Rev. Franklin Graham likes to say that just being the son of the famous evangelist Billy Graham won’t get him into heaven. Neither will questioning President Obama’s faith in televised interviews and suggesting that he’s a Muslim.
He was forced to issue an apology Tuesday after several members of an NAACP religious subgroup accused him of “bearing false witness” and encouraging racism, Religious News Service reports. During an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe last week, Graham said that he didn’t know whether Obama is a Christian, but under Islamic law is considered to be a Muslim because his father was a Muslim.
"We can disagree about what it means to be a Christian engaged in politics, but Christians should not bear false witness. We are also concerned that Rev. Graham's comments can be used to encourage racism,” they said in an open letter. "By his statements, [he] seems to be aligning himself with those who use faith as a weapon of political division. These kinds of comments could have enormous negative effects for America and are especially harmful to the Christian witness."
Graham on Tuesday expressed regret about casting doubt about Obama’s faith and issued an apology to the president “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 disagrees with Obama’s positions on abortion and same-sex marriage, which he says are in “direct conflict" with Scripture, according to the RNS report.
In all fairness, Graham is kind of an equal opportunity offender. In the same interview, he also said that “most Christians wouldn’t recognize” the Mormon faith practiced by Mitt Romney.
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