by Zoe Pollock

Randall Balmer points out the hypocrisy of Franklin Graham's recent (and these days all too ubiquitous) claims that Obama must be a Muslim because his father once was:

[O]ne of the mottoes of evangelical Christianity, the faith that Graham espouses, is that “God has no grandchildren.” I heard that refrain many, many times as I was growing up within evangelicalism in the 1950s and 1960s. The purpose of that statement was to impress upon young people in particular, but everyone in general, that a person’s religious identity derived from claiming the faith for himself and was not ascribed by birth...

Paradoxically, Franklin Graham’s family provides powerful evidence of the importance of conversion, even within evangelicalism. Very early in his career, Billy Graham, Franklin’s more famous father, made a decision to break with the starchy, separatist fundamentalism of his own childhood in favor of a broader, more capacious evangelicalism. The key to understanding Franklin Graham is to recognize that Billy Graham’s son made precisely the opposite conversion: Having been born into an evangelical household, Franklin elected to become a fundamentalist.

God has no grandchildren.

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