Guest / Limited Access /

Billy Graham has apologized in full for telling President Richard Nixon in a taped 1972 conversation that Jews have a "stranglehold" on the American media. The National Archives released the tape on February 28.

"This stranglehold has got to be broken or the country's going down the drain," Graham told the President in the Oval Office after a prayer breakfast. Graham also said that "they're the ones putting out the pornographic stuff."

In a brief initial statement, the ailing evangelist—who has given no media interviews about the recording—said he could not remember the exchange from 30 years ago.

Later, in a longer statement, Graham, 83, apologized fully for his comments. "They do not reflect my views and I sincerely apologize for any offense caused by the remarks," he said. "I cannot imagine what caused me to make those comments . …I was wrong for not disagreeing with the President. My remarks did not reflect my love for the Jewish people. I humbly ask the Jewish community to reflect on my actions on behalf of Jews over the years that contradict my words in the Oval Office that day."

Yechiel Eckstein, founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, says many Jews have a long-standing respect for Graham. Nevertheless, Eckstein says, "Statements like that don't help my saying to the Jewish community that we can trust evangelical Christians."

Trust between evangelicals and Jews will undergo another test in a few weeks. In Cincinnati, where Graham will hold his next evangelistic outreach June 27-30, there are about 25,000 Jews. Some of their leaders have asked to meet with Graham when he is in town.

Michael Rapp, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Cincinnati, has asked Graham to meet with Jewish ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only
The Dour Analyst and the Joyous Christian
"In the realm of mental balance and personal peace, Sigmund Freud had nothing on C. S. Lewis."
RecommendedThe World Is Yearning for Beautiful Orthodoxy
Subscriber Access Only The World Is Yearning for Beautiful Orthodoxy
Goodness, truth, and beauty all come from the same Person.
TrendingSpeak Truth to Trump
Speak Truth to Trump
Evangelicals, of all people, should not be silent about Donald Trump's blatant immorality.
Editor's PickTen Reasons Why Theology Matters
Ten Reasons Why Theology Matters
Most Christians agree theology is important, but can't articulate why. These reasons can help.
Christianity Today
Mea Culpa: Graham Laments '72 Comments on Jews
hide thisApril 22 April 22

In the Magazine

April 22, 2002

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.