Tags: Billy | Graham | election | ad

Franklin Graham: Dad Making Stand for Biblical Values

Wednesday, 24 Oct 2012 07:03 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

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Franklin Graham said that his father, evangelist Billy Graham, “remains sharp as a razor” as he prepares to celebrate his 94th birthday, and that his recent emergence in election ads is not part of an attempt by the religious right to hijack his popularity.

“Nobody kidnaps my Daddy. He may not see or hear as well, but his mind remains sharp as a razor,” the younger Graham insisted to The Charlotte Observer. “He’s been active in politics since the 1940s. People need to remember that.”

Evangelist Billy Graham meets with Mitt Romney during a visit at Graham's cabin in Montreat, N.C. on Oct. 11.
(Getty Images)
Graham has had the ear of every U.S. president since World War II and has personally visited 185 countries on more than 400 crusades to reach a combined audience of 2.2 billion with his inspirational messages of hope and peace.

The beloved evangelist will celebrate his 94th birthday on Nov. 7, a day after American voters take to the polls to decide between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, who visited with Graham in October.

Collaborating with fellow music luminaries, including Bono, Michael McDonald, Jeffrey Osborne, Kenny Rogers and LeAnn Rimes, legendary singer Pat Boone recently released a musical tribute DVD and bonus music CD to pay tribute to Graham’s decades of service: “Thank You Billy Graham; A Tribute to the Man and his Message.”

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During a subsequent interview with Newsmax, Boone said that Graham had expressed concern to him over the direction the country has taken in recent years.

“We seem to be losing some of our moral and traditional constitutional moorings and that greatly distresses him,” according to the singer, who has been friends with Graham for some 40 years. “Even from his bedroom or his living room [he] will find ways to express his concern, loving concern for our nation.”

Religion scholar Michael Hamilton told the Observer that he suspects voters have been seeing a “constructed” Billy Graham in a recent election ad, in which Graham acknowledges “this election could be my last” and he urges Americans to cast their votes for candidates “who base their decisions on biblical principles” and who “protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage.”

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association also removed the Mormon religion from a list of cults on its website last week, following the meeting with Romney at Graham’s home and months of making the case to followers of all sects of Christianity that the candidate’s religion is not a reason to deny him their vote.

The full-page ad was published in The Wall Street Journal and other newspapers with Graham’s personal appeal for Americans to vote for socially conservative politicians.

While the ad did not support a particular candidate, President Obama supports abortion rights and earlier this year declared that his views on same-sex marriage had been “evolving” into support.

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