Evangelist Franklin Graham is still refusing to say whether he believes President Barack Obama is a Christian.
The son of Rev. Bill Graham ignited a controversy on MSNBC Tuesday with comments that suggested he had some doubt about the president’s faith.
When questioned directly about the issue by CNN’s Kyra Phillips during a Wednesday interview, Graham continued to resist admitting that Obama followed the teachings of Jesus Christ.
“Listen, the president has said that he is a Christian, and we’ll just leave it at that,” he replied. “Only God knows the heart of all of these candidates. … And all of us are going to have to stand before God one day and give an account to almighty God for our lives and how we have lived our lives.”
“I cannot support the president, I cannot vote for the president because of abortion,” Graham continued. “He supports abortion and I just cannot support that. … The president supports it. He’s going against what the Bible teaches. The Bible is very clear about life and where life begins. And I believe the president is going against what the Holy Scriptures teach.”
Phillips continued to press the reverend: “It sounds like you are a Republican in preacher’s clothing. … As long as the president supports a woman’s right to have an abortion, will you continue to believe that he is not a Christian?”
“I’ve never one time said that I don’t believe that he is a Christian,” Graham insisted. “Only God knows a man’s heart.”
“He’s the one that made the issue by supporting abortion. So, he has to live with that,” he added.
Contrary to Graham’s interpretation of scripture, some experts believe that there is Biblical support for the notion that a fetus is not a person.
“The Book of Exodus clearly indicates that the fetus does not have the same legal status as a person (Chapter 21:22-23),” Beliefnet’s Marjorie Brahms Signer wrote.
“That verse indicates that if a man pushes a pregnant woman and she then miscarries, he is required only to pay a fine. If the fetus were considered a full person, he would be punished more severely as though he had taken a life.”
Watch this video from CNN’s Newsroom, broadcast Feb. 22, 2012.