Franklin Graham and the End of Prayer

I am becoming less and less of a Franklin Graham fan. Franklin was asked not to participate in the Pentagon’s observance of the National Day of Prayer because he  has called Islam “evil and wicked”. To this, he has accused Obama of giving “Islam a pass”. In commenting on the court ruling that has “outlawed” the law creating the National Day of Prayer, he is saying that the ability to pray outside of church may disappear in his (Graham’s) lifetime.

At this point, I think that we need to distinguish between public civic prayer and public worship (or liturgical) prayer. Public civic prayer are the prayers at civic (non-church) events that are usually rendered in a very perfunctual way. I have never been a big fan of civic prayers. They tend to be aggrandizing puff blessings having little to do with communicating with a living God who is interested in our lives. I have come to believe that most civic prayers break the rule that we are not supposed to babble useless words like the pagans do. Therefore, I have yet to understand why any  Evangelical Christian preacher mourns the lack of civic prayers. For some reason, they do, and will tell you that the world is going to Hell in a handbasket because we don’t have ceremonial civic prayers.

Okay, Franklin, I realize that your feelings were hurt because you were dis-invited, but, Christians can still gather to pray in public. We just are being told that  praying ceremonial prayers as part of governmental function maybe officially endorsing religion. Especially since you seem to be bashing at least one other religion. I’m not talking about being “politically correct” . I’m referring to the fact that you bashed Islam in a way that your father, Billy Graham, never did.  It was unnecessary and inaccurate. Many mainline Islamic groups have denounced 9/11. It’s high time that you recognize that. 

Published in: on 05/06/2010 at 8:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Franklin Graham

Franklin Graham was recently dis-invited from participating in the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer program. The stated reason was his comments on Islam. Graham’s comments were that Islam is a “very evil and wicked religion”. I don’t wish to comment on Graham’s comments except to say that unlike his father, Billy, Franklin lacks a notoriety that his dad has. Making comments that bluntly disparage another religion will not get you on the short invite list to what is basically a civil not religious observation. For those who may disagree with that last statement allow me to remind you that the Pentagon is not a church, it is the military branch of the government as such, it cannot favor one religion over another.

Now, Franklin Graham feels that “Muslims are getting a pass” from the Obama administration. Furthermore, when asked by Newsmax TV whether there was “a pattern of hostility to traditional Christianity by the Obama administration”  He responded””I don’t know if it’s exactly from President Obama, but I’m certain that some of the men around him are very much opposed to what we stand for and what we believe.” Sounds like a good case of Sour Grapes ™ to me.

Whether or not you agree with Franklin Graham’s opinion, it was given at an inopportune time. Whereas Graham’s  father could give as full throated opinion as his son, he had the gift of tact, an important gift in situations such as this. There are times when it might be more judicious to hold the public criticisms down than to load up and blast away.Especially when you’ve met with the person who you are criticizing in private.

Alas, Franklin Graham will still have someplace to go on May 6th, he’s been invited to the Congressional National Day of Prayer services.

Published in: on 05/04/2010 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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