Excerpts of essays in Christianity Today about political ads and statements from Billy Graham:
From William Martin, Grahams biographer:
I have been repeatedly surprised this year by the active political involvement of Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, and, by extension, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). After realizing that he had been cynically manipulated by Richard Nixon and his aides, resulting in a stain on his ministry that has never fully faded, Billy Graham resisted joining the Religious Right in the late 1970s and warned religious leaders to be wary of exercising political influence.
The BGEA has produced full-page ads bearing Billy Grahams visage and signature alongside copy urging voters to support those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man a woman. Billy Graham representatives note that the ads do not mention a specific candidate or party. Given that Mitt Romney opposes same-sex marriage and President Barack Obama supports it (and by doing so, has to use Franklin Grahams words shaken his fist" at God), the ads leave no doubt about their intent
Because of Billy Grahams reentering the political arena out of due season and focusing on a topic [homosexuality] that was never central to his ministry when he was active, some have suspected that Franklin Graham has steered his father in this direction, perhaps against his will or at least without full enthusiasm
From Michael S. Hamilton, chair of the history department at Seattle Pacific University.
Billy Graham has long been a registered Democrat and has supported politicians on both sides of the aisle. In the 1980s and 1990s, he declined to embrace the Religious Right. The exposure of Richard Nixons corruption made Graham wary of future involvement in political partisanship.
His son Franklin, however, has had close relations with leaders of the Religious Right, and has been much more willing than his father to openly identify with their agenda
Recent press releases issued by spokespersons for Mitt Romneys presidential campaign and for the BGEA seem to be de facto endorsements of Romney; and the Vote Biblical Values campaign repeats the slogans of the Religious Right in a way that Graham himself has never done before . This may represent a change of views on the part of a frail 93-year-old man. Or they may represent the views of his son. Since Graham himself no longer speaks in public, we simply cannot know for certain
From A. Larry Ross, who has served as Grahams director of public relations since 1981.
Despite physical limitations that come with his life stage evangelist Billy Graham is a productive 93-year-old with an active mind who continues to enjoy good general health and remain engaged in the overall ministry that bears his name.
Regarding the Vote Biblical Values ad campaign, this ad is consistent with both the mission of the BGEA and Billy Grahams personal methodology to diligently and consistently remain politically neutral and nonpartisan throughout his public ministry.
Against the backdrop of moral decline and a cultural shift in our nation, Billy Grahams quotation in the ad on which he was consulted and signed off is an extension of his faithful preaching of a timeless message and strong stand on biblical values for more than six decades. He is challenging citizens on how to vote, rather than for whom to vote