Billy Graham is featured in a national advertising campaign calling America back to God and urging Americans to “vote for biblical values” on Nov. 6 — a move that many conservative Christians are calling “unprecedented.”
The advertising campaign launched with full page ads in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today – followed by similar ads in as many as a dozen states over the next few weeks.
“I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel,” Graham said in the full page ad that appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal.
He also urged Americans to vote for ‘those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman.”
Graham most recently came out in support of Chick-fil-A after the family-owned company came under a vicious attack from militant homosexual advocates who opposed their support of traditional marriage.
Last May Graham, who lives in Montreat, N.C., publicly backed an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage. At the time he lamented what he called “the moral decline of our country.”
“The legacy we leave behind for our children, grandchildren, and this great nation is crucial,” he said. “Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me that American will remain one nation under God.”
The BGEA said the ads intentionally do not mention any candidate or political party.
“This ad is consistent with both the mission of the BGEA and Billy Graham’s personal methodology to diligently and consistently remain politically neutral and non-partisan throughout his public ministry, said A. Larry Ross, spokesperson for Mr. Graham. “Against the backdrop of moral decline and a cultural shift in our nation that reflects timely issues, Mr. Graham’s quotation in the ad is an extension of his faithful preaching of a timeless message and strong stand on biblical values for more than six decades.”
The advertising campaign has excited evangelical Christians — who believe what happens in November could shape the future of the nation.
“This is unprecedented for the world’s best-known evangelist,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Billy Graham has always steered clear of politics. In reality, (he) merely raised his prophetic voice like any preacher should when biblical and moral values are placed in jeopardy by politicians.”
“Billy Graham has never injected himself into partisan politics,” said Robert Jeffress, pastor of the historic First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. “The fact that he would take this kind of bold stand should be a wake-up call to people of faith regarding what is at stake in this election.”
Jeffress, who is one of the nation’s leading evangelical voices, told Fox News that people of faith realize this election “transcends political partisanship but represents a clear choice between righteousness and unrighteousness.”
“The greatest threat confronting our nation is not our fiscal crisis but America’s moral and spiritual deficit,” he said.
Graham is considered an elder statesman among the nation’s religious community — and his words still carry heft.
“Mr. Graham is our champion,” said David Dockery, president of Union University in Jackson, Tenn. — one of the country’s top Christian institutions of higher learning. “I’m sure his call for renewal and commitment at this time will get the attention of many across the country.”
“We all still look to him for his guidance and insight,” Dockery told Fox News. “His words still speak more powerfully than any religious leader in this country.”
The advertising blitz comes one week after Graham met with Romney in his mountaintop home.
“What impresses me even more than Gov. Romney’s successful career are his values and strong moral convictions,” Graham said in a statement following the meeting. “I appreciate his faithful commitment to his impressive family, particularly his wife Ann of 43 years and his five married sons.”
The 93-year-old evangelist urged Americans to pray for the nation – warning that “America is at a crossroads.”
Graham has met with every president dating back to Harry Truman. In 2010 he met President Obama – who happened to be vacationing in nearby Asheville. The meeting was described as brief and afterwards, Graham asked Americans to “pray for our president.”
The BGEA is also providing resources for churches to promote the “biblical values” ad campaign. Click here for that information.