Franklin Graham: Islam is “Wicked” and “Evil”, but Mormonism as a “Cult” is “Calling People Names”

Franklin Graham, 2010:

Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, called Islam “wicked” and “evil” on Sunday during a televised town hall-style discussion about American’s feelings about the religion. 

“They want to build as many mosques and cultural centers as they possibly can so they can convert as many Americans as they can to Islam,” Graham said on ABC’s “This Week.” 

Graham went on to profess his love for “the Muslim people,” but said he has “great difficulty with the religion.”

More on the fall-out from that here.

Franklin Graham, 2012:

A month after the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association removed an article describing Mormonism as a “cult” from its website, ministry head Franklin Graham clarified on Wednesday that he was unaware of the article’s existence.

…”If I want to win a person to Christ, how can I call that person a name? That’s what shocked me, that we were calling people names.”

And I discussed that one here.

Meanwhile, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association still has plenty of articles about “cults” on its website, some with quotes attributed to Billy Graham personally. The site doesn’t name specific groups any more, but its definition continues to conflate groups characterised by a dysfunctional authoritarianism – which is the popular understanding of “cults” – with groups that simply hold religious views that have some association with Christianity but which the BGEA regards as unorthodox. That conflation explains why the now-deleted page where Mormonism was named as a cult also included Unitarianism on the list – and I very much doubt that a presidential election involving a Unitarian, almost certainly running as the Democrat candidate, would have given Franklin Graham any reason to think again about “calling people names”.

And as regards Islam, Graham Jnr is more than happy not only to fire off denunciatory adjectives, but to use the religion itself in his own arsenal of name-calling; as he explained in the run-up to the election:

“I can’t say categorically [that Obama is not a Muslim] because Islam has gotten a free pass under Obama,” he said.

(H/T Dispatches from the Culture Wars)