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ETpro's avatar

Is it Franklin Graham's job to judge who is a Christian?

Asked by ETpro (34550points) February 21st, 2012

Billy Graham’s son, the Rev. Franklin Graham recently said, “I don’t know…” if Obama is a Christian. He’s enthusiastically endorsing Rick Santorum because he IS a Christian. Did Jesus rescind his command to “Judge not, that ye be not judged” and just forget to come back and tell us about it? Did he appoint Franklin Graham his sole judge on Earth, or perhaps the Republican Party? If so, I sure didn’t get the memo.

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22 Answers

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Buttonstc's avatar

I guess there were some lessons his Dads tried to teach him which just didn’t stick.

The plural refers to both his earthly Father as well as the heavenly one.

Apparently he figures he knows better than both of them combined. Either that or he doesn’t spend nearly as much time reading the Bible as Billy does.

You can lead a horse to water….

Lord knows, Billy and Ruth tried their best to set a good example for their kids. But….

SpatzieLover's avatar

Many Christians haven’t read the memo they’ve received.

GoldieAV16's avatar

I guess it is: he appears to be doing just that, and has a following that support him in that endeavor (financially and otherwise), so it does seem to be his job.

Do I think he’s particularly good at it?

Uh, let’s just say that I don’t think I’m in any position to judge. ;-p

Qingu's avatar


It seems clear to me that Obama’s Christianity is something akin to that of @mattbrowne.‘s If you asked Obama if he thought Jesus literally came back to life as a zombie to save the souls of believers from hell, I would be very curious to see how he answered. Because I seriously doubt that Obama actually believes Jesus came back to life as a zombie.

For some Christians (like Graham), the boundary line for Christianity involves the literal resurrection. This would rule out a great number of self-identifying Christians (particularly in Europe) who think the resurrection is a metaphor, or something, and just like some of Jesus’ moral teachings.

In any case, I find myself having trouble getting worked up over this idiot holding to a narrow definition of his own idiotic cult.

Ron_C's avatar

I didn’t much like his father and certainly don’t care for or support the son that went into the family business. The guy’s a professional cleric is just trying to justify the fact that he is loafing on the public dole.

Judi's avatar

I was looking for the quote I found recently where Billy Graham says something like, “I don’t want to Christians to align with the republican party because all they want to do use us.” But I can’t find the exact quote. I’m not even sure if it’s real.
I also read a book recently called Crazy for God, which was an insiders look at how Christian fundamentalists rose to be a political power. One little tidbit was that presented (I hope it’s not true, but the author had no reason to lie) was how Billy Graham pulled his 17 year old daughter out of her freshman year in college to marry a wealthy donor she had never met.
If this is the case, how can you expect Franklin Graham to be anything but a loony bird?

Blackberry's avatar

Here is a graphical representation of some of the contradictions in the bible. I’m sure he’s fulfilled many of them.

Edit: Here’s a readable one.

Ron_C's avatar

GA @Blackberry ! The readable one must have taken years to compile.

cazzie's avatar

The USA will end up with the President they deserve.

Ron_C's avatar

Unfortunately, crazzie, you are probably correct.

ETpro's avatar

@Buttonstc How true. Thanks.

Buttonstc's avatar


Actually that info about the daughter is a rumor with a life of its own. Ive read postings from the daughter in question refuting that.

One of her sons BTW is Tullian Tchividjian, the current pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian in Ft. Lauderdale who was selected following the death of D. James Kennedy. Half the congregation (the stalwart Kennedy advocates) left in protest when he made it abundantly clear that he had zero intentions of becoming embroiled in right wing politics as his predecessor had. He stated his intent to preach the gospel and teach sound scriptural principles.

During the melee that ensued while they tried to rescind his call, he turned to his grandfather for advice. Billy (who steadfastly refused to become embroiled in political battles) encouraged him to hold strong to his inner convictions.

I guess that non-judgemental and apolitical stance skipped a generation in this family. Tullian’s journey is a rather fascinating read. He had his prodigal years but found his own way.

The more I read about Franklin’s views on various current affairs, the less respect I have for him. I see him more and more as a sellout, financially and otherwise to the most radical elements of the Republican party.

Another interesting sidenote on D. James Kennedy: he was basically a dominionist, theologically speaking, even tho he downplayed the more dangerous implications which that theology entails.

If there is doubt about that statement, check out the names Gary North, R. Rushdoony , and the term “Theocratic Dominionism” The practical implications are chilling should this fringe group ever succeed.

No small wonder Billy and Tullian. wanted nothing to do with Kennedy’s political agenda.
Regardless of what anyone may think of Billy Graham’s religious beliefs, he was never one to follow the crowd or anyone’s political agenda.

Long before the civil rights crusade had begun, he personally removed the ropes separating the seating arrangements customary for whites and blacks and declared that “there is no biblical basis for segregation”. I’m sur it cost him support in the South for many years.

He was also the first evangelist to publicly make available the financial records of his entire organization which were independently audited.

There has never been a sexual scandal involving him or his direct staff because he

instituted and held to specific conduct policies for himself and staffing written agreements.

One can disagree with his religion as much as you want (and I’m certain that most atheistic/agnostic do and its their right) but he did live what he preached. And in this day and age with all the headline grabbing scandals thats a pretty same good track record at least worthy of acknowledgement.

Dislike his religion all you want. Your have a hard time making a case to label him a hypocrite.

And when all is said and done, his responsibility for his son Franklin’s attitudes and actions ended when his son entered manhood.


Obviously only the first part of what I wrote was addressed to you. The rest is just my response in general :)

zenvelo's avatar

Franklin has brought his father’s reputation down into the gutter. While I did not agree with Billy Graham’s theology (I am a Catholic), he offered spiritual guidance to every President without prejudice or concern about politics. Billy Graham practiced what he preached, a rarity amongst evangelical preachers.

It’s ludicrous that Franklin would give Newt Gingrich a pass despite his being an admitted adulterer, but questions Obama, the finest family man in the White House ever. What part of Family Values don’t Republicans like?

ETpro's avatar

@SpatzieLover Well said, my friend. How can you get big bucks teaching a book you never bothered to read and understand? Sign up students who don’t read much. They’ll never knwo.

@GoldieAV16 Wow, Great Answer understates it. That answer is an outta-the-park walk-off home run.

@Qingu I think you are spot on that his support of a Theocracy will alienate far more voters than it will attract. We aren’t electing a Theologian in Chief. And if we ever do hold such an election, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich—the two candidates he openly claims ARE Christians—would be way toward the bottom of the list of theologians I’d consider for the job.

@Ron_C I was no fan of his father, but he’s not the man his father was, that’s for sure. I actually had enormous respect for Mitt Romney’s father, and boy has that fruit fallen far from the tree.

@Judi I can’t find it either, but it is likely in one of the books written by or about Billy Graham. Like most Southern Baptists of his day, Graham was a registered Democrat. He split with President Truman over his handling of the Korean war and firing of MacArthur—something MacArthur’s insubordination left Truman no choice but to do. He supported Eisenhower in 1952, but was a staunch supporter of Lyndon Johnson. So it’s entirely in character for him to have, in the 50s, said stay out of politics. He later forgot his own warnings.

@Blackberry That is an AMAZING link. Thanks so much for finding and posting it.

@King_Pariah A man of few words, but right ones.

@Judi Wow. This nut case is the front runner now? Well, let’s see. That honor has gone to Rick Cant-string-three-words-together Perry, Herman 9–9-9 Cain, Newt Corruption-on-steroids Gingrich, and even The Donald. Too bad Warner Bros. is under new management. Elmer Fudd, where are you when the Republicans need a great orator?

@cazzie & @Ron_C I listened to the Take Back the American Dream Teach In tonight. It was fantastic. One point made was that if we let cynicism take hold of us, the regressives will have won. There will be no more American Dream except for the elites, the billionaires and mega corporation management.

@Buttonstc Thanks for the info on how the Father comported himself.

@zenvelo An understatement.

Buttonstc's avatar

And you don’t even want to get me started about that nitwit, Rick Santorum. I lived in Pa during his congressional term for that state so his nonsense was daily fodder for the local papers.

I was never happier than the day that Casey defeated him for reelection.

(Well maybe a close tie would be with the success of Dan Savage’s campaign to change meaning of the word Santorum by enlisting his readers in a fabulous Google-bombing campaign. THAT was incredible. Words fail me :)

ratboy's avatar

Please God, let the Republican primaries be a hoax engineered by Comedy Central.

ETpro's avatar

@ratboy It certainly seems your prayers have been answered.

mattbrowne's avatar

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. I guess this is what’s happening to this guy right now.

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