Franklin Graham, President and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, recently took to social media to defend Rudy Giuliani's controversial comments that President Obama does not love the United States and "lacks moral clarity."
On Tuesday, the 64 year old speaker and author wrote on his Facebook page, "Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has taken a lot of heat from the media for his remark that he's not sure if President Obama really loves America. I don't know if that's true or not, but I do know that the president defends Islam and chastises Christians, rebukes our allies and befriends our enemies, and fully supports gay marriages and abortion but denies the religious freedoms of those who don't agree. Our nation is ridiculed abroad and morally crumbling within. We are in trouble. We have turned our back on God."
Graham's comments were made in response to Giuliani's earlier statements regarding President Obama's views toward the United States and its citizens.
"I do not believe that the president loves America," Giuliani said Wednesday during a private group dinner in Manhattan, Politico reports. "He doesn't love you. And he doesn't love me. He wasn't brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country."
The former presidential candidate later added in an op-ed that his comments were made in reference to Obama's previous statement that America is not "exceptional."
"To say, as the president has, that American exceptionalism is no more exceptional than the exceptionalism of any other country in the world, does not suggest a becoming and endearing modesty, but rather a stark lack of moral clarity," Giuliani wrote in a Wall Street Journal article titled "My Bluntness Overshadowed My Message."
"Irrespective of what a president may think or feel, his inability or disinclination to emphasize what is right with America can hamstring our success as a nation. This is particularly true when a president is seen, as President Obama is, as criticizing his country more than other presidents have done," he added.
"I hope and pray that President Obama can rise to the occasion and underscore America's greatness as our history and values merit. If he does so, I will be the first to applaud him," he continued.
Giuliani's comments were heavily slammed by critics, who denounced his arguments as "despicable" and "ignorant."
"No one in their right mind can question that the president loves this country," said Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, "For possible candidates for president who have not rejected outright what Mr. Giuliani said about our president speaks volumes about them as well."
However, Rev. Graham's defense of Giuliani resonated with readers, who "liked" his post over 87,000 times and shared it nearly 33,000 times.
"Amen Franklin...WE lost our way and are in deep trouble. If the people of this nation turn back to our Heavenly Father and the foundation this Country was created on then I still believe a miracle can happen. Praying," wrote Mike Mongillo.
Added Elaine Rahman, ""If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, then will I hear from heaven and heal their land." It's up to us to do it and we need to seek first His Kingdom and actively seek Him and as He leads us to make a difference in our realm of influence. Lord, help us to do it, and not shrink back in the face of evil, but to trust in You."
Reverend Graham, who is also the President of humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse, also criticized President Obama earlier this month for "seemingly continuing to protect Islam" despite the brutal murders of 21 Coptic Christians.
"I am perplexed as to why our President will not acknowledge the truth and call Islamic extremism what it is," he wrote. "In a statement the White House even called the 21 Christians who were beheaded "Egyptian citizens," refusing to identify them as Christians. The truth is--their barbaric murderers openly said they killed them because they were "people of the cross." Why is the President seemingly continuing to protect Islam and refusing to open his eyes to the truth?"
The evangelist also came under fire in 2012 for stating that the President may adhere to the Muslim religion.
"Islam sees him as a son of Islam because his father was a Muslim, his grandfather was a Muslim, great grandfather was a Muslim and so under Islamic law, the Muslim world sees Barack Obama as a Muslim," Graham said during an appearance on MSNBC.
"I can't say categorically [that Obama is not a Muslim] because Islam has gotten a free pass under Obama," he added.