Amidst the controversy of whether US President Barack Obama is a Christian or not, Franklin Graham the son of Billy Graham, well known global evangelist and religious adviser to several US presidents, has made a comment on the religious origin of US President Barack Obama that makes a lot of people, myself included, nervous. Bishop Graham said to John King the CNN Chief National Correspondent and Diane Sawyer of ABC News when asked about any question on the religious faith of the US president.
“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.
Another quote from Rev Graham in the same interviews read
“”Now it’s obvious that the president has renounced the prophet Mohammed, and he has renounced Islam, and he has accepted Jesus Christ. 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,” Graham continued, adding that “the Islamic world sees the president as one of theirs.”
Rev Graham is well known for making tense religious comments in his career. The statements Rev Graham made above are statements that I will expect even Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and United States Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) to make with some hesitations. The Reverend appeared to be fueling the speculation about Mr. Obama’s faith. In any case, if Mr. Obama was a moslem, why should that matter?
The question is if Rev Graham believes that once a Muslim, always a moslem, then why does he spent millions of dollars, and risking the lives of missionaries trying to convert muslims in Africa (and other places) to Christianity? Do I miss the real meaning when I read scriptures like “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)?
To his credit Rev Graham is making a difference in the lives of people in several African communities. Last year (Feb, 28, 2009) the Christian Post reported that the Evangelical leader made Peace Mission to Sudan. The visit was to offer him the opportunity to meet high-level government officials to discuss a faltering peace agreement that affects Sudanese Christians. Rev Graham’s mission has established over 300 churches in Sudan; the target is 500.
I do not want believe that Rev Graham thinks that once a Muslim, always a Muslim. That will make his Mission to Sudan and other African communities of not sense (and cents) to me. Perhaps the religious leader was just doing this for political reasons which is even more disturbing. People of his standing should never forget what their ‘mission’ is.