Video of the Day: Franklin Graham Won't Say Obama Is a Christian

The evangelical leader also refused to say "categorically" that the president isn't Muslim and lamented the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

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Billy Graham is renowned as a preacher with an impressive ability to bring people together. His son Franklin is working on developing a reputation for his impressive ability to divide them, a skill he amply demonstrated on Morning Joe Tuesday. Here are a few of the highlights of his appearance:

  • He wouldn't say whether or not President Obama is a Christian. "You have to ask him," Graham said. Adopting the preferred formula of those who refuse to speak out against claims that Obama is a Muslim or was not born in the United States, Graham (no relation to the author) rolls out the old "he said he's a Christian, so I just have to assume, you know, that he is." He immediately followed this comment with an anecdote in which he seemed to accuse the president of joining a church solely for professional gain.
  • When pressed on comments he had made in the past, Graham argued again that Muslims see Obama "as a son of Islam."
  • Asked whether Graham himself sees Obama as a Muslim he said no, but refused to do so "categorically," because "Islam has gotten a free pass from Obama."
  • That resulted into a digression about the Arab Spring, culminating in Graham's assertion that the world was better off when deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was in power. "Mubarak was a dictator, but he kept the peace with Israel."

Graham has a long history of inflammatory comments about both Obama and Islam.

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David A. Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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