On Tuesday’s edition of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Rev. Franklin Graham, the evangelist and son of Billy Graham, expressed uncertainty as to whether President Obama was in fact a Christian, while ‘certifying’ the Christian credentials of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. Graham took the right-wing’s classification of President Obama as anything other than American by claiming that “Islam sees him as a son of Islam.”
When Graham, who by the way became a Christian where most Christians become sinners — in a Hotel Room, was asked explicitly, “Do you believe President Obama is a Christian,” to which Graham craftily responded :
“You have to ask him. I cannot answer that question for anybody. All I know is I’m a sinner, and God has forgiven me of my sins… You have to ask every person. He has said he’s a Christian, so I just have to assume that he is.”
When asked whether Obama had “accepted Jesus Christ,” Graham, who once suggested that the President had “allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to become part of the US government,” responded “I don’t know.”
Franklin was a tad less equivocal when it came to Mr. ‘I-hate-gays-vaginas-and-apple pie’ Santorum:
“…his values are so clear on moral issues. No question about it. I just appreciate the moral stances he takes on things. He comes from a Catholic faith… I think he’s a man of faith.”
Translation: Rick Santorum believes in the same oppressive and theocratic narrow-minded worldview I have.
On Mr. ‘Serial Adulterer’ Gingrich, Graham said “I think Newt Gingrich is a Christian, at least he told me he is.”
As if that weren’t enough, Graham, who presumably thought up until that point he had been too classy, went on to suggest that the President may in fact be a Muslim:
“Under President Obama…the Muslims of the world, he seems to be more concerned, than Christians who are being murdered in Muslims countries. “Islam sees him as a son of Islam… I can’t say categorically that [Obama is not Muslim] because Islam has gotten a free pass under Obama.”
While on the surface Graham’s contentious comments would appear to be easily refutable, one must remember that to millions of faithful around the world, Graham speaks for God and is an ‘authority’ on such things. More importantly, Graham, just like Santorum and Gingrich recently, are speaking directly to a very narrow segment of the Republican fringe that have always felt Obama was a Muslim and not really an American citizen.
When pressed on his willingness to accept Santorum’s word for his religion and not the President, Graham said, “This is my business…” in defense of his seemingly hypocritical assertions.
[For the record: See for yourself what Obama said about his own faith (and Franklin Graham's famous father) at the recent National Prayer Breakfast.]