Billy Graham’s Son Questions Obama’s Christianity, On Easter Sunday

Franklin Graham, who has made quite a name for himself in recent years with inflammatory statements about Islam, has apparently joined those who don’t think the President is a Christian:

Graham, who has prayed with Obama, said the president has told him that he’s a Christian, but allowed that “there are many people that do wonder where he really stands on” his religion.

“But the debate comes…what is a Christian?” Graham said. “For him, going to church means that he’s a Chrisitian. But 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 savior. That ‘s the definition of a Christian.

“It’s not as to what church you’re a member, a membership doesn’t make you a Christian.”

Neither does putting the word “Reverend” before your name.

And Graham is apparently also a crypto-birther:

The son of the legendary Billy Graham told Christiane Amanpour on ABC’s “This Week” that the president “has some issues to deal with” when it comes to proving he is indeed an American.

“He can solve this whole birth certificate issue pretty quickly,” Graham said. “I was born in a hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. And I know that my records are there; you can probably go and find out what room my mother was in when I was born. I don’t know why he can’t produce that. It’s an issue it looks like he can answer pretty quickly.”

Reverend Graham, he did.

 

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Politicians, Quick Takes, Religion, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Chad S says:

    He also is pimping for Donald Trump, so I guess Franklin has gone from “Man of the Cloth” to “Man of the political hack”

  2. michael reynolds says:

    When the flock is crazy you play crazy. At least you do if you’re a moral coward.

  3. An Interested Party says:

    The perils of nepotism…

  4. mimi says:

    Steve Benen: “It’s almost as if some religious leaders are more concerned with politics than with matters of faith.”

  5. Eric Florack says:

    All he did was show himself to have a firmer grip on reality than most Obvama supporters and apologists.

  6. John Peabody says:
  7. John Peabody says:

    …moving on to something more important than this…that shouldn’t be hard!

  8. Bob says:

    All actions taken by Mr. Obama shows that his is not a born again christian. Perhaps he is a community christian one was shows their christianty only as a last resort when all else fails to motive their following.

  9. shannon says:

    i’ve heard several conservatives now say that their birth records are at the hospital. i called the hospital in which i was born and those where my three children were born and each of them destroyed the records after 10 years. granted, they’re all in IL but still….has anyone called their birth hospitals to double check that?

  10. michael reynolds says:

    Eric, we’re getting closer and closer to the point where people get it through their heads that Birtherism = Racism. You sure you want to ride that train? Because trust me, that’s the way this “issue” goes in the end.

  11. michael reynolds says:

    Bob:

    Oooh, that was cool. Can you see inside my head, too? If so, can you tell me where I put that receipt I lost?

  12. michael reynolds says:

    Shannon:

    Yeah, they don’t really care. This has nothing to do witha birth certificate. That’s been dealt with 100 ways. No rational person still has any doubts. This is about the fact that Obama is black and half the GOP simply cannot stand that reality.

  13. I carry no water for Franklin Graham’s politics, but there is nothing controversial about the first quote. In fact, Augustine made exactly the same point when he wrote, “The church has some whom God does not, and God has some the church does not.”

    Or, as evangelist Billy Sunday put it about 90 years ago, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going into a kitchen makes you a chef.”

    Finally, even Jesus said, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” And while attending worship would certainly be part of that, it is not the end-all. There are not only acts of worship, said John Wesley, but also acts of devotion acts, acts of charity and acts of compassion.

    So, Doug, I think you’re a bit too eager to assail Graham on this point.

    That being said, I would add two other points, One: I personally don’t care what religion, if any, Obama follows. It is his contempt for the Constitution that greatly concerns me, of which his illegal war on Libya is the latest example.

    Two: Most recent presidents have not been overtly religious once in office, including GW Bush, who made no secret of his personal commitment to Christ while campaigning. Fact is, it’s simply hard for a president even to attend church because of the Secret Service, much less personally feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc. And I am no less wary of a left-wing theocracy as a right-wing one.

  14. G.A.Phillips says:

    Harry,Christians do not mock the Bible while regurgitation atheist attack points(FALSE TEACHING) or believe in anti Biblical nonsense like collective salvation(FALSE TEACHING).
    Not good when your a teacher who claims to be a Christian, very very bad for a teacher who has tens of millions of followers.Truly, even that I like to give him a hard time I hope and pray that one day he comes around, It would be a great day.

    Happy Salvation Day everyone:)

  15. Christian says:

    Apparently questioning or opposing jews is evil and anti semitic. Graham attacking Islam is considered evil.

    But its ok to attack Graham for his beliefs.

    In order to be a born again Christian you have to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. That is the belief of Christians. Why are Christians fair game in a land where we are not supposed to be targeted for our beliefs?

    Why all of a sudden this hard on for Franklin Graham? judaism is accepted and jews can run everything, muslims can over run America but Franklin Graham is under attack?????

  16. michael reynolds says:

    Anti-semite:

    Doug’s criticizing his politics, not his faith.

  17. An Interested Party says:

    All he did was show himself to have a firmer grip on reality than most Obvama supporters and apologists.

    Ahh, so now you’re a birther too? Hardly surprising…

  18. Kylopod says:

    >judaism is accepted and jews can run everything

    Thank you for showing your true colors.

  19. Sandra says:

    OBAMA FULFILLING THE BIBLE

    America’s founders spoke highly of the Bible, even without teleprompters. But Barack Hussein Obama, even with teleprompters, studiously avoids the following Bible verses and the other related information:

    Proverbs 19:10 (NIV): “It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury – how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!”
    Also Proverbs 30:22 (NIV) which says that the earth cannot bear up under “a servant who becomes king.”
    And Ecclesiastes 5:2-3 (KJV) advises: “let thy words be few…a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.”
    Although Obama is not descended from slaves, he may feel that he’s destined to become a black-slavery avenger.
    Or maybe an enslaver of all free citizens!
    For some stunning info on Pres. Obama and his fellow subversives, Google “Michelle Obama’s Allah-day,” “Obama Supports Public Depravity,” “David Letterman’s Hate Etc.,” “Un-Americans Fight Franklin Graham” and also “Sandra Bernhard, Larry David, Kathy Griffin, Bill Maher, Joan Rivers, Sarah Silverman.” Also Google “Prof. F. N. Lee’s ISLAM IN THE BIBLE [PDF].”
    PS – Since Christians are commanded to ask God to send severe judgment on persons who commit and support the worst forms of evil (see I Cor. 5 and note “taken away”), Christians everywhere should constantly pray that the Lord will soon “take away” or at least overthrow all US leaders who continue to sear their conscience and arrogantly trample the God-given rights of the majority including the rights of the unborn. Do we need a second American Revolution?
    PPS – For a rare look at the 181-year-old endtime belief which has long neutralized millions of American patriots by promising them an “imminent rapture” off earth – which has diverted them away from being prepared to stand against all enemies, domestic as well as foreign – Google “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” and “Pretrib Rapture – Hidden Facts” – all by the author of the bestselling nonfiction book “The Rapture Plot” (the most accurate and highly endorsed documentation on the pretrib rapture’s long-covered-up-but-now-revealed beginnings in Britain in 1830 – see Armageddon Books). Also Google “Stamping Out Harold Camping.”

  20. michael reynolds says:

    This is good. Now we know how to go fishing for loons: just mention Billy Graham.

  21. michael reynolds says:

    Sandra:

    Please tell me you’re a Tea Party member.

  22. I guess Franklin has gone from “Man of the Cloth” to “Man of the political hack”

    Man of the rug?

  23. Eric, we’re getting closer and closer to the point where people get it through their heads that Birtherism = Racism.

    I don’t think it’s racism so much as xenophobia. They don’t hate Obama because he’s black specifically, but because he’s different. These people were just as outrageous about John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. If Obama were white, they’d still be making up rumors about why he’s not the real present.

    Of course, xenophobia can be found across the political specturm; your own rantings about Libertarians are just as bigotted as any birther.

  24. nyc loon says:

    These birther nuts are driving me mad

  25. Neil Hudelson says:

    Is it just me, or has OTB comments become just stock full of crazy in the last…10 days or so. I almost long for the days of Zelsman; he looked like Spock compared to AntiSemite, Sandra, and Bob.

    G.A.’s gotta feel at home right now though.

  26. Ernieyeball says:

    D.S. writes: ..Jesus said, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

    How do you or anyone else know what Jesus said? Jesus never wrote anything. All the reports about what he said were written by other fallible humans who may have had an agenda.
    Am I mistaken to say that the earliest of the Gospels were written some 30 years after the crucifixion? And in which ancient language are these 2000+ year old events recorded?
    Does anyone really know who the authors were?

    Maybe T. Jefferson had a good idea when he edited the scriptures.

  27. Wiley Stoner says:

    Reyolds, I saw inside your head and there was nothing there. The thing you seek is up our arse.

  28. michael reynolds says:

    Of course, xenophobia can be found across the political specturm; your own rantings about Libertarians are just as bigotted as any birther.

    Right. A disagreement over political philosophy is identical to bigotry. Idjit.

  29. michael reynolds says:

    Neil:

    It is thick with crazy in here today.

  30. sam says:

    @Neil

    “I almost long for the days of Zelsman”

    Here ya go:

    Wiley Stoner says:
    Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 18:30

    Reyolds, I saw inside your head and there was nothing there. The thing you seek is up our arse.

    Wiley is Zels trying to sneak back in under another nom de dumb. But I have to agree, he’s a model of rationality compared to the antisemitc ravings of Christian. And does anyone, anyone at all, have any idea what the hell Sandra is raving about? Guys in the subway talking to a light fixture make more sense.

  31. Dan says:

    Where were all these questions about faith when divorced St. Ronnie spent eight years not going to church?

  32. Janis Gore says:

    Beats me, Sam. King James has a lot to answer for, if you ask me.

  33. Right. A disagreement over political philosophy is identical to bigotry. Idjit.

    No, but you don’t just disagree with libertarians. You constantly accusme them of being unamerican, deliberately trying to destroy american societ, being mentally defective in various ways, etc.

    Essentially the exact same things you complain about Tea Partiers saying about Democrats.

  34. Oh jeez you guyz, says:

    One of the sayings in the denomination of Franklin Graham’s father is “God has no grandchildren.” Clearly, neither does intelligence–or any children either as far as I can see from the tenor of the conversation here. Wow, ytou guys make the opposition party of the Korean National Assembly barricading themselves inside the building to protest a vote seem sane by comparison–including Doug, who now gets the title of head loon.

  35. wr says:

    Stormy — Before you declare that birthers aren’t about race, you might want to read Sandra’s message above, in which she pulls Bible quotes saying that a slave should never rise to rule, and referencing Obama.

  36. Neil Hudelson says:

    WR,

    YEah I saw that and was going to comment on it before I got distracted. Pretty fracking racist.

  37. michael reynolds says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to pick on Sandra behind her back. The compound only has the one computer and each of the sister-wives only gets a little time online each week.

  38. ProfessorX10 says:

    I am a Christian and I see so called Christians ignoring the rules of Salvation.

    Including you Sandra. Sandra that statement that has nothing to do with President Obama. You lack knowledge in wisdom in the scriptures and from your heart sound racist. You know your white skin do NOT grant you in the kingdom of Heaven.

    John 3:16,17

    “For God So love the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believe in Him shell have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved”; John 3:16,17

    It is obviously Mr Graham is showing his lack of understanding what the scriptures are.

  39. Ben Wolf says:

    Look at Sandra’s penultimate quote: “how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!”

    Slave = Barak Obama

    Princes = people like her

    To Sandra, it’s unconscionable that this uppity, dirty negro rules over his white Murkin superiors.

  40. G.A.Phillips says:

    G.A.’s gotta feel at home right now though

    ? Around you and your get everything completely wrong because of your indoctrinated worldview liberal atheist friends, yup.
    Once again been there done that.

    I am a Christian and I see so called Christians ignoring the rules of Salvation.

    I am a true believer and hope to one day be a Christian, am I saved? I believe so, is Obama I hope so, is Graham I hope so, no one can say but God.

    Harry,Christians do not mock the Bible while regurgitating atheist attack points(FALSE TEACHING) or believe in anti Biblical nonsense like collective salvation(FALSE TEACHING).
    Not good when your a teacher who claims to be a Christian, very very bad for a teacher who has tens of millions of followers.Truly, even that I like to give him a hard time I hope and pray that one day he comes around, It would be a great day.

    Is there something I missing about rebuking someone who is straying in his Biblical teachings as Obama does when he speaks on such matters to an audience who believes in his authority?

  41. Neil Hudelson says:

    G.A.,

    Quick note: After reading my comment it looked like I was lumping you in with the commentors who were both overtly racist and antisemite. I wasn’t trying to say you were either of those, as to my knowledge you have never uttered an antisemitic quote. But the plethora of crazy fundamentalists who lack a very basic understanding of the message of Jesus Christ should make you feel right at home.

    Cheers,

    -Neil

  42. george says:

    Wow, nice to know that Graham has the kind of omniscience that allows him to read other’s hearts, and to know who is and who isn’t a Christian. In a lesser person than Graham, that kind of usurping of what for most is God’s decision would be called hubris …

  43. DavidL says:

    I suspect that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. However as Obama has spent thousands to legally fight efforts to for him to produce a copy of his birth certificate, it is only reasonable to assume that Obama is hiding something. Then Obama has released virtually no personal records, such as college applications, transcripts or his records from the Illinois Senate.

    Obama has not been forthcoming with his personal records and the media has strangely incurious. So what about asking Obama to release his application for his Social Security number?

  44. G.A.Phillips says:

    But the plethora of crazy fundamentalists who lack a very basic understanding of the message of Jesus Christ should make you feel right at home.

    Oh you was joking, I get it….And I do try to understand his message as you call it.

    John 14:6 (King James Version)

    6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    Mark 7:6-7 (KJV) “He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. [7] Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

  45. danimal says:

    Obama has provided an orthodox Christian testimony on several occasions, including a profession of faith based on acceptance of Christ as his lord and savior. What, specifically, is lacking in his profession of faith that disqualifies him from claiming to be Christian?

    Rev. Franklin is dangerously close to blasphemy as he claims the ability to determine who is Christian and who is not. This is not his call.

  46. James Kessler says:

    Hm, I seem to recall something about religious tests being mentioned in the US Constitution.

    Ah yes, here it is. Article 6, paragraph 3:
    The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

    Even if the President wasn’t Christian, Franklin, it doesn’t matter.

    Oh and David, the birth certificate was released you doofus. You can sit there and pretend otherwise all you want but you’re only blowing smoke up your own ***.

    Sandra writes:
    America’s founders spoke highly of the Bible, even without teleprompters. But Barack Hussein Obama, even with teleprompters, studiously avoids the following Bible verses and the other related information:

    America’s founders spoke highly of the Bible? Oh you mean like when Thomas Jefferson said:
    “It has been fifty and sixty years since I read the Apocalypse, and then I considered it merely the ravings of a maniac.”

    “The truth is, that the greatest enemies of the doctrine of Jesus are those, calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them to the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come, when the mystical generation [birth] of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation [birth] of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”
    – to John Adams, Apr. 11 1823

    Or when Jefferson wrote a version of the Bible in which all miracles are removed, all mention of Jesus’ divinity is removed and most of the Scriptures simply aren’t there?

    Or when John Adams said:
    “As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?”
    -letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816

    Some of the founding fathers were Christian. Others weren’t. And even if they highly valued the Bible…it simply doesn’t matter. The supreme law of the land is the US Constitution…not the Bible…or any other bible of any other religion.

    But that’s a real cute trick you did by mentioning the President’s middle name. What point do you think you’re making? That his middle name is the same name that is probably the single most common name in the Middle East? That’s its the Middle East’s version of John? Big whoop. He’s the President, deal with it.

  47. James Kessler says:

    Christian writes:
    In order to be a born again Christian you have to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. That is the belief of Christians. Why are Christians fair game in a land where we are not supposed to be targeted for our beliefs?

    Yeah funny, to this Christian the whole “born again” bit is a bunch of nonsense hoisted aloft by a bunch of Christians who apparently believe that they weren’t baptized correctly the first time. Or that they can sin as much as they want and when they say the words “born again” they’re magically cleansed of those sins.

    Franklin Graham isn’t being attacked because he’s a Christian…first and foremost he’s not one. He’s being attacked because he’s a hate mongering jackass and an idiotic fool who uses Christianity both as a cloak to hide his hate and fear with and as a hammer to attack those who dare to think differently or believe differently then him. As if he’s God’s judge on earth. So I say this as a Christian, Christian, don’t be fool enough to defend him. He’s not worth it. Saying Franklin Graham is a Christian with the bs and hatred he routinely spouts is very much like saying HItler was a friend of the Jews.

    The fact that he apparently thinks that the President is a member of a religion other then what the President says makes him an idiot. The fact that he apparently also thinks that you have to be Christian to be President not only makes him an idiot also but puts him in direct competition with what the US Constitution says.

    And Muslims get to do as they please in this country? Really? Then pray tell why is your side of the political fence throwing a hissy fit at a group of Muslims wanting to put a mosque in a building they want to build on a spot in New York City that already has a mosque on it and its been there for most of the last ten years? Seriously…your side of the political fence, Christian, is objecting to a mosque being part of a new building…and the new building is proposed for a spot that already has a mosque on it.

    THen why were mosques being objected to in other various states such as Tennessee? Why is there such a fit among the right wing over supposed instances of “sharia law” despite the fact that there is not one single example of sharia law being imposed on anyone in this country?

    Sorry, Christian, you don’t get to claim victimhood. And don’t try claiming victimhood for all of Christianity. And please don’t try claiming that Franklin Graham is 1: a victim or 2: speaks for Christianity. He isn’t and he doesn’t. And you, just like him, speak for yourself and only for yourself.

    Speaking for myself, Franklin Graham is a very good example of being anti-Christian and is an even better example of a **** poor example of a human being.

    But I’ll give you a piece of advice, Christian. When a person, anyone at all, starts using Christianity or God or Jesus Christ as excuses or their reasons to spout fear or hatred then your responsibility as a Christian is to stand up TO them…not stand up FOR them. It’s also your responsibility as an American.

    If you can’t handle those responsibilities…then find the door.