Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

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A Metaphor for the GOP

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Franklin Graham's Ignorance

I don't know how many people listen to or follow his preaching, but the fact that Franklin Graham has a platform to declaim this nonsense is shocking:


 "In the last four years, we have begun to turn our backs on God," he said. "We have taken God out of our education system. We have taken him out of government. You have lawyers that sue you every time you mention the name of Jesus Christ in any kind of a public forum."




"In the last four years..."   Is it just a coincidence that in the last four years we've had a bi-racial president in the White House and that Graham identifies just those four years as the only years when "we have begun to turn our backs on God?"

"We have taken God out of our education system."  No.   Graham is wrong here.  God and gods were never intended to be in our public education system.  Private Christian and any other religious educational systems are replete with gods, Christian and otherwise.  What Graham seems to be whining about here is that our PUBLICLY TAX FUNDED educational systems do not favor ANY god, as our Founding Fathers intended, but about which Graham is still shamefully ignorant.  Also, Graham does not understand that any school child is completely free to pray to his or her god privately to him or herself at any time he or she wishes to.  What Graham is complaining about here is that his Christian god is not worshipped publicly and led by public school administrators supported by tax payers of all denominations and even by nonreligious tax payers.  Again, Graham is complaining about a very unAmerican version of religious freedom.  It appears he's unhappy about the fact that our Constitution does not allow him and his kind to impose his idea of religion on his fellow Americans. 




Graham continues:


"Maybe God will have to bring our nation down to our knees—to where you just have a complete economic collapse. And maybe at that point, maybe people will again begin to call upon the name of almighty God."


I don't know where Graham received his religious instruction, but it appears to me that it was at the same school where all religious fanatics study.  Because his brand of religion is not universally practiced in the US, he believes his god will punish America by plunging it into an economic disaster, thereby causing all manner of suffering and deprivation to come to every woman, man, and child.  This is the sort of god Graham would have every woman, man, and child worship through fear of retribution and unending suffering.  I've read about these sorts of vengeful religious ideas in certain parts of the Middle East and anywhere that religious leaders hope to control their followers through portentous prophecies.

Why this very unholy man, Franklin Graham, has any following is a mystery to me, since he demonstrates his ignorance of our American heritage and is no more tolerant of religious freedom enshrined in our Constitution than is the worst of Middle Eastern mullahs, or other religious fanatics. 








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26 comments:

Dave Dubya said...


Had Romney won, this is the kind of guy he'd listen to, along with Pat Robertson, for "diversity" of opinion.

Theocratic retrogrades like Graham are proof that our species has yet to evolve completely out of its Medieval belief systems.

This man would surely initiate an inquisition were he to have the power.



Infidel753 said...

he's unhappy about the fact that our Constitution does not allow him and his kind to impose his idea of religion on his fellow Americans.

Anything that interferes with Christians' ability to push their religion on the rest of us constitutes persecution of them. That's how they think.

Why this very unholy man, Franklin Graham, has any following is a mystery to me,

It's because he enables his followers to bask in feelings of smug superiority and righteousness, and imagine the people of whom they disapprove being punished.

Anonymous said...

He went to the school of "it's the gays fault." (Pat Robertson headmaster)
His father was willing to drop his principles to endorse Romney. Franklin has no principles and will bend with the hate. At least he's not just another Chick-Flic hypocrite.
These religious zealots believe politics is the path to new converts. And why not, that's how his father, Falwell, and other religious maniacs became famous.

BB-Idaho said...

Franklin Graham's take on Mormons:
A. They are a cult
B. Uh, no..they ain't.
..and the cock crowed three times.

FreeThinke said...

Aha! So Jacqueline Hyde
Again shows her worst side.
If I had my desire,
Eric's virtual choir
Would still be the focus
In this blogosphere locus.

Approbation brings a smile.
Condemnation is simply vile.
Construction may be great.
Destruction reveals hate.
Why waste time with propaganda
Canned behind Lenin's veranda?

So tediously predictable, no one should deny
Such ritual exchanges do naught but stultify.


~ FreeThinke - 11/25/12

Shaw Kenawe said...

FT,

Your scolding poem about what I choose to write about on my blog is duly noted.

It is illuminating.

Especially when I visit your blog and read your many blog posts denigrating and excoriating President Obama or President Lincoln, or any Democrat, even me.

How is it that you feel compelled to visit my blog and admonish me about what I should or should not post, when you write blog posts that characterize the Democratic Party as an old hag? and other posts where you ridicule me and my blog?

You really need to find some other occupation other than as a blog scold where you believe your are the sole aribter of blog etiquette.

BTW, you're not. I have every right to voice my opinions on my blog and to ignore your supercilious opinions of them.

I'm surprised that you are so unaware of yourself on this issue.

It's a bit narcissistic, doncha thinke?

Infidel753 said...

There once was a poet, ThreeFinke,
Whose poetry truly did stinke;
He did make it rhyme,
At least most of the time,
But it didn't scan because he had no grasp of stress, meter, or syllable count, or maybe he'd just had too much to drinke.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Infidel753, if I had had the time today, I would have tried to answer in rhyme. Thank you for your wit and witty limerick.

I don't get these righties who come here and whine about what I write on my own blog and who have no compunction writing scathing, hateful blogs about liberals and President Obama of their own.

This one, for example, about African American women's large buttocks. Who in their right [oops] mind would be obsessed with this subject, except to ridicule African Americans?

And this?

And his many posts slandering President Obama, including this one.

As I said, many of these righties are sadly unself-aware of their double standard as to be comical and deserving of ridicule.

Or at the very least, a very clever limerick.

FreeThinke said...

Ms. Shaw!

It's openly acknowledged that we find each other's political views unattractive. However, as I've said many many times, there are lots of things I find attractive about you in regard to other areas of interest. Forgive me if I've been mistaken in thinking that feeling was mutual.

I wasn't "scolding" you, or trying to tell you what you should post on your blog. I was merely attempting to say in a whimsical way, as gently as possible -- without attacking you, personally, -- that I didn't appreciate your assault on Franklin Graham or your repeated attacks on Christian faith in general anymore than you enjoy my opinions of President Obama and the aims and objectives of the Democratic party.

I wouldn't mind in the least if you posted at my blog. There are all sorts of items there many of which you ought to find appealing.

My only "rules" there are clearly stated:

We welcome altercation
But without vituperation.
If you're here just for sensation,
Please find a new location.


I would never dignify what I posted earlier by calling it a "poem." It came off the top of my head in less than ten minutes, while my tongue was planted firmly in my cheek. Its intent was more to amuse than excoriate or annoy you.

Sorry you failed to see the humor.

I thought referring to you as "Jacqueline Hyde" was quite clever. The name came to me originally many years ago in reference to one of my aunts who prided herself on being "difficult," and became something of a family joke.

One never knew whom one was going to encounter on scheduled visits with this aunt. In childhood her challenging manner, and maddeningly inconsistent behavior was disconcerting to say the least. Later I realized most of it was a put-on -- her way of trying to stay on top of every situation.

I loved her dearly, and in latter years we became the best of friends.

Many family members couldn't stand her, and insisted they were "victims." They, of course, were the losers. I was fortunate enough to realize fairly early that it just a game -- a game I learned to play well enough to put us on a more equal footing.

Aunt's saving grace was her ability to laugh at herself when called on some of her more outrageous allegations.

At root she was a very sensible woman -- one of very few people I've ever known who managed to live life on her termsright up until the day she died one Sunday afternoon while peacefully napping in front of her TV -- at age ninety-seven.

If you'd prefer me not to stop by, unless I muzzle myself in order to mollify you, and play the hypocrite, please just give me notice, and I promise I shall vanish forthwith.

Cheerio!

~ FreeThinke

Ema Nymton said...

.

"Why this very unholy man, Franklin Graham, has any following is a mystery to me, ..."

Excuse me! F Graham earned his position.

F Graham after all his father's son. Is this not the fundamental concept of christian crony capitalism? One can rest assured that F Graham and his ilk can point to somewhere in their holy book, it is written.

"... he demonstrates his ignorance of our American heritage and is no more tolerant of religious freedom enshrined in our Constitution than is the worst of Middle Eastern mullahs, or other religious fanatics."

Ema Nymton
~@:o?
.

Silverfiddle said...

"Why this very unholy man, Franklin Graham, has any following is a mystery to me, since he demonstrates his ignorance of our American heritage and is no more tolerant of religious freedom enshrined in our Constitution than is the worst of Middle Eastern mullahs, or other religious fanatics."

Whoo! You go girl.

And, who died and made you arbiter of what is holy and unholy?

Is he really worse than "the worst of Middle Eastern mullahs?"

How many clitorectomies, beheadings and stonings has he ordered?

How many anti-Christian writers has he issued fatwas against?

How many times has he foamed at the mouth over blasphemous cartoons and orders rabid hordes of ignorant followers to burn down embassies and smash storefronts?

And speaking of ignorance, you do know that reading the Bible was a common practice in school at the time of the founders, right?

Shaw Kenawe said...

FT,

I do NOT attack Christians, I attacked Graham for his hypocrisy. I did understand the Ms. Hyde reference [although I would have preferred a comparison to Jacqueline du Pré instead.]

If you had a counter argument to defend what Graham said, that would have been fine. But your criticism was aimed at my posting a critique on him at all, not on the content of the criticism. That's why I referred to you as a "scold."

You write anything you wish to that insults and demeans President Obama and liberals on your blog. I don't visit it and tell you it's divisive and unproductive. I just don't comment. I find that the best way to keep an open door so that I can comment on other subjects that we enjoy: Opera, poetry, literature, food, etc.

If you had been at our Thanksgiving table, those are the subjects we could have discussed. We should avoid politics, since, as with my own dear brother, you and I do not see eye to eye, not even dna to dna.

Now on to something completely different. I've seen the most wonderful video of Glenn Gould playing the Goldberg Variations. I would be happy to send you the link. It is sublime. I am also reading an interesting biography of Gould, a troubled genius.

Shaw Kenawe said...

SF: "And, who died and made you arbiter of what is holy and unholy?"

You and Mr. FT seem not to understand what a blog is for. You both use your blogs for your own skewed opinions about the Obama administration and about liberals but seem unable to accept the fact that others do the same on their blogs.

My OPINION is that Franklin Graham is nothing more than a political mouthpiece for the radical Christian right, and his recent rant proves it.

You yourself employ hyperbole as a rhetorical device, and when I've complained to you about it, you've sarcastically pointed out that you do so to make a point.

No, Graham has yet ordered maiming of girls and women or stonings or any other horrendous punishments for not strict adherence to Christian doctrine, and that's because our Constitution does not allow it. But I suspect without our laws, he and his ilk would be most happy to punish anyone who didn't believe his brand of Christianity.

Yes, the Bible was read in public school at the time of this country's founding. Our Founding Fathers also held slaves. So?

Religious freedom is practiced best, IMO, when the government has no part in it.

Anyone who wants to pray in public school can do to him or herself.

What is it about religious folks who see the end of civilization and all morality just because other people's children are not forced to read a Christian Bible or recite aloud Christian prayers in public schools????

Dave Dubya said...

Wow. There's no hate quite like self-righteous arrogant "Christian" hate.

Make no mistake. Christians are just as prone to hate as anybody.

Who would Jesus hate?

Inquisitions and witch burnings also occured back in the days when the Bible was taught in schools and enforced in the courts by Puritans.

Dave Miller said...

As a Christian, Franklin does not speak for me. In fact, few "Christian Leaders" do...

I choose to speak for myself...

I've never felt tarred and feathered by Shaw in any of her comments on the Christian right, although at times she does not allow for possibility of a Christian worldview different from what is presented in the mainstream.

But Silver and FT, we do not need to go far to see how those with differing views within Christianity are treated by the all loving CHristian right.

Their leaders for years have pummeled people like Tony Campolo, Jim Wallis, Ron Sider and Rob Bell for years simply because they refused to adhere to the orthodoxy of the right.

The right has even gone so far as to question the Christianity of these people.

Within our faith, that reality is much more prevalent towards the left from the right.

Is Franklin unholy? Probably as much as I am... which is to say yes...

Is he as bad as the mullahs? In practice no, in his acceptance of those with other theology, yes...

Rational Nation USA said...

"Religious freedom is practiced best, IMO, when the government has no part in it."

Works for me too.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"I've never felt tarred and feathered by Shaw in any of her comments on the Christian right, although at times she does not allow for possibility of a Christian worldview different from what is presented in the mainstream."

I think I may have somewhere on my blog, Dave, because most of my family are practicing Protestants and Catholics. In fact a dear niece who is a devout Christian and has worked for the Heifer International for almost 20 years and actually practices Christianity by helping those in this country and around the world in greatest need.

I also have Mormon, Buddhist, Jehovah Witnesses, Jewish, and non believers in my immediate and extended family.

My niece and her family are a walking, talking, breathing example of the true message of Christianity: loving one's neighbor as one's self.

And so are you, Dave.

Anonymous said...

If I want to pledge to my country, I also have to pledge to a God. So I refuse to say the pledge at any time.
My children are forced to say the pledge in school and other public events. I tell them they do not have to recite the pledge, just remain quiet.
Yet, I received a letter of complaint (from faculty) that my children have refused to say the pledge, that is an anti-social act, and the faculty is concerned about the "proper socialization" of my children.
This incident became public, and my children the focus of ridicule. thus creating an anti-social attitude against my children. Something the faculty was concerned about if my children did not participate in saying the pledge along with the other children.
The school decided not to push the issue, and my children never recite the pledge.
It's bad enough that government (Congress) adds "under God" to its pledge forcing Americans to pledge to God at the same time they pledge to our country, but to demonize children for simply following their parents instructions is unforgivable.
Religion has no place in a secular government.
Those (Republicans) who pushed to add "under God" to an acceptable pledge are forcing their pagan beliefs on me and my family. They are in fact, traitors to the Constitution, and until they are seen as such, Americans freedoms are at risk.

Silverfiddle said...

"My OPINION is that Franklin Graham is nothing more than a political mouthpiece for the radical Christian right, and his recent rant proves it."

I understand that, and that this is a blog. It's just that you don't justify your opinion very well.

I just refuted your main points.

Shaw Kenawe said...

No, you did not, SF.

As an example, Dave Dubya pointed out quite accurately that when the Protestant Puritans were dominant in New England, they used their religious power to punish, sometimes by death [see Witch trials, Salem], anyone who did not abide by their version of Christianity or anyone who was suspected of not being aChristian.

Franklin Graham does not have that power. But his words give us an insight as to how he would use it if he had it.

Rational Nation USA said...

"As an example, Dave Dubya pointed out quite accurately that when the Protestant Puritans were dominant in New England, they used their religious power to punish, sometimes by death [see Witch trials, Salem], anyone who did not abide by their version of Christianity or anyone who was suspected of not being a Christian.

Franklin Graham does not have that power. But his words give us an insight as to how he would use it if he had it."

That sums it up quite nicely Shaw. We certainly do not need a "New Dark Age." :-)

S.W. Anderson said...

Does it strike anyone else as passing strange that the same people on the right who can't condemn public schools and education enough — supposedly lousy teachers, crummy textbooks, dumbed-down curriculum, too politically correct, etc. — wish to entrust those same public schools with inculcating religious faith in their offspring?

I'd be willing to bet Franklin Graham knows very well why public schools don't proselytize and instill religion. I'd further be willing to bet he would in some part of his mind be alarmed and annoyed if schools were to start doing that. The reason is that Graham wants this as an issue he can be seen and heard railing against, the better to elevate himself as a champion of the poor, downtrodden — even persecuted — Christian faithful in this heathenized country.

Being that champion fills stadiums, sells books and magazine articles, rolls in donations and — ca-ching — keeps Graham living and traveling in the style to which he's accustomed. Being that champion also might gain him the same entree to the White House that it gained for his father. Ca-ching, ca-ching.

S.W. Anderson said...

Once again Sliverdiddle shares with us his "Alice Through the Looking Glass" rendition of logic: Franklin Graham is not as bad as the worst extremist Muslim clerics; ergo, Graham is A-OK.

Let's flip this on its back and see what it looks like. To be bad, Graham would have to be as bad as the worst extremist Muslim clerics.

So, Sliverdiddle is saying that anything less than that bad is either good or at least acceptable.

"And speaking of ignorance, you do know that reading the Bible was a common practice in school at the time of the founders, right?"

The first school in the first Puritan colony in Massachusetts was established to teach the children of Calvinists how to read the Bible. Most colonial communities were made up of people of the same religion, so there was no problem of conflicts in having church-sponsored schools be the "public" schools of that era.

That pattern continued through the time of the founding fathers. But it's misleading to conflate what constituted public schools of that time with the public schools of later times.

It's also important to remember that most early settlers came to these shores to escape religious persecution. The persecutors were the state-sponsored religions of Europe, mostly Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran. It was precisely for that reason the founders included in the Constitution that "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion." Meaning, of course, no official, state-sponsored religion for this country.

It's because of that determination to guarantee freedom of religion (and concomitant freedom to go without one) for all that in modern times, with our diverse society, keeping public schools secular was — and continues to be — crucially important.

What people who bemoan the lack of religious training in public schools can't seem to grasp is that government promotion of religion is antithetical to religious freedom. Worse, as the Puritans could testify, it creates a short, slippery slope to religious oppression.

Republican Racism said...

Republiscums continuous yearning to go back to a time when pagan beliefs ruled mans thinking.

Jerry Critter said...

The people who bemoan the lack of religious training in public schools don't want government sponsored intrusion, they want the intrusion of THEIR religious beliefs.

Silverfiddle said...

Q WS: Once again Sliverdiddle shares with us his "Alice Through the Looking Glass" rendition of logic: Franklin Graham is not as bad as the worst extremist Muslim clerics; ergo, Graham is A-OK.

Wrong, again. Where did I say he was AOK?

I was refuting Shaw's nonsense, nothing more.