February 22nd, 2012
11:19 AM ET
3 years ago

Franklin Graham clarifies remarks on Obama's faith

(CNN) - The Rev. Franklin Graham clarified his thoughts on President Barack Obama's Christian faith Wednesday, one day after the evangelical leader took heat over making comments about the president's ties to Islam.

"I don't question the president's faith. I'm not questioning whether he's a Christian," Graham said on CNN's "Newsroom." "I disagree with his position on abortion."

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On Tuesday, Graham stirred controversy when he expressed uncertainty over whether the president is sincere enough in his faith.

He said when he asked Obama about how he became a Christian, the president said he joined a church in Chicago after becoming a community organizer, leaving Graham to speculate whether he became a Christian for the right motives.

"You have to ask him. I cannot ask that question for anybody," he said Tuesday in an interview on MSNBC.

This wasn't the first time Graham, who heads the humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse, weighed in on the president's faith. The evangelical leader made headlines in 2010 when he said he believed Obama was born a Muslim because of his heritage, but now believes he is a Christian.

On Wednesday, Graham repeated that his biggest problem with Obama was the president's position on abortion rights.

"I like him as a person, but he's absolutely 100% dead wrong on this issue," Graham said on CNN. "He will have to stand before God one day and give an account to God on this issue."

Asked about his comments on Rick Santorum, in which Graham definitively said the Republican presidential hopeful was a Christian, the reverend said Wednesday he regretted his choice of words.

"I misspoke there when I said he is a man of faith. God only knows everybody's heart," he said. "I would be more in line with the position of Rick Santorum as it relates to abortion. He is opposed to abortion. I certainly appreciate that."

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Filed under: 2012 • Faith • President Obama
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Joseph

    Actually Neither Graham or Obama are Christians. The Grahams are agents of the Devil and his church. The true church is the church of Jesus Christ of LDS.... Obama is a Muslim....

    February 22, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    What a disgrace to Chritianity, which teaches tolerance and redemption.

    February 22, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. kevin

    Seems to be alot of clarifications coming from the right lately. (Friess clarifies birth control remark. Santorum clarifies theology remark.) Unfortunately, this tactic is akin to dropping a bomb on someone and then saying you meant to hit someone else. I am sure there were more people who saw his misspoken words on TV than read his clarification.

    February 22, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. xxx

    Graham should pray for God to forgive him! He is not fit to be a leader if he can not treat all Human beings equally. Obama is not contesting for the position of evangelical or any Church leader. As the President of United Stated, Obama deserves respect from all including you Mr. Graham.

    February 22, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. juge

    Me thinketh thou protesteth TOOOOO much. You questioned President Obama's faith/religion...that is all you wanted to do so that your ignorant followers would follow in your footsteps. No amount of clarification (and it really wasn't on point) will get through those thick skulls. AS PLANNED. Aren't you the one who stupidly sent bibles in missionaries suitcases to Muslim countries. Dumb Dumber and Dumbest

    February 22, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. djwazu NYC

    Matthew 24: 4 Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ, and will deceive many. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

    February 22, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. Timothy Gray

    Like all the other right wing "wannabes", Graham makes an outrageous statement, then walks the talk back after too much negative response. Santorum just did the same thing with his remarks comparing Obama to Hitler. Neither of them would have "clarified" their remarks if the public response was halfway positive. They make me sick to my stomach.

    February 22, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. insight iowa

    They spread hate and then claim how they "misspoke". I'm so tired of them all using God the Bible and my faith to spread hate and lies. Just remember God sees you.

    This Republican voting straight Dem Ticket 2012.

    February 22, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. Dom

    Why anyone would pay ANY attention to this 'do-nothing-whose-only-claim-to-fame-is-to-be-BillyGraham's-son',,,Can't believe the airtime he is getting....With Christians like Franklin, I'll take the lions – with pleasure – thank you very much....
    PS...in this case, the apple has fallen VERY FAR from the tree.....

    February 22, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. ML

    He needs to read his Bible more closely and study the admonition, "Judge not, lest ye be judged."

    I am so tired of all these chauvinists judging men who do not think as they do and then are telling women what to do with their bodies. Most of these debates are a replay of what was settled nearly 50 years ago.

    February 22, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Sandra

    As usual these religious leaders make outrageous statements and then walk them back the next day when they get called out.

    February 22, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. jon

    I don't give a darn if the President EVER goes to church. Reagan hardly ever did. Who cares??? Run the country – you are not the Pope. Get over it people.

    February 22, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. JOE in LOS ANGELES

    If Franklin Gram is affraid to state what Obam's true faith is. I'm not OBAMA IS A MUSLIM, AND THE POTUS should state that also, instead of lying to the people of the UNITED STATES. Oh i forgot Muslims are allowed to LIE.

    February 22, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. stevetall

    So, we had to listen to the rantings of this guy's dad for years, and now that we finally got past that, we have to listen to this boob? Fer cryin' out loud, can't we listen to somebody who does not have a 'holier than thou' approach? This is a prime example of why we need seperation of church and state. The state should be concerned with the here and now, while the church should limit themselves to matters of the here-after.

    February 22, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. Denny

    Why do we have to listen to these muti millinaire preachers. They make me sick. Its all big bucks. They live like kings and the people they servce usually live moderate to poor lives.

    February 22, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. Kathy

    Just dont say anything, how about that? You're in the religious field, not the political field. Moreso, respect everyone's, EVERYONE"S FREE-WILL to practice the religion of their choosing.

    You cant save anyone but yourself Franklin, remember that: you came in alone and you go out alone.

    February 22, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. vatoloke

    Are we to guess the devil made him do it?

    February 22, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  18. Republican Class Warfare

    As we all know, the Bible is 80% concerned with abortion and 20% concerned with cutting taxes on Job Creators.

    February 22, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. Jean Sartre, Milwaukee, WI

    I disagree with Mr. Graham 100% on every vile thing that comes out of this bigot's mouth; it's half-time in America and there is no reason at all to ever give this cretin a media platform for his hateful speech...

    February 22, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. Realist

    Right. Perhaps the worst backtrack I have heard in some time.

    At least have some stones, and stand by the idiotic statements in which you believe.

    February 22, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. Joi Gibson

    What a dingbat. He meant exactly what he said about President Obama because he has said it before. I almost threw a shoe at my TV when I heard this clown. I wonder what his father thinks of his son's intolerance of anyone who does not believe as he does. Not that I am a Willard fan, but Franklin is intolerant of Willard's religion as well. But since Willard claims to be pro-choice, in Franklin's world, he's a better person than President Obama. I am so truly disgusted with the personal bashing of President Obama. President Obama has more class, grace, charm, and intelligence than any of these fools.

    OBAMA/BIDEN/FIRST LADY MICHELLE 2012!!!!!

    February 22, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. Robert Shapiro

    Who cares what Franklin Graham thinks about anything?

    February 22, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. Rod Fitzwell

    The apple has certainly fallen FAR from the tree in Mr Graham's case...

    February 22, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Carrie

    These guys always conveniently forget the Bible verse "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Who made them God? And for that matter, why do Republicans try to insert their personal religious judgements into politics all the time?

    February 22, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. GEETO

    The devil made him do it ...

    February 22, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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