By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
CHARLOTTE – Spiritual advisor to 10 presidents and evangelist to the world, the Rev. Billy Graham has a word for fellow North Carolinians casting their ballots in the May 8 primary – vote FOR the Marriage Amendment.
“The home and marriage is the foundation of our society and must be protected,” the 93-year-old world renowned preacher said in a statement supporting the proposed change to the State Constitution that would clarify marriage as between one man and one woman. In a full-page advertisement set to publish in more than a dozen Tar Heel newspapers this weekend, the Rev. Graham said he “never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage.”
“The Bible is clear – God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman,” the ad states. “I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote for the Marriage Amendment on Tuesday, May 8. God bless you as you vote.”
Having finished his last crusade in 2005 and turned over leadership of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to his son, Franklin Graham, the elder preacher spends most of his time at home in Montreat and out of the spotlight.
“Rev. Graham’s willingness to speak out on this issue and the BGEA’s purchase of these ads is another indicator of how important Tuesday’s vote really is to North Carolina,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “It is imperative that we defend this basic building block of our culture, and we are glad to see the Graham family continuing their bold stance. We would have expected no less.”
Danny Akin, president of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, told the Associated Press that he was not surprised by Graham’s taking such a stand for marriage.
“I think he would see this as I do, not so much as a political issue – which it is – but a moral issue,” Akin said, affirming marriage as a “covenant between a man and a woman.”
Both Franklin Graham, who heads Samaritan’s Purse, and Anne Graham Lotz, founder of AnGeL Ministries, have announced their support for the Marriage Amendment in recent weeks and have often cited their parents’ 63-year marriage as an inspiration and a worthy example of what God intended when he established the institution.
Having met in 1940 at Wheaton College, Billy Graham and Ruth Bell were married in 1943. Over the years as his burgeoning ministry took him to as many as 10 different countries annually, he relied on her strength and encouragement while she managed the household and taught their five children to love the Lord.
“I am so grateful to the Lord that he gave me Ruth, and especially for these last few years we’ve had in the mountains together,” the Rev. Graham said when his wife died in 2007. “We’ve rekindled the romance of our youth, and my love for her continued to grow deeper every day.”
To find out more about the Marriage Amendment, hear the audio of Franklin Graham’s endorsement and read Anne Graham Lotz’ statement on the issue, log on to www.voteFORmarriagenc.com.