The prominent Christian evangelist Billy Graham has taken public steps to embrace Mitt Romney for president this week, removing Romney’s Mormon religion from a list of cults on his website and taking out an advertisement that appears to urge people to vote for Romney.
Graham’s Evangelistic Association removed the word Mormon from its website, where it used to be listed along with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Scientology as a cult.
The move comes just a week after Romney visited Graham at his home in North Carolina.
“Our primary focus at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has always been promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Ken Barun, chief of staff for the association, wrote in a statement. “We removed the information from the website because we do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicized during this campaign.”
Graham’s organization also took out an ad in the Wall Street Journal today, in which a letter from Graham asks people to vote for socially-conservative candidates.
“As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election may be my last,” Graham says in the ad. “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. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman.”
The ad does not specificly endorse Romney, but Romney opposes abortion in most cases and is opposed to same sex marriages.
Graham has never endorsed a presidential candidate.