Meanwhile, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association still has plenty of articles about ‘cults’ on its website, some with quotes attributed to Billy Graham personally. The site doesn’t name specific groups any more, but its definition continues to conflate groups characterised by a dysfunctional authoritarianism – which the popular understanding of ‘cults’ – with groups that simply hold religious views that have some association with Christianity but which the BGEA regards as unorthodox. That conflation explains why the now-deleted page where Mormonism was named as a cult also included Unitarianism on the list – and I very much doubt that a presidential election involving a Unitarian, almost certainly running as the Democrat candidate, would have given Franklin Graham any reason to think again about ‘calling people names’.
And as regards Islam, Graham Jnr is more than happy not only to fire off denunciatory adjectives, but to use the religion itself in his own arsenal of name-calling; as he explained in the run-up to the election:
‘I can’t say categorically [that Obama is not a Muslim] because Islam has gotten a free pass under Obama,’ he said.
Franklin Graham, son of Rev. Billy Graham, has added his opinion as to why Mitt Romney lost the 2012 presidential election to President Obama. Unlike claims of voter fraud or voter intimidation coming from Fox News and their analysts, Graham’s reasoning has little to do with President Obama or the Democrats in America.
“We’ve turned our backs on God,” Graham told CBN’s David Brody on Friday morning.
Graham believes the biggest problem with the United States is secularism. He points to President Obama’s support of marriage equality as a key reason America is on a slope towards complete secularism.
Graham voiced his support for Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority Coalition in years past. He pointed to the work of Ralph Reed and other religious groups in spreading the word on how important it is for evangelicals to vote.
“The vast majority of evangelicals did not go to the polls,’ Graham alleged during the interview.
The Faith and Freedom Coalition’s own national polling stands at odds with Graham’s view. Evangelicals comprised 27 percent of the overall electorate with 78 percent of evangelicals voting for Mitt Romney. Ralph Reed is the President of the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
In a statement last week, Reed claimed as many evangelicals voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 as had voted for former President George W. Bush in 2004.
Billy Graham last night endorsed Mitt Romney for president, and shortly thereafter, his website was scrubbed of a statement Graham or his organization made calling Mormonism a “cult.”
“It was an honor to meet and host Governor Romney in my home today, especially since I knew his late father former Michigan Governor George Romney, whom I considered a friend,” the 93-year old Christian Evangelist Southern Baptist minister said via a statement. “I have followed Mitt Romney’s career in business, the Olympic Games, as governor of Massachusetts and, of course, as a candidate for president of the United States.”
“What impresses me even more than Governor Romney’s successful career are his values and strong moral convictions. I appreciate his faithful commitment to his impressive family, particularly his wife Ann of 43 years and his five married sons.
“It was a privilege to pray with Governor Romney—for his family and our country. I will turn 94 the day after the upcoming election, and I believe America is at a crossroads. 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.”
As of June 5, 2010, if not much earlier, Billy Graham’s website stated:
A cult is any group which teaches doctrines or beliefs that deviate from the biblical message of the Christian faith. It is very important that we recognize cults and avoid any involvement with them. Cults often teach some Christian truth mixed with error, which may be difficult to detect.
There are some features common to most cults:
Evangelist Billy Graham on Wednesday called for North Carolina voters to support a state constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, and will run a full-page ad in 14 North Carolina newspapers throughout the weekend. The public comments are rare from the 93-year-old pastor, and while Graham has often preached on sexual purity, he has never touched the issue of same-sex marriage.
Evangelist Billy Graham, who has been in failing health in recent years, was admitted to a North Carolina hospital Wednesday with possible pneumonia.
Graham, 93, was admitted to Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., for treatment and observation of his lungs, according to a statement released by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Assn. in Charlotte, N.C. The Southern Baptist minister was alert, smiling and waving at hospital staff upon arrival, the statement said.
Graham’s personal physician, Lucian Rice, told the association that the evangelist’s condition is stable. The pulmonologist treating Graham, Mark Hellreich, said he is being tested for possible pneumonia, according to the association.
Larry Ross, Graham’s spokesman, told the Charlotte Observer that Graham recently developed a cough, congestion and slight fever. After hospital tests, doctors decided to keep him overnight for observation, Ross said.
Graham was hospitalized for successful treatment of pneumonia in May. After his release, he resumed physical therapy and normal daily activities — including finishing his 30th book, “Nearing Home,” according to his staff. His daughter told NPR last month that Graham, who began conducting evangelistic crusades in 1948, had recently been placed on oxygen therapy.
Lots of context explained here. Much more info at the link.
Just before Christmas, George W. Bush traveled to North Carolina to pay a visit to the one man who, perhaps more than any other, made his political ascent possible: Billy Graham. But the aging evangelist’s contributions go far beyond simply helping 43 sober up and find Christ on a beach in Kennebunkport. As a charismatic young preacher in the post-war era, Graham galvanized southern evangelicals who had migrated to the Golden State. Socially conservative, business-friendly, a new political brew fermented in the cul-de-sacs of Southern California. The results: Yesterday’s religious right, today’s tea party, and the Reagan and Bush presidencies.
Historian Darren Dochuk explains the 50-year process in his new book, From Bible Belt to Sun Belt. Mother Jones spoke with Dochuk recently about Sarah Palin, the tea party, and the next Billy Graham.
MJ: Do we fixate too much on guys like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson?
DD: I think we do, and you can understand why; they make good soundbites and certainly they’re the most vocal and outspoken. And you do need to take them seriously, and certainly the press does and historians do. But what you’re missing is really the foundation of evangelicalism and evangelical conservatism, and that’s the people in the pews. And the businessmen, and boardroom politics. That’s really the power base of evangelical conservatism.
MJ: The guy who’s making tons of money at his business in Oklahoma and using it to finance a new college.
DD: Once you get into that, it’s really amazing the networks that exist and are created to support this entire system. And that’s the brilliance of conservative activism.
MJ: Your research coincided with the rise of the tea party movement. Do you see a connection between that and what you write about?
DD: I see a lot of similarity, and perhaps that’s sort of a fallback for historians. But I think back to 1978 and how it wasn’t necessarily abortion or social issues that galvanized evangelical conservatives; it was tax issues. They’re every bit as concerned about taxation as they are with politics of the body. Today we look at the tea party and many pundits tend to accentuate the divide within the tea party between fiscal and social conservatives, but in reality I think there’s more continuity there than anything, and evangelical conservatives are the bridge between those two.