America and we are responsible for helping those less fortunate."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio