Politics and religion marry — right here in Asheville!

Recently, following one-on-one meetings with Mitt Romney, the Billy Graham Evangelical Association removed Mormonism from its list of cult definitions. Money aside, now I'm baffled as to why the other fringe religions remain listed as "cults" in the "My Answer Archive” section of its website.

To wit, when asked about the elimination of "Mormonism as a cult" from the website, a spokesman for Graham said: “Mr. Graham’s calling is not to pass judgment, but to proclaim the biblical truth that Jesus is the only way to heaven, allowing every individual and group to fall along that plumb line.”

Graham has also taught that “salvation is the work of Almighty God,” the spokesman continued. “Only He knows what is in each human heart.” Seems to me like an extemporaneous exercise in religious hypocrisy, especially since Jesus is not a foundation of the Mormon theology. But neither is He found in the other "cults."

So why doesn't this espoused Graham philosophy of an omniscient God include the hearts of those followers in the other non-Christian religions still listed as cults? It is clearly apparent to me, given their recent, timely action to remove Mormonism from their cult definition, and their subsequent explanation as to why, that they have crossed their own plumb line — hypocritical in defining cults, but even more historically important, the now overt intermarriage of politics with their newly flexible, religious dogma.

“I’ll do all I can to help you,” Graham told Romney. “And you can quote me on that.” So much for separation of church and state.

— TE Hady

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