Obama sits down with Rev. Billy Graham
President Barack Obama had his first face-to-face talks on Sunday with one of America’s top spiritual leaders, the Reverend Billy Graham.
Graham, 91, who is ailing with Parkinson’s disease, has prayed with U.S. presidents over the course of the past 50 years or so.
Obama visited his Montreat log cabin home at the end of a weekend trip to western North Carolina.
“Rev. Graham has obviously been an important spiritual leader for past presidents and for the American people for decades,” White House spokesman Bill Burton said.
He called Graham “a real treasure for our country and the president appreciates the opportunity to visit him at his home and speak with him.”
He said he assumed Obama and Graham would pray together.
The U.S. Army last week withdrew an invitation to Graham’s son Franklin Graham to speak at a Pentagon prayer service next month following an outcry over his references to Islam as a violent religion. The invitation had been extended by the private, Colorado-based National Day of Prayer Task Force.
Photo credit: Reuters/stringer (Graham after a New York press conference in 1995)