August 19th, 2010
09:56 PM ET
10 years ago

Graham: Obama born a Muslim, now a Christian

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Earlier this year, the Army rescinded its invitation to Graham for the National Day of Prayer at the Pentagon over controversial remarks he made about Islam.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.

"President Obama is a committed Christian, and his faith is an important part of his daily life," Deputy White House Communications Director Jen Psaki told CNN. "He prays every day, he seeks a small circle of Christian pastors to give him spiritual advice and counseling, he even receives a daily devotional that he uses each morning. The president's Christian faith is a part of who he is, but not a part of what the public or the media is focused on every day."

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.

Filed under: JKUSA • John King USA • President Obama
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. kmp

    WOW now if more people like him would come out we could debunk this.

    August 20, 2010 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  2. Colorado Liberal

    Another GOP red herring. You Republicans are getting more and more strange, talking louder and louder and saying less and less.

    Remember Republicans: Small minds are occupied by small things.

    August 20, 2010 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  3. Marry

    This discussion is disgusting! The President is an honorable man, an intelligent and bright mind and he works hard to better the lives of all Americans. That and only that should be of interest. The comments of this and the article above are a showcase of the good and the bad in America. And the “good” does not seem to come from the “real” Christians! Get a grip on it people!

    August 20, 2010 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  4. Von Bismark-Vienna

    This skin deep veil doubt about Obama's faith by a "Pastor" who is supposed to sheperd the flock to the truth is troubling.It's offensive.Biblically it has a meaning. The Jews doubted the Messiahship of Jesus even as the Truth lived among them.
    Why should we talk of islamic radicalism and ignore such high profile extremism as this? Mr "pastor" there is no connection between genetic heridity and fath. YOU ARE DEAD WRONG AND THIS IS SATANIC!

    August 20, 2010 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  5. mrhapiguy

    President Obama is not a Muslim. I doubt he is really Christian either, although he had to say so in order to win elections in this sick country. He is intelligent and extremely educated; obviously a closet atheist. Duh.

    August 20, 2010 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  6. JR

    It is so childish to even broadcast such polls that 18% believe that president Obama is Muslim, and worse, making it a news.
    How about:
    32% believe that Africa is a country in Asia?
    34% believe that New-York is in California?
    33% believe that the World War II happened in Afghanistan in 1972?
    31% believe that Sarah Palin is the daughter of Nelson Mandela?
    27% believe that babies are conceived after a woman eat young pork?
    28% believe that John McCain is 45 yrs old?
    All these not sense polls of what people believe should rather be used in mental facilities to determine who is mentally stable and who isn't; or who is stupid, and who isn't.
    It would save us a lot money in health cost.
    Many things are facts regardless what someone may believe, so why asking people what they believe about facts?

    August 20, 2010 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  7. J.V.Hodgson

    This man claims to be a religious leader and scholar.
    He is a disgrace by his own words to his own so called christian beliefs.
    Where is his charity, his tolerance, his respect for others, even those with whom he disagrees?
    He cannot even fully believe the sinner who has repented and converted " I just have to believe him".
    So where is Grahams faith and charity towards his flock?
    Forget not, Christians used to stone people to death until Jesus son of god said "let him who be without sin cast the first stone" no mention of her!?
    Mr. Graham needed to be challenged vigorously on his unethical ( true Islam cannot be practiced in this country) religious comments but was not... Why Mr. King!?

    August 20, 2010 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  8. JFK

    Just when you think America can not get any dumber! And here we go again. People like Graham adopt the philosophy if you tell a lie enough times, it becomes the truth. Sadly these people will only hurt America from the inside and will do far more harm than any external force. Shame on you Mr Graham, you are a helping to destroy your own country with this filth! The hate for Obama has become like a cancer that festers unabated.

    August 20, 2010 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  9. Nitty

    Once again CNN instead of focusing on what the President is not! Why don't you spend some time informing and focusing on what he is!!! Typical sensatioal yellow journalism!!! REPORT THE FACTS!!! THAT ALL WE ASK!!!

    August 20, 2010 05:35 am at 5:35 am |

    Am I the only one that knows of several Christians that beat their wives or girlfriends or commit other crimes of violence then say Jesus died for their sins so it will be ok? Grahamn needs to stop trying to mislead people but then I rarely meet a Christian that I can trust to live according to the Bible anyway

    August 20, 2010 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
1 2 3 4 5