Tales from the Trail

McCain makes mountaintop journey to visit Billy Graham

June 29, 2008

billy-graham.jpgMONTREAT, N.C. – Billy Graham is as close to a religious icon in American politics as anyone, so it’s no surprise that a U.S. presidential candidate would seek his blessing.

On Sunday Republican John McCain did just that, essentially, traveling to the ailing evangelist’s mountaintop home to meet and pray with him and son Franklin, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

“They’re great leaders in this nation and I appreciate the opportunity to visit with them and I am very grateful for the time they spent with me,” McCain said after their meeting.

The Arizona senator had requested the appointment.

“They’ve known my family, they’ve known of me for many years,” he said, adding the elder Graham recalled meeting and praying with McCain’s parents while their son was held captive in Vietnam.

Franklin Graham issued a statement that highlighted what he had in common with McCain: sons serving in the military and a shared interest in aviation.

But he did not offer an endorsement.

“I was impressed by his personal faith and his moral clarity on important social issues facing America today,” Graham said of McCain.

“I encourage people to vote for the candidate at every level who best represents their values and convictions, and then to pray for those in authority over us as required in Scripture.”

McCain, who attends a Baptist church in Phoenix but is often circumspect about his faith when asked about it on the campaign trail, said he had not sought the pair’s political backing.

“Oh, I didn’t ask for their vote,” he said.  

Photo: Reuters/Chris Keane -   Evangelist Billy Graham (L) walks with his son Franklin Graham before the Billy Graham Library Dedication in Charlotte, North Carolina, May 31, 2007.

Comments
5 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

What an astronomical contrast: Billy Graham and Jeremiah Wright. Sheesh.

Posted by Ken S | Report as abusive
 

They probably prayed.

Posted by Wendy Lumm | Report as abusive
 

Both of the Grahams are steadfastly pro-life, and subscibe to the idea of American exceptionalism. John McCain is completely in accord with them on those issues. Barack Obama is decidedly NOT. I have no doubt that they are quietly hoping for a McCain victory.

Posted by Ellyn Seelye | Report as abusive
 

McCain has proven his faith to both his country and God. No one can say that about Obama.

The Grahams probably are hoping for a McCain victory…
as we all should be.

Posted by GB | Report as abusive
 

Why should we all be hoping for a McCain victory? I am a moderate evangelical Christian and I certainly don’t.

The Grahams may be pro-life in the narrow sense that they are anti-abortion but they apparently support capital punishment, US torture at Guantanamo, Bodem, Diego Garcia etc and are not very vocal in advocating the extension of basic health care to those in need in the USA. Some of the Graham “Christian” relatives seem to hold extremely right wing, materialistic and racist views if the views expressed on their blogsites are to be believed.

Posted by Flo | Report as abusive
 

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