With less than a week to go before Election Day, campaigns and other organizations are emptying their coffers to fund a barrage of last-minute political ads. One such blitz, which featured a full-page spread in last Sunday’s New York Times, is led by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and urges Americans to “vote for biblical values.” Graham’s face appears in the ad with the following text:
“On Nov. 6, the day before my 94th birthday, our nation will hold one of the most critical elections in my lifetime. We are at a crossroads and there are profound moral issues at stake. I strongly urge you to vote for candidates who support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman, protect the sanctity of life and defend our religious freedoms. The Bible speaks clearly on these crucial issues. Please join me in praying for America, that we will turn our hearts back toward God.”
The ad, which first appeared about a week after Graham and his son Franklin met with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in North Carolina, has also run in the Wisconsin State Journal, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and more than a dozen newspapers altogether, according to the Huffington Post.
The ads are seen by many as an implicit endorsement of Romney and have more than one commentator questioning Graham’s selective use of biblical values. CNN contributor Roland Martin asked in an opinion column last week why Graham had made no mention of “helping the needy, feeding the hungry, healing the sick and wounded, and taking the haves to task for ignoring the have-nots.”
Televangelist Bill Keller of LivePrayer.com believes that basing one’s decision on biblical values would preclude a vote for either President Obama or Romney, and calls on Christians to write in Jesus on their Nov. 6 ballots. Christian Post reports that more than one million individuals have committed to heed Keller’s call.
David Ward is a writer living in Salt Lake City. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.