Franklin Graham apologizes for questioning Obama's faith commitment
February 29th, 2012
09:18 AM ET

Franklin Graham apologizes for questioning Obama's faith commitment

(CNN) – The Rev. Franklin Graham on Tuesday apologized for publicly raising questions about President Barack Obama’s Christian faith, saying “I regret any comments I have ever made which may have cast any doubt on the personal faith of our president, Mr. Obama.”

The statement from Graham came in response to a letter from faith leaders associated with the NAACP that said Graham’s statements “have enormous negative effects for America and are especially harmful to the Christian witness.”


Topics: Faith • The News

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soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Irma in North Carolina

    What a jerk he is, why did he say it in the first place. Does he like running his mouth off or what.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Howard

      During the TWENTY YEARS the Obama's attended Wright's anti-American, racist church, they gave Louis Farrakhan (Nation of Islam leader) a life time achievement award ... followed by Wright and Farrakhan visiting their Pal, Muammar Gaddafi, in Libya. In addition, Obama has consistently favored his Muslim brothers, over the Christian citizens of the United States. And, now he is promoting legislation which violates the long standing tradition of forcing a religion to pay for something which violates their religious precepts. Add to that, Obama's TWO Muslim fathers, and his Muslim upbringing in Indonesia. All in all, this makes his attending a Christian church for the 3 1/2 years look like a P.R. manuver, rather than an act of sincere faith. So, consider all of these facts, your misplaced indignation towards Franklin Graham, for doubting Obama's Christianity looks like another of many attempts to protect and excuse Obama. I, like most Americans prefer the TRUTH, over your politically correct attempt at phony outrage !!!

      February 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm |

        And you know all this to be true and fact, you were there to witness all of this, Howard you are just some WHITE RACIST HATEFUL PERSON, REMEMBER WHITEY, OBAMA IS 1/2 WHITE YOU MORON

        February 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
      • MaryM

        Howard, you are going to pick up where Graham left off?

        February 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
      • ChrisG

        Howie, you post the same stuff over and over and over again. Go to faux news, they have lots of new hate for you to post.

        February 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
      • MaryM

        Hate much howie?

        February 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
      • Name*Liz Carter

        And so YOU are a Christian citizen of the United States..huh? If you're an example, that in itself is enough to make anybody want to at least test the waters of Islam! For me, I've found a lot of positivity and good in Islam. They're at least a more disciplined group! You're running late for your 'Christian' Klan meeting Howard!

        March 1, 2012 at 2:21 am |
      • jean2009

        @ Howee...Make up your mind was it 3 years, or 20 years, that President Obama attended Rev. Wright's church?

        The president himself says 20 years....remember you can't have it both ways.

        March 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  2. Jilli

    Franklin Graham is a disgrace to his fathers legacy and to true Christianity. If it weren't for his fathers coattails, he'd be rotting away in some bar or coke den somewhere. He proved himself to be more un-Christianlike than he suggested Obama was. He's nothing but a two-bit huckster.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  3. DAK

    He might say "Sorry" now but the damage has already been done. Does not good to apologize after yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded theater just because someone calls you out on your prank. FG is nothing but a republican mouth-piece and will say anything, tell any lie, do any deed asked of him if it will aid the GOP. This is NOT what a man of faith does. Let the politicians be politicians and the preachers be preachers. I do not want, nor need, a politician preaching to me just the same as I do not want, nor need, a preacher making campain style promises to me. I used to support the Graham legacy but no more. These people have seen their last check from me after this.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  4. james Miller, a Texan

    Franklin IS NOT his father, Billy--- and never will be. Billy Graham was and always remained ABOVE the political circus.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  5. Dee

    I don,t think that "Trickle down "Holyness" applies to this man? He has tranformed himself from "Reverend" to Wallstreeter! Nice back track, Reverend. Sometimes "Sorry", "Don,t get it,sir!

    February 29, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  6. jean2009

    It is noted that the charlatan from North Carolina couldn't squeeze his mouth around just saying President Obama...he had to say "our president, Mr. Obama." Franklin Graham is not only a jerk but a disgrace to America.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  7. Marty

    After listening to F. Graham's comments, I now have no respect for him at all. He is in my opinion less of a Christian than President Obama. His dad would have never never criticized or doubted anyone's faith, much less attempt to cast doubts in Americans as to who our President is. Shame on you Franklin, you are now the one whom I now cast doubt on. You are a fake!

    February 29, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  8. george of the jungle

    to little to late. His father never made comments about any president that is why he wa so highly reguarded and his counsel was sought after by all presidents. No one ever knew Billy's politics and thats why he became so respected. No matter what your politics Mr. Grahmn was a source of comfort to all our presidents. His son unfortunatly is just a regular repo preacher and we can not look to him to uphold the same standards his father did.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  9. John

    "I think the president's problem is that he was born a Muslim, his father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother. He was born a Muslim, his father gave him an Islamic name," "Now it's obvious that the president has renounced the prophet Mohammed and he has renounced Islam and he has accepted Jesus Christ," Graham went on to clarify. "That's what he says he has done, I cannot say that he hasn't. So I just have to believe that the president is what he has said."

    February 29, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • John

      Has anone ever heard of anyone talking about their "Muslim Faith" that wasn't a Muslim?

      February 29, 2012 at 11:57 am |
      • Joe

        Neither you nor little Franklin would know a real Muslim if you met one. Both of you are idiots.

        February 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
      • John

        Joe, you coward. I live in Nashua NH if you would like to meet in person to discuss your rude comment.
        How about you address the fact that BO actually said his "Muslim Faith" you coward instead of simply spewing hate?

        February 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
      • MaryM

        John , you are the one spewing hate. Get over it, President Obama is not muslim

        February 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • BLKMANnAmerica

      PLEASE.........................and just how many muslim's do you know personally? REALLY, shut up and stick to something your more 1. concerned about and 2. you know better. WHY on earth are soooooooooooooooooooo many "Christians" so UNLIKE Christ?

      February 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
      • Steveo

        You posed an interesting question. "WHY on earth are soooooooooooooooooooo many "Christians" so UNLIKE Christ?". That is a question for the ages. Let me ask you a question. Why when a man apologizes, it is deemed "too little too late?" My question ties into yours. Politics makes many (on both sides) lose their minds!

        February 29, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • @STEVEO


        February 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
      • Steveo


        True words cannot be taken back. I assume you remember the reason for the beer summit? So based upon your theory should that cop STILL hold a grudge against the president? Since the was context as posed by BLKMANnAmerica, is Christians, what should be the Christian response? I believe it is forgiveness. Afterall that is exacty what Jesus preached and how He lived. I don't know if you are a Christian or not (I am) but IF you are its called FORGIVENESS! That is a little something we all need! You are not trying to have it both ways are you?

        February 29, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
      • Name*Liz Carter

        Hello @BLKMANnAmerica.....I guess they just didn't get the Christian 'seed' passed down to them through the blood of their fathers like John says Muslims are made....LOL! It's just so sad...isn't it?

        March 1, 2012 at 2:43 am |
      • jean2009

        @ Steveo Because words once spoken have power, which cannot be easily rescinded, and just because a person feels the heat when they are called out for being wrong doesn't mean saying "I didn't mean it in the way it was taken" honest. Especially when stated in the disingenuous manner by Franklin Graham.

        Sort of the: Oh drat! Here I am being piled on by all maybe I should take my foot out of my mouth and give a halfhearted phony not to well formatted sorry, because this is going to impact my collection plate. A sorry that didn't even state that the president is "his president": President Obama.

        March 1, 2012 at 10:46 am |
      • Steveo

        @jean2009. You have your right to feel that way but do you feel the same about the Presdent's words towards the cop at the beer summit? You ever said anything you were called out for, regretted, and apologized for? I have! I said this before and i 'll say it again. The ONLY response that has any weight is that of the President! Graham's remarks were about him! The rest of us to include me are on the sidelines!

        I don't know what is in the heart of Graham but I find it interesting that you appear to know.

        March 1, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • ChrisG

      John, why dont your ask your buddy Howard. He and you are on the same wavelength

      February 29, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • jean2009

      Your problem is you were born an idiot and are still one. Are you running for Franklin Graham wanna be?

      March 1, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  10. Terri

    The so called "charity" that pays for Franklin's plane to fly Sarah Palin around has taken a huge hit since Franklin's fit of ignorance. Make these fools pay taxes! I'm sick of Franklin, the Girls in red dresses Catholic Bishops and the entire lot of sub-humans.

    February 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  11. BLKMANnAmerica

    OK..................please STOP already, why soooooooooooooooo many pink-people feel the need to "call-out" people of color on what they feel are issues. Have you people forgotten this country (America) was found becasuse of all the persecution pink-people found themselfs under in Europe. 1 would think that in 2012, people in America would have learned the lesson by now, but no the so called "religous" people still continue to "force their belief's on everyone else".........................LET IT GO ALREADY, most humans agree their is only 1 GOD and none of us is the ONE.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Steveo

      Pink-people? I won't hold my breath and wait for a liberal to challenge this a racist!

      February 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
      • jean2009

        For starters all people should be color blind...calling people black, yellow, white.. We should start by just calling people: "People" that would be so refreshing. Remember that when you refer to people. Do you for some reason have more of a problem with "pink" than you do with the other three I have mentioned? Frankly I have heard the first two of those three bantered about quite frequently, and if you are honest you will admit that is a fact.

        March 1, 2012 at 10:58 am |
      • Steveo

        1. I don't think we shouild be color blind! I think we should recognize we are different (as God created us to be different) and appreciate the difference and learn from each other! When you see me, you will see a black male, don't ignore that. If you do you are ignoring me! How you treat me is the issue. I believe that is the point you are trying to make and I would agree with that!

        2. Why are you addressing this to me? Shouldn't you be addressing BLKMANnAmerica, instead? He made the comment, I just called him out on it! I am just amazed at the left's silence on his comment! In all honesty, if a righty made that comment, all hell would break loose and you know that to be true!

        March 1, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • John

      BTW, if I am posting here and I am black and one of you lib clowns calls me a name, as you often do, aren't you a racist. Ya, I thought so...

      February 29, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
      • Steveo


        Since I am a black male as well, I was kinda wondering what the reference to pink people was. Change the writer and change pink to black and the chants of Racist would be overwhelming! Since a liberal made that statement, it's all good!

        February 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
      • John

        I didn't get that one either – the pink part – not the part that if a lib said it, I got that, and I agree.

        February 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • jean2009

      The problem is the people you are describing as "so-called religious people" are not religious, not moral, not kind to their fellow man, not non-judgmental.....all they are is: mean-spirited hypocrites with a false superiority complex.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:21 am |
      • Steveo


        I'll admit there are SOME Christians who display the attributes you are discribing. My problem with your post is the fact that while you are wagging your finger, you display the very same attributes you are complaining about! I have my issues just like you have yours! How many times have you called me a fool for posting something you just disagree with?

        You said:"so-called religious people" are not religious, not moral, not kind to their fellow man, not non-judgmental.....all they are is: mean-spirited hypocrites with a false superiority complex"

        How is that not mean spirited, judgmental, or unkind?

        March 1, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  12. John

    It would be nice if one of you libs would answer my question instead of spewing your hate. Has anyone of you, or anyone you know of (other than BO) spoken about their Muslim Faith when they wern't a Muslim? I posted what this Graham guy said that prompted the apology. What you libs post on this site when you talk down to others and call others names are much worse than what you are killing this guy for. Of course it doesn't surprise me – you are libs.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • johnathan

      buy a gun and insert in mouth. Make america better.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
      • jean2009

        Perfect solution!

        March 1, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • DAK

      And you are an idiot

      February 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • SafeJourney3

      John, ask your buddy Howard at the top of the comment blog about hate. He can explain it to you

      February 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Franny

      How about some proof John that you're really black, because I really don't believe you, NO, not one bit. It appears your not truthful, and also you know very little about President Obama. Like Howard, your just too full of hatered to be taken seriously. Sorry, but you don't convince me one bit!

      March 1, 2012 at 6:45 am |
  13. johnathan

    He meant every stinkin word he said. He is just backtracking due to pressure.
    Like when santorum speaks out of his rectum (which is almost always), he means what he says, until pressure is brought to bear, and they have to "walk it back"
    "walk it back is tantamount to putting the toothpaste back in the tube, or opening up a can of worms, and being able to put them back in the can. Not so simple.
    The spouting jerks don't get a pass on this.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  14. WHO CARES?

    It is non of my business and don't care who my Presidents prays to if he prays at all, that to me is PERSONAL and fiath should never be worn on one's lapel. What is important is that he does inspite of obstruction from the FAR RIGHT to do what is best for our country and if he hits his knees at night good for him no one else.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Franny

      I agree, and lets keep religion out of Government, and Government out of religion, and even if President Obama were a Muslim? So What!

      March 1, 2012 at 6:48 am |
  15. @ Steveo

    As a Christian man his response should of been, " As a Christian I did not follow the teaching of my faith and passed jusdgement on Prez Obama and for that I am sorry" As for my words, they have been spoken and can't be taken back. Yes I do believe in a higher power and don't believe in evolution as to my existence. Yes forgiveness is great in a perfect world, but Steveo we don't live in a perfect world, a world of hatred, racism etc. This isn't about whether POTUS is a Christian, it is about the color of his skin. Not all muslims are Terrorist so if he is who am I to judge who he prays to if he prays at all, no one should wear their faith on their lapel

    February 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Steveo

      I agree with you but his apology was his apology. The deeper question is how do the rest of us as Christians respond? My reponse as a Christian cannot be dictated by this imperfect world! The real response does not belong to any of us anyway. It belongs the President and that is the ONLY response that really matters as the remarks were directed towards him. Look, the GOP got it wrong on this Muslim thing! The conversation the President had on ABC was taken out of context! I do not believe he is a Muslim and the man stated he was a Christian! Good enough for me! Some folks will NEVER believe that and there is nothing anyone can do about that!

      You said forgiveness is great in a perfect world. No @Steveo! Forgiveness would never be required in perfection! Forgiveness is required for and from the imperfect. Jesus left perfection (Heaven) and taught forgiveness to the imperfect (humans on Earth). Don't be so quick to accuse Graham of being racist! One cannot be Christian and racist! They are polar opposites!

      February 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
      • @ Steveo

        You said it very well however, I was not accusing Graham himself as a Racist but the issue of this President being 1/2 black is a bigger issue than just his faith. Hey what is funny about this is no one questions Bobby "Paiush" Jindal whether he is a christian. All of this is he or isn't he is really no one's business period. I as a person of faith try and try hard not to pass judgement however the damn far right just brings the worse out of me (lol). I am neither Democrat or Republican don't even call myself Independent, I am for who I feel can help this great nation of ours.

        February 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
      • Steveo


        Jindal's faith was indeed questioned, not to the extent of the president's but it was questioned. if i misunderstood your words about Graham being a racist, i apologize. The truth is I cannot stand extremism, whether left or right!
        It was good chatting with you!

        February 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  16. jerry

    Franklin was upset and he well should have been...he is human. The real issue is obama went to far AGAIN and he does this with no remorse. Obama's reaction to the upheaval was to state churches don't have to pay for the birth control and etc... which was another slap in the face (show of how arrogant he is), because this statement was a manipulation and a lie. Franklin showed his moral aptitude and grace...God bless him....obama on the other hand showed us all who he is....and we will vote accordingly.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • jean2009

      First and foremost you have forgotten when you get right down to the nitty-gritty of the debate the church never was the entity that was paying for their employee's health insurance premium to purchase contraception. It was the employee's earned wages for their hours of work that was paying for their health insurance premium.
      So basically, it was the church that went too far by overstepping the constitutional guaranteed rights of each individual employee to chose what they believe; and not have a religious philosophy forced upon them by their place of employment.

      That the president found an option which would let employees receive contraception for free...removed the employer (Church) completely from the equation of in any way being, or feeling what should be every person's individual right to decide for themselves.

      Good for the President.

      Obama-Biden – Jan. 2013-2017!

      Good for the President.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  17. rhumba

    This is so typical. Say or do any harmful, hateful thing and as long as you say you're sorry, ye shall be forgiven. The candidates are doing this too. Kennedy's comments about separation of his own religion from his work as president makes Santorum want to throw up. Newt thinks all the poor children should be put to work doing janitorial to pay for their free school lunches, All of these stupid sound bytes are intentionally hurtful, and no matter how much these jerks apologize or say they have been "misunderstood", they have done their damage and implanted these thoughts into the minds of voters. We can probably thank Rush Limbaugh who said the phrase "Barack the magic Negro" on one show 27 times and then insisted that he had done nothing wrong because he didn't make up the phrase.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Steveo

      Perhaps Kennedy should not have separated himself too far from his religion. He was a serial cheater!

      February 29, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
      • jean2009

        Isn't it amazing....the only people stating that Kennedy was a serial cheater are people who didn't know him, or have an ax to grind, or a book to sell. You don't believe this, and you don't believe that...and you give Graham a pass because "NO ONE KNOWS WHAT WAS IN HIS HEART" when he stuck his foot in his mouth, but you believe Kennedy was a serial cheater. May I ask do you know that for a fact,or are you being judgmental without knowing?

        March 1, 2012 at 11:25 am |
      • Steveo

        He didn't cheat?

        March 1, 2012 at 11:31 am |
      • Steveo


        May I ask where do you get any info you quote? You must believe it because you quote it or is that just judgmental? I am fairly certain you did not eyewitness everything you quote in your posts! Speaking of Graham (once more) he would have been better served my keeping his thoughts to himself!

        March 1, 2012 at 11:39 am |
      • jean2009

        @Steveo...isn't it amazing that only after the man was dead did people claim he was a "cheater".

        As for Franklin Graham this is not the first time he has put his foot in his mouth. Take his rescinded invitation to speak at the Pentagon in 2010.
        I would say in the case of Franklin the apple didn't fall far from the tree, but his father knew how to keep what he thought to himself.

        Isn't that exactly what you were giving Graham a pass this time...or did you not know of the past times?

        March 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
      • Steveo

        As I said. The ONLY response that matters is the president's, NOT mine and not yours! Whether I give him a pass or not does not matter! What does matter is what the president says as the remarks were directed at him and NOT you, me or anyone else!

        "isn't it amazing that only after the man was dead did people claim he was a "cheater". No Jean, not amazing! That is just how it works!

        March 1, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
      • jean2009

        @ Steveo... You can say what you like, but no one else is allowed to comment but the President? Do you really expect the President to comment? I don't, and truth be known neither do you. May I ask: Why should you even bother posting. How convenient to back off once someone calls you on your posted opinion?
        Plus, I will eat my hat if President Kennedy is able to call you for labeling him a cheater.

        March 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
      • Steveo

        "Steveo... You can say what you like, but no one else is allowed to comment but the President?"
        Did I say that or did I say his response is the only one that mattered? Why oh why must you keep taking liberties with what I post?

        Sure you may ask why I bother to post. The easy answer is...The first amendment. But I am sure you already knew that. I am not backing of what I said.

        Speaking of backing off. I responded to your post at 1021 when you said "so-called religious people" are not religious, not moral, not kind to their fellow man, not non-judgmental.....all they are is: mean-spirited hypocrites with a false superiority complex". No response yet. But I'm backing off?

        March 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
      • jean2009

        Response to 10:21
        If a person behaves in a manner that is mean-spirited, not moral, and not kind to their fellow man...they can claim to be Christian. But in my humble non-religious belief I feel they are not acting as if they know what the word Christian normally is identified with meaning.

        If you feel they are perfectly portraying what is considered a "Christian" value. That is your choice!

        March 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
      • Steveo


        Guess what Jean? Agree with you and no I don't think they are exhibiting a Christian value. This is not an excuse so don't take it as such, the only one who EVER 100% and perfectly exhibited Christ like behavior was Christ himself! Yes we all have work to do, myself included.

        The gist of my reply was as you accuse others of being mean-spirited, judgmental, and unkind, your post over flowed with the same attributes. That is my point! Perhaps that is not your intent but that is what I saw in your words!

        March 1, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  18. SafeJourney3

    Wow, Howard, hate much?? You and your kind are dinosaurs and will soon be extinct.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  19. george of the jungle

    the looneys are out in force today Obama 2012

    February 29, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  20. Dawgman1001

    The majority of people in the United States identifiy themselves as Christians. Christians should run for government and not hide from their faith. However, I would appreciate a campaign based on ideas instead of moral rhetoric. Government is about worldly power. People running for national offices are generally people trying to get more power. I do not need them to tell me how moral they are and how they are a better Christian then their rival. Generally, their moral character can be determined from their actions over the years. In the end, only God will really know their true heart.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  21. ChrisG

    Ghandi said: I love your Christ. But your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

    You can say that again.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Franny

      Amen, I couldn't have expressed it better, and Ghandi was so right! Anyone who has to scream, and shout about how much they're Christians? I find suspicious.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • Franny

      Last I heard Billy Graham is still alive, and I'd be willing to bet he's embarassed by his Son' remarks. I would be.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:26 am |