Washington (CNN) – Evangelical leader Franklin Graham, son of famed presidential religious adviser Billy Graham, said Thursday that he believes President Barack Obama is a Christian, but that the president was born a Muslim because of his father’s religious beliefs.
Asked by CNN Chief National Correspondent John King if he had any doubts about Obama’s Christian faith, Graham, who has made controversial comments about Islam in the past, said the president’s background is fueling the false perception that he is a Muslim.
“I think the president’s problem is that he was born a Muslim, his father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother. He was born a Muslim, his father gave him an Islamic name,” Graham said on CNN’s “John King, USA.”
“Now it’s obvious that the president has renounced the prophet Mohammed and he has renounced Islam and he has accepted Jesus Christ. That is what he says he has done, I cannot say that he hasn’t. So I just have to believe that the president is what he has said,” Graham continued.
Earlier this year, the Army rescinded its invitation to Graham for the National Day of Prayer at the Pentagon over controversial remarks he made about Islam.
“True Islam cannot be practiced in this country,” he told CNN last December. “You can’t beat your wife. You cannot murder your children if you think they’ve committed adultery or something like that, which they do practice in these other countries.”
Graham later tried to temper his remarks by saying that he had Muslim friends. However, Graham has a history of comments that bothered the Pentagon. Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Graham called Islam a “very evil and wicked religion.”
A new poll released Thursday conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that nearly one in five Americans falsely believe Obama is a Muslim, up from around one in 10 Americans who said last year they believed he was Muslim.
While most of those who think Obama is Muslim are Republicans, the number of independents who believe he is Muslim has expanded significantly, from 10 percent last year to 18 percent now, according to the Pew survey.
The White House stated unequivocally on Thursday that Obama is a Christian.
In April, President Obama prayed with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin at Graham’s mountaintop home in North Carolina. Billy Graham, a major figure in the American evangelical movement, has advised presidents dating back to Harry Truman.
(Video at CNN link)
Evangelist Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, opted to jump directly into the conversation about President Obama’s religion following this week’s Pew poll that revealed the country is increasingly confused about whether Obama is a Muslim. Graham, possibly taking some cues from Jerry Falwell in the inflammatory department, told CNN’s John King on Friday that he believes Obama, who only met his father once (who was a “confirmed atheist” at the time of his birth), was in fact born a Muslim [...]
King followed this tenuous declaration up yesterday by inviting Stephen Prother, a Professor of Religion at Boston University [...] on the show to explain whether there was any truth to this theory.
Said Prothero: “This is part of why Americans are confused about the situation here is because we have people who are supposed to be responsible public leaders like Franklin Graham who are spreading what seems to me like a sort of disinformation campaign.” Additionally, why are people listening to an explanation of Islam from Christian evangelist Franklin Graham: “These are simplistic soundbites.” Prothero went on to say Americans are functionally illiterate about most religions including Christianity….and the conversation about Islam that is happening now is “at below a kindergarten level.” And doesn’t look to be elevated anytime soon. You can watch below.
(Video at MEDIAITE link)
What kind of “seed” did Little Frankie get from Daddy Billy? Let’s check over at Wiki:
In 2002, declassified “Richard Nixon tapes” confirmed remarks made by Graham to President Nixon three decades earlier. Captured on the tapes, Graham agreed with Nixon that Jews control the American media, calling it a “stranglehold” during a 1972 conversation with Nixon. These remarks were characterized as anti-Semitic by Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League and evangelical author Richard Land.
You remember Richard Land, dont’cha, kids? I guess a bigot can recognize one of his own kind.
When the tapes were publicly released, Graham stated, “[A]lthough I have no memory of the occasion, I deeply regret comments I apparently made… They do not reflect my views, and I sincerely apologize for any offense caused by the remarks,” and “If it wasn’t on tape, I would not have believed it. I guess I was trying to please… I went to a meeting with Jewish leaders and I told them I would crawl to them to ask their forgiveness.”
In 2009 fresh tapes were released, in which Graham is heard in conversation with Nixon referring to Jews and “the synagogue of Satan.” A spokesman for Graham said that Graham has never been an anti-Semite and that the comparison (in accord with the context of the quotation in the Book of Revelation) was directed specifically at those claiming to be Jews but not observing Jewish law.