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After Billy Graham prayed with, and effectively endorsed, Mitt Romney it was pointed out that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website had an article which openly called Mormonism a "cult'. So, the BGAE scrubbed the offending article - but it missed another that identified Mormons as non-Christians, and that wasn't the end of the anti-Mormon bigotry - which is apparently built right into the coding of the BGAE website (I'll get to that in a moment.) As I wrote in my first installment,

On October 11, 2012 superstar evangelist Billy Graham emerged from semi-retirement to pray with, and in effect endorse, presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Then, on October 12, the LGBT rights group The New Civil Rights Movement broke the news that even as Graham was meeting with Romney, a page on the website of Graham's nonprofit the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association identified Mormonism as a "cult".

While the offending page pointed out by the New Civil Rights Movement story was almost immediately scrubbed from the BGEA website (a cached version of the page can still be viewed at the Internet Archive)

Picking up where the New Civil Rights Movement had left off, I discovered more anti-Mormon material on the BGAE website - A May 1, 2008 story published in Decision magazine, by author Thom S. Ranier, with the title "The Unexpected Journey" featured a subheading which clearly identified Mormonism as non-Christian:
"A few years ago, my wife, Nellie Jo, and I traveled across America listening to Christians who formerly held other beliefs. We heard from Christians who were once Mormons, Hindus, Jehovah's Witnesses, agnostics, witches, Buddhists, Unitarians, New Agers, Muslims, Satanists and non-Messianic Jews."
Adding to the punch of this, Thom S. Ranier is CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, the publishing wing of the Southern Baptist Convention, which claims 16 million members. As I go into in my article, LifeWay prints a number of books that attack Mormonism.

But wait! There's more!

While the BGAE scrubbed the article that the New Civil Rights Movement pointed out, the idea that Mormonism is a cult appears to be coded right into the BGAE website!

I'm not joking. A search on the term "Mormon" on the BGAE website returns six hits. One is the article mentioned above, by Thom S. Ranier. Then, there are another three articles that discuss cults, but these three pages don't contain the word "Mormon", nor are the words "Mormon", "Mormons", or "Mormonism" in the page metadata.

What does this mean? Well, in order for the website search engine to return these three pages, that discuss cults, in response to a search for the term "Mormon", the people who coded the website would have to had programmed the result into the search engine: in other words, told the search algorithm to associate the word "Mormon" with "cult".

This is more insidious even than it sounds - the first search result for the search on "Mormon" is a page with the heading,

"This couple keeps coming to our house and inviting us to come to their assembly hall to study the Bible. I'd like to know something about the Bible, but a friend of mine says this group is a cult. What exactly is a cult? They seem like nice people."
In the first two paragraphs, Billy Graham himself (the page is from Graham's My Answer column) explains,
"A cult is a group that claims that it, and it alone, has the truth about God and offers the only way to salvation. Members reject what Christians have believed for almost 2,000 years, and substitute instead their own beliefs for the clear teachings of the Bible.

Often, they add to the Bible by claiming that the books their founder wrote or "discovered" are from God, and have equal authority to the Bible. In reality, however, those books deny what the Bible says about God or Jesus, or about the way of salvation."

Nowhere does Graham suggest that said "cult" might be any particular belief, such as Mormonism, but that's unnecessary. It is well known that the Church of Mormon recognizes the new books of the Bible discovered in the early 19th Century by founder Joseph Smith - it's even been the subject of a recent Broadway play smash hit.

Billy Graham's own website is automated so that Christians who search for the term "Mormon" will get this page result and be informed, straight from Billy Graham himself, that the Mormon Church is in reality a cult. It's that simple.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Talk to ex Mormons and... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens

    You will learn that it is a fraud as well.

    Plato's " The Cave" taught me to question reality.

    by CTDemoFarmer on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 05:32:34 AM PDT

  •  I personally don't subscribe to the (3+ / 0-)

    notion that Mormonism is a cult any more than other doctrinal religions. But if you take Billy Graham at face value it can only be surmised that he is asking us to vote for a cultist as President of the United States. This can be said of a large percentage, if not a majority, of Evangelical Christians who have long adamantly maintained that Mormonism is a dangerous cult that imperils the souls of those who are involved.

    What we have been witnessing is a prime example of the compartmentalize thinking that fundamentalists are famous for. They can hold two deeply antagonistic postitions simultaneously. The trick is to never think about them at the same time so one disappears when they are thinking about the other. It is a very strange phenomenon but common among people who cling dogmatically to irrational doctrines.

    The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

    by Pirogue on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 05:42:08 AM PDT

    •  What's the big deal about being called a cult? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pirogue, Larsstephens

      which is defined as:

      a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
      bottom line: every religion is a cult, so what?
      •  It's considered derogatory (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens

        And look up some sociological and anthropological definitions as well - your definition is unusual in that it seems to recognize no distinction between religions and cults.

      •  My statement was about the internal contradiction. (0+ / 0-)

        They all think they are a religion and the other guy's beliefs are a cult. But the real story about B. Graham's thinking processes that allow him to disparage ideas he thinks are a cult while at the same time endorsing an adherent of those beliefs for the highest office in the land.

        In my earlier comment I called it compartmental thinking but on further consideration I think that is a mistake. Compartmentalization is when they simply don't allow themselves to recognize the contradiction. Because this contradiction is far too obvious and closely related they go through a process they call reconciliation. It is the way they resolve, for example, two obviously contradictory passages in the Bible. They cook up some explanation that has just enough plausibility for the faithful to buy and use that as a "reconciliation" of an "apparent" contradiction. (Just to be clear, I am not saying this is a conscious deception, it is as much a self- deception as it is a deception of anyone else.) Anyway, for what it is worth this is my understanding of how the fundamentalist mind handles this kind of problem.

        So I don't doubt that he has recognized what he will call an "apparent" contradiction, while providing some king of "reconciliation" of the conflict.

        The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

        by Pirogue on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 01:16:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Bill Graham is all but dead. He has been an (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens

      extremely sick man so this smacks of his son's BS.

    •  Well, yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens

      That's really why I posted this.

  •  Not Any More! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens

    Shortly after Billy met with Mitt, the reference to Mormonism as a cult was removed from the website.  This whole thing is seen as Franklin Graham's takeover of the Day-to-day of the organization. Billy usually tried to at least SEEM willing to work with all parties, while Franklin has proven himself to be a highly politicized bigot and extremist who has salivated at finally having control of the organization his father built, and using if for pushing his agenda.

  •  It's a LIE. MItt did not have 5 Grandmothers. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens

    He had 5 Great Grandmothers.  

    hehehhe

    That's how it was.

    Cult?  sure.  Aren't they all?

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 06:31:05 AM PDT

  •  I had searched for a diary on this (0+ / 0-)

    and was in the process of writing my own when I finally found yours. The dkos search mechanism is not user friendly, at least for those of us who are somewhat technologically challenged.

    The hypocrisy of the Grahams (particularly Franklin Graham) is simply unbelievable.  In addition, the October 18 edition of the Wall Street Journal now is carrying a full page ad taken out by Billy Graham.  While the ad does not mention any single candidate, it does urge voters to choose the candidates who stand behind biblical principles.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 07:59:30 AM PDT

  •  Franklin on the griddle (0+ / 0-)

    What's he heading to Africa for?  The Charlotte Disturber got on the stick with this story, finally.

  •  The Charlotte Newspaper finally ponies up (0+ / 0-)

    let that sucka get away with all that BS and now finally does a story...

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