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Questioning Obama's Christianity

Thomas Whitley

Unsurprisingly, Franklin Graham continues to question President Obama's christianity, ignoring the President's own words on the matter.

Franklin Graham is Wrong to Question Obama's Christianity: Recently, in an interview with ABC’s Christiane Amanpour on her Sunday show, “This Week,” Franklin Graham was asked whether President Obama is a Christian. He replied, “He has told me that he is a Christian. But the debate comes, what is a Christian?

“For him, going to church means he’s a Christian. For me, the definition of a Christian is whether we have given our life to Christ and are following him in faith, and we have trusted him as our Lord and savior. That’s the definition of a Christian. It’s not as to what church you are a member of. A membership doesn’t make you Christian.”

Instead of challenging Graham with President Obama’s own words about his salvation, Amanpour ignores Graham’s sleight of hand by asking if he actually believes the president.

“Well, when he says it, of course I can’t — I’m not going to say, “Well, no, you’re not.” I mean, God is the only one who knows his heart,” Graham said.

But that’s exactly what he did! In Graham’s own sly way, he managed to say that he believes President Obama is a Christian because he said so, and then question if he’s really a Christian by suggesting that he’s just a guy who thinks if you show up at church it makes you one.

I agree with Roland Martin that for too long we have allowed people like Franklin Graham to cast doubt on someone else's faith. I have been on the receiving end of this type of questioning and insinuation a few times myself and it becomes apparent when my faith is being questioned and when others' faith is questioned that what is at the heart of the issue are differences that are actually not related to whether one is a Christian or not, but to their political, social, or theological positions.

For Graham, though, he benefits by casting doubt on President Obama's christianity. His fundamentalist version of christianity, coupled with his political views, flourish by pushing fear and lies. In Graham's mind, fully embracing the President as a Christian undermines his message that Christians must look a certain way, speak a certain way, and vote a certain way.

It is sad and a bit offensive that media outlets give Franklin Graham so much authority and do not push him on matters like these.

But the reality is that these days, when the Rev. Franklin Graham speaks, he sounds more like a partisan politician rather than a prophetic pastor.