Graham Says Only Bush Can Save Nation from Wave of Smut

Article excerpt

Evangelist Franklin Graham, son of the famous preacher Billy Graham, has endorsed George W. Bush for president, telling a gathering of religious broadcasters that only Bush will crack down on indecency on television and radio.

Speaking to the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Charlotte, N.C., Feb. 15, Graham said, "If this president is not re-elected, the floodgates of this garbage is going to be open because there won't be anyone to stand against it."

Graham charged that forces he did not name are seeking to include more sexuality in television programs. He blasted the recent Super Bowl half-time show on CBS during which singer Janet Jackson's breast was exposed, calling the incident the "tip of the iceberg" for what "these people" have in store for America.

Graham claimed that CBS, The New York Times and The Washington Post will attack Bush, saying, "They'll spin little negative barbs toward Bush." He called on the broadcasters, most of whom represent non-profit tax-exempt stations and ministries, to back political candidates "who will stand against this moral corruption that is coming like a flood against this nation."

Chastising broadcasters who stay out of politics, Graham told the crowd, "I'm not going to be politically correct. I'm going to tell you the truth." Graham's endorsement of Bush, reported the Charlotte Observer, drew a standing ovation.

The newspaper also reported that Graham and Bush have longstanding ties. Graham gave the invocation at Bush's inauguration, and his father was close to Bush's father when the elder Bush was president.

But not everyone was impressed by Graham's action. M. Douglas Meeks, of Vanderbilt University's Divinity School, told the Observer that Graham should have taken a lesson from his father. Billy Graham backed politicians like President Richard M. Nixon and later regretted it, saying he wished he had stayed focused on evangelism.

"It's always unwise for the church to identify with a king or an emperor or a parliament or a party," Meeks said. "The church must be free to criticize all politics." In other news about the Religious Right:

* Alabama "Ten Commandments Judge" Roy Moore continues to drop hints that he might run for president. Moore has been speaking to state branches of the Constitution Party, a farright third party that has ballot access in many states.

During a recent meeting of the Oregon Constitution Party, Moore was asked if the two major parties are too much alike.

"I think that's true," he replied. "As somebody from our state, George Wallace, once said, 'There's not a dime's worth of difference between them.' It's all about power. I think the people need a choice."

Moore also spoke in late February to the Montana Constitution Party. During the speech, he attacked separation of church and state, asserting it was invented by the Supreme Court in 1961. …