'A Deliberate Attack Against the Name of Jesus Christ'

Franklin Graham on America as a Christian nation, his father, Islam, and how he prays

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We are 85%, but there's a small minority who are very vocal. When U Thant, the Secretary General of the United Nations, when he stood up before the General Assembly and talked about how much Buddha meant to him--you know, I don't fault the man for that. He believes in Buddha. I don't agree with him, and I certainly would argue with him. I wouldn't write a letter to the paper, I wouldn't demand an apology, I wouldn't sue the United Nations because he'd mentioned the name of Buddha publicly.

But if a Christian speaks publicly to say "This is what Jesus Christ means to me, this is what he's done for my life. I owe everything in my life to the Lord Jesus Christ," Whoa. You know, the sparks fly. When I prayed in the name of Jesus Christ at President Bush's inauguration, the President got sued. The same man who sued over the Pledge of Allegiance filed a lawsuit against the President because I mentioned the name of Jesus Christ publicly.

What do you make of the dust-up over your comments about Islam in October?

I think every time there's another suicide bomber who detonates himself on a bus, I think there may be more people inclined to understand my comments. People say, "Well this is just a fringe element of Islam." There is this whole notion that it's a peaceful religion. Let me give you an example. If a Roman Catholic strapped dynamite on himself, walked into a mosque in Saudi Arabia and said, "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and Catholics around the world, I do this," then detonates himself and blows the mosque and himself up--the pope would be on television within minutes denouncing this man denouncing this act and having a fund-raising appeal, not for the family of the man who did this but for the families of the victims who got blown up in the mosque. Every cardinal, every bishop, every priest the next Sunday would denounce this man from the pulpit. Every Protestant minister would join the Catholics and denounce this.


But there has been silence from the Muslim clerics. There has not been denouncing of what happened here in New York City at the World Trade Center or what happened in Israel. And I link all of this together. There has not been condemnation by the clerics. Saudi Arabia has had fundraising appeals for the families of the suicide bombers, but not for the families of the victims. This is more evidence that something is wrong here.

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