After Romney meeting, Billy Graham website scrubs Mormon’cult’ reference

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association removed language labeling Mormonism a “cult” from its website after the famed preacher met with … Continued

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association removed language labeling Mormonism a “cult” from its website after the famed preacher met with Republican nominee Mitt Romney last week and pledged to help his presidential campaign.

The removal came after a gay rights group reported that the “cult” reference remained online even after Graham all but endorsed Romney, a Mormon, last Thursday (Oct. 11).

Ken Barun, the BGEA’s chief of staff, confirmed the removal on Tuesday.

“Our primary focus at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has always been promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Barun said in a statement. “We removed the information from the website because we do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicized during this campaign.”

Surveys show that most evangelicals do not consider Mormons to be Christian, but most still support Romney’s candidacy. The GOP nominee will need a strong turnout from evangelicals, who tally a quarter of the electorate, to defeat President Barack Obama on Nov. 6.

Romney met with Graham and his son, Franklin, in the elderly evangelist’s North Carolina home last week. After the meeting Graham said he was impressed by Romney’s business career and his “strong moral convictions.”

According to Romney campaign spokesman Rick Gorka, Graham told the GOP nominee “I’ll do all I can to help you.” Romney later held a campaign rally in nearby Asheville.

Meanwhile, however, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s website continued to call Mormons members of a “cult” along with Unitarians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientologists, Spiritists and members of the Unification Church.

The features of a cult, according to website, are acceptance of revelations outside the Bible, a belief in salvation through good works and unorthodox doctrines on the Trinity.

The cult reference, which was later removed, was first reported by the New Civil Rights Movement, a gay rights advocacy group.

According to the liberal website Daily Kos, the belief that Mormons are members of a cult is built into the BGEA’s website. The site is programmed to call up articles about cults, including one authored by Billy Graham, when readers search for “Mormon.”

“Billy Graham’s own website is automated so that Christians who search for the term’Mormon’ will get this page result and be informed, straight from Billy Graham himself, that the Mormon Church is in reality a cult,” said Daily Kos writer Bruce Wilson.

Franklin Graham has said that “most Christians would not recognize Mormonism” as part of Christianity.

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.

  • Earl Gray

    A Christian, telling Christians to vote for a Mormon rather than a Christian….

    It just goes to show you that when push comes to shove…… it ain’t about being Christian…

    The old South lingers….and it makes me sad….

  • writinron

    Billy Graham is a fool. He was a willing tool of Richard Nixon back then, and now he’s willing to change his beliefs to serve his new political hero.

    When will religious leaders learn that keeping religion out of politics is not just good for politics–it’s good for religion too.

    But we know how power corrupts . . .

  • lokinator

    It should surprise no one that Graham put his politics ahead of his spiritual beliefs – he has done so for over 50 years. Now his son carries on the tradition.

Read More Articles

Screenshot 2014-04-23 11.40.54
Atheists Bad, Christians Good: A Review of “God’s Not Dead”

A smug Christian movie about smug atheists leads to an inevitable happy ending.

shutterstock_134310734
Ten Ways to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly

The author of the Church of England’s autism guidelines shares advice any church can follow.

Valle Header Art
My Life Depended on the Very Act of Writing

How I was saved by writing about God and cancer.

shutterstock_188545496
Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

5783999789_9d06e5d7df_b
The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

concert
Why I Want to Be Culturally Evangelical

I’ve lost my faith. Do I have to lose my heritage, too?

shutterstock_37148347
What Is a Saint?

How the diversity of saintly lives reveals multiple paths toward God.

987_00
An Ayatollah’s Gift to Baha’is, Iran’s Largest Religious Minority

An ayatollah offers a beautiful symbolic gesture against a backdrop of violent persecution.

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

shutterstock_188022491
Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

Pile_of_trash_2
Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

sunset-hair
From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.