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26 October 2012

Billy Graham chided for removal of cult reference for Mormons

October 26, 2012

God Discussion

A long held doctrinal belief by mainstream Christianity that Mormonism is a cult religion has come under reconsideration in light of Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s membership in the Church of Jesus Christ, Latter Day Saints.
The long present reference on the Rev. Billy Graham’s website, along with all commentary, has been removed, and Graham is being scolded by his peers and colleagues for the action.


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R.G. Puckett: Graham exploited

October 26, 2012

News and Observer (North Carolina)

Franklin Graham believes that Mormons are a cult, thus not Christian, a fact confirmed by a website maintained by the Graham Evangelistic Association that has been taken down. But the ministry supports Mitt Romney, a devout and faithful Mormon.

Franklin Graham has compromised his Christian faith for secular politics, which trumps all that evangelical or fundamentalist Christians claim. Ironically, Franklin advocates a faith-based political alliance (shades of Jerry Falwell), which presumably would be Christian, based on the far right’s position historically. That excludes Muslims (which Franklin has denounced strongly), Buddhists, Shintoists, etc. Are not these faith groups?


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Billy Graham and politics

October 25, 2012

Associated Baptist Press

So why, three weeks prior to one of the most hotly contested presidential elections in modern history, does America’s Evangelist need to suddenly declare Mormonism no longer a cult? Has there been an unreported change in theology or practice? What purpose could there be other than removing a barrier that might keep some evangelical Christians from voting for a Mormon? Especially when the evangelist, to the best of my knowledge, never has repudiated his own son’s statements from February, implying that Obama may not be a Christian but is likely a secret Muslim. Why is Billy Graham taking sides in a presidential election?


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Commentary: Rev. Billy Graham – the ‘magnificent phony’

October 26, 2012

Kansas City Star (Missouri)

Nevermind that Graham once labeled Romney’s religion, Mormonism, a “cult.”

Said it right there on his website. Don’t go looking for it now, though: T’ain’t there anymore.

How come? I called the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s offices in Charlotte and asked that very question.

Brent Rinehart sent me this statement from Ken Barun, the BGEA’s chief of staff: “Our primary focus … has always been promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 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.”


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Iconic Billy Graham and Son Portrayed by Media as Shameless Partisans for Romney

October 25, 2012


In explanation of Billy Graham’s unusual religious emphasis in the 2012 election, Franklin Graham stated the following, in a Decision article cited by the Observer:

It’s OK for Christians to vote for a Mormon.

President Barack Obama, on the other hand, has voiced support for abortion rights and same-sex marriage. On marriage, the president supports “a position against God, and my father feels he has an obligation to speak out against that kind of wickedness.”


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What’s Going On With Billy Graham (And Franklin)?

October 25, 2012


In this election, however, BGEA has been spending a lot of money in support of Republican Candidates through thinly veiled ads. They scrubbed their website from any references to Mormonism as a cult. It’s a troubling trend, and signals a shift that seems odd this late in Graham’s career. It feels like Franklin Graham is trading on his father’s name and credibility to get down and dirty with politics.


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New book mines Mormonism’s ‘theological gems’

October 26, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

In recent years, Fiona and Terryl Givens have been surrounded by smart, educated young Mormons who are abandoning their faith at an alarming rate, claiming it is intellectually unsatisfying.

The LDS husband and wife from Richmond, Va., were overcome with frustration and sorrow watching the exodus.

The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cannot afford to lose these bright minds, the literary couple reasoned, and so felt an urgency to remind their disaffected friends of, as they put it, “Mormonism’s theological gems.”

The result is their just-published collaboration called The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life.


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Mormon women meet to sew dresses for African children

October 26, 2012

Simi Valley Acorn (California)

Dresses for Africa is an ongoing service project hosted by the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The program will meet from 9 a.m. to noon every second Monday of the month starting Nov. 12 at the LDS church, 1600 Erbes Road, Thousand Oaks.

Last year a group of women from the LDS church decided to partner with Engage Now Africa to sew 500 dresses for elementary school-age children in Ethiopia. Engage Now Africa is a foundation that works to provide clean drinking water for remote African villages.


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Fellow Mormon Glenn Beck Thinks Mitt Romney Is Second Coming to George Washington

October 26, 2012

Cleveland Leader (Ohio)

Glenn Beck was disappointed in the performance that Mitt Romney gave in his third and final presidential debate with Barack Obama on Monday night. That didn’t stop the right wing conservative from comparing Romney, who practices the same Mormon faith as Romney, to the nations first commander in chief George Washington.


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Mormon hopes to become first black Republican woman elected to US Congress

October 26, 2012

Calgary Herald (Canada)

A married mother of three, a Mormon and a favourite of the small-government tea party movement, Love is the only woman among 11 black Republican House candidates in the Nov. 6 election.

Republicans have focused more on her conservative values and agenda than her race.


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The Killers’ Brandon Flowers: ‘The world is against the Christian man’

October 26, 2012

Digital Spy

Brandon Flowers has claimed that his responses during a recent TV debate with prominent atheist Richard Dawkins were heavily edited.

The Killers frontman – who is a proud Mormon – took part in the discussion on Swedish TV show Skavlan last month.


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Liberal Media Desperately Trying to Frighten Jewish Voters Away from Romney

October 26, 2012

Front Page Magazine

The Dominionist angle is a little hard to sell when the man you’re going after is a Mormon. And the only person who believes in a Mormon takeover of America is crazy racist, Roseanne Barr, last seen posing next to an oven in a Hitler costume.

But the Forward, the last subsidized bastion of the Jewish media left in the north, does its best to warn Jews that a Romney win will mean a totalitarian Christian state where everyone will have to go to church on Sunday and the elderly will be sacrificed to appease the Mormon god. Or something equally crazy.


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A Mormon Responds, Part Two

October 26, 2012

America Magazine

It is useful to read the Book of Mormon as a sequel to the Bible, though as Frank suggests, it is perhaps more accurate to think of it as parallel history, since many of the events are said to have happened at about the same time (Jesus would have visited the Nephites before the stoning of Stephen and before Paul’s conversion). Whether taken as literal history or as imaginative religious literature, the Book of Mormon seeks to clarify, or perhaps even improve upon, the biblical record. For instance, the moral lessons of Nephite history are more didactic than those of the Deuteronomistic History (Joshua-2 Kings). So similarities and differences from the Bible are both worth noting.


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Following in a Father’s Footsteps, But Probably Not Into Politics

October 26, 2012

New York Times

Tagg Romney’s friends say that despite the parallels with his father, his personality is more like that of his mother, who can be more emotional. Of the five brothers, Tagg was the softhearted son, family members say, the one who got pummeled by a schoolyard bully after saying that he did not swear because he was Mormon. When he was a missionary, his friends poked fun at him for tearing up at sad stories.


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Gov. Romney is indeed of God

October 26, 2012

Battle Creek Enquirer (Michigan)

Gov. Romney and I are both “Mormons” as others call us, but we belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I believe that Christians are followers of Christ. Note the name of our church. We do indeed believe in Christ and the Holy Bible.

We also believe in The Book of Mormon which is a second witness of Christ and supports the Bible.


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Right-Wing Extremism and The Department of Homeland Security (Book)

October 26, 2012

Keystone Politics (Pennsylvania)

I just finished reading Daryl Johnson’s Right-Wing Resurgence: How A Domestic Terrorism Threat Is Being Ignored, the memoir of a conservative, Mormon, pro-life, gun-owning, Republican and lifelong law enforcement employee, who became the target of a right-wing smear campaign and was forced from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).


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Rock, Roll and Romney

October 26, 2012

NBC Chicago (Illinois)

DONNY OSMOND: Fellow Mormon Osmond was the first entertainer to jump on Romney’s bandwagon, saying “I think it’s been absolutely wonderful for the Mormon Church to have Mitt out there.”


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Happy 150th: Fort Douglas was gentile central in Utah Territory

October 26, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

One-hundred-fifty years ago this week, a brash U.S. Army officer rode with his soldiers to the foothills overlooking Salt Lake City, planted a flag and called it a military post.

It was a bold move and denounced by Mormon leader Brigham Young, but Fort Douglas would in the ensuing decades play an important role in Utah’s evolution from a theocracy to the 45th state in the union.


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Teacher In Obama Flap Reportedly Quits

October 26, 2012

WJTV (Alabama)

A metro teacher at the center of a controversy about President Obama has apparently resigned.

This comes after the instructor told her students this wee the president should not be re-elected because she believes he’s a Muslim.

She also is to have said Republican nominee Mitt Romney should be elected because America needs to be lead by a “good Christian.” Romney is Mormon.


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Won’t vote for the lesser of two evils?

October 26, 2012

Renew America

I personally believe Christians should think very carefully about the prospect of another four years of an Obama presidency versus that of a Romney presidency. Granted, Romney is a Mormon. Mormonism is not Christian. It is a cult. But I agree with Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate and a Catholic, who said he looked for where he and Romney’s “faiths come together in the same moral creed” and vision for the nation. Mormons and Catholics are strong supporters of many of the same principles of morality as conservative evangelicals. In contrast, Obama and Biden both profess to be Christians (Biden, more specifically Catholic), but tragically have put forward the most anti-Christian public-policy agenda of any presidential administration in American history. Never has there been a presidency so preferential to Islam, attacked life, undermined traditional marriage and the family, diminished religious liberty, or snubbed the nation of Israel, like the current one. I do not believe it is in the slightest hyperbole to argue that to vote for Obama, or to waste one’s vote on a third party candidate, when such a candidate cannot possibly be elected, only further jeopardizes this nation to the probability of God’s judgment.


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Mitali Saran: Red, white and blue

October 27, 2012

Business Standard (India)

Much of this campaign has, on paper, been bad for Mr Romney. The Daily Beast noted that the Salt Lake Tribune, the biggest newspaper in Utah – home of Romney’s Mormon faith – just endorsed President Obama. An editorial in the Tribune (“Too Many Mitts”) points out that the “largely Mormon, Republican, business-friendly” state has nothing but warmth and admiration for its “favourite son”. It then goes on, displaying a refreshing ability to overcome its own prejudices based on evidence, to catalogue the ways in which this son has disappointed. It calls him “servile” (to the Tea Party nutjobs), a “shape-shifting nominee”, and “shameless” about saying whatever it takes to win over whatever audience he happens to be facing. It considers his domestic plan “bereft of detail and worthy of mistrust”. And it concludes, witheringly, that: “The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.”


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