Franklin, I knew Billy Graham, I recommitted my life to Christ under the ministry of your father. I was a counsellor at a couple of his crusades. Billy Graham was a spiritual advisor to 12 U.S. Presidents, both Republicans and Democrats—he was non-partisan. He tried not to wade into issues that would distract from his preaching of the gospel. I knew Billy Graham, Franklin, and believe me, you are no Billy Graham.
On Easter Sunday, you gave an interview to Christian Amanpour. You said three things (or more), just kind of off the cuff, that made me question, What were you thinking? How do we recover from the embarrassment you bring on the church by such bizarre speculations? These comments just don’t strike me as what Jesus had in mind when he advised us to “be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Your father was good at that. He would’ve responded very differently to these questions—not in wild speculation, but focused on the gospel and non-partisan in politics, but always supportive of the president. Franklin, you would do well to consider how Bill Graham would’ve responded to these questions about the second coming, Palin and Trump, and President Obama’s birth and faith.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, ABC NEWS: So, what will the second coming look like?
And just look at what's happening in Libya or Egypt and everybody's got their phone up and everybody's taking recordings and posting it on YouTube and whatever and sending it to you or—and it gets shown around the world.
I don't know, but he says that he'll be coming on the clouds and the world is going to moan. They're going to groan.
AMANPOUR: I don't mean to be disrespectful—
AMANPOUR: —but could there be a second coming by social media? Is that what you mean?
GRAHAM: No. I'm just saying that how the whole world will see him when he comes, and he's coming back for his people.
How is the whole world going to see him all at one time? I don't know, unless all of a sudden, everybody's taking pictures and it's on the media worldwide. I don't know. Social media could have a big part in that.
AMANPOUR: Is [Sarah Palin]the kind of candidate you would like to see run for election? Would she be your candidate of choice?
GRAHAM: I don't think Sarah's going to — I don't think she likes politics. I think she likes speaking on the issues, and I agree with many of the issues that she brings up, but I believe — I don't see her as running for president.
AMANPOUR: If she did, would you support her? Would she be your candidate?
AMANPOUR: So, that's not a yes.
GRAHAM: No. I mean, we're so early. But I do like Sarah.
AMANPOUR: Well, there are people in right now. Would you support Mitt Romney, would you support—
GRAHAM: I've met—
AMANPOUR: —Donald Trump?
GRAHAM: I've met Mitt Romney. No question he is a — he's a very capable person, he's proven himself. Donald Trump, when I first saw that he was getting in, I thought, well, this has got to be a joke. But the more you listen to him, the more you say to yourself, you know? Maybe the guy's right. So, there's a —
AMANPOUR: So, he might be your candidate of choice?
GRAHAM: Sure, yes, sure.
AMANPOUR: President Obama has come to you and your father, you've all prayed together. How would you say he's doing?
GRAHAM: I think he's a very nice man. I think he's a very gracious person. But I think our country is in big trouble.
AMANPOUR: Does it bother you that people like Donald Trump for instance right now, are making another huge big deal about birth certificates and whether he's a Muslim or a Christian and where he was born?
GRAHAM: Well, the president, I know, has some issues to deal with here. He can solve this whole birth certificate issue pretty quickly. I don't — I was born in a hospital in Ashville, North Carolina, and I know that my records are there. You can probably even go and find out what room my mother was in when I was born.
I don't know why he can't produce that. So, I'm not — I don't know, but it's an issue that looks like he could answer pretty quickly.
As it relates to Muslim, there are many people that do wonder where he really stands on that. Now, he has told me that he is a Christian. But the debate comes, what is a Christian?
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.
I’ve told you what I think, but what do you think? Did Franklin Graham do a good job of presenting a Christian response to these questions? How would Billy Graham have answered differently? Post your opinion in the Comments below. To be fair to Franklin, I’ve posted a video of the full interview below. The full transcript is also available by clicking on an ABC logo above.