28 Apr 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
The Rev. Franklin Graham
“For him, going to church means he’s a Christian. For me, the definition of a Christian is whether we have given our life to Christ and are following him in faith, and we have trusted him as our Lord and savior. That’s the definition of a Christian. It’s not as to what church you are a member of. A membership doesn’t make you Christian,”
This is not the first time Graham, president of the global charity organization Samaritan’s Purse, has poked at Obama’s faith. In the interview, Graham made it clear he would support billionaire Donald Trump if he ran for president.
A new book set for release in September has lined up Christian leaders and achievers on both sides of the issue and on President Obama’s performance in office ahead of his 2012 presidential reelection bid. Global Mark Makers, an Iowa-based publishing group, has announced it would be publishing “Obama and Christian Loyalty,” written by Bankole Thompson, award winning senior editor of the Michigan Chronicle newspaper in Detroit.
“I feel honored to be asked to take this task of writing a book that reinvigorates the role of Christianity in the public discourse. Yet I do realize that this is not an easy task because Christianity has been central to every American presidency,” Bankole told Tri-State Defender Executive Editor Karanja A. Ajanaku.
“Thus to write a book that captures the Christian perspective on an American presidency that is so historic is an opportunity for me bring to the public domain an issue – how Christian leaders feel about President Obama’s policies – that has not yet been fully explored.”
In the exchange with Ajanaku, Thompson said that in talking to Christians from all denominations he finds a strong interest among them to speak out on issues affecting our communities.
“They want to be heard beyond the confines of the pulpit because the church itself is made up of the larger community,” said Thompson.
In the book, the interviewees dissect Obama’s performance in key areas such as job creation, poverty alleviation and social transformation, family stability, education, gay rights, health care, criminal justice reform, interfaith relations, small business and entrepreneurial development, women and children’s rights, affordable housing and urban renewal, youth development, the UN’s “responsibility to protect” principle under which Obama intervened in Libya among other issues.
The thematic book seeks to reconcile Scriptures with the “present reality of the nation under Obama.”
In a release about the book, Global Mark Makers, says, “(The) book heavily dwells on job creation because the Bible says ‘he who does not work neither shall he eat,’ educational development because the Bible says ‘my people perish because of lack of knowledge,’ on health because the Bible says ‘beloved I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health even as thy soul prospereth.’”
Thompson, who has written extensively on the Obama presidency since the beginning of the 2008 historic campaign, was commissioned to write the book after a poll last year showed one in five Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim.
After the poll, Graham, son of renowned Evangelist Billy Graham, told CNN’s John King in an interview that President Obama’s problem is that he was born a Muslim because the seed of Islam is given through the father.
“Since Christian leaders wield enormous influence, with their captive audiences every Sunday morning, it is important that the nation hears what they have to say about the future of this country under President Obama whose adherence to the Christian faith has been widely debated,” Global Mark Makers said.
“Bankole Thompson is an accomplished journalist with integrity…,” Global Mark Makers said. “We trust he will do justice to an issue that has peaked national and international curiosity about the most closely watched presidency in recent history.”
Given the explosive saga with President Obama’s former pastor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright during the 2008 presidential campaign, Global Mark Makers said it is very clear that Mr. Obama’s faith will be an issue in the 2012 presidential election and that the new book “Obama and Christian Loyalty” will offer a perspective that has not yet been fully explored – how Christian leaders view the president in this current rancorous political climate.
Those interviewed include:
• Bishop PA Brooks, First Assistant Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ Inc, a 6.5 million congregation in America.
• Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, a 1.3 million congregation.
• The Rev. Dr. Bernard LaFayette, coordinator of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign and top aide to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. LaFayette, who will appear on the Oprah Winfrey show May 4 as the last living Freedom Rider to speak about the freedom riders during the civil rights movement.