WASHINGTON -- As Americans mark the National Day of Prayer, the controversies plaguing this year's event are still making headlines.
Psychologist James Dobson and Rev. Franklin Graham recently spoke with CBN News about the issue in an exclusive interview.
The two men talked candidly about being shut out of the Pentagon Day of Prayer, the White House's response to Islam, and the role of Christians in the upcoming elections.
A Slap in the Face
For nearly 50 years, the federal government has designated the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer. But the event is constantly under attack.
Most recently, the military disinvited Graham from speaking at a Pentagon prayer observance after certain religious groups complained about his past comments calling Islam "wicked" and "evil."
Graham asked President Obama to intervene. But, so far, the president has chosen to stay out of the matter. The embattled evangelist called the situation a slap in the face to all Christians.
"I think it is a put down, because it seems to be that Islam gets a pass, that a couple of Muslims can complain about a Christian event at the Pentagon, when there's been Christian events for years at the Pentagon," Graham told CBN News.
"(Muslims) can have Ramadan, they have their prayer services there, I don't complain, I'm happy for them to do that," he continued. "But for them to complain because I don't believe as they believe and I don't worship the same God that they worship… I worship a different God than they worship. But we love them."
Graham has not backed down during this controversy and has continued to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.
Controversy Promotes Gospel
"I can't tell you how much I appreciate this man because he has taken the heat, but he has done it with grace," Dobson said of Graham. "And what he said just now is why I appreciate him so much, because he takes an opportunity like this and goes straight for the Gospel."
Dobson told CBN News that the prayer controversy has actually helped further the Gospel, saying that "what Satan intends for evil, God intends for good."
"It is everywhere. Why are we talking about it today? It is all over the place," Dobson said. "And probably the National Day of Prayer... is getting more attention, and more people are getting involved in it. And I believe more people are going to be praying on the National Day of Prayer because of that."
The White House and Islam
Still, there are some who want to do away with the National Day of Prayer. For instance, a judge in Wisconsin recently ruled the event unconstitutional. The Obama administration is now appealing the ruling.
While Graham applauds the president's decision, he said he's very concerned with how the Obama administration approaches and views Islam.
The subject is particularly sensitive for Graham, who has a son on his fourth deployment in Afghanistan.
"Certainly there seems to be that Islam under this administration gets a pass, and that's very concerning to me," Graham reiterated.
Graham Warns the President
But what may be even more of a concern for the White House is how Christian voters view the prayer controversy.
"There were millions of evangelical Christians that voted for Barack Obama in the last election. I don't think they'll be at the table next time," Graham predicted. "I think they've seen things from this administration that concern them, that worry them."
Graham said the Church's voice needs to be heard.
"I believe the church of Jesus Christ can make a huge difference in these next elections, but you've got to get out and vote," he said. "If we don't do it, we're going to be in trouble."
National Day of Prayer Events