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Black religious leaders meet with Franklin Graham to discuss controversy

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TWC News: Black religious leaders meet with Franklin Graham to discuss controversy
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CHARLOTTE -- Religion and politics were front and center as leaders of the African-American faith community met with Franklin Graham Tuesday. The issue was a comment Graham made last month questioning President Barack Obama's faith. It created a rift in the Christian community, especially with African-Americans.

"We saw and heard remarks that Franklin Graham made about the president and questions about his faith that really struck a chord across the country," said Rev. Jamal Bryant with the Baltimore Empowerment Temple Church.

Last month, Graham apologized for comments he made about the president's faith.

"I've never once said I don't believe he's not a Christian," said Graham. "I can not support or vote for the president because of abortion."

Graham was there when Obama visited his ailing father in the North Carolina mountains in 2010.

"I like the president as a person. He's a very nice guy. He's a gracious guy. But he is absolutely 100 percent wrong on this issue," said Graham on CNN.

Bryant was one of 19 members of the NAACP's Religious Affairs Board who came to this meeting from across the country to address the rift.

"Right after he apologized, he wrote in picturesque terms why he wasn't going to vote for him, so it seemed like a backhanded apology," said Bryant.

Despite the attacks, Bryant said this was a meeting of peace.

"We came waiving the white flag and left with no bullet holes so everybody is moving towards a more peaceful end," he said.

They left with an agreement to work together and take religion out of presidential politics.

"He made a commitment not to question the president's faith. This would be the beginning of a relationship, not the end," said Rev. Bryant.

Graham did not release any comment about the meeting. The groups did agree to meet again within the next 90 days to come up with better ways for the Christian community to come together.


Full Interview With Rev. Bryant

TWC News: Black religious leaders meet with Franklin Graham to discuss controversy
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