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

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.

noplaceonearth
An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

shutterstock_148333673
Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

shutterstock_53190298
Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

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.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

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

shutterstock_185995553
How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

HIFR
Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

shutterstock_186364295
This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

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.

SONY DSC
Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.